How can I lose weight before I try to get pregnant?
Losing weight can help improve your chances of getting pregnant. It can also keep you healthy and active once the baby comes. Follow these 12 steps to get you in the best shape you can be before you get pregnant!
Determine a Goal Weight
Your goal weight or the amount of weight you need to lose will tell you how much time it will take to lose the weight. Losing just 2 pounds a week is the safest way to lose weight and keep it off. Calculate your body mass index (BMI) to find out what your optimal weight is.
Plan to Stop the Diet
Even though you are trying to lose weight for your baby, you will need to stop certain diets (crash diets, fad diets, imbalanced diets) well before getting pregnant, and switch to eating plans that are more supportive of fertility and pregnancy.
Establish Your Current Caloric Intake
If you are maintaining your weight well, try establishing a current caloric intake. This will give you a number to start with when subtracting for weight loss.
Then Decrease it
The most prescribed way to lose weight is to eat less than you are currently eating. There are many ways to cut calories, including replacing foods. Starting with your current caloric intake, subtract 1000 calories from that total. This is the number of calories you will need to consume every day to lose 2 pounds a week. For example, if you are currently consuming 2,500 calories a day, the goal is 1,500 calories a day.
If you find you are not eating enough calories to subtract 1,000 a day, try adding in some exercise to burn away the rest. Subtracting 500 calories a day and burning 500 calories a day will work in the same way.
Break Up the Exercise
Exercising at least one hour a day is an ideal plan for weight loss. However, most people don't have this much time and breaking up the workout is just fine. Working out for 30 minutes on weight training exercises in the morning and then walking with hubby for 30 minutes after dinner works just as well.
Start Out Easy
If you are new to exercising daily, start out slow. The body will be sore after the first few workouts and this is often the reason people stop exercising. Instead of slamming in an hour that first day, start out with 20 minutes (10 minutes, twice a day) and build from there.
Add a Prenatal Vitamin
Before pregnancy is the best time to add in that folic acid you will need in the first weeks after conception. A good prenatal vitamin provides all the support a mom-to-be will need. (Prenatal vitamins are safe for people who are not pregnant as well).
Along with taking the prenatal vitamin, there is nothing wrong with adding certain natural supplements to your daily diet. Green tea is a proven natural fat burner, and research has shown that consuming green tea can increase metabolism.
Join a Support Group
The buddy system has been proven to help people lose more weight and keep it off than weight loss attempted alone. You can choose a weight loss support group or a friend who will keep you accountable.
Keep in mind that it's important to choose someone who will push you yet stick by you at the same time.
Enlist the Help of a Doctor
A family physician or even your OB/GYN may be able to help you lose the weight you need to lose before conceiving. This can be in the form of a prescribed diet or possibly, a prescription appetite suppressant. However, any medications you take will need to be stopped before trying to get pregnant.
See a Nutritionist
A nutritionist will be able to help you better understand the role of food in your life. Food is there to provide energy, not as a reward. Unfortunately, many people eat more than they need simply because it tastes good. This is a learned behavior and it can be modified.
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