What's a Good Preconception Diet?

QUESTION

Fitness Expert,
I'm 30 pounds overweight and plan to conceive in about four months.

What would be a good pre-conception diet?

ANSWER

The first suggestion for your 'diet' is not to stress. Stress is cited as the number one cause for difficulty in conception. Having said this, you want to think seriously about a lifestyle change rather than diet. In my book, Entering the Mother Zone, I discuss many women use pregnancy as a time to diet. Don't worry -- we're all guilty. We try to get in shape just before pregnancy and then, give license to eat whatever we want during this time. For a happier, healthier pregnancy, faster recovering to your pre-pregnant self and lifestyle habits, you want to focus on a plan that is healthier for both you and baby.

No crazy diets, no low carbs, no soy shakes or fruit only meals. Focus on portion control. Stop or reduce caffeine from your diet (studies have also linked higher caffeine as a conception-blocker) because of the sodium and reduce salt intake. Drink plenty of water and begin an exercise routine you may continue throughout your pregnancy. But before you do anything, speak with your OB/GYN to get a medical clearance before you begin.

I interviewed women who actually LOST weight while pregnant. They focused on eating healthy meals and building muscle. Yes, it really can be done.

-- Alex

Alexandra Allred

Alexandra Allred is a former member of the US Women's Bobsled team, is an accomplished martial artist, and continues to teach kickboxing while juggling her career as a full-time writer and mother of three. She has interviewed hundreds of athletes, models, actresses, trainers, doctors, and health/fitness experts as she sought to find answers to her own questions about working out while pregnant, arranging breast-feeding around a training schedule, diet when pregnant and breastfeeding, and encouraging her whole family.

Alex is the author of ten books, including Atta Girl! A Celebration of Women in Sports and Entering the Mother Zone: Balancing Self, Health & Family. We're excited to have her on board!