Your daily diet and exercise is important to your overall health and well-being. But it is even more crucial when you’re trying to get pregnant naturally or through assisted reproductive technology such as IUI or IVF.

I didn’t know much about this when I was going through my IVF journey. But I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned about the Fertility Diet and Exercise Plan. Like with any new regimen, it is best to seek your medical provider’s advice on what would be beneficial for your unique health needs.

Fertility Diet

What is the Fertility Diet? It basically consists of foods that would help you maintain a healthy body whether or not you’re planning to conceive. But it’s especially more important if you do want to get pregnant.

The Fertility Diet began as a study of about 18,000 women in 1991 to determine how diet and lifestyle choices affect ovulation disorders in women. Two of the co-author doctors published their findings and later a book in 2007 titled The Fertility Diet: Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant.

Here are the basics of the Fertility Diet that can help you before, during, and after you conceive –

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats aid in the production of female hormones. You need this to have a regular menstrual cycle to be able to ovulate and hopefully get pregnant.

Whole fat yogurt like Greek yogurt, nuts, almonds, and avocados are some great options to include in your diet that contain healthy fats.

Whole Grains

Whole grain and pasta are smart carb choices. Sweet potatoes and beans are also great choices to fulfill your carbohydrate needs.

Carbohydrates affect the regulation of blood sugar and insulin. This affects fertility due to too much insulin affects ovulation.

My Filipino roots had me eating white rice as a daily staple in all our meals. As I grew up and learned, there are healthier options to satisfy my carbs that are whole grain and still have the taste good factor. I didn’t cut out white rice completely, but I definitely limited my intake.

Plant-based Protein

A diet rich in plant-based proteins is good for you. Vegetables high in protein include edamame, tofu, kale or spinach, broccoli, and potatoes.

Eating meat or poultry should be limited to organic or grass fed meat and poultry. Due to most meat being added with hormones and antibiotics, these can contribute to hormone imbalance.

I love Japanese food so I love eating edamame and tofu. And who doesn’t love a burger or steak every now and then? Again, there are healthier options available, whether you’re cooking at home or dining out.

Folic Acid

High doses of folic acid are associated with a greater likelihood of healthy pregnancies. It is an important factor in the prevention of infertility as well as birth defects.

Leafy greens, fruits, and nuts are high in folate. The authors of the Fertility Diet also recommend taking a multivitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid for adequate levels.

What to Avoid Eating

Most food sources that contain trans fat are best to avoid or at least limit your consumption. Food that contain trans fat are mostly fried or processed food. Cookies, cakes, burgers, and frozen dinners are included in that list.

But there are healthier options in case you still want to indulge and satisfy your sweet or salty tooth. I still craved for donuts and an In-N-Out burger but I didn’t eat it everyday.

Exercise Plan

Being overweight can reduce a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. As well as being underweight. One’s weight can impact your cycle – if you don’t menstruate, then you don’t ovulate, and that diminishes any chances of getting pregnant.

Eating healthy is one thing, but you have to include exercise as well to maintain good health. Exercise is known to be a great stress reliever, but it can also be a stressor that impacts your fertility and chances for conception if you overdo it with high impact workouts.

Consistency

The goal is to do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. That could include walking, dancing, yoga, or even going for a jog.

Fit in an exercise routine in your daily life that you actually enjoy. That will help you stick to it and be more consistent.

Avoid strenuous exercises

That includes bootcamp type of classes or endurance running. For those who do this as part of their regular workout routine, it would be advisable to consult your doctor to determine if you can continue these type of workouts before or during your pregnancy. I know women who were able to still continue to do this and have a healthy pregnancy.

But for myself, my pregnancies were all considered high risk and having a cerclage (cervix is stitched up) done to avoid a preterm birth due to having a weakened cervix, I was advised to not carry heavy items or stay long on my feet. It was a great excuse to have the hubby take care of all the household chores during this time.

Hydration

Hydration is key. Stay hydrated by drinking water, water, and more water. There are many benefits of drinking water, but most importantly it aids in digestion and ovulation.

Whether you’re working out or eating your meals, make water your choice of beverage instead of sodas, energy drinks, coffee/tea, or alcohol.

Final Thoughts

The Fertility Diet suggests that eating a diet rich in healthy fats, whole grains, and plant-based protein may help improve a woman’s egg supply—which could help her ovulate more regularly and get pregnant more easily. These foods can also help regulate blood glucose and insulin levels, which play a role in ovulation as well.

On the other hand, consuming a lot of saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, sugary sodas, and red meat has been linked to diminished egg supply and more difficulty conceiving, according to the Fertility Diet book.

I don’t advocate in just cutting all carbs and sweets out of your diet and resort to your body having more cravings – just eat in moderation and make healthier choices. There are many healthy and tasty options available.

As for exercise, fit in an exercise routine that you would enjoy. Doing it with a partner helps in being accountable in actually getting in your daily dose of exercise. Don’t overdo it and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Of course doing any or all of this does not guarantee pregnancy. Do what works best for you in consultation with your doctor. Your diet and exercise plan can help you in your journey to parenthood.

Would love to hear what helped you. What did your diet or exercise plan include? Please share in the comments below.

