The beauty of the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program is that it involves cutting out a lot of processed and refined foods, minimising toxins, and embraces a whole-foods approach, all of which is ideal for your needs. Unlike on many diets, nothing is removed during The Program that is essential to gestational health. And a stack of the good stuff is added back in.
However, it is always advised to get the all-clear from your health care professional before starting any new food or exercise-related venture when you are expecting or lactating.
You can expect PLENTY of fresh produce including as many vegetables as you can poke a celery stick at, nourishing full-fat dairy, nutrient-dense meats, chicken and fish, healthy fats, whole grains (mostly gluten-free but you can adapt this to suit), and some low-fructose, fresh fruit once the detox period is over (after Week 6). Some of you may freak out about the “no fruit” thing; read about the I Quit Sugar stance on fruit here and be assured the amount of extra vegetables consumed during The Program more than make up for the roughage, minerals and vitamins you might fear you will miss out on.
The benefits of quitting when expecting:
- Keeps your blood sugar levels in check, which will in turn reduce your risk of gestational diabetes, leading to healthier outcomes for you and your baby.
- Influences your child’s eating later in life. What the mother eats during pregnancy and lactation has been shown to effect the tastes and food preferences of the child. For example, toddlers of mothers who eat more veggies during pregnancy are less likely to refuse veggies upon weaning. Thus, a healthier baby and saner mum!
- Sets you up with good eating habits, allowing you to be a role model and impart this wisdom on to your child to improve their life-long health.
Some things to keep in mind:
Both pregnant and breast-feeding women require extra energy, so it’s vital to ensure that you’re eating enough. The 8-Week Program sees participants wean off snacks by Week 7, shifting to a three-meals-a-day-only style of eating. This may not apply to you. Extreme decreases in energy intake can cause problems with foetal growth and milk production.
Be sure to include plenty of starchy carbohydrates (such as sweet potato, potato, pumpkin, swedes, oats, rice, bread etc.) at each meal. Monitor your energy levels and milk production. If there is a dip, try increasing your portions of carbohydrates at each meal and keep a record of changes.
Include plenty of protein and healthy fats to ensure adequate overall energy intake. Whatever you take out needs to be replaced by something more nutrient-dense and at least as energy-dense (i.e. more nutritious and just as many calories). This is not the time to be losing weight.
Make sure you talk to your health professional before and during your I Quit Sugar journey to ensure all is well with both you and your baby.