Best Fertility Diet (What to eat to get pregnant?)
If you’re trying to get pregnant, I know you’ve asked yourself this question, what’s the right diet for me. Maybe it’s keto. Maybe you should be doing AIP. Wait, maybe you should be eating a plant-based diet, or you’ve also heard about intermittent fasting. Maybe you should be doing that on top of all of it. What’s the right answer? What’s the right diet for you? That’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about today. So I want you to stay until the end because I’m going to cover all of this and I’m going to let you know which diet I think is the most appropriate when you’re trying to conceive.
Before we get started on this video, I do want to give a huge shout-out to Fairhaven Health for sponsoring this video and for sponsoring Fertility TV. They’re one of my favorite and most trusted supplement brands. They put out a ton of wonderful supplement products for all your fertility needs. One of my favorite is actually BabyDance, which is a very sperm-friendly, fertility-friendly lubricant that has no parabens so it’s also safe for your body. If you want more information on Fairhaven health, their products and BabyDance, then you can use the link in the description below to learn more about them. Oh, and if you stick around till the end, I’m going to invite you to join me for a free training. You’re not going to want to miss it so stick around.
My name is Dr. Marc Sklar, also known as the fertility expert. And welcome to Fertility TV, your YouTube channel dedicated to helping you get pregnant. I’ve been helping couples for over 18 years with my online fertility coaching programs and if you’re lucky enough to be right here in San Diego, at my clinics as well.
I know that this video is about the different types of diets that might be appropriate for you. But before we dive into that, I do want to invite you to a free training that I am holding all about diet because I can’t go into everything necessary to discuss when it comes to diet in this short video. But that’s why I’m doing a free training so I can dive deeper. And I want you to join me. It’s free to join the training, but all you have to do is register. You can get the link to register in the description below. I want to see you there so that I can teach you more.
Okay. So let’s dive deeper into all these different types of diets so that you can learn what’s important for you and so that you can make the best and the right decision for your fertility needs. The first thing that I want to recognize and point out to all of you, is that the biggest difference between all of these diets is the amount of protein, fat, and carbs percentage wise that each one of them incorporates and feels is appropriate and necessary and correct for your overall health. Now, none of these diets were specifically created for fertility or reproductive health, but they were created for overall health. And so, we need to look at them to get a better understanding about what they do, how they work, what you need to do with those diets between protein, carbs, and fats, so that we can make the best and most appropriate decision when we’re trying to decide which diet is the right diet for me or for you.
Now, I’ve got some notes. So if you ever see me look down, I’m just looking at my notes. I want to make sure that I cover everything and that I get everything just right for all of you. I do put that down so that I don’t miss anything. That’s why sometimes you see me kind of glance over or look down at my computer. The first thing that we need to recognize in the keto diet or about the keto diet is that it is the diet that is the highest in fat, right? And so that’s really important, and lowest in carb intake. That’s one of the key variables or key pieces to understand about the keto diet and why it separates itself out from all the other diets.
As I already mentioned, the keto diet is high in fat, low in carbs, basically swapping out, reducing your carb intake and replacing that with fat intake. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, hence the name keto diet. It comes from what happens to your body which goes into ketosis. And that’s how they got the name for the diet. When this happens, your body becomes extremely efficient at burning fat for energy, instead of using carbs for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver which supplies the energy for your brain, for brain function. The keto diet can cause significant reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels. It’s this combination that what gives it its health benefits. But there are a couple of things that I want to point out. There’s something what’s called… If you’ve looked into keto diet, you’ve maybe read something that describes what’s called a clean keto versus dirty keto.