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28 Comments

  1. I had absolutely no idea that diet and exercise can affect your fertility. If any woman needs a good reason to be healthy, this is it. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information.

  2. Heloooo there, a big thanks to you for sharing this insightful and informative piece on the topic titled, fertility diet and excercise plan, works for you. This is exactly what my aunty would love to see, i will definitely forward this to her, i so much believe she will appreciate it. Thanks for sharing once again. Will definitely visit your site some other time.

  3. I think that this is a great educational article for men and women. I think it is very important for us men to understand what women have to go through when it comes to fertility. The information that you have provided has definitely taught me a lot more. I will be referring my wife to your site. Thank you.

    1. Did you know that there’s a Fertility Diet for men too? I’ll be posting that blog soon…be sure to check it out this week on https://ivfcorner.com  Have you heard about that diet? Would love to get your feedback on that since you’re in the fitness industry. Thanks for referring your wife to my site!

  4. Thank you for  creating this awesome article. I do not believe in super foods. However, eating a varied diet of plants and high protein has lately shown to improve fertility. Also, Essential fatty acids from cold pressed oils and oily fish are also vital. I believe Fermented food such as kimchi or sauerkraut improve digestion.

    1. That’s funny that you mentioned kimchi. We were having dinner out last night (our first in months) with our friends at a Korean restaurant and we were trying to tell my husband that kimchi is good for you. He’ll eat Korean food, just not kimchi. Kimchi is good for digestion. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hey there,
    This is a great site to help make good decisions on eating the right foods so that you can feel good and maintain a stable eating schedule. This is going to be good tips for men and women the most important thing is to stay hydrated.

    Cheers,
    Mathew&Deloris

  6. hello Dana,

    this is indeed is chock-full of information on fertility diet and exercise plan that works for you..I had absolutely no idea that diet and exercise can affect your fertility. If any woman needs a good reason to be healthy, this is it.
    Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information….

    thanks a lot for sharing I look forward to share it on my blog

  7. Hello there, This is an amazing article that you have got here. I can’t seem to agree less with you. It has been proven overtime that the type of food an individual takes in plays a major role In their well-being. In the case of pregnancy, you are right about the later effect of excessive carbohydrate. Avocado are a great source of vitamins and are very necessary to maintain good health.

    thanks for sharing this with me.

  8. hellloo dear, thanks alot for such an educative post with us all, i was actually doing some research online when ii saw these post, and i must say it eally has been amaing thanks for sharing these post with us all, i believe these post is really what all women needs, most women dont really have these knownlege, so i will surely do some recommendations

  9. My wife and I are considering assisted reproductive techniques. And I’m so happy you decide to share your experience online. Believe me, this will encourage my wife so much to read your post about the whole process.

    She hasn’t seen your site yet but we’ll write to you again when we’re together. These fertility diet suggests are good to have even during the stage of assisted reproductive techniques.

    1. Thank you Paolo! Pls share info with your wife. If you have any questions, I am here to help if I can. I wish you the very best!

  10. I believe that your diet and exercise plays a major role not only in falling pregnant, but also in growing a healthy baby and having a good delivery and postpartum recovery! My experience with both my pregnancies was that it took a big toll on my body and so did the birth. 

    I’ve heard that it is absolutely essential to take in enough folic acid when trying to fall pregnant and during pregnancy

    1. Definitely, diet and exercise affects your pre and postpartum recovery. Every woman’s body is unique and what we go through during and after pregnancy is nothing short of a miracle. Did you have a long labor? Thanks for sharing!

  11. This is such an important topic to be made aware of.  Thank you so much for sharing and spreading awareness about the importance of eating healthy foods during pregnancy (or prior to becoming pregnant) as well as maintaining an exercise routine.  I also love the suggestions you provided of what types of foods to eat.  

    I agree, folic acid is a crucial vitamin to take as either a supplement or by eating foods with folate prior to pregnancy (and even in the early stages) to help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida.  One of my go to foods to get folic acid is through avocados or making homemade guacamole.  I’m a huge avocado lover.  

    Wonderful information provided! 

    1. I love me some avocadoes too! My dear friend just came over last night and dropped some off of her bounty – time to make guacamole!

  12. Most people don’t appreciate the fact that what you eat goes a long way to affect our health. For young couples who are looking to get pregnant planning ahead is very important. 

    Watching what you eat, making sure you are eating right not just reducing and cutting down fats, but also making sure to include what is needed. 

    It will be wise to see a doctor, to help in this aspect. As professionals they can direct on what to eat before you get pregnant and during the pregnancy. 

    Thanks for the write up. I will definitely recommend your website for anyone looking for information on fertility.

    1. Yes, seek your doctor’s advice first and foremost. Your diet and exercise, whether you’re planning to conceive or not, should be important to you. Thanks for reading and feel free to share with others who may benefit. 

  13. What an incredible article.  I would have had no idea that exercising and eating properly could have so much effect on fertility.

    My daughter is trying to get pregnant right now and they have been dealing with some setbacks,  I told her about this article and she got very excited.

    So once I am done with this comment I will be forwarding her the link

    Thank you for such great wisdom and hopefully some of this advice can help on the journey to a grand baby

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