How to Lose Weight While Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancy

Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy is important to have both a healthy mom and a healthy baby. Healthy eating and a regular exercise program are key to staying healthy and keeping the weight under control.

There are many benefits to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Staying fit and having healthy weight gain can help reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and other complications. It can also help the mother recover more quickly after delivery.

Weight loss during pregnancy

Many women gain excess weight during pregnancy, but too much gestational weight gain can cause an increased risk of health problems for both the mother and child.

While it’s important to eat a healthy diet during pregnancy, you don’t need to eat for two. In fact, most pregnant women only need about an extra 300-500 calories per day.

It is important to consult with a doctor to monitor pregnancy weight gain and seek medical advice before limiting gestational weight gain. A medical professional can provide insight on the optimal weight gain or recommended weight gain for your specific case.

Overweight pregnant woman

As a general practice, it is believed that no woman should worry about their weight during pregnancy, and women thinking about how to lose weight while pregnant should consult their doctor. This post is not intended to diagnose, treat, or provide medical advice.

The whole concept of not losing weight during pregnancy is getting debunked and research shows that some women need to lose weight while pregnant, especially those with a BMI value of more than 30.

Body Mass Index – Lose weight during pregnancy

The body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both men and women.

BMI is used to indicate if you are overweight, underweight, or normal weight for your height. You can use the BMI calculator on the CDC website to calculate your BMI.

Before we continue, we must point out that if you are a healthy woman, you should stay away from any weight loss tips as it can have a bad impact on the growth of your baby. Your focus should be on maintaining optimal weight gain while pregnant.

Pre pregnancy maternal BMI

Pre-pregnancy maternal BMI is a predictor of post-pregnancy weight retention. For every 5-unit increase in pre-pregnancy BMI, there was a 59% increased odds of post-pregnancy weight retention (≥2 kg).

This study also showed that pre-pregnancy BMI was a stronger predictor of weight retention than gestational weight gain.

Calculating Required Weight Gain

Depending on your weight, general guidelines on how much weight you should gain have been provided by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The guide provides the following values for weight according to the BMI level of each woman:

  • If BMI is below 18.5, the required weight gain would be 28-40 lbs.
  • If BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, the required weight gain would be 25-35 lbs.
  • If BMI is between 25 and 29.9, the required weight gain would be 15-20 lbs.
  • If the BMI is 30 or above, the required weight gain would be 11-20 lbs.

Gaining weight should also be gradual and through healthy means under the supervision of your healthcare provider. During early pregnancy some guidelines indicate that you should gain a maximum of 4 pounds during the first trimester of pregnancy.

After that, you should gain 2-4 pounds every month untill delivery. Make sure you also consult with your doctor to determine the exact amount of weight you should be gaining.

Before and during pregnancy

This means that overweight women or obese women, prior to getting pregnant, are more likely to retain the weight after pregnancy.

So, ideally, if you know that you are carrying too much weight it may be beneficial to discuss the excess weight gain with your healthcare provider.

The best way to lose excess weight while pregnant is to follow only professional medical advice.

Take Things Slow

So, you’ve been asking, how do I lose weight while pregnant or trying to figure out can you lose weight while pregnant. The very first thing you need to do is make a proper plan about what you will do.

A lot of women might be asking how to lose weight while pregnant fast but that is simply not the right approach.

You have to be very cautious about your condition and therefore the correct question to ask is how to lose weight while pregnant without harming the baby. Once you realize the importance of that you can start the first step which is making a plan.

There are a lot of problems that can occur if you get pregnant while already being obese.

Problems that you could possibly face range from premature birth, cesarean procedure, sleep apnea, high blood pressure for the mother, defects in the baby’s heart, infections, and more.

Considering the downside, it can easily be understood why losing weight during pregnancy can be a good thing for some people.

To make sure you reach your goal and help you try to avoid any of those problems, make a pregnant weight loss plan that is gradual and includes healthy lifestyle choices.

Pushing yourself too hard with strenuous exercise or aggressively eliminating calories, even for a short time period, can be harmful. You should pace yourself and maintain a naturally slow and steady healthy lifestyle.

Reduce Your Calorie Intake

When it comes to losing weight, the basic formula remains the same. Whether you are wondering how to safely lose weight while pregnant, or you want to do it just to reduce your weight, it’s all about how many calories you consume and your physical activity to burn calories.

Typically, for the body to reduce its weight by 1lb, you need to burn 3500 calories. Of course, that does not mean you have to do it all in one day. You should burn calories by slowly reducing your calorie intake.

