BY Hillary Wright, MEd, RD, LDN
Director for Nutrition Counseling
The Domar Center for Mind Body Health at Boston IVF
The best diet to maximize your fertility is one that supports a healthy body and, thus, a healthy reproductive system.
Statistics show that most day-to-day eating habits require some thoughtful attention. Too much processed, high-fat food and too little physical activity are raising our rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Furthermore, these health problems are afflicting us at a younger age. The good news is that research tells us diet-related health problems are avoidable. All we have to do is eat a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly.
A well-balanced diet involves just that. Balance. Skipping meals disrupts the natural balance of a functional metabolism. Under-nourishment can send a message to the body that the food supply is scarce and this may not be the optimum time to become pregnant. At the same time, eating too much unhealthful food can affect the exquisite hormonal balance your body requires in order to conceive.
Healthy eating does not mean going without the foods you love most. ‘Everything in moderation’ is a good maxim to remember. If you eat healthfully during this special time, you will help develop positive eating habits that will be a model for your future children.
Rather than thinking in terms of good and bad, ask yourself, "am I creating a balanced diet?"
It's helpful to think about healthy eating according to the ‘80/20’ rule. If you eat a healthful diet 80% of the time, what you eat 20% of the time doesn't matter as much. No one's health will unravel over a rich dessert eaten occasionally. But if you're skipping meals, grabbing take-out on the fly on a regular basis, and rarely working out, a lifestyle change is in order.
Healthy eating is more than restrictive eating. It's about going out of your way to eat nutritious foods and saying yes to healthy choices.
You greatly increase your odds of over-indulging if these foods are easily available. Above all, it's important that you set yourself up for success. This involves having healthy food easily available and setting aside times every day to sit down and enjoy your healthy meal choices.
We look forward to speaking with you, and will be in touch as soon as possible!