Clean keto means you’re eating whole foods. You’re cooking all of your foods for yourself. And you’re managing that by fresh foods and the quality of the foods that you’re taking in. Dirty keto essentially, is by eating a lot of processed foods that put your body into ketosis to help you do that. Now that might be appropriate for some of you who are always on the go and moving fast and need some additional support to help your body increase your fat intake and go into ketosis, but in general, it’s called dirty keto for a reason because it’s really not ideal. We want to eat whole foods. You often hear me talk about fresh foods, whole foods, cooking for yourself, right? This is no different. Just because you’re doing a keto diet doesn’t mean that you can now eat processed foods. I’m not okay with that at all. If you’re going to do the keto diet, it’s really important you keep it a clean keto diet and cook for yourself and use whole foods and fresh foods and good quality foods. That’s really important.
Now, there might be times where you need a little bit of help and support, and that might be okay in a pinch, but not all the time. So what are my thoughts about the ketogenic diet and fertility and reproductive health? Well, I do think that for some of you, it may be appropriate. If you’re having a hard time regulating your blood sugar, if you’re having a hard time controlling your diet, you might need an extreme shift to manage that. I will say, I don’t think this is for everyone. I have read a lot of questions or received a lot of questions and read a lot of information about a lot of women who have PCOS who want to or do use the ketogenic diet to help regulate their hormones and their blood sugar. And I do think that, that might be appropriate for everybody, but as you’ve also heard me say before, I don’t believe that there’s one diet for everyone. It’s not one size fits all. And whether you have PCOS or some other condition, I don’t think that all of you can do well or be benefited by the ketogenic diet.
So some of what we’re going to talk about today is also going to be a trial and error. Maybe it’s something that you do for a little bit to see how you feel, or maybe it’s something that you only do for a short period of time to get a jump-start on managing your blood sugar or your weight or your hormones, but it might not be something that you maintain long-term. Now that might be something that each one of us have to determine for ourselves. And you might just have to play with that a little bit to figure out which diet is the right diet for you. But as we’re talking about the keto diet, I do think that it’s an appropriate diet to help you manage your hunger cravings, to help you manage your blood sugar and to help get you moving in the right direction on the right path.
I do want to mention that I personally do not believe that the ketogenic diet is the right diet for long term use. I think it’s okay for short term for most of us, but I don’t like it for long-term use. And I do think that that does need to be then converted or balanced over to one of the other diets that we’re going to be talking about. But you do want to speak to your healthcare provider and your team of providers to make sure that you’re doing the right diet for your needs.
Okay. The next diet is called the Whole30. It got this name for a couple of reasons. One is the 30 stands for you’re going to do this for a month. It’s a 30 day jump-start to improving your overall health and pushing you in the right direction. Often we hear this around January or specific pivotal times during the year to kind of jump-start things. So in that regard, it’s really nice.
Basically what the Whole30 is, is a stricter version of the paleo diet. The whole piece of it stands for whole foods, fresh foods, good quality foods. One of the best things about it is that it also works as an elimination diet. So you’re getting rid of all of those foods that can cause inflammation, disrupt your gut health, cause irregularity in your hormones. You’re really focusing on whole food, clean foods. And you’re going to really do this and commit to doing this for at least 30 days. That’s the kicker, right? We want to really change the constitution of our body, the blood chemistry that’s going on. And to really do that, you need to do that for a significant period of time. So at least 30 days is why you’re going to do the Whole30 piece.
Doing the Whole30 can benefit you by reducing inflammation, restoring proper and healthy gut function, right? Reducing cravings as well and helping you to regulate your hormones. I love the Whole30 as a jump-start to everything else. Just like I mentioned before with the keto diet, I don’t think the Whole30 is a long-term ongoing solution for dietary needs. But I do think it’s a wonderful jump-start, hence the 30 days. Or even longer, maybe six or eight weeks. But once you get into that piece, then I do think you can start to pull back on that, on the strictness of it, incorporate some of the other foods that you’ve taken out and really balance that out and transition into the paleo diet if you’re going to gravitate towards that diet. Because the Whole30 diet is a stricter version of the paleo diet, when you transition away from that, that’s what you transition to, you gravitate back towards your baseline and what you’re going to use more long-term, which will be the paleo diet.
