Ask Heidi Anything: Carb Cycling While Prego?

Ask Heidi Anything: Carb Cycling while Pregnant? - Learn more at

Q: Do you still follow carb cycling while pregnant and nursing? Or do you modify it and how? ( I just had baby# 3 this week)

A: First (and MOST importantly), congratulations! Baby #3 was a huge accomplishment for me, and it is for you too. Your body has been through a lot over the years, so be sure you aren?t too hard on it. It will take time to get back to your pre-baby body, or to your new fitness goals.

Let me preface my response by saying I am NOT a doctor, and you should ALWAYS run your diet and exercise program by your doc before beginning. But I am more than happy to tell you what worked for me.

While I do NOT carb cycle to lose weight while pregnant or nursing, I do follow some of the same criteria that is outlined in Chris? carb cycling books.

  • 1. I eat within 30 minutes of waking up, ALWAYS.
  • 2. I eat 5 meals a day.
  • 3. I eat every 3 hours.
  • 4. I eat protein at EVERY meal (the only exception was 1st trimester this round, protein made me sick as a dog).
  • 5. I eat proper portions.

A couple things I do NOT follow from Chris? program while nursing or pregnant:

  1. 1. I NEVER eat a meal without carbs. NO LOW CARB DAYS!!!!
  2. 2. I eat 300 MORE calories a day than my pre-pregnancy plan called for (after my first trimester) while pregnant, and about 300-500 calories a day more when I am nursing. Your body needs it! Listen to what it?s telling you. Dwindling milk supply? You may need to up the cals even a bit more!
  3. 3. I eat a portion of fat with at least 3 meals a day when pregnant and nursing. This is typically where my extra calories come from. And when I say ?fat?, I mean healthy fats: avocados, nuts, and seeds to name a few.

I guess, in a nutshell, I kind of hybrid high and low carb days when pregnant or nursing. Enough calories is very important, and neither of these phases are a time to focus on losing weight. If you are eating real, whole, natural foods, in moderation (NOT binging because your nursing or ?eating twice as much for two? because you have an almond-sized baby in your belly), the weight will come off naturally, when the time is right.

Don?t stress. Just put your focus on eating the foods you want your baby to eat! Essentially, this is what is happening ? what you put in your mouth will eventually make it?s way to your baby, whether pregnant or nursing. Do you want your little one to be made of healthy fats, carbs, and proteins? Or processed foods and hydrogenated oils?

Choose wisely, because these foods will be developing your baby?s little brain, Its heart, and rest of its organs.

Happy baby making!

I have so many people asking some great questions! While I don’t have the answer to everything, I do have quite a bit of experience to share :). ASK HEIDI ANYTHING by sending an email or sharing on Facebook and I’ll do my best to answer and post for others to benefit from too!

56 Responses

  1. Hello!

    I am writing from far, far away from Scandinavia.. I have been so inspired by Chris?s show, and watched every episode of it! I hope some day his books will be available in my language as well!

    I know you can?t give me any guarantees, but I want to ask about your and Chris?s opinion on big weight loss. I am heading for a dramatic weight loss, about 150 lbs, and I am only 28 years old. So what are the odds for my skin to tighten itself? Or should I prepare for surgery? Any tips how can I help my skin to keep up with the weight loss, especially on my belly and thighs? It wouldn?t be nice to lose all that weight and then end up with all the extra-skin.. :/

    1. Congratulations on your weight loss. Definitely work with your local doctor to help get tips on your skin. Many use the creams that pregnant women use to help prevent stretchmarks to keep the skin moist and as firming as possible but each person is so different.

    2. Heidi, I just found out I am pregnant with my own second child and am very excited but slightly unbelieving as of right now! I am wanting to carb cycle during this pregnancy so I can gain appropriate weight and not overdo it with the carbs like my last pregnancy. However, I do not know which program to follow on your transform app. Should it be low carb most days with one high carb day?? Im also going to do the home exercise workouts. Thank you for your help.

    3. Hi Roxana: Congratulations!!! With any pregnancy, check with your physician before beginning ANY nutrition and exercise program. They are also the best ones to help you decide if carb cycling is for you while pregnant, and if so, which carb cycle would be best. We do have pregnant women who follow the app, but again, we always recommend you chat with your healthcare team first. We wish you all the best! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I wish I had known about this cycle of eating years ago when I had my nine children then maybe today my battle would not be so had.. I love you arms is there a way to work out at home and one can build their arms?

  3. Hi Heidi! I was referred to this plan by my chiroprator and have been on it since January. I was told it was safe to use all the products even though I am nursing. I just found a link to the vemma website that says not to use the products while nursing. What are your thoughts on this? Are the products not safe while nursing? I have been using the Bode shakes and Bode burns, and occasionaly I will drink and Orange verve, or the sugar free verve. Thanks!

    1. I will defer to your doctor on this one. If you have shared the contents of the Vemma products with him/her and they approve then that’s who you should listen to. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. What workout DVD or website do you recommend while being pregnant? I need to lose weight but now prego.. I am 40lbs over weight and don’t really do a workout routine now however I don’t want to be unhealthy in my pregnancy! Can u give me some advice on healthy workout routine for baby and me??

  5. Thank you Heidi for your input on carb cycling while pregnant. Just reached 2 months and trying to eat healthy while I am still allowed to. Can you share safe exercise that worked for you such as your upper body and arms. I want my arms to look just like yours!


    Melissa Barrera

  6. I workout 6 days a week with EMWETW and have gotten down to a size 6. Now my problem is I am afraid to change my workout or add to it. I don’t know how. I do all three levels and even challenged myself with the advanced moves but I just watched your nine min workout with Dr. Oz and it overwhelming to me. Should I change up my workout, add to it, or …I don’t know. Congrats on the new baby! You are an inspirational mother!

  7. Vemma brand partner. Doing the BOD e program and nursing this is my first week. Thank you for this!!!!! I was just looking for the answer yesterday! We even started a facebook page for the Bode transformation group and this will be so hopeful!!! Thank you congrats on you little bun in the oven. Question how much do you workout while breastfeeding??

  8. “Choose wisely, because these foods will be developing your baby?s little brain, Its heart, and rest of its organs.” Love this! While it’s common sense stuff, a reminder like this is always important; the stuff that goes in is what’s fueling your baby’s developing body. Great post! Maybe when my husband and I get pregnant I need to print out this quote and hang it right on the front of my fridge!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. I love reading your tips! Especially these ones. I’m nursing my 10 month old daughter so this was perfect timing! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insight and for all that you and Chris do. You both have inspired me with Chris’s first book (can’t wait to get the second!), the show, blog and FB! You guys are awesome!!

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