Safe Ways for Losing Weight During Pregnancy

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Cutting down calories, exercising regularly, staying hydrated, having healthy foods, having smaller meals, taking prenatal vitamins are the safe ways to lose weight while pregnant.

Worried about how to lose weight while pregnant? You naturally gain weight in pregnancy. You can drop weight if you’re overweight or obese while pregnant but should do it by healthy means. Pregnancy, after all, is a phase when you need to take proper care of yourself and your baby. Check out below the safe ways to lose weight during pregnancy.

In this article:

Is it Safe to Lose Weight During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy Weight-Gain Chart
Distribution of Weight During Pregnancy
Is it Bad not to Gain Weight During Pregnancy?
Can You Follow a Weight-Loss Diet During Pregnancy?
How to Lose Weight Safely During Pregnancy?
What are the Side Effects of being Overweight During Pregnancy?

Best Ways to Reduce Weight Safely During Pregnancy

how to lose weight while pregnant

Is it Safe to Lose Weight During Pregnancy?

Obese women can reduce the risk of specific complications by losing weight while pregnant. A medical professional or doctor should monitor their weight-loss program.

Pregnant women are generally not encouraged for losing weight or following a weight-loss diet during pregnancy. Don’t worry about how to lose weight while pregnant first trimester. You’ll naturally lose kilos during the first trimester due to loss of appetite or morning sickness and gain not more than 2-4 pounds. You would regain more weight in the following trimesters.

Pregnancy Weight-Gain Chart

You keep gaining weight with the advancement of your trimesters as your baby continues growing in size.

The recommended weight-gain in the various stages of pregnancy differs depending on the individual. Below is the chart showing the amount of weight you require to gain throughout your pregnancy:

Pre-pregnancy BMICategoryRecommended Weight-gain
18.5-24.9Normal11-16 kg
Below 18.5Underweight13-18 kg
25-29.9Overweight7-11 kg
Above 30Obese5-9 kg

If you have multiple pregnancy (with twins or more), your ideal weight-gain could be 16.5-24.5 kg.

Distribution of Weight During Pregnancy

The amount of weight gained during pregnancy is fairly distributed throughout your body. Below is the breakdown of the gained weight in pregnancy:

  • By the end of your pregnancy, your baby would weigh around 3-3.5 kg.
  • The amniotic fluid and placenta weigh nearly 1.5 kg.
  • Your engorged breasts and enlarged uterus can constitute 2 kg.
  • Fat and other nutrients may make up about 3 kg while your blood and other bodily fluids can add 4 kg.

So you may gain fairly 10-15 kg of additional weight.

Is it Bad not to Gain Weight During Pregnancy?

Not gaining adequate weight during pregnancy may develop complications with you and the baby (like small infants and preterm birth). However, you can alter your diet to get the necessary nutrients without gaining too much weight.

Can You Follow a Weight-Loss Diet During Pregnancy?

Pregnant women must not undertake crash diets or decrease their calorie intake in pregnancy. A weight-loss diet may cause cellular alterations in the unborn child and make him prone to obesity in future. A healthy diet, comprising fibre-rich foods and whole grains, is important during pregnancy. The doctor will advise the required dietary changes to lead a healthy lifestyle. Eat vegetables, fruits and lean proteins. Don’t consume sugary or processed foods and liquid calories.

How to Lose Weight Safely During Pregnancy?

Thinking how to lose weight while pregnant and obese? Here are the ways.

Look for how Much Weight You have to Gain

Despite being overweight, you’ll gain more kilos in pregnancy for the welfare of the unborn child. Check your current weight and calculate the extra weight you need to put on, using a pregnancy chart. Aim to maintain the limit. Weigh yourself daily at a fixed time on the same scale. Reduce this to once every week as fluctuations become normal.

Cut Down on Calories

Wondering how to lose weight while pregnant fast? Calculate the number of calories your body requires regularly to keep yourself and your baby healthy. Reduce your calorie intake if you’re over-consuming. It’s recommended to get at least 1700 calories daily during pregnancy.

Exercise Regularly

Irrespective of your weight, you should exercise moderately to relieve yourself from pain in pregnancy when the body has to undergo so many changes. Do walking, swimming or yoga regularly for at least 30 minutes.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is most essential while you’re pregnant and more so if you are exercising daily. Drink 1-2 litres of water every day to check excessive eating and feel full.

Have Healthy Foods

Eat fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, bread and whole grains to prevent constipation and help digestion. Have low-fat milk and dairy products. Opt for foods high in folates like beans, spinach and strawberries. Avoid junk food.

Go for Smaller Meals

Feeling hungry throughout the day? Choose 6 smaller frequent meals over 3 big meals. This can control your calorie consumption per sitting. Big meals may cause indigestion and heartburn.

Take Prenatal Vitamins

Regularly take your prenatal vitamins prescribed by the doctor. These can help you meet your nutritional requirements without needing to have more calorie-rich foods than necessary. However, since supplements aren’t substitutes for real food, you should have healthy food to make sure that your body absorbs these nutrients.

What are the Side Effects of Being Overweight During Pregnancy?

Risks to the Mother

  • Gestational diabetes that may cause difficulties in vaginal birth with a larger baby
  • Preeclampsia that can decrease blood flow to your baby
  • Problems during labour and delivery
  • Difficulties to monitor foetal development
  • Sleep apnea that causes fatigue and health problems like high blood pressure
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in pregnancy and the postpartum period
  • Blood clotting that may complicate delivery or Induced labour
  • Higher possibilities of excessive blood loss or infection if you get a C-section

Risks to the Foetus

  • Miscarriage
  • Neural tube defects at birth
  • Larger baby with chances of obesity in future
  • Developing diabetes or heart disease in future

Impact of Weight-Loss on the Mother-to-be and the Baby During Pregnancy

  • Your baby may be born underweight due to insufficient nutrition.
  • Miscarriage in the first trimester because of anorexia.
  • Lower levels of amniotic fluid.
  • Poor cognitive functions in the baby.
  • The mother may experience constant tiredness and susceptibility to infections.

A Word of Caution

A healthy weight pre-pregnancy is ideal. Don’t drastically lower your calorie consumption or exercise excessively. Consult the doctor before deciding anything. Try focusing on weight management rather than weight-loss.

Reference

https://www.eatright.org/health/pregnancy/prenatal-wellness/healthy-weight-during-pregnancy

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/health-tips-pregnant-women

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