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. I just ask the question about how I can go to know what high carb food is, or im allow to eat?

    I like everything specific, sorry

  2. Heidi, thank you for this! I’ve been carb cycling for several months now and my hubby and I are addicted to the program (first Choose to Lose and now Choose More to Lose More) and have made so much progress! My question is, would you still apply the same rules if you were nursing an older baby? My 16 month old still nurses frequently. I have adjusted my cals and my body feels much happier, but am still doing low carb days… I’m close to my goal but can’t seem to lose the last 10lbs

  3. Hi! What protein powders are recommended during pregnancy? (I’m also not a huge fan of Greek yogurt or tofu and I don’t n like to eat too much meat.)
    Are there any safe unflavored kinds of protein powders I can just mix into my foods?

  4. I love this post!! I am currently 6 months pregnant and this post is really helpful! You look amazing so to know what you are doing is great. 🙂

  5. This was so helpful, thank you!! I just had baby #2 in January and am nursing, so I’m glad you included that!

  6. Never knew that sturr and would be good to know when I am at my healthy weight and trying to get pregnant again but that wont be for a few years

  7. This is awesome info cause we are trying to get pregnant and start our family! Crossing my fingers it is soon!

  8. Love this post!! In the next year, my husband and I will likely start trying for a family and I love knowing exactly what healthy moms go through and what types of diets are appropriate. Thank you for sharing!!!

  9. Thanks Heidi. Found this so helpful as I am pregnant myself. It makes total sense to NOT eliminate carbs while PG/breastfeeding, and to get the minimal added calories from healthy fats. 🙂

  10. This is my favorite post since I just recently found out I am expecting my second baby, sooo for now, I am doing as you say: Listening to my body, of course no overeating or anything but not limiting myself in the things I may get cravings for… After the nursing period, back to carb-cycling!! In three months of carb-cycling and exercise I lost 15 pound to get from 145 to 130 which was my goal… Oh and now I have been having trouble working out just because I get toooo tired, but trying to get back on the game ASAP!!!

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