12 Steps To Lose Weight Before You Get Pregnant

Obesity is responsible for many cases of fertility issues

Your body mass index (BMI) establishes your weight and your body fat based on height and weight. A BMI of 18.5-24.9 is normal, 25-29.9 is overweight, and a BMI of 30 and over is obese.

More and more women are obese and overweight worldwide. Obesity negatively affects many body systems, including your reproductive health and your ability to get pregnant. Many infertile women are obese is high, and it is well known that there is an association between obesity and infertility.

Overweight women have a higher incidence of menstrual and ovulation dysfunction and anovulation and are at high risk for reproductive health issues. The risk of subfecundity and infertility, conception rates, miscarriage rates, and pregnancy complications are increased in these women. They have poor reproductive outcomes in natural as well as assisted conception. It takes them longer to get pregnant.  These poor reproductive outcomes include assisted reproduction such as ovulation induction, in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI), and ovum donation cycles. Weight loss has beneficial effects on the reproductive outcomes in these patients.

Obesity is responsible for many pregnancy and postpartum problems

Obesity does not only affect your chances of getting pregnant, it also affects your pregnancy. Being overweight and obese increases your risks for miscarriage and premature birth and other pregnancy complications such as diabetes, hypertension, cesarean sections. In addition, if you are overweight and obese, you are at increased risk of postpartum complications and deaths. 

Can I lose weight during pregnancy

It is not recommended to lose weight during pregnancy because it may potentially increase certain complications. Pregnant women with a BMI of 18.5 to 24,9 are supposed to gain between 25-35 lb in pregnancy. Overweight women should gain less, between 15-25 lb, and obese women (BMI 30 and above) should not gain more than 20lb in pregnancy, and it's recommended that those at the higher range of obesity should gain even less than 20 lb during the 40 weeks of the pregnancy. 

How can I lose weight before I try to get pregnant and after pregnancy?

Losing weight can help improve your chances of getting pregnant. It can also keep you healthy and active once the baby comes. Follow these steps to get you in the best shape you can be before you get pregnant! In addition, if you lose weight postpartum, you will start the next pregnancy in your best possible weight and health.

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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. In general, a BMI between 18,5 and 24.9 is considered a healthy 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. Using the right contraceptive before getting pregnant and until you reach your optimal weight ensures that you've entered your pregnancy with the best weight.

Plan to stop certain diets

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. Seeing a nutritionist will help you find out the best diet for you.

Establish your current caloric intake

Some women already have the right composition of food, but they eat too many calories. 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.

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.

Increase exercise

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 your partner 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.

Learn how a healthy pregnancy diet can reduce birth defects!

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).

Natural supplements

Along with taking prenatal vitamins, 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.

Read More: 
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The Preconception To-Do List
Eat Healthy: Pregnancy Nutrition and Food Guide
How to Financially Prepare for a Baby
Should I or Shouldn't I? Pregnancy Safety Guide
How to Pamper Yourself During Pregnancy
Pre-Trimester for Men: The Preconception Period Is Vital
Male Fertility Testing: Sperm Analysis and Count
16 Pregnancy Tips for Dads-to-Be
Charting and Counting: A Man’s Guide to Ovulation