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Thread: Ketosis and maintenance

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 11, 2011
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    Default Ketosis and maintenance

    Hi, I'm 6 weeks pregnant and prior to falling pregnant I was maintaining on a carb level of 30g a day. On 30 g a day I am in ketosis, keep my cravings at bay and feel great. However, there is information ALL over the internet about the dangers of ketosis in pregnancy, and I have read everywhere that they recommend you up your carb intake to a level so that you are just out of ketosis, if you want to stay low carbing. Most people cite 80-100g a day (I have even read this is what dr Atkins recommended, but have not been able to find the source). I have since upped my carb intake to about 90g a day, and I'm teethering on the border of ketosis, most of the time I'm not in ketosis. To up my carb intake I have added whole milk, more nuts, fruits and berries and whole grains. I completely stay away from crap.

    BUT, I find when not in ketosis I crave sweets, and the control I once had is gone. I have gained 2 kilos already and don't feel as great as I did.

    My question is: what should I do? I know I feel better when on 30g a day, but ever dr Atkins said it was dangerous to be in ketosis during pregnancy as the fetal brain doesn't burn ketones for energy well. I must say I find thsi hard to believe, as if that was the case - how did they do it in the stone age etc, before we starting eating grains? How come inuits deliver healthy babies?

    Anyway, I just wish I could stay in ketosis and be healthy and not have to worry. What's your take on all this?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Ketosis and maintenance

    I should probably add that I have two pregnancies behind me , both during which I gained 30+ kilos. I ate a "normal diet" with plenty of carbs during these. This resulted in large babies and complicated births, not to mention backache and hard work! I REALLY want to make sure I gain a normal, healthy amount this pregnancy, both for me and baby's sake.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Ketosis and maintenance

    My take on it, and I'll take the extreme side of the argument here so that others can counter me, is that no one should be dieting while they are pregnant and certainly should not be attempting to stay in ketosis.

    "According to the Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), pregnant women should not diet or lose weight. Dr. Robert C. Atkins, inventor of the Atkins diet, agrees, stating clearly that the weight-loss phases of Atkins are inappropriate for expectant mothers."

    Read more: The Atkins Diet During Pregnancy | eHow.com The Atkins Diet During Pregnancy | eHow.com

    Eating for one is not the same as eating for two. You could relax, throw away the rulebooks and listen to your cravings. It is admirable that you are so well read, and so committed to keeping your weight down, but really, I think allowing the baby to have a wide variety of diet, even some sweets, is acceptable in your condition. And eskimos eat seal and whale fat - perhaps you could order some on Ebay? lol...
    Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary.
    Eckhart Tolle



    Female, 53, 5'3, Joggernut
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: Ketosis and maintenance

    Hi, thanks for replying. I think you have missed some vital information in my first post though.
    1) I am NOT trying to lose weight, I want to GAIN a HEALTHY amount this pregnancy.
    2) Dr Atkins said to follow the Maintenance phase of the Atkins WOE during pregnancy. 30g carbs a day is my maintenance level - hence I do NOT lose weight if at this level. I will, however, be in ketosis.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Ketosis and maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by tabekat View Post

    Eating for one is not the same as eating for two. You could relax, throw away the rulebooks and listen to your cravings. It is admirable that you are so well read, and so committed to keeping your weight down, but really, I think allowing the baby to have a wide variety of diet, even some sweets, is acceptable in your condition. And eskimos eat seal and whale fat - perhaps you could order some on Ebay? lol...
    Just wanted to add that I really don't agree with you on this one. Yes, totally agree that a varied diet with nutrient dense foods is the best for everyone, pregnant women especially, but to say that junk food such as sweets is acceptable when responsible for providing nutrients for a baby is acceptable, I find quite shocking. Why feed your baby rubbish and empty calories in the form of sugar?

