Can I participate in the Lean for Life program to lose weight while I’m pregnant?

We do not recommend doing the Weight Loss portion of the Lean for Life program if you are pregnant. There is not enough known about what effect a pregnant woman being in dietary ketosis would have on the developing baby. In addition, the calorie restriction, as well as some of the food restrictions, may not provide adequate nutrition for the developing baby.

(Note: you may participate in the Weight Loss phase up until you become pregnant. However, individuals who are being treated for infertility problems should first consult their fertility specialist before changing their diet. In addition, we do not recommend that women who are attempting to get pregnant use appetite suppressant medication.)

We recommend that you consult your Ob-Gyn physician regarding a nutritional plan of action regarding your weight. If he or she suggests that “you don’t need to be concerned about how much you gain during pregnancy,” get another opinion.

What about weight gain during pregnancy? On the one hand, you should not gain “too much” weight during pregnancy. This has been interpreted as anything from 25 to 50 or more pounds. On the other hand, dieting is not usually recommended during pregnancy.

It is important to keep weight gain under control. Pregnant weight is not irrelevant to a woman’s weight later in life. Some researchers believe that a woman’s “usual weight” is better predicted by her highest ever weight, even if that occurred in pregnancy, than any other weight.

There are also potential complications to the baby if a woman gains too much, especially the risk of diabetes and a difficult delivery. It’s also important to maintain an “adequate level” of nutrition during pregnancy. This has also been interpreted across a fairly broad range. It should be based on your particular size, health, and needs.