Should You Start a Weight Loss Program Before Pregnancy?

Should You Start a Weight Loss Program Before Pregnancy from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Overweight and obese women should consider losing weight before conception as research indicates that excessively high BMI of a mother increases the risks of pregnancy and birth-related complications. As the majority of weight loss programs are designed to be long-term, you can try a short-term intense plan to shed fast. Then you can switch to a well-balanced nutritious diet that will help to get your body strong and healthy in preparation for pregnancy.

What Are the Risks of Obesity Before and During Pregnancy?

Obesity itself is often associated with reduced fertility (Human Reproduction Update). That’s why weight loss might be essential for pregnancy. However, a far more concerning fact is that obesity is associated with spontaneous pregnancy loss when the period of gestation starts (BMJ).

Other health risks obese and even overweight pregnant women face include:

  • Wound complications after cesarean section
  • Thrombosis
  • Breastfeeding abnormalities
  • Depression
  • Inflammations

In most cases, overweight and obese women gain more pregnancy weight than recommended, which severely complicates postpartum weight loss. This can cause fertility problems and result in issues with future pregnancies.

Children born to obese mothers often have a higher than normal fat mass and are at a high risk of developing metabolic disorders. In the meantime, their mothers are at a greater risk of developing dangerous diseases associated with obesity, including kidney and heart disease as well as type 2 diabetes.

How to Lose Weight Before Pregnancy: 4 Safe and Healthy Tips

1.      Start with an intense fat-burning plan

Switching to a healthy and well-balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals is a necessary step if you want to conceive, carry, and give birth to a strong and healthy child. Even the fat burn plan you choose must be balanced so you don’t accidentally harm your chances of conceiving. So be sure to choose a program that accounts for all essential nutrients with a healthy dose of exercise and a supplement that’s safe for your health.

The ‘max fat burn’ period should be short, so should do best with a 14-day diet plan. Once you’re finished with it, stick to your new healthy diet and only make adjustments to it if your doctor advises to do it. You should also discuss the further use of supplements and types of exercises you should keep doing.

2.      Exercise a few times a day

If you can’t have a good hour-long workout once a day, break it into several sessions. For example, you can get in some cardio during lunch-break by walking up and down the steps in your office building. You also can do some simple exercises, like sit-ups and lunges while preparing for work in the morning.

Some relaxing stretches or a yoga session in front of a TV before bed will not only help you lose weight before pregnancy but also relieve some stress. Add some mindfulness meditation to your routine and you’ll reduce the risk of depression as well.

3.      Diversify your diet

Your pre-pregnancy diet should be filled with all essential food groups. What you need to do is to reduce the portion of each nut increase the variety. Note that this doesn’t mean cutting down on calories. You should always consume as many calories a day as your doctor recommends.

However, you can get these calories from meals that include small servings of grains, veggies, protein, meat, and some low-fat dairy. The diversity of the dishes will make you feel more full than eating a single plate of pasta with equal caloric value.

4.      Take only the pregnancy-approved supplements

Always discuss the supplements you take with your doctor. It should be safe to take some products that will speed up weight loss before you start actively trying for a child. However, you might need to drop those when you’re getting closer to your goal and switch to prenatal multivitamins instead.  Click Here to learn about safe skincare during and after pregnancy!

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