Your Fertility Diet Plan
Keep in mind that too much exercise also can impair fertility. Exercising too vigorously impacts your estrogen levels, so be mindful of your body's state of balance, Dr. Kulze says.
If you're not already exercising, Dr. Kulze recommends starting out slowly, building up to at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise. This is what Passe did—she started at 10 minutes on the treadmill and built up to 30 minutes.
Aim for 30 minutes, five days a week. If you're trying to lose weight, set a goal of 45 minutes, five days a week. Low-impact exercise—walking, bicycling, and swimming—is best for trying to increase fertility, Dr. Kulze says.
Maximizing fertility through your preconception diet doesn't need to be complicated. There are foods to avoid and those you can add into your day to enhance your health. For starters, never skip breakfast and consume small, frequent meals, Dr. Kulze says. Passe never ate breakfast before she went on her weight loss plan. Now she never misses it, even if it's just a bowl of cereal. Strictly avoid the highly refined, high glycemic "bad" white carbohydrates. These include white flour, white rice, white potatoes, sugar, and products containing them. "Consume your carbohydrates from those with a low to moderate glycemic index—vegetables, some fruits, beans, and whole grains," Dr. Kulze says.
Passe believes her biggest downfall to losing weight in the past was eating too much white sugar. She has cut it out completely from her diet. When she's having a sugar craving, Passe reaches for a piece of fruit and that satisfies her.
When the weight-loss journey began, Passe cleared out all junk food in her house. She filled three giant garbage bags with foods she no longer wanted to be tempted by. These included frozen pizzas, pre-packaged meals, cookies, and chips.
When she was losing weight, Passe says she never felt like she was on a diet. She ate six smaller meals a day, rather than eating two larger meals a day as she once did. Previously, she and her husband also ate out four times a week. Now, every Sunday she takes the time to plan and to prepare for the recipes they'll eat at home that week.
At every meal and snack, consume some high-quality protein. "Blood glucose and insulin levels are more stable and appetite is minimized with regular consumption of protein," Dr. Kulze says.