Weight loss during pregnancy is a controversial matter and women usually don’t know how to approach it. Safety is the key concept here. Below you will find the explanations and recommendation you need, to do this correctly.
Is it Safe to Lose Weight During Pregnancy?
This is regularly the biggest concern. After all, everyone around advises women to “eat for two”. Besides, it is natural and beneficial to put on some weight once pregnant, in order for the body to be able to sustain two lives.
Whether you like it or you don’t, it’s a healthy transformation. How much is too much though? This depends on your body type and BMI. A specialized physician can tell you how much extra weight is acceptable in your case.
Sometimes, pregnant women go too far in allowing themselves to eat anything they fancy, in significant quantities. This creates a too thick adipose layer which weighs down on all internal organs and can pose serious issues to the pregnancy itself.
When your weight gain is excessive, you should be concerned with it and start burning fat in ways that don’t harm you or the baby. In any case, do not expect to be skinny while pregnant, even though some women still appear to be so.
Those have a different body type and metabolism. In most situations, you will be able to return to your normal weight once the baby is delivered.
Why You Should Watch Your Weight When Pregnant?
As mentioned above, too much adipose tissue adds weight that may put pressure on your internal organs. This will slow down their function and affect the liver especially.
It can lead to gestational diabetes and the condition known as preeclampsia, as well as to giving birth prematurely. For the first semester, don’t worry about packing on pounds.
If you’re going to experience nausea and vomiting, then you will be losing, not gaining weight. As for the second semester, this is when expecting mothers recover and begin to grow in size.
Again, don’t worry – this is absolutely natural, unless it becomes excessive. At this point it’s wise to refrain from eating like there’s no tomorrow, since it’s easy to gain as much as 40 pounds.
How to Prevent Weight Gain?
Weight loss during pregnancy is a tricky matter. The main idea to keep in mind is that you can get fat, but you shouldn’t get too fat.
If you’ve just started your pregnancy or you’re planning it, you can take a whole series of measures to keep your weight within healthy limits for the time to come:
- Consider your height and especially your age when calculating your ideal pregnancy weight.
- Exercise and limit your food intake before fecundation. You should aim to be in your best shape before you’re pregnant, in order to have a good start. This is particularly important if you are overweight.
- Have several small meals throughout the day.
- Lead an active lifestyle and include exercise sessions at least twice per week.
- Remember to drink enough water throughout the day.
- Don’t diet but keep your food varied and nutritious. If you want to lose weight, restrict your calorie intake by decreasing portion size.
- Eat more protein and less carbohydrates.
- Completely avoid all slimming pills and diets!
Always stick to these rules and do not engage in harmful ways to lose the extra weight, such as food deprivation, starvation etc. This can be very harmful to the pregnancy and even make you lose it.
What Weight is Healthy for Pregnancy?
When expecting a baby, there are certain guidelines concerning the ideal weight. The safe range isn’t exactly narrow. Specialists are still using the Body Mass Index (BMI) calculations to determine healthy weight.
Therefore, if at the beginning of your pregnancy you start with a BMI of minimum 20 and maximum 30, you should gain no more than 25 pounds by the end of the pregnancy.
The safest weight gain is between 15 and 25 pounds. In case your starting BMI is at 30 or above, you must be more careful about how much weight you put on; keep it between 10 and 20 pounds.
As you can see, healthy weight loss during pregnancy largely depends on your shape before/at the moment of fecundation.
What Experts Recommend?
Apart from regular nutrition, expecting women should include multivitamin and mineral supplements in their diets. There are special prenatal formulations, catering to the needs of the mother and the fetus.
As for the best kind of meals to have, these follow about the same rules as regular healthy diets: more fruits and vegetables, preferably fresh/uncooked, whole grains, good quality protein, fewer carbs, good fats, fiber-rich foods etc.
In addition, any cravings you may have may point you to a nutrient your body needs. If it’s something in the area of ‘junk food’, you may have a bit of it and also look for ways to replace it with a similar, but healthier option.
Are you craving ice cream? It could be the sugar or the fat in it. Therefore, you can try to replace it with a fruit and avocado salad that gives you plenty of natural sugars as well as good fats.
While pregnant, you’re supposed to stay active, but avoid causing any harm to your baby. Thus, high intensity training or high-impact sports aren’t recommended.
Avoid horseback riding, skiing, gymnastics, basketball and any other sports with a ball. You may still train your arms with weights, though; just avoid movements that put pressure on your midsection.
Engage frequently in cardio exercise like moderate aerobics, brisk walking and dancing. These train your heart, improving blood circulation, and help your lung expand. If you like cycling, only use a stationery bike while pregnant. Go swimming, do yoga and stretching.
Avoid exhaustion; you’re not supposed to exercise for more than 30 minutes each day. Don’t put yourself in danger – any sports that may make you fall or hit yourself/be hit aren’t recommended.
Also, be careful about the clothing you wear for workouts. It’s best when it’s loose; tight clothing will prevent you from moving as you should and might put pressure on your belly.
Weight loss during pregnancy isn’t always a recommendation. Your priority is to be well fed and get all the needed nutrients. It’s essential to have what is considered a good pregnancy weight for your body type and age.
If you fear you are overweight, consult with your physician and only slim down with their guidance. A lot of women tend to worry excessively about how easily they put on weight during this time but in most cases this is healthy and welcome.