Losing weight before trying for a child is smart, advisable, and a good thing overall. In some cases, it’s also necessary. However, you don’t need to feel pressured with all those articles claiming that shedding all excess pounds is a must if you want to have a healthy baby. Those usually also contain a list of horrific health issues children might develop if their parents aren’t model-thin. The truth is that yes, a healthy weight loss before pregnancy is advisable. But it’s not a ‘life-or-death’ situation.
Over 70% of the US population are either overweight or obese. Women also are much more likely to develop extreme obesity than men (9.9% vs. 5.5% in men). In many cases this happens as a result of pregnancy weight gain, so women trying for a second child usually face an extreme level of pressure.
Well, you shouldn’t! What you should do is consult your doctor so they can determine how much weight you realistically need to lose. It’s true that getting within the ‘normal’ BMI (Body Mass Index) range of 18.5-24.9 will be best. But it’s not vitally important in the majority of cases.
If your doctor does tell you that some measure of weight loss before pregnancy is needed, you should start a healthy and well-balanced program. Bear in mind that you need to make your body healthy for a baby, so cutting out any essential food groups completely isn’t an option. Nutritional deficiencies in the mother are far more dangerous than a few excess pounds.
Healthy Weight Loss Before Pregnancy: 3 Simple Tips
1. Choose Natural Weight Loss Supplements and Vitamins
The most important thing NOT to do when trying to lose weight before pregnancy is taking some shady pills that claim to have a fat-burning effect. Any drugs that affect your hormones are to be avoided at all times.
Natural supplements containing elements, like capsaicin, caffeine, and orchid extract should be safe. Bear in mind that these products become efficient only when incorporated into a well-balanced diet. In this case, the pills enhance the effect of your program and make sure that you start losing weight to have a baby faster.
You’ll also need to take prenatal vitamins, which will affect the nutritional balance of your diet. Consult a professional nutritionist to work out the best calorie intake depending on your supplementation and personal needs.
2. Get support (professional and emotional)
Women preparing for pregnancy are often overwrought with emotion, and so are the women who struggle with losing weight. Combining the two results in extremely high stress levels, which have a negative impact on your health and chances of conceiving a baby.
The best way to deal with stress and benefit your weight loss before pregnancy program is to get support:
- Join a support group of likeminded women. Sharing your experiences will help you cope with difficulties and motivate you to keep up the program.
- Get your doctor involved into your program. This will help you stay on a healthy nutritional track and will reduce any risks. ‘Getting involved’ in this case means developing a nutrition table you’ll need to follow and monitoring your condition throughout the program. This is especially important for women with chronic health conditions.
3. Plan your day to allow for maximum exercise
You are most likely a busy person with no chance of spending an hour a day in the gym. But you can still get that needed extra workout through clever planning. For example, take a short walk during your lunch break, even if it’s only going down and up the staircase. Start using that staircase instead of an elevator. Walk to your workplace or while out on errands.
You can also turn your chores into small workouts, like this. And be sure to choose more active forms of relaxation.