Swap the New Year’s diet resolutions for smaller, more achievable weekly changes
3rd January 2019
January can be a great time for feeling refreshed and motivated to kickstart a healthier lifestyle, particularly if you’ve indulged over the festive break. But it’s also tempting to set New Year’s resolutions that can be overambitious and potentially unsustainable. For all the good intentions, research has found that most people are likely to give up their resolutions by 12th January.
It’s no surprise that the most common New Year’s resolutions centre around losing weight, eating better or exercising more – for good reason! Particularly when it comes to fertility, nutrition and BMI are important foundations for preconception health.
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do to boost your fertility and health, and can improve your chances of conceiving. But it doesn’t require you to completely overhaul your diet to get pregnant. The Adia approach, based on science, doesn’t focus on ‘fertility superfoods’ or banishing any dietary demons. Instead, built from key building blocks, it offers a balance of healthy choices: such as more fruits and vegetables, good fats, good sources of carbohydrates, healthy protein and smart drink choices. There are also a number of vitamins and minerals that are crucial for a healthy pregnancy, including Folic Acid and Vitamin D.
Make a simple change each week
So, this New Year, why not commit to taking a few minutes to make a simple change each week which can become a longer term positive habit.
Start by betting understanding and managing your Body Mass Index (BMI) – a measure that combines height and weight into a single number and is a good indicator of total body fat. Women who start pregnancy with a normal BMI, compared to overweight or obese women, have better maternal and infant outcomes. Overweight and obese women also have a higher risk of their children being overweight or obese. Weight also isn’t just an issue for women – research suggests that overweight men aren’t as fertile as their healthy weight counterparts, with excess weight lowering sperm production.
Is your BMI low, medium or high?
- If your BMI is normal (between 18.5 and 24.9), it’s still really important to maintain a healthy lifestyle – this includes focusing on eating a healthy balanced diet, reducing alcohol intake and exercising regularly to maintain your BMI while you’re trying to conceive.
- If your BMI is high (more than 30), start off by reducing your calorie intake by 500 calories a day. Next, think about how you can make some swaps to include foods good for fertility, for example by replacing saturated fats with healthy (monosaturated fats) with alternative toppings or sides to your meals. It’s also helpful to exercise regularly, around 3 times a week.
- If your BMI is low (below 18.5), try to gain weight gradually by making some healthy food swaps. Try not to focus on increasing your intake of unhealthy foods such as sugar, chocolate and cakes – but plan for your meals to contain some carbohydrates such as wholegrain pasta or rice, potatoes or bread, opting for full-fat versions of dairy or making homemade smoothies. If you’re worried about your weight speak to a GP or a registered dietitian as they’ll be able to provide you with more detailed advice. You can also get support from Adia’s nutritionist.
How we’ve developed our approach to nutrition
Katie, our nutritionist from King’s College London, has designed our approach to nutrition based on the latest research, including the Nurses’ Health Study. The study analysed the diet, and found ten simple changes that improve chances of conception. Women in the study who followed three or four of the recommendations suggested in the Fertility Diet plan were 66% less likely to have problems conceiving than women who didn’t. Over the course of the Adia Pre-Pregnancy Plan, we’ll guide you through all of these changes as well as other tips to help you understand and boost your fertility health.
If you’re planning a pregnancy in 2019 reserve your spot on Adia’s FREE Pre Pregnancy Plan here – we’ll guide you through week by week changes to boost your preconception here.