Welcome to the Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout First Trimester Plan!

Congratulations on making an exciting investment in your health and the health of your baby. I am thrilled for you and so grateful that you have chosen to prioritize fitness and whole food nutrition during pregnancy.  

Keep this Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout Program Guide handy throughout the first trimester. In this comprehensive guide, you will find an overview of our nutrition cycle, a grocery list of approved foods, a section of FAQs, important training resources, and much more.

Please be sure to use the brand new #fitpregnancyworkout program hashtag on your Instagram photos so we can easily find and support you!

Special Notes:

Fitness and proper nutrition during pregnancy are extremely important. In fact, I would venture to say, this is one of the most important times for us to prioritize health and wellness. After all, we have a baby relying on us to consume only the best whole foods, and remain active in order to ensure a successful labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery. 

I am so proud of you for committing to a fit pregnancy, and although my program is tough, I know you will absolutely thrive.

But first, a few special notes. I have personally journeyed through three successful fit pregnancies, and although they were each very different, I truly enjoyed my experiences. I want to help you thrive through pregnancy as well and I am so honored that you have the trust in me to guide you along this beautiful journey!

Here’s the deal - there is a LOT of misinformation floating around regarding a fit pregnancy. From the “plank police” on Instagram who tell you never to engage in core exercises during pregnancy which will “cause diastasis recti” to your OBGYN who tells you not to raise your HR above 140 BMP because he hasn’t checked the updated ACOG guidelines in 20+ years … there is a LOT of confusion, generic advice, and myths that I hope to clear up for you.

Through this program, I will present you with three phases of workouts - one phase per trimester.

The phases are as follows

Phase ONE: Phase one will take place during your first trimester. While we can generally maintain the same fitness level as pre-pregnancy during the first trimester, we will consider that you may not be feeling your best due to morning sickness and fatigue. Our focus will be on maintaining our cardiovascular endurance with HIIT and cardio,  strengthening our core, and continuing to increase strength and lean muscle.

Phase TWO: Phase two will be during the second trimester when you will have more energy and also when your appetite is increasing. Although you will be feeling good, this is not an appropriate time to strive for a PR or lose weight. We will focus on proper nutrition and maintaining our strength and stamina to prevent excess weight gain or common pregnancy aches and pains.

Phase THREE: Phase three will be completed during the duration of your third trimester until you deliver your sweet baby. We will make modifications as necessary while working to strengthen the pelvic floor, prevent diastasis recti, and set you up for a successful labor and delivery. Although it is tempting to trade in the green leafy veggies for the pastries in the third trimester, we will continue to focus on whole food nutrition to provide our growing baby with the best possible nutrients.

Disclaimer:

Check with your doctor blah blah - but know that your doc may be totally misinformed. In fact, through my most recent pregnancy, I had to visit three different providers before finally finding a doctor who was up-to-date on fit pregnancy research and 100% supportive of my active lifestyle. Be certain that your doctor or midwife it up-to-date on the ACOG guidelines. If he or she recommends you keep your HR under 140 BPM, not lift over 20 lbs, or avoid running in spite of your low risk pregnancy, you can be sure that he is not the right doctor for you.

 According to the most up-to-date ACOG guidelines, physical activity does not increase your risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or early delivery.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of exercise during pregnancy listed in the ACOG guidelines.

Regular exercise during pregnancy benefits you and your fetus in these key ways:

  • Reduces back pain

  • Eases constipation

  • May decrease your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery

  • Promotes healthy weight gain during pregnancy

  • Improves your overall general fitness and strengthens your heart and blood vessels

  • Helps you to lose the baby weight after your baby is born

BEFORE PHOTOS

Take a “bumpie”. This will be a clear way to track your fit pregnancy progress.


CARB CYCLING

WHat is carb cycling?

A carb cycling program is an intentional variation of carbohydrate intake each week. Most carb cycling plans consist of high carb days and low carb days. In all of my programs, I base our cycle on the workouts we will be doing to maximize fat burn and energy levels.

Why carb cycle?