In terms of what the whole food diet can do for your fertility and how I feel about it for your fertility, I think it’s awesome. It’s a wonderful way to jump-start things. It’s meant to be whole foods, clean foods, good quality foods, and really getting you back to the basics of the way you should be eating. I think it’s awesome for everybody. I think this is the place to start for all of you watching. And then you can transition and move from that to something else. So if you’ve never done any dietary changes, any shifting of your diet, and you want a place to go to clean up your diet and really jump-start things, this is the place to go.
Okay. Now, since we already started talking about the paleo diet, essentially, that’s what we’re going to move into now. The third diet we’re going to talk about is the paleo diet, which stands for Paleolithic, hence the Paleolithic era. Now, this is based on the way we, as humans used to eat in that era, which was millions of years ago to as recent as 10,000 years ago, that’s what the Paleolithic era was. And so, it’s really based on eating more like we used to eat and how many people who really started to gravitate towards this diet believe we should still be eating like.
This sort of diet is really based on the fact that when farming began, our diets significantly shifted and significantly shifted very quickly. And because of that, they felt like this started to change the way our bodies functioned and genetically started to make some changes. And so, doing the paleo diet is supposed to bring us back to the way our ancestors ate and really start to restore our body to the way it was intended to function based on the foods and nutrients it was getting. Now, the reason they say this is because when new inventions, new food transitions and technology are put into civilization in a society, often those things happen so quickly that our body can’t transition properly and keep up with it. And so, our bodies really do transition very slowly and it’s because of the farming methods that things happen much faster and our body really couldn’t keep up with it to manage things on a blood chemistry level to provide our body with what it needed.
So the paleo diet is one diet that I truly, truly love. One, it’s extension. It’s an extension of the Whole30 diet. And it’s one that I do think that many of us can really use as a overall template and outline for a general diet and a general plan that we follow ongoingly from day to day. Some of the benefits that have been documented about the paleo diet is that it helps to reduce obesity, helps to manage diabetes and blood sugar levels and cardiovascular disease. These are some of the biggest problems we have as a society today. And if we can help to manage those three areas, all these metabolic issues that are happening in our culture and society, then we can make huge progress in overall health and healthcare.
And so the paleo diet really strives towards that. And one of the ways it does it, as I mentioned also, by the way, with the Whole30 is that it helps to reduce inflammation in the body. And this is going to be really, really important for our fertility and our hormones as well because inflammation causes [inaudible 00:13:55]. It causes tons of problems. And we need to take care of that to help our reproductive function.
So when we’re looking at these three diets, which are the three diets that I get asked the most questions about, the keto, the paleo, and the Whole30 diet, you all need to decide, which is the right diet for you. If you’re asking me, I think the ketogenic diet is too extreme. It is appropriate for some, and you might have to test it out, but it’s not at the top of my list. I think all of you can start with a Whole30 diet and then progress and transition into a paleo diet and use that as your overall framework. But on top of that, I get also a ton of questions about intermittent fasting. So let’s talk about that right now.
But before I do, I want to ask you all a question. One, have you heard about all these diets, these different types of diets before? If so, leave a comment below and let me know if you have or haven’t. Additionally, now that I’ve talked about all of these, I want to know first and foremost, which ones have you tried and which ones are you going to try in the future? I want to hear from all of you. Let me know which one of these diets is the right one for you.
Okay. So now that we’re talking about intermittent fasting, I do want to mention that I did just recently do a video that discussed intermittent fasting in much more detail than I’m going to cover right now. If you want to listen to that video and learn more about it, then you can check it out right here. We’re going to also leave the link for that video in the description below.
Intermittent fasting essentially though, is about having big gaps of time where you’re not eating, hence the fasting piece of it, but you’re not going for days without eating. You’re just going hours. It’s really designed at its peak to be 16 hours of no eating and eight hours of eating. And during those eight hours, you can actually eat as frequently as you like. The key is that you’re not allowed to eat for those 16 hours. So the best way to describe it is that from 12 noon to 8:00 p.m. you can eat and then you can’t eat again until the next day at 12 noon. That’s 16 hours of no eating and eight hours of eating.