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Ketosis and maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by Tindra View Post
    Hi, thanks for replying. I think you have missed some vital information in my first post though.
    1) I am NOT trying to lose weight, I want to GAIN a HEALTHY amount this pregnancy.
    2) Dr Atkins said to follow the Maintenance phase of the Atkins WOE during pregnancy. 30g carbs a day is my maintenance level - hence I do NOT lose weight if at this level. I will, however, be in ketosis.
    What happens if you eat higher than 30 net carbs daily?

    You might want to try going up your carb levels and see what happens.
    ~Megs~
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    "At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely."--W. Somerset Maugham

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Ketosis and maintenance

    I posted elsewhere about my intake of 90g-100g net carb per day eating as though I was at Maintenance during pregnancy. I was basically ordered to do so because of a gestational diabetes diagnosis; as a result of that change in eating habits, I only gained 1 pound during the final 10 weeks of my pregnancy. Despite my own limited weight gain during a time when my baby was gaining the most weight, I delivered a nice, healthy 7lb 10oz baby girl at 38 weeks.

    I care about you delivering a healthy baby, to heck with what you weigh when you get to the finish line. That said, here are my questions/concerns for you:

    1) Are you tracking your daily food intake through FitDay or a similar site?
    1a) How is your nutrient intake from food? Specifically, are you consuming close enough to 100% of your required vitamins, minerals and fiber to avoid supplements?
    2) Is your daily intake of food sufficient to prove the baby with 300 kcal of fuel each day?
    3) Has your OB reviewed and approved your basic eating plan?
    4) Do your fundal measurements and diagnostic ultrasounds indicate normal fetal development?
    5) Is your bloodwork normal?

    If you are eating for optimal nutrition (including sufficient fiber intake without supplementation!); your OB is aware of your eating plan and approves; your baby is getting enough calories; and your vitals are normal, then I won't argue with your choices.
    Widow of 1, Mom of 3, Professional Thinker, Hack Writer
    My Lifestyle Choices:
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  8. #8

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    Default Re: Ketosis and maintenance

    Hi, thanks for replying. To answer your questions:
    1) Yep, keeping full control over everything that I eat on Fitday
    2) I only eat nutrient dense whole foods, so I'm not worrying in the slightest that I would miss any vitamins, minerals or fiber.
    3) Yes
    4) Since I'm very early in the pregnancy (week 6) I cannot answer this as I haven't had my first antenatal appointment yet.
    5) Don't really know this either, but I would guess yes, as I've never had problems with my health and I exercise daily.

    I'm eating between 90-100g carbs a day (mostly at around 95g) and I still show ketones spilling over into my urine on most days. Did you check for ketones when you were pregnant? The negative effect upping my carb intake has had is that it has woken up the crave monster in me. Most of the time I ignore it and just have some fresh strawberries for the sweet craving, but I must say I'd rather keep my carbs down and feel more energetic. I'm too scared to though, so I'm keeping the carb level at 90-100g a day. I don't get why there are still ketones in my urine though. This week I've averaged 98g carbs a day, and last night the Ketostix showed medium ketones. I don't get it.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Ketosis and maintenance

    I never bothered with the Ketostix, then or now. When I was pregnant and had GD, it was all about my blood glucose readings and my baby's development. These days, it's all about increasing my physical fitness and fitting my clothes better. If I had bothered to use Ketostix during my pregnancy, I probably would have some evidence of ketones in my urine.

    Another question: Is it possible that you are eating a heretofore unknown trigger food trying to get to 95g net carb, that you typically didn't include in your diet at 30g net carb?
    Widow of 1, Mom of 3, Professional Thinker, Hack Writer
    My Lifestyle Choices:
    RUUUUUN, FORREST!
    SW/CW/GW: 167 / 148.6 / Meh
    Mini-Goal: ​4.0mph walking speed
    Current Performance: 3.5mph walking speed

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Ketosis and maintenance

    Possibly. I've added coarse oatmeal for breakfast, an apple for snack and fresh strawberries with Greek style yoghurt for dessert to get my carbs up. I've intentionally tried to include low GI foods....

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