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. Hey Heidi! I just had my third baby and I am trying so hard to eat right and exercise every day. I get my exercise done first thing in the morning while she naps and eat right all day. At night is when I struggle- My cravings get out of control and my sweet tooth is back with a vengeance. I had gestational diabetes so I really managed my sugars/carbs and was so happy I didn’t gain hardly any weight this pregnancy! Now I’m not sure if I’m not eating enough calories or what, and wondering what tips you have for night time, since you have had 4 of your own! We’re in AZ too by the way and I wish we could be bffs! 🙂 Love your blog!

    1. First of all, make sure you’re eating enough calories. If you still have sweet tooth cravings, make sure you’re drinking enough water because sometimes hunger/cravings actually mean you’re thirsty. If you just have to have something sweet, try a piece of fruit, or here’s a Powell Pack favorite that might do the trick: And congratulations on the new baby!

  2. This is great! Thank you! Congratulations on your new little girl. I had my second boy in September and have lost that weight it’s the weight from my first I’m trying to loose now. It’s thought while breast feeding because I feel like there are days where I’m starving and then days where I can eat less.

    I definitely notice with my supply when I don’t get enough water or protein.

    Thanks for the help 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for this! My son is 10 weeks old and my milk supply began to dwindle significantly, not surprisingly after I began to cut calories.

    Thanks for your advice on eating a healthy diet, not just less.

  4. THANK YOU so much for posting about this!! I just had my first child, a sweet little girl, almost five weeks ago and I was looking at your carb cycling principles wondering if or how that would work while nursing! I was also curious about intaking the extra calories for nursing and if I am working out again if I should intake additionally what I burn?!?

    Thanks for all your great posts!

  5. Hi! I’ve been following your website for a while now and
    finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita
    Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

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  7. I?m a regular blood plasma donor. I went for the donation on Friday after being back in the RTN program for only 5 days. I was shocked at how different my blood plasma looks after only 5 days of a healthy high protein diet! It is ususally yellowish as if the fat was still attached to it (if it`s there is too much fat in your blood plasma they even stop the donation). Mine was pale and clear and the doctor said that this is a very good and healthy looking color and that the color of the blood plasma actually depends on what you eat.
    It was a moment of clarity for me. It showed that the saying “you are what you eat” is true.
    I also saw it as proof of what Heidi says in her article: “Choose wisely, because these foods will be developing your baby’s little brain, Its heart, and rest of its organs.”
    Thanks Heidi, you are an inspiration!

  8. I found the answer to my question on a previous post!!! Definitely good information for pregnancy, I look forward to jumping into carb cycling after baby, but want to make sure he us here and healthy first and foremost!

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