Long term restriction of carbohydrates and calories can lower your metabolic rate and negatively affect your hormone levels. This is a big reason women find themselves at one of those weight loss plateaus. For a short period of time a significantly restrictive diet will bring you results. However, over time it will cause your metabolic rate to decrease. Once that happens you will see your weight loss stop and will need to restrict calories even further to lose more weight, thus lowering your metabolic rate once again. Not only is this a terribly unhealthy way to live, it is also incredibly frustrating.

What does carb cycling do?

Carb cycling allows for planned high carb days that increase your thyroid output and help you control hunger. Because you are cycling your carbs, you will also have low carb days that offset your high carb days. With this type of cycle you will continue to see fat loss, increased energy levels, and improvements to your overall body composition.

Carb cycling improves insulin levels, helping your body to store less fat. When paired with intermittent fasting and effective workouts, carb cycling can help you break through those dreaded plateaus so you can truly look and feel your very best.

CARB CYCLING IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY?

YES! However, keep in mind that our bodies need carbs for fuel as we are working to grow a baby! You will not be severely limiting your carbs. I suggest you consume somewhere between 100-150g carbs on a low carb day. When I am not pregnant, I consume less than 50g net carbs on a low carb day, but this is simply not my reality while pregnant. Also, if you are dealing with severe morning sickness, carbs may actually help to settle your stomach. Do your best to opt for “clean carbs” and complex carbs like sweet potatoes or steel cut oats.


INTERMITTENT FASTING

WHat is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is not a type of diet, but an eating schedule. Your body is always in one of two states: fed or fasted. In the fed state (any time your body is digesting food), your body’s insulin levels make burning fat a challenge. However, in the fasted state (8-12 hours after your body finishes digesting), your insulin levels are lower and better able to reach into your fat stores. People rarely go into a fasted state throughout the day. In fact, the traditional theory of several small meals per day keeps us from ever reaching the fasted state. In addition, that type of eating schedule regularly spikes our insulin levels which also hinders fat loss. So, while eating several small meals per day can lead to weight loss (calorie deficits always do), you will likely be losing both muscle and fat. When you lose calorie-burning muscle, you lower your metabolic rate and make it harder for your body to burn fat. You also might become frustrated because you never feel toned and fit, even though you are working out and eating clean.

so, you don't eat?

Not exactly. In my programs, we have eating windows, combined with our high and low carb days. We eat all of the time! We simply confine our eating to a shorter window throughout the day, allowing our bodies to enter into the fasted state.

INTERMITTENT FASTING DURING PREGNANCY?

Maybe. Here’s the deal. I do NOT recommend Intermittent fasting during pregnancy if you have not already been practicing this lifestyle prior to conception. However, if you are a former FASTer Way to Fat Loss client of mine or have been fat adapted due to IF for a long period of time, it is OK to continue intermittent fasting during pregnancy. In fact, my OBGYN personally, lost 28 lbs with IF last year and was thrilled to hear I was implementing it during pregnancy. However, she was sure to mention that she was the only doc in my area who of FL who would even entertain a conversion regarding IF during pregnancy since she had personally researched and implemented the lifestyle.

I only did intermittent fasting through my third pregnancy and it was my favorite pregnancy by far. I followed a 16/8 protocol and typically broke my fast around noon and maintained an 8 hour (or less) feeding window. I did not engage in 24-hour fasts. IF kept my appetite at bay and also helped me continue developing lean muscle through pregnancy. Not to mention I stayed healthy through the duration of my pregnancy even in spite of kiddos bringing germs home from school. Ultimately, implement IF during your pregnancy at your own risk if you feel comfortable and are already fat adapted.

