How to lose weight during pregnancy: You may have determined it’s time to lose those extra pounds once and for all. Use the food plan in Healthy pregnancy diet plan to help you begin. Then move on to use the weight-loss strategies here.Working one-on-one with an expert means you will get an eating plan that is customized to your schedule and food preferences.Regular follow-up visits allow you to monitor your progress, adjust your plan as needed and discuss ways to overcome challenges and potential obstacles to success. Many women practice with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who successfully lose weight.
How to lose weight during pregnancy: Here are some strategies that will help you get started losing weight.
- Set a realistic goal. Take a look at what your weight has been for the past 10 to 15 years. If you want to weigh 130 pounds, but you haven’t been there since you were 20, keep in mind this might be more difficult to achieve; depending on your current lifestyle, it may be unrealistic. And don’t think you have to rely on the scale to set a goal. I have many clients who choose a size of clothing as their target. If you do decide on a number on the scale, make sure you choose a 5- pound weight range that you plan to stay within. It’s not realistic to remain a constant weight. You need a little room for holidays, entertaining and vacations!
- Go in with the right mind-set. Think about making a long-term lifestyle change rather than a short-term quick fix. People who approach losing weight with a long-term attitude are far more successful. The right mind-set also means being comfortable with slow and steady weight loss. A safe weight-loss plan shouldn’t cause you to lose more than 1 to 3 pounds a week.When you lose weight at a faster rate, there’s a good chance you’re losing muscle and water. And the more muscle you lose, the slower the rate at which your body burns calories.
- Get social support. If you need help from a spouse, family member, co-worker or friend, ask for it. It often helps to have a workout partner, especially when you’re beginning an exercise program. If your roommate pulls out a bag of potato chips every night after dinner, ask him or her to be mindful of your attempt to change your eating habits. If you want positive reinforcement from someone, let that person know.
- Start an exercise program. This is an important step if you’re not already active. Exercise burns calories while you do it and, by building up muscle, it helps your body burn more calories at rest.To help lose body fat, aim to get four cardiovascular workouts each week (brisk walking, jogging, stair climbing, swimming, cross-country skiing or aerobics classes). Gradually build up to a minimum of 30 minutes each session.When you’re ready, add weight training two or three times a week. Studies have found that adding a weight workout to a weight-loss program speeds up weight loss.
- Eat at regular intervals throughout the day. Eating a meal or snack every four to five hours will help to boost your metabolism, improve your energy level and maintain a consistent blood sugar level. Eating regularly prevents hunger and helps to eliminate mindless snacking and overeating at the next meal.
- Don’t eat dinner late. Ideally, sit down to dinner before eight o’clock (the earlier the better). As the evening approaches, your body’s metabolism naturally slows down. At the dinner hour, your body actually needs the smallest meal (but of course this is when most of us consume the majority of our daily calories). If you get home late, tell yourself that you’ve missed dinner. Just because you walk in the door doesn’t mean you have to eat a large dinner. Have a light snack instead—yogurt, a piece of fruit or a bowl of soup.
- If your meals are more than five hours apart, plan to have a snack. Between-meal snacks are important to help keep your energy levels up and prevent snacking on unhealthy foods like sweets. Depending on the meal, your blood sugar will drop three to four hours later. Since your blood sugar is the only source of fuel for your brain, a post-meal dip can make you feel sluggish and tired, and often this is when people go in search of a pick-me-up. So plan this energy boost. But here’s my rule—no snacking on refined starchy foods like bagels, pretzels, low-fat cookies, low-fat crackers or fat-free muffins. Because these foods are quickly converted to blood glucose, they’re more likely to lead to further hunger and cravings for sweets. Better snacks include yogurt, milk, homemade smoothies and whole fruit. Choosing these snacks will also help get more fiber and calcium into your diet.
- Be sure to get at least six servings of protein-rich foods each day. Not only will this help you meet your protein needs, but protein will also help to maintain your blood-sugar levels longer.
- Reduce your portions of carbohydrate-containing foods. Eating smaller portions of carbohydrates not only reduces your calorie intake, it also helps reduce high levels of blood insulin. That’s because, once digested into glucose units, carbohydrate foods trigger the release of insulin in the bloodstream. But following a low carbohydrate diet does not mean giving up all carbohydrate-containing foods. Simply reducing your portion size of carbohydrate foods will help you lose weight. Even though bread on its own is low in fat, it still has calories and they add up. For example, one large bagel is equivalent to five slices of bread!
- Get rid of excess sugar—natural and refined. I certainly don’t mind a little jam on your toast or a teaspoon of sugar in your coffee. But drinks like regular soda, fruit drinks and fruit juice only add extra calories to your day, not to mention elevating your blood sugar. You quench your thirst with water and get your fruit servings as whole fruit. You’ll save calories and boost your fiber intake.
- Treat yourself to a serving of sweets, dessert or candy once a week. Enjoy a “real” serving of whatever you really want once a week. If sweets aren’t your thing, make it french fries or chicken wings. Make this weekly treat part of your plan and don’t feel guilty about eating it. Remember that any changes you make to lose weight have to be sustainable. Can you really see yourself giving up chocolate for good?
- Don’t eliminate fat from your diet. Keep your intake of added fats and oils to a moderate level. Aim to get three to four servings of fat each day.