One of the biggest studies in American health history, the Nurses’ Health Study that started back in 1976 followed more than 120,000 female nurses. Over several years, the women were evaluated for risk factors and diseases that might correlate with those factors. All of the women were between 30 and 63 years old, and the study unlocked a lot of new information between risk factors and diseases, a lot of which is still used today.
Among the doctors evaluating the study was Walter C. Willett, a Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School that has also held some very prestigious career titles. Willett would team up with Dr. Jorge Chavarro from Harvard, and the two would create a book based on the research from the Nurses’ Health Study. It would become a guide called “The Fertility Diet: Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant”.
It wasn’t just the Nurses’ Health Study that helped with the aspects of the Fertility Diet, as the Harvard doctors conducted a study of more than 17,000 nurses that were attempting to become pregnant. The studies showed that infertility risks were dropped by nearly 80 percent when at least five habits were changed in their exercise and eating routines.
Now, when you see something called the Fertility Diet, you probably think it’s only for trying to get pregnant, but there’s more than meets the eye. This has actually been considered one of the best diets around out of the most popular. Let’s take a look at the aspects of the Fertility Diet and see how it can benefit you.
Basis of the Fertility Diet
Changing five aspects of your eating and exercise routines can improve your fertility, and it’s a flexible plan on the Fertility Diet since there are 10 aspects to select from. Here are the 10 steps to following the plan for increased fertility:
Avoiding Trans Fats – Foods with trans fats have seen a large decrease in the past couple of decades, and avoiding them is a big part of the Fertility Diet. Foods that you should be steering clear of on this diet include cake, margarine, crackers, donuts, fried foods, frozen pizzas and biscuits. While you might be craving these types of foods, it’s best to stay away.
More Unsaturated Vegetable Oils – Unsaturated vegetable oils have been shown to have a huge health benefit, which has explained the increase in use of olive oil. While that one is the most popular, canola oil usage should also be increased.
Eating More Vegetable Proteins – You don’t have to get your protein from meat alone like some people think, and you should focus on increasing the protein you get from vegetables. Some of the vegetables that are high in protein include kale, spinach, broccoli, peas and mushrooms.
Eating Good Carbs – For overall health, it’s beneficial to increase the amount of “good” carbs you are taking in while avoiding the “bad” ones. Foods with the good kind of carbohydrates include whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes. You should also be avoiding white bread and fruit juices, which carry the bad carbs.
More Whole Milk – Skim milk has been shown to increase your chances of infertility, so stick with the whole style anytime that you are drinking milk. Whole milk should be consumed each day, and it even includes ice cream or full fat yogurt, which is good for those that have cravings. Just make sure not to overdo it.
Daily Multivitamins – There are already a lot of multivitamins out there that promote fertility, so this one should be pretty obvious. Feel free to pick any one that you see at your local drug store, just make sure that B vitamins and folic acid are on the label.
Boosting Iron – Red meat tends to have a lot of iron, but you shouldn’t get your iron boost from there. Instead, focus on eating more fruits and beans to increase your iron levels. Spinach, raisins, apricots and peas are all great sources.
Staying Hydrated – Water, water and more water. Drinking eight glasses a day (at the very minimum) is recommended, though you should stay away from soft drinks altogether. Feel free to drink coffee and tea, as well, but don’t drink alcohol if you’re pregnant and only one drink a day if you’re not.
Healthy Body Weight – The Fertility Diet will help you to lose weight as it’s suggested that your body mass index is between 20 and 24 on the plan. Dropping 10 percent of your body weight if you’re overweight can be a huge help whether you plan on getting pregnant or not.
Getting Active – You can usually tell which diet plans are going to be beneficial when they suggest exercise. The Fertility Diet suggests that you should be getting a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity everyday. However, you shouldn’t be working out to the point of exhaustion.
What’s on the Menu?
Now that you know what foods you should be eating and which ones you should be avoiding, let’s take a look at what some sample days will be like on the Fertility Diet.
Breakfast – Whole milk yogurt with berries and honey
Lunch – Salad with lettuce, spinach, vegetables, walnuts, almonds, cheese and light ranch dressing
Dinner – Grilled salmon with steamed vegetables and a baked potato with butter
Snacks – Vegetables, whole milk yogurt and berries
Breakfast – Scrambled eggs with chopped spinach and cheese
Lunch – Chicken noodle soup based on bone broth
Dinner – Grilled steak with steamed vegetables
Snacks – Apple, almonds and vegetables with organic dip
Breakfast – Oatmeal with butter, cream, walnuts and sugar free syrup
Lunch – Butternut squash soup
Dinner – Meatloaf with sweet potato fries
Snacks – Deviled eggs, orange and cubed cheese
Losing Weight with the Fertility Diet
A lot of these foods are relatively low in calories, which should allow you to lose weight, especially when adding daily exercise to your diet. Since the focus of the Fertility Diet is to improve your overall health, weight loss is just an added benefit. There’s not a promise on how much weight you will drop per week like a lot of the popular diets, but you should be expecting to lose between five to 10 percent of your body weight.
The key is to enter what is known as the “fertility zone”, which is again the body mass index of 20 to 24. For those that are 150 pounds or more, you can expect to lose 10 to 25 pounds to enter this zone. If you’re not looking to get pregnant, then you can still use this diet to lose weight as it promotes some great habits and is very easy to stick to.
Adding 30 minutes of walking per day will burn around 1,000 calories per week for a person that is in the 155 pound range, while those with more weight can expect to burn more. Even the physical activity will add up if you aren’t eating a healthy diet, so cutting calories and focusing on more nutrient-rich foods will boost weight loss.
Summing it Up
The best part about the Fertility Diet is that anybody can follow the plan. You don’t have to be aiming at pregnancy, and the diet will teach you how to eat healthy while exercising and taking vitamins on a daily basis. That’s a great way to lose weight for people in all situations, though the amount of weight loss isn’t going to be very dramatic for most people.
That’s really the only downside of the Fertility Diet, as it gets low marks among other popular diets for quick weight loss. Then again, losing weight too fast isn’t going to help you much in the long term as it can come back on quickly. The weight will come off eventually by following this healthy plan, but usually around one pound per week instead of the two to five pounds that other plans are touting.
There are certainly some positive reviews for the Fertility Diet, including the overall health benefits and how easy the plan is to follow. In fact, it was ranked among the best in both of those categories and most experts agree that the Fertility Diet is a plan to follow if you want long term health benefits that include a steady weight loss to a healthy weight. The plan is also great for diabetics and can be adjustable for those with other food allergies.
All in all, this plan is highly suggested whether you are looking to get pregnant or not. Your overall health will improve tremendously as you get away from the sugary drinks and sedentary lifestyle and eat more whole foods with nutrients. Don’t expect to lose 10 pounds in two weeks, but expect to see benefits in the long run.