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How to Safely Lose Weight During Pregnancy

July 25, 2022
Virtual Gynecology

Are you on the bigger side? Does your BMI suggest you are overweight or obese? Are you also pregnant and wish to lose weight? Women with obesity have a higher risk of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Their babies also have a greater risk of premature birth, neonatal problems, and birth defects.

As much as you may be encouraged to gain a little weight during pregnancy, it is dangerous for you to gain too much weight. More so, what if you are already overweight? Previously, doctors didn't want to advise weight loss during pregnancy to prevent harm to you and your baby. However, recent studies show that pregnant women with obesity can safely exercise and lose weight without risking their health and that of their babies.

How can I safely lose weight during pregnancy?

As a rule of thumb, pregnancy is a time to do things in moderation. Hence, any form of exercise or dieting shouldn't be intense or extreme.

So, if you want to lose weight during pregnancy, the following are safety tips to follow:

Talk to your doctor

Consult with your doctor before you embark on any exercise regimen while pregnant. Your doctor will ask some questions, check your health status and help you come up with an exercise regimen that will best suit you. Your doctor will also answer any questions you may have.

Also, your doctor may refer you to a dietician, nutritionist, or trainer that may help you with your weight loss journey.

Start slowly

Whether or not you're pregnant, do not rush into anything new. Instead, start slow. Don't cut down on your calories abruptly. Start an exercise routine slowly and build up over time from 5 to 10 minutes every day to more time over the next few weeks. 

You may start with easier exercises such as walking and swimming. These can keep you active for roughly 30 to 45 minutes each day.

Avoid intense workouts 

As stated earlier, do everything in moderation while pregnant. Intense workouts can be dangerous to you and your baby. Listen to your body and trust your instincts. You should be comfortable when exercising. If you are breathing too heavily, or feeling hurt, take a break.

Avoid activities like horseback riding, skiing, or mountain biking. These sports can throw you off balance and cause harm and injury. 

Avoid diet fads

Diet fads are often very calorie-restrictive. You lose out on nutrients that you and your baby need to stay healthy and grow optimally. You need healthy amounts of calories during your pregnancy for a safe pregnancy and childbirth. Your body and baby will thank you for it. 

Keep a journal

This could be manual or online. Keeping a journal helps you track how many calories, nutrients, and water you are getting every day. It helps you know what to cut down on and what to increase per time.

It is also a great way to create a routine and plan your schedule. This applies to both diet and exercise.

Avoid empty calories

There are certain foods you should limit or avoid altogether, if possible. These include fast food, fried food, soda and energy drinks, sweets, pastries, and microwave dinners.

These foods contain empty calories and avoiding them can be more effective than exercise in helping you lose weight.

Take a prenatal supplement

Prenatal supplements provide you and your baby with more of the necessary vitamins and minerals like folic acid and iron. They also help prevent health problems in you and your baby like anemia, obesity, and neural tube defects.

Pregnant? We're here to help you

A visit to us helps you get your prenatal care started while you await your appointment with your local OB doctor. Your virtual physician can help to electronically order prenatal care labs and/or send an order to the nearest radiology facility for you to get an ultrasound.

At My Virtual Physician, we are available to help guide you through your pregnancy and answer any questions that may arise. We are in network with many insurance health plans, including Medicaid, Medicare, United HealthCare, and Blue Cross. 

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