 

FOOD CYCLE OVERVIEW

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Low Carb + HIIT, Tabata, or SPRINTS Day

low carb day food guidelines

  • Your goal is to eat fewer than 100-150 grams of net carbs on this day. Total carbs minus fiber = net carbs.
  • Break your fast around noon and maintain an 8 hour (or less) feeding window if you are fasting.
  • Focus on lean protein and fit fats
  • Use MyFitnessPal to calculate macros
  • Eat lots of leafy vegetables
  • The goal is carb depletion
  • Focus on hydration

low carb day foods

  • What to eat:
    • Lean protein: Fish, chicken, turkey, edamame, eggs
    • Leafy vegetables: Kale, spinach, swiss chard
    • Other vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bell peppers, celery, mushrooms, cucumber, tomato, zucchini
    • Almonds, nuts, avocado, berries
  • What not to eat: 
    • Fruit with lots of carbs (bananas, apples, etc.)
    • Starches: Potatoes, rice, corn, peas
    • Dairy, wheat
    • Processed or packaged foods 

low carb day exercise guidelines

  • HIIT, Tabata or SPRINTS
  • Followed by low-intensity cardio. Keep your heart rate LOW (fat burning zone).

 
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Regular Day Macros + Leg Day

Leg Day Guidelines

  • Focus on eating healthy foods on the approved foods list.
  • Break your fast around noon and maintain an 8 hour (or less) feeding window if you are fasting.
  • Don’t binge or stuff yourself; eat until you are 80% full, not to the point of discomfort
  • Ideally, eat your biggest meal after you work out.
  • If you can’t eat more at any given meal, then graze throughout the day (in between meals) on nuts, fruit or other healthy foods.

Leg Day Foods

  • Gluten-free grains - quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat or oats.
  • Starchy carbs - sweet potato, carrots, beets, parsnips, 
  • Fruit (low glycemic generally recommended), berries, pears, and apples. But for training days, feel free to have any fruit you like including bananas. Great for post-workout options.
  • Nuts - almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, etc.
  • Legumes - black beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.
  • Healthy fats - avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, fish oil, flax oil, hemp oil
  • Proteins - lentils, beans (kidney, navy, etc.), grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, wild fish, eggs, bacon, hemp seeds, chia seeds, protein powder.
  • NOTE: If you choose to leave room for discretionary calories/fun foods, this would be the day to do it (ie: donuts). Ideally, you consume the treats immediately after your workout. 

Leg Day Exercise Guidelines

  • Leg workout 1-2 hours before you begin your day or before you have your biggest meal of the day.

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Active Recovery + Regular Macros Day

REGULAR Macro Day Guidelines

  • Use the MyFitnessPal app recommendations to calculate your regular macro day goals.
  • Each time you eat you should at least include protein & fiber (other than the odd apple here or there).
  • At meals, your plate should be: ½ fibrous veggies, ¼ protein, ¼ starchy carbs & oils & fats.
  • Liquid meals: 2 handfuls of fibrous veggies (spinach, swiss chard), 1 palm size portion clean protein (almond butter, hemp seeds), ½-1 handful starchy carbs/fruit & ½ shot of fit fats (flax oil or coconut oil).

Active Recovery Day Guidelines

  • Take the day off 
  • Or engage in a longer duration (1 hour or more) activity or very-low intensity active recovery (walking, biking, etc) that will rely on fat as its main fuel source

Regular Macros Day + Strength Training

Regular Macro Day Guidelines 

  • Use the MyFitnessPal app recommendations to calculate your regular Macro day goals.
  • Break your fast around noon and maintain an 8 hour (or less) feeding window. 
  • Each time you eat you should at least include protein & fiber (other than the odd apple here or there).
  • At meals, your plate should be: ½ fibrous veggies, ¼ protein, ¼ starchy carbs & oils & fats.
  • Liquid meals: 2 handfuls of fibrous veggies (spinach, swiss chard), 1 palm size portion clean protein (almond butter, hemp seeds), ½-1 handful starchy carbs/fruit & ½ shot of fit fats (flax oil or coconut oil).

Regular Macro Day Foods

  • Fibrous Vegetables: 2 to 4 handfuls
  • Clean Protein: 1 palm-size portion 
  • Starchy Carbs & Fruits: 1 handful
  • Fats: ½ shot glass (1½ Tbsp) for oils & butter- for nuts & seeds 1 thumb-size serving 

Regular Macro Day exercise guidelines

  • Full body workout - bodyweight, eccentric or strength
 

 

Important Resources + Training Videos

My Fitness Pal Instructions

If you are new to my programs and are not sure how to set your goals or log your food on My Fitness Pal, please watch this video!

