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Paleo, Pregnancy & Weight Loss

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 13, 2012 at 5:56 PM

I have been on the Paleo life style for about 3 weeks now. I love it! I have lost about 8 lbs and I have way more energy than before. However, I'm still about 40lbs over weight and now possibly looking into getting pregnant soon. (Our first child) I still want to continue to lose the weight and eating healthy during this possible transition. Any pointers? I exercise about 3-4 times a week. About an hour a day. Walking or horseback riding. I do cheat one meal a week. Usually gluten free pizza...my HUGE weakness.

78964c5cc470f86a5897db8e1ce8e6f9

on June 15, 2012
at 07:34 PM

Well there are exceptions to every rule. I imagine your pregnancies were probably watched closely by your doctor since 100+ lbs overweight is a high risk pregnancy.

A6713cff384ea6f402f9c22df14b80bd

(10)

on June 14, 2012
at 06:39 PM

I'm currently not restricting calories, which is probably why I haven't lost as much weight as I would like. But I am eating Paleo. I do however need to cut my dairy, nuts, dark chocolate and the occasional cheat. I do run about an hour to an hour and a half 3x a week. I guess once I loose more on a more strict Paleo plan I can have the liberty while pregnant.

A6713cff384ea6f402f9c22df14b80bd

(10)

on June 14, 2012
at 06:33 PM

I was eating an incredibly horrible diet before. Eating and drinking everything in sight. Since moving into a Paleo lifestyle I have dropped 8lbs in 3 weeks. I need to become more strict and x the nuts, dairy and occasional cheat. Thank you for the blog post.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 13, 2012
at 07:37 PM

I lost weight with both pregnancies, in fact weighed less the day before I delivered than the day before I got pregnant, and had two very healthy babies. I was 100+ lbs overweight each time and was very limited in what my body would allow me to eat during the pregnancies. There was nothing unsafe about my weight loss.

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10 Answers

3
D587cb2250ac4f606eeae8bd3b7f3d4d

on January 05, 2013
at 09:12 PM

All of this taboo on weight loss in pregnancy is based on the SAD myth of calories in calories out. How can people who have learned that it's mostly about hormone production still be touting the "weight loss in pregnancy is absolutely unacceptable?" It doesn't make any sense. I mean, if you are overweight and then, becoming pregnant, start to follow a healthier diet, especially a paleo diet, doesn't it make sense that you would still continue to lose stored excess body fat? Total weight gain of baby, breast tissue, placenta, uterus, water retention, etc is about 3 lbs. in the first FIVE months? An overweight woman who is following a paleo diet and not restricting calories should still expect to continue losing weight at least until around this time. It's all about hormones. I'm 19 weeks, eat a heart, a kidney, spinach, broccoli, bone broth, FCLO, coconut oil, butter, eggs and meat every day. Other things like oily fish and liver several times a week, and other foods as well so long as they are highly nutrient dense. I check my nutrient stats once in a while and am not deficient in any vitamin or minerals, without taking any supplements. Now tell me again how, while eating all this and not gaining a pound yet (or losing a pound as I'm already at a normal weight) I'm harming my baby?(Note: I gained 32 and 40 lbs with my first two pregnancies) And if I only gain 10 lbs? If I were overweight - could I not convert to this diet and trade body fat for baby fat while my weight remained stable? I just don't understand the reasoning behind these comments sometimes, other than parroting what's been heard. I'd say telling a woman not to restrict calories is a good idea, and good advice. Telling a woman that under no circumstances should she lose weight in pregnancy is just plain irresponsible, and potentially unhealthy for Mom and baby. The best advice I could give is make sure your foods are nutrient dense always, that way you and baby get all the vitamins and minerals you need. If I want to eat something, I ask myself why. I make every calorie I eat count, and if I have any leftover calories (which I usually don't) then I'll let myself have some sort of treat - something not necessarily essential for mine and baby's health. Listen to your body and take care of it. Don't worry about an arbitrary number on a scale. It's not as much about how much weight you're gaining, but what's in the food you're eating. Good luck.

3
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 14, 2012
at 01:12 AM

Something to keep in mind is that some toxins do get stored in body fat, so if you were eating a crappy diet pre-Paleo, you may want to wait to conceive until you lose more of your excess body fat.

If your diet was pretty clean, pre-Paleo, then just keep doing what is working for you and as Miked said, your body will do what it needs to do.

I have a couple of Primal clients who have lost (unneeded) weight during pregnancy and their babes are just fine.

It's more important to focus on nutrient-dense foods than on calories/weight gain. As long as baby is growing well (and your doc/midwife should be able to tell) then your weight is not an issue, as long as you are well-nourished, hydrated & feeling good!

Here is a blog post I wrote last year on Primal (lacto-Paleo) Pregnancy diet, in case it is helpful:

http://primaltoad.com/primal-pregnancy/

A6713cff384ea6f402f9c22df14b80bd

(10)

on June 14, 2012
at 06:33 PM

I was eating an incredibly horrible diet before. Eating and drinking everything in sight. Since moving into a Paleo lifestyle I have dropped 8lbs in 3 weeks. I need to become more strict and x the nuts, dairy and occasional cheat. Thank you for the blog post.