Some of the huge benefits of this is also coming back to regulating blood sugar and minimizing diabetes and metabolic issues. You can see a theme in all of these different diets, right? They all come back to some similar things, right? Okay. It also helps to reduce inflammation. It gives our body some downtime. And so for most of us culturally, we didn’t eat all the time all day long whenever we wanted. Our bodies didn’t need that sort of food and they were used to having large gaps of time without. And so this puts us back into that state, okay? Again, I went into a lot more detail about this in a previous video. So you can check that out.
But one of the things that I want to mention about the intermittent fasting here is that it can actually be incorporated into any of the previous diets that I just mentioned. It is not in and of itself a standalone diet. It’s layered into the others. If you’re going to follow a Paleo diet as your overall diet plan, then you’re going to layer the intermittent fasting on top of it, and so you’re just going to have your gaps of time of no eating. And then when you do eat during your eight hours of eating, you’re going to follow the paleo diet. And so they can be blended together.
Now, one of the things that I think is also important about the intermittent fasting is that when you start doing it, I do think it’s something that’s good to incorporate every day for a period of time. Let’s say a week, two weeks, three weeks. After that, then I don’t think you need to do it every day. I think doing it three days or four days a week is just fine. So when I do my intermittent fasting, layered over my paleo diet, I do that in the middle of the week for the most part, usually, Monday through Thursday or Tuesday through Friday. And then I’m going to have my other days where I’m not going to be as strict with myself in terms of intermittent fasting, but I’m always going to layer in that paleo framework, right? So that’s what I do for myself and that’s kind of an example of what you can do on your diet.
So the big question, what’s the right diet for trying to conceive? The reality is it all depends. It all depends on you, your constitution, your health history, what your diagnosis is, where your ancestors come from, all sorts of things. There is no one size fits all. I know you’ve heard me say this before, but the reality is, is there is no one size fits all. We have to find out what is the right diet for you based on your needs. That is why when I work with couples and create a personalized plan for them, I base it off of their lab work. I dive deep into their history and I create a customized dietary recommendations and plan for their needs. This is the best way to find or to create a diet for yourself. It has to be based on what you need as an individual. And the reality is, is my wife is going to eat a little bit different than I do because we’re not the same and we need different things.
In general, if we’re talking about a place to start, then again, I do think the Whole30/paleo diet is a good diet and a safe diet to use. But again, those are just frameworks and outlines. They still have to be customized for each one of you based on your needs, your constitution and your diagnosis.
There are many other things that you should be doing on your fertility journey besides diet, but I can’t talk about it here. That’s why I created this free training that I want you to join me for, okay? I do go over diet there, but I go over so much more in that training that’s going to help you on your fertility journey. I’m also going to be going over the fertility approved shopping list that I share and go over with those couples who are in my programs. I’m going to share that with you in the free training, but again, you’ve got to register to join me for that. And you can do that by using a link in the description below. And if I have extra time at the end of the training, I am going to open it up to a question and answer period of time. So if you’ve got questions, I’m going to bring the answers during that training. But again, join me for that. And you can do that by registering using the description.
Okay. I know you’ve got a lot of useful information out of this video. And I have several other videos that I know you’re going to love. I’m going to put a few of them right here so that you can find them easily. If you liked this video, then give me a thumbs up so that I can know that I did a good job. Additionally, leave a comment. Let me know what you thought about this video and most of all which diet you’re going to start using moving forward.
By the way, if you leave a comment, it does help my video be found by more couples and more women who need help on their fertility journeys. So by leaving a comment, you’re helping other women on their fertility journey as well. And of course, remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already. Just hit that bell so you can subscribe and get notified when I put out a new video. All right, everyone, until the next video. I want you all to stay safe, stay healthy. And most of all, that’s right, stay fertile.