When you are pregnant, your body changes in many ways, some you may expect and others you may wish someone had told you about. It’s normal to wonder about these changes, especially how much weight you should gain when pregnant. However, don’t worry too much, as there is a range that’s considered healthy.
Intermittent Fasting: A Quick Review
Intermittent fasting (IF) is getting a lot of attention as a weight loss solution that also been proven to fight Type 2 Diabetes and reduce the risk of heart disease. The method is simple enough: eating is restricted to specific hours of the day. The 16:8 method is the most popular, partly because it matches up with our circadian rhythms. With this method, you eat only for eight daytime hours and fast for 16 hours. However, it can be dangerous for some women.
If you’ve been practicing IF and had success, you may wonder if it is safe to continue while you are pregnant. Or you may want to try IF to help manage your weight while pregnant. Before you make any changes to your diet or continue with IF, discuss the pros and cons with your doctor. Your Google search may not give you the best advice.
Intermittent Fasting during Pregnancy: Hard No
While there is nothing wrong with fasting and time-restricted eating in general, during pregnancy, it is a hard no. And here’s why.
- Fasting promotes fat burning, which is great when you want to lose weight. But during pregnancy, you need to create and store fat, not burn it. Not storing enough fat during pregnancy could lead to inadequate weight gain for your baby and hormonal imbalances that could harm it.
- Fasting can also lower your blood sugar for a brief time, which is bad for the growing baby. Fasting is a metabolic correction process, and your metabolism changes during pregnancy in a way that could make fasting dangerous.
- You may have heard that fasting is beneficial for your immune system in the long run. It causes a short-term lowering of your immune system. Since your immune function is already lowered when you are pregnant, reducing it even more, is not a good idea.
- Pregnant women often have digestive issues that leave them prone to constipation or nausea. Eating small meals more frequently throughout the day is often a better option. It can help you digest and absorb nutrients better, while fasting can make these issues worse.
A Note from GR8NESS
The effects of fasting during pregnancy on your body are both unpredictable and different than they might be for someone else. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, working with your healthcare provider to create a plan for weight gain based on your body mass index is the healthy way to go.