Click here to play video.


program details

Please watch this video with important program details. 

Click here to play video.

Through this program, we will do the following: 

  • Eat the right macros and nutrients, at the right time, for the right reasons
  • LIFT heavy to develop lean calorie-burning muscle
  • Engage in fasted cardio and HIIT/metabolic training
  • Maintain the proper mindset
 

 

Approved Foods

I strongly suggest you live gluten free, grain free, and dairy free as much as possible. I sometimes incorporate fun foods on leg day and use an IIFYM approach. If you are serious about seeing results, stick to this strategy. Use the MyFitnessPal app to calculate your calories.

Focus on whole food nutrition. If the food comes from the ground or has a mother, it’s fair game.

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Food Log

Low Carb Sample Food Log

View these pages for an example of what I eat on each food cycle day. I like to keep things VERY simple.

Remember, on a low carb day, we will break our fast later in the day and maintain an 8 hour or less feeding window. Our goal is less than 50g net carbs.


Low Carb Day Food Log

Breakfast

I will break my fast around noon

2 or 3 Eggs (or protein shake)

Black coffee

Water

Snack

Almonds

Water

Meal 2

HUGE Cobb Salad with low carb toppings

Chicken

Avocados

Cherry Tomatoes

Almonds

Bacon

Mushrooms

Dressing

1/4 C EVOO

2 tsp lime zest

3 Tbsp lime juice

1.5 tsp honey

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Snack

Protein Shake

Water

Dinner

Salmon

Broccoli

Water


Regular Macro Day Sample Food Log

Breakfast

I will break my fast around noon

2 or 3 Eggs (or protein shake)

Black coffee

Water

Snack

Almonds

Water

Meal 2

HUGE Cobb Salad with low carb toppings

Chicken

Avocados

Cherry Tomatoes

Almonds

Bacon

Mushrooms

Beans

Carrots

Peas

Dates or Strawberries

Dressing

1/4 C EVOO

2 tsp lime zest

3 Tbsp lime juice

1.5 tsp honey

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Snack

Banana and peanut butter

Water

Dinner

Paleo Meatloaf

Sweet Potato

Green beans or brussel sprouts with bacon

Water


Regular Macro Dinner Ideas

Fish Tacos

Mahi mahi - marinated for 15 min in mojo and baked/grilled. Shred fish and serve in gluten-free tortilla; top with homemade guacamole or just sliced avocado. Shred red and green cabbage and toss with olive oil, vinegar, celery seed and a drop of honey then top the fish with it.

Post Dinner Snacks

Fruit

Veggies and homemade hummus

Almonds

Dates

Roasted chickpeas

Popcorn with nothing on it

Dried fruit

Salami

*The sample food log is simply an example of how I may eat on a given day. It is not a meal plan to follow strictly. This listing is not all inclusive and it is not a prescription diet. If you choose to follow a similar plan, log your food in My Fitness Pal with your desired portion sizes to be sure you are staying on track with macros. Focus on protein and be sure you are not going overboard on good fats. Please post in our accountability group if you have questions about how to form your own personal meal plan or if you have questions about particular recipes, ideas, etc. Clean nutrition and hard work in the workouts is key. Be committed and consistent. Keep me updated on a daily basis and stay accountable for maximum results. 


More Food Log Ideas

Brussel Sprouts w/ Dijon

In small bowl, whisk olive oil, Dijon mustard, smoked paprika, garlic powder and onion powder until combined. Pour mixture over Brussel sprouts. (I use mustard and spices "to taste" - based on the flavor I want).

Curried Carrots

Drizzle olive oil on carrots and sprinkle with curry powder and salt to taste; roast at 375 degrees for 25-30 min. Stir at least once. Toss w/a drizzle of honey before serving.

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

Drizzle green beans w/olive oil; roast at 415 degrees for 15 minutes and sprinkle w/parmesan cheese before serving.