Here are some tips:

  • Automate your meal plan to eat healthy foods
  • Create a plan for a balanced diet
  • Use a meal prep app with nutrient dense foods
  • Moderate junk food intake
  • Increase physical activity and safely exercise

The minimum amount of calories that a pregnant woman needs to ensure the healthy growth of her baby is 1700 calories. Maintaining this requirement while also losing weight can be quite tricky.

To help yourself in figuring out if it is easy to lose weight while pregnant, you can create a suitable food plan for yourself. You can do this by discussing your situation with a dietician who is aware of the dietary requirements of pregnant women.

Consume Healthy Calories

Your baby’s health with an eye on positive weight management are one of the most important considerations. Monitoring what goes in your body and your overall caloric intake is a more positive approach than focusing on a weight loss diet during pregnancy.

While you could get calories from any possible source, eating something healthy should be your top priority. Using a healthy meal planner or meal plan generator like Nutiro may be a useful way to take the guesswork out of the right foods for you.

As noted, you should discuss with your doctor if any modifications to the calories you need to consume should be adjusted for your specific needs.

losing weight while pregnant

There are many steps and healthy ways to lose weight while pregnant by slowly decreasing the number of calories you are consuming. Some of the things that could help at that time include:

  • decreasing portion sizes
  • removing unhealthy fats from your diet
  • filling foods with natural sugars like fruit instead of cakes
  • drinking only water instead of sugary drinks
  • using a random food generator to help you add variety to your meals

It is also important to keep track of the overall amount of nutritional intake that your body requires. Also, take your prenatal vitamins regularly as they provide essential nutrients for your baby’s growth.

Eat Frequently not Heavily

One thing that you must keep in mind when going on a pregnancy diet is that you eat fewer calories in one sitting instead of loading on it all at once. This practice is opted for by dietary experts to help a person learn portion control. However, pregnant women asking how to lose weight while pregnant can greatly benefit from this technique.

Pregnant women may experience morning sickness and some may be prone to nausea, growing aversion to certain foods, digestive issues like indigestion, vomiting, and heartburn.

A way to potentially avoid some digestion issues is to go for smaller meals that get eaten at more frequent intervals. This can have several benefits for the mother as well.

An increase in metabolism from increased activity would have a positive impact on the body’s fat-burning as well. If you’re using a meal planning app that has breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options, you may find it helpful to have the frequent meals that are planned on a schedule for you.

Exercise regularly

There can be a lot of fear in women when it comes to exercising during pregnancy for weight loss. However, the focus on how to safely lose weight during pregnancy should not focus on whether or not to exercise.

It should in fact focus on making sure that the exercises you do are the right ones and they are done the right way. This is another area where your healthcare provider can provide insight on the right exercises for you.

Some exercises pregnant women add to their routines include swimming, walking, jogging, and yoga for pregnant women. The duration of each activity will vary depending on your circumstances. Some find that exercising for no more than 30 minutes each day is needed.

Keep yourself happy

One of the biggest factors that can impact the growth of your baby and even cause you to gain weight during pregnancy is stress. Worrying about anything at all can lead to stress and that can have a negative impact on the baby’s growth.

In addition, added-stress can lead to “stress eating”, where a person consumes food not because they are hungry but as a coping mechanism. Falling into this trap of mindless eating can happen quite easily if you don’t manage stress. It can also happen when you don’t have meals that are pre-planned and easily accessible.

There are a lot of things you can do to avoid mindless eating.

  • plan weekly meals
  • cook
  • meditation and yoga
  • walk or hike
  • read

Maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight is important for both the mother and baby. It is not ideal to focus on intentional weight loss during pregnancy unless recommended by a health care provider.

It can be difficult to meal plan to lose weight while pregnant while you have a growing baby. However, meal prep and planning that includes nutrient dense, healthy foods that can be consumed throughout the day is helpful.

We provided tips on how to lose weight safely during pregnancy. These tips include eating healthy foods, staying active, and avoiding processed foods. We also recommend that mothers consult with their doctor before starting any weight loss program.

Keep Your Doctor Updated

You may very well benefit from asking your doctor how to lose weight while pregnant and taking steps to achieve that goal. However, you should make sure that whatever directions your doctor provides, you follow them religiously and do not make changes on your own.

In addition to that, giving your doctor regular updates is also important when it comes to how to lose weight while pregnant without harming the baby.

There are often telltale signs when something is wrong with your diet during pregnancy. Keep an eye out for such signs and if you see something out of the ordinary, immediately report it to your doctor. Taking on a diet plan during pregnancy is not a joke and any wrong step could harm you or your baby.

The steps shared here are both safe and proven to be effective in reducing your weight during pregnancy. If you see anyone ask you how to lose weight while pregnant, you know exactly where you should point them to. We wish you the best of luck and a healthy pregnancy!