2
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on June 13, 2012
at 10:35 PM

The most important thing is to run a healthy, lowish carb diet. You don't want the fetus developing in a hyperglycemic state. My wife did a 100% paleo pregnancy, and because she wasn't eating any crap her hormones were signaling properly and she gained the amount of weight she should have becuase the hormones were telling her to hold on to weight and such. Eat right and the right stuff will happen.

2
4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on June 13, 2012
at 08:23 PM

The best thing you can do for your future baby is eat healthy before and after conception. There are several paleo baby books that agree. You can also look at the WAPF diet for pregnant and breast feeding mothers as a basis for good nutrition.

"Weight loss" In the form of calorie restriction is unbelievably bad for your baby. Ketones are not bad, and losing weight without trying is fine, but deliberate weight loss is bad.

A6713cff384ea6f402f9c22df14b80bd

(10)

on June 14, 2012
at 06:39 PM

I'm currently not restricting calories, which is probably why I haven't lost as much weight as I would like. But I am eating Paleo. I do however need to cut my dairy, nuts, dark chocolate and the occasional cheat. I do run about an hour to an hour and a half 3x a week. I guess once I loose more on a more strict Paleo plan I can have the liberty while pregnant.

1
D351227f6d76c34fc833adbe84370214

on July 21, 2013
at 12:31 PM

As an RN I have to poo-poo the folks on here touting the old "You should absolutely not lose weight while pregnant" nonsense. If a woman is obese, begins following a Paleo diet that is highly nutritous, becomes pregnant, continues said Paleo diet, and ends up gradually losing weight during her pregnancy this is NOT a bad thing. Following a Paleo diet does not restrict your caloric intake (are we really STILL on that whole calorie kick?) but what folks are forgetting is that baby takes precedent and the body automatically gives baby what it needs FIRST then the rest goes to mom. If one has abundant fat stores to draw from, a gradual weight loss is bound to happen. Eat nutritious foods. Have a happy, healthy pregnancy.

1
4771a1016bf58ef7e0a18606827e508f

on February 26, 2013
at 03:10 PM

I went paleo half way into my pregnancy. I only gained 11 pounds and I ate as much as I wanted. My baby (boy) weighed 10lbs 2 oz. A week after his birth I was down 30. Hes 5 weeks today and the weight is still coming off. I feel great. Best wishes to all of you.

1
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on June 14, 2012
at 12:58 AM

You should not plan to lose (or even maintain) weight while pregnant.

Some women who start out obese do end up losing weight while pregnant despite not trying, often because the pregnancy inspires them to get serious about a healthy diet and exercise. In that case, there generally isn't any obvious ill effect to them or the baby.

That doesn't mean that it's a good idea to try, and it doesn't happen to everyone.

It is ok, however, to continue with a healthy lifestyle that facilitates weight loss, as long as you're eating enough. Trust your body. If you eat primarily healthy foods in appropriate quantities, it is unlikely that you'll gain more weight than your body needs, and you'll most likely lose it relatively quickly after the birth. Maybe not immediately - there's a saying "nine months on, nine months off", and some women find that they hold on to some weight until they're done breastfeeding. But generally, it will come off if you're eating appropriately.

Remember that weight gain during pregnancy isn't just fat - much of it is the weight of the baby, amniotic fluid, increased blood volume, and changes to your breasts. You can easily gain 10-15lbs and not add on any fat whatsoever. This also means that, if you're losing weight during pregnancy, you're actually losing at a much more dramatic weight than it appears, since you're still doing all the baby-growing and fluid expansion and so on.

0
Fdcf36dfb78aa17ec21800cc5a80a439

on July 21, 2013
at 01:33 PM

This website has some pretty great resources and a place to ask questions. Good luck!

www.cavegirlplusone.com

0
1c668cf235a2206dbbd9e9870f47f53b

on February 26, 2013
at 08:53 AM

I gained 20 pounds during pregnancy and lost that weight in 3 months...

0
78964c5cc470f86a5897db8e1ce8e6f9

on June 13, 2012
at 06:35 PM

Most doctors will tell you that it's not safe to lose weight while pregnant. Oven obese women are expected to gain at least 11 pounds during pregnancy. I'm in a similar situation - 30 pounds overweight and thinking about kids. What I've chosen to do is hold off on trying for at least a few more months while I shed more weight.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 13, 2012
at 07:37 PM

I lost weight with both pregnancies, in fact weighed less the day before I delivered than the day before I got pregnant, and had two very healthy babies. I was 100+ lbs overweight each time and was very limited in what my body would allow me to eat during the pregnancies. There was nothing unsafe about my weight loss.

78964c5cc470f86a5897db8e1ce8e6f9

on June 15, 2012
at 07:34 PM

Well there are exceptions to every rule. I imagine your pregnancies were probably watched closely by your doctor since 100+ lbs overweight is a high risk pregnancy.

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