Grilled Asparagus w/ Balsamic

Whisk 1 Tbsp. olive and 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar; coat asparagus with mixture and let marinate 30 minutes then grill (in foil or directly on the grill); you can also roast in the oven.

Roasted Chickpeas

Toss chickpeas with olive oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt; roast at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Sauteed Artichokes w/ Capers

Use canned artichokes for this. Drizzle olive oil in saute pan, add artichokes and saute until they have brown crispy edges; add a splash of chicken broth to the pan, 1 tsp. real butter, a squeeze of half a lemon and as many capers as you'd like; simmer until the broth cooks down a bit.


Food Log Protein Ideas

Grilled Chicken Salad

Spinach/Kale w/grilled chicken and berries (strawberry/blueberry/dried cranberry) - pecans/walnuts/pine nuts and if you want, 1 oz goat cheese. For the dressing: use balsamic and olive oil, or lime w/olive oil and honey.

Mixed Greens with Tuna

Thinly slice celery, scallions, and mince 1 sweet gherkin to add to the greens and tuna. Serve without dressing. You can also add chopped boiled egg.

Another Dressing Idea

1 Tbsp. dijon/whole grain mustard, pinch of salt, juice of half a lemon, minced garlic, whisk in olive oil (about 1⁄4 c).

Salmon with Sriracha and Lime

Mix juice of half a lime with 1 Tbsp. maple syrup, 1 1/2 tsp sriracha and a pinch of salt. Pour over salmon and bake in foil or in a baking dish at 425 degrees for 15 min; top w/chopped cilantro to serve.

Shrimp with Feta and Tomato Sauce

Saute onion in olive oil; add as much garlic as you want (2 cloves is what I use); add 28 oz low sodium diced tomatoes; bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes; add 1/4 c. parsley, 1 Tbsp dill and 1 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined); top w/2/3 c. feta cheese; bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes (I serve this alone or over brown rice).

Flavorful, Moist Chicken

Marinate chicken breasts overnight in mojo - grill or bake the next day.

 

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SPECIAL NOTES

Special Notes and First Trimester Considerations:

 

Please post your questions on our Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout Facebook community page. Do not send me a text, email, or Facebook message with questions. It will help others in the program if they see me answer your questions on the Facebook page. It will alsoensure that I answer your questions in a timely manner. I check the Facebook page to answer questions and view your updates.

 Our goal through the Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout Program is progress, not perfection. Let’s not allow perfect to be the enemy of the good. Commit to a healthy lifestyle for the remainder of your pregnancy and focus on making steps toward better health for both you and your baby.

Through the first trimester, you may be experiencing severe morning sickness or food aversions. In fact, through the entire first trimester with my third, I only craved breakfast sandwiches (which wasn’t ideal since I’m allergic to eggs and super sensitive to gluten). Do your very best to focus on whole food nutrition, but also give yourself grace.

Do your very best to stay active every day through the first trimester. Exercise will likely even help manage morning sickness and it will certainly help to improve your energy level.   

In general, through the first trimester, you can continue with the same level of exercise intensity you were engaging in pre-pregnancy. In fact, the most up-to-date ACOG guidelines state, “If you were very active before pregnancy, you can keep doing the same workouts.” However, be reminded that it's not necessary to go a million miles per hour every day, all day, and in every area of our lives. Listen to your body and be willing to slow down when necessary. This is a paradigm shift for so many of us, and if you're accustomed to pushing through a workout "no matter what" it may take a while to get used to a more balanced perspective, especially during pregnancy.

Consider a walk outside or a low intensity workout on days you are not feeling 100% or are dealing with morning sickness. Your body and baby will thank you later - promise!

Be cognizant of your body temperature. The most up-to-date ACOG guidelines guard against, “Hot yoga” or “hot Pilates,” which may cause you to become overheated.”

For comprehensive ACOG guidelines and an FAQ, please visit the following website.

If you follow the nutrition plan and focus on adequate movement, you will maintain a fit pregnancy and enjoy the benefits through the third trimester and postpartum.

I am so honored that you have the trust in me to guide you along this beautiful journey!