Can You Lose Weight While Pregnant

Effects Of Weight Loss On The Mother

Weight loss during pregnancy- why I lost 26 pounds

Losing too much weight can prove counter-effective and can have a negative impact on the well-being of you and your child. Unhealthy weight loss, which mainly occurs due to morning sickness or loss of appetite can start in the first trimester of pregnancy and may last up until the end of the first trimester. Weight loss during pregnancy is not always healthy as it might affect the health of the pregnant woman and her baby. Mentioned below are some complications of weight loss during pregnancy:

  • The baby may be born underweight because of lack of nutrition.
  • There is an increased chance of a miscarriage in the first trimester due to anorexia.
  • Lower levels of amniotic fluid.
  • The baby will have a poor cognitive function.
  • You might feel tired all the time and will be prone to infections.

Dont Forget Your Kegels

Youve probably heard that Kegels are a great exercise for moms-to-be, but theyre also very important after birth. Some new moms might experience pelvic floor weakness, and Kegels are the easiest ways to relieve this issue. You can start doing your Kegels immediately after birth, even if at first you might not feel yourself doing them.

Losing Weight In Your First Trimester Here’s Why

Short on time? Then the key things to know are:

  • It’s common for some women to lose weight during the first trimester due to morning sickness, nausea or through adopting a healthier lifestyle
  • Small unintentional weight loss in early pregnancy will not cause any harm to your baby
  • Significant weight loss after the first trimester needs to be assessed by your midwife or GP
  • Maintaining a sensible, balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and keeping active during pregnancy is the best way to stay healthy during this time of significant physical and psychological changes to your body

The first trimester of pregnancy can be both incredibly exciting and overwhelming, so when something unexpected occurs it can cause a lot of anxiety, especially when combined with first-trimester exhaustion!

It is common to think that once you are pregnant you will immediately start blossoming on your journey towards your final pregnant shape and bump. So, it seems reasonable to expect to see some weight gain from the beginning of your pregnancy journey, but how much weight gain in the first trimester is ânormalâ?

Well, by the end of the first trimester, most women will notice about 0.5 – 2kg weight gain. However, each pregnancy is a unique journey, and it can be normal for some women to actually lose weight during the first trimester of pregnancy and this is not necessarily a cause for alarm.

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Is It Safe For Baby

The main reason weight loss during pregnancy is usually discouraged is because of the ways it can potentially endanger the baby. This is why major health organizations like ACOG discourage maternal weight loss during pregnancy.

As ACOG explains, losing too much weight could restrict baby’s growth. It may also predispose a person to a pre-term delivery, which can also be hazardous to the babys health. Tragically, in some cases, not gaining enough weight during pregnancy may increase a baby’s risk of death.

Weight Loss In The First Trimester

Can you lose weight while pregnant

Most women gain only between 1 and 5 pounds in the first three months of pregnancy, so if youre experiencing weight loss in your first trimester, chances are, its nothing to worry about. Its not uncommon for women in their first trimester to lose a little bit of weight due to bad nausea and vomiting that precludes them from eating in a normal way, says Henderson. A loss of appetite because of the morning sickness is a common cause of pregnancy weight loss too. According to Henderson, its only a cause for concern if pregnancy weight loss hits 5 and 10 percent of a womans total body weight.

Weight loss during pregnancy could also happen if youve begun exercising daily and making a point of eating healthier foods for you and baby. If thats the case you might need a few extra calories throughout the day to support your quickly-growing baby.

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Tips On How To Not Gain Excessive Weight During Pregnancy

Your healthcare provider will refer you to a nutritionist who will give you personalized information based on your individual needs.

But for the most part, this advice will be applicable to most expecting mothers.


The number one thing you always have control over is your diet.

In order to not gain excessive weight you must monitor your caloric intake. You could even use a food diary if youd like.

And let me tell you, calories can add up fast, especially in the form of liquids.

Unfortunately, being pregnant does not mean that you need to eat for two people! Most women will only require about 300-500 extra calories in the second and third trimester.

300-500 calories is a small snack.

If you are interested in learning more about how to control your caloric intake during pregnancy and maintain a healthy diet, check out my Pregnancy Fit Diet.


The next important topic we must discuss is protein

Lean protein during pregnancy is important for the maintenance of muscle tissue, enzyme production, and other bodily functions to occur.

During pregnancy you should aim to consume 0.5-0.7g of protein per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 160lbs, you should try to consume 80-112g of protein per day.

Plus, protein is the most satiating nutrient .


Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to not gain excessive weight during pregnancy.

And I do not mean drinking sugar filled beverages from Starbucks, as these are full of calories!

Resistance Exercise

How Hard Should I Be Working Out

Dont try and work on getting your heart rate up as you probably would have prior to being pregnant this should not be your main concern. As Fletcher says, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines advise you should be able to hold a conversation during any form of pregnancy exercise.

But, if you are feeling out of breath faster than usual, dont worry this is completely normal! During pregnancy, your blood volume increases, so your heart has to work a bit harder to distribute oxygen to you and your baby, she explains. increases breathlessness.

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Why Should You Lose Weight During Pregnancy

Having excess weight during pregnancy can lead to health problems and complications which will affect both you and your baby. These include:

  • Blood clots, particularly in your legs
  • Sleep apnea
  • Premature birth
  • Stillbirth

With increased risks for certain complications and conditions already present, losing weight, while beneficial and necessary, also carries its own risks. Fortunately, there are safe ways for you to do it if your doctor recommends that you need to lose weight.

Can I Lose Weight While Pregnant

Weight Loss While Pregnant

The answer to this common question depends on your weight prior to your pregnancy. Aaptiv trainer Candice Cunningham, ACE CPT, and pre- and postnatal specialist says, If you are at a healthy weight prior to pregnancy then you shouldnt try to lose once pregnant. Your body needs some extra support, so to speak, as the baby grows, so typical weight gain is normal. Dahlas Fletcher, pre- and postnatal exercise specialist at Bodyfabulous Fitness agrees. She explains, Weight loss during pregnancy would only be beneficial for women who are extremely overweight or obese.

However, you need to consult your doctor first before making any decisions. If your doctor does deem it safe for you to lose weight while pregnant, then he or she can determine how much is appropriate. Usually, this will be based on your Body Mass Index . Your doctor will also keep you under strict supervision to monitor both your process and babys growth.

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Do You Burn More Calories When Pregnant

Yes, you burn more calories when you are pregnant because of the increase in weight and body surface area.

At baseline, your body has to burn calories just to keep your heart pumping, brain functioning, blood flowing, and muscles working. With an increase in body surface area, your body has to work harder to do these bodily functions. Therefore, you burn more calories.

Why Did I Get Skinny While Pregnant

Weight gain is a part of pregnancy, so while some weight loss may be normal and no cause for concern, it shouldnt be the goal either. That being said, some women do find a renewed commitment to their health once they find out they are pregnant and this healthier lifestyle can definitely lead to some initial weight loss. Women who are heavier before getting pregnant or have a BMI over 30 may also tend to lose a bit of weight at the beginning of their pregnancy, which may even be beneficial.

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Do Light Exercise In Pregnancy:

Exercise not only reduces weight, but exercise done during pregnancy is essential for healthy weight gain. Pregnant women should do a total of two and a half hours of aerobic activity a week.

Exercise provides relief from pain in pregnancy, and it