First thing first, you need to know that gaining weight during pregnancy is very normal. If you have another cute little helpless human being growing inside your belly, it is your responsibility to take good care of the baby by eating right. You have to eat enough for the two of you to live a normal, happy, and healthy life during your pregnancy. That is why weight gain during pregnancy is normal and necessary.
However, if you were overweight before pregnancy, or if you eat more than necessary while you are pregnant, then you would gain more weight than is necessary. And this additional weight gain can be a problem in many ways. So, for your health’s sake and for that of your baby, you’ll need to lose some weight.
Is it safe to lose weight during pregnancy?
You can safely lose weight during pregnancy if you adopt safe weight loss tips that will not hurt you or the baby. What you need to do to lose weight as a pregnant woman is similar to what any other non-pregnant person is expected to do to lose weight. Exercise and watch what you eat; that’s it.
However, there is a distinct difference between what an expecting mum should do to lose weight and what any other person is expected to do. The diet, workout routine, and lifestyle of an expecting mum who wants to lose weight are totally unique.
Tips on how to lose weight during pregnancy
Pregnant women who want to shed some pounds can follow these safety tips to help them lose weight.
Find out how many calories you really need per day
Before you start your weight loss journey, you need to find out the calorie needs per day for you and your baby to stay fit. According to the experts, pregnant women are expected to eat as much as follows;
- 1800 calories per day in the first trimester
- 2200 calories per day in the second trimester
- 2400 calories per day in the final trimester
You’ll also need to talk to your doctor to understand what your specific calorie needs are. While it is important to carry out your own little research on the internet about this, do not forget to confirm your findings with your doctor before you start practicing them.
1. Eat and drink healthy foods always
Can you believe some pregnant women take a lot of alcohol during pregnancy? Alcohol is not healthy for a pregnant woman nor for the baby. This also goes for junks, salty food, unhealthy fats, food that contain a lot of sugar or laced with artificial sweeteners.
A healthy diet for a pregnant woman should include the following;
- Whole grain cereals
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Whole grain bread
- Healthy protein like eggs, lean meat, etc
- Low-fat dairy products
- Good fat
The same rule applies to what to drink while pregnant. Some good examples for pregnant friendly drinks are
2. Take small meals frequently
One of the characteristics of pregnancy is increased appetite. Pregnant women can’t seem to control their cravings. So they’re hungry almost all the time; taking more calories than is expected of them and gaining weight in the process. To avoid this, experts advise pregnant women to go for six smaller meals per day instead of three big ones.
It is also helpful to carry your own healthy snacks and lunch to work, drink a lot of water during the day and just before eating, and stock up your fridge with lots of healthy foods.
3. Drink a lot of water
Drinking a lot of water is imperative for the progress of your pregnancy, and very effective in losing weight. You can take some water before you eat in order to help you reduce how much food you take at a time.
Also, water can help keep fatigue in check, relieve morning sickness, aid digestion, and prevent constipation, to mention but a few.
4. Prenatal vitamins are good for you and the baby
Prenatal vitamins are helpful during pregnancy because it’s hard to get all the nutrients you and your baby need from the normal foods you eat every day. Eating right is good, but not even that guarantees that you’re taking enough nutrients for your condition. So doctors always prescribe prenatal vitamins.
When it comes to losing weight during pregnancy, prenatal vitamins play a very vital role. For instance, if your weight loss plan involves eating less than usual, taking prenatal vitamins is a way to make sure you still get the right proportion of vitamins for you and your baby. However, it is very crucial that your doctor is aware of whatever prenatal vitamins you’re taking and why you’re taking them.
5. Work out! Work out!! Work out!!!
The more you engage in physical activities, the more calories you’ll burn, and the more weight you’ll lose. Working out is important if you want to manage your pregnancy weight properly. 30 minutes of moderate workout activity per day will do the trick if you’re consistent. Do not forget to let your doctor know about your workout routines, just to make sure they are safe enough for you and the baby.
Some examples of pregnancy-friendly exercises include
Here are some things to keep in mind if you decide to lose weight by exercising during pregnancy
- You’ll need to modify your exercise routine as your baby develops.
- Do not push too hard or you may injure yourself. The bones and joints of an expecting mum are usually tender and should be treated as such.
- Always dress properly for each exercise session. Your workout clothes should be loose and comfortable. Your shoes too.
- Do not exercise on any surface that is not flat to avoid slipping.
- Avoid exercising in hot weather.
Always remember to consult your doctor before starting a weight loss journey if you’re pregnant. Pregnancy demands utmost gentility and care. Seeking professional advice will ensure the safety of you and your baby. Also note that changes are bound to occur, but if they are strange or unexpected, do well to reach out to your doctor as well.