Pregnant and constantly hungry!

by 1579 · March 18, 2013 at 05:44 PM

I've been paleo for several months now, having lost around 30 pounds on it and being quite happy to avoid junk. Well, the diet must have done some good, because after two years of trying, I'm finally pregnant. I'm about 7 weeks along now and I am CONSTANTLY hungry. I'm even hungry while I'm eating! It's not a good feeling when my stomach is growling as I'm eating. And worse, I'm craving carbs like nobody's business, and in some cases, a candy bar is the only thing that settles my stomach! I have to graze constantly all day on whatever I can get my hands on. For breakfast I usually have 3 eggs scrambled with a couple slices of crumbled bacon and some spinach, all cooked in ghee and I'm starving half an hour later, my stomach growling.

Yesterday for lunch I had some paleo sushi (thinly sliced beef wrapped around asparagus and green onion, grilled and sliced), and I intentionally ate more than one serving hoping it would stave off my hunger for more than 10 minutes. No such luck and on top of that I got nauseated from eating so much. I've already eaten all the nuts and jerky in the house, and most of the fruit. So, bottom line - if I eat too much I get nauseated and I'm hungry again 10 minutes later anyway, I am hungry all day long no matter what I do or don't eat, and I feel like I have to constantly eat to keep my stomach from growling all the time.

I have already put some weight back on to my indiscretions and I really don't NEED more weight gain in this pregnancy (I'm still overweight as it is). Does anyone have any meal or snack advice to help with these cravings and constant hunger?

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Hey Miriam,

You could try this recipe instead of what you're eating now for breakfast:


With sweet potatoes and no cheese, I think this would be a lot more satiating for you than just eggs and bacon. And you could store it away for the next day since you're going to be quite pregnant and not wanting to cook much :)

I would definitely try to eat the most satiating foods... more bang for the buck. i.e. 1 asparagus isn't too satiating, but an entire pot of asparagus boiled is delicious and quite satiating. If I was in your position, I'd break my meals up into small snacks along the way. I'd have a plate of asparagus for dinner... then an hour later or whenever my hunger started again, I'd have my meat, etc. That way you're not having meals upon many snacks.

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32177 · ABOUT 16 HOURS AGO

Congrats on your pregnancy!

More protein! More fat! Also eating some nutrient-dense foods like liver paté, hard cheese, fatty fish.

Get your D3 level checked & sun/supplement to 60-80 ng/ml. Make sure to supplement Magnesium Citrate, too.

Your body is likely to be craving micronutrients because it really doesn't need extra calories until the second trimester (unless you are carrying twins?)

Tips for nausea:



This is all very exciting! I, too, am new-ish to Paleo having lost twenty pounds since the beginning of the year. Last Friday we found out that we are expecting our third child! I am in the very early weeks but of course have been thinking constantly about how Paleo will fit in with my pregnancy. At this point, I plan to maintain my current eating habits but I plan to eat sweet potatoes, bananas, almond butter, etc, until my heart is content! I don't do much in the way of counting carbs now and I certainly won't be starting any time soon! I am a little nervous about the impending first trimester sickness so I spent the weekend making and freezing bone broths, chicken stocks, etc. With my first pregnancy, I managed morning sickness with chicken stock and croutons. With my second, I relied heavily on Odawalla and Naked Juice protein smoothies (which REALLY helped). I'm hoping this time around if I can maintain high protein levels, the sickness will be minimal. With my last pregnancy, if I powered through the nausea and loaded myself up with protein, I felt better almost instantly. Anyway, this is all theory, of course, and this baby will probably demand fruit loops or something insane like that!

So congrats to all and best wishes for a peaceful, comfortable pregnancy and delivery.

24412 · ABOUT 16 HOURS AGO

Having just finished a pregnancy, I know the bottomless pit you speak of. I also am keenly aware of the fear of gaining back all the weight you just lost. I'm not guaranteeing that you will have the same results, but I was back to within 5 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight a week after having the baby (and I suspect a good portion of that 5 lbs. is breast milk), after gaining just under 30 lbs. during the pregnancy.

First trimester, I think it is important to eat intuitively. Most women crave starchy bland food during that time, many also experience green vegetable and meat aversions, I like to think there is a reason for this, I don't think cravings for these things mean we are "broken", just satisfying the slightly increased need for glucose for the baby (and unless you are really good at creating your own, you'll need to eat a little extra of glucose containing foods during that time period). For me that manifested in eating mostly fruit, dairy, some grain, fish and potatoes for weeks 8-16. As long as you aren't living on fast food, and processed crap, I don't think there is any wrong way to go about things. It is worth being mindful of the idea that what you eat now programs your baby to co-exist with whatever food landscape you have. There have been some studies that being excessively low carb during pregnancy can create carb intolerant offspring, but some people are just genetically intolerant to eating much in the way of carbohydrates, so make of that what you will...could be genetics, could be epigenetics.

My favorite things to quell the hunger, and push back the nausea during that time were oatmeal, potatoes, and oven pancakes/dutch babies (made with rice and/or tapioca flour, lots of eggs, and coconut milk).


Have some ice cream. Haagen Dazs.

Don't starve yourself or worry about carbs.


Congrats on the pregnancy. It's a wild ride, enjoy it. As for the cravings, I'd honestly not worry about being pure paleo during the pregnancy; for certain I'd avoid going very low carb. Excessive ketone levels have been suggested to possibly create fetal developmental issues. Plus, even if you cite the fact that Inuits seem to do fine on a near-pure fat diet, you'll have to find an OB who isn't going to give you grief over it.

In the end, you can eat moderate carb and still be paleo while avoiding ketosis, so why risk it? FWIW, my wife just delivered twins back in June, and during her pregnancy we made the decision to let her eat whatever she craved, so long as it didn't endanger the kids (later on she had mild gestational diabetes, so sugars and starches had to go). You body is craving it for a reason and you can always lose the weight later (breastfeeding helps with this).

You are going to have plenty to worry about without stressing over how paleo your diet is. Also, the nausea will pass by the 2nd trimester, so hang in there!

0 · January 29, 2013 at 09:16 PM

I'm so glad I found this page! I am 10 weeks pregnant and after losing 45 lbs I became pregnant. I went four months without grains and sugar and now all I crave is sugary desserts. I'm gonna try eating sweet potatoes and baked potatoes to see if it helps with these nasty cravings. I'm trying to stay around 75 to 100 carbs a day but its really hard with nausea and not wanting to eat the nasty junk food that my husband and kids eat. I try fruit but my children love them so its like all gone within two days once we buy it.

0 · August 16, 2012 at 01:39 AM

I am currently 23 weeks pregnant and felt the same way in the first trimester. I had recently lost 20 pounds before getting pregnant, was constantly hungry, and craving carbs. I read that pregnancy makes you a bit more insulin resistant, so that might be causing the carb cravings. Reading that made me feel better about it, knowing that it wasn't just me. I was able to curb the constant hunger by adding more carbs back into my diet. A baked potato or sweet potato worked wonders for me.

110 · August 03, 2012 at 06:36 PM

When I was pregnant I always confused nausea with hunger. Looking back I'm not sure still if I was hungry or just sick a lot. I ate what I could and made sure it was mostly healthy. I ate a lot of berries and pretty normal meals. I added a really high quality protein drink to every day and seemed to feel less nauseous or hungry or whatever it was when I took copious amounts of probiotics. At 7 weeks I was hungry but by 8 weeks I was nauseous more than hungry. Ride it out is all I can advise. It'll go away at the beginning of your 2nd trimester and then you'll just be insatiably hungry again! Congratulations. My children are an amazing blessing )they're napping so I can say that).

60 · August 03, 2012 at 05:40 PM


460 · August 03, 2012 at 05:29 PM

Sometimes hunger is how pregnancy goes. Your body is using unprecidented amounts of nutrients to develop a strong body for your baby (your baby's body) and hunger just means you need more. Just eat when you're hungry, and do your best.

Make sure you're getting all of the nutrients you need and not to leave out any.

Also, for the nausea, I would ask your doctor. Sometimes there are simple things that can remedy it.

When I was pregnant, if I ate too much at one time (especially near the end) I got really queazy. I just had to eat less food and more often. And sometimes that was every 15 minutes. Or was it peeing every 15 minutes? ...

My doctor said I could take a Tum's every time it happened to me. It really helped. I was downing them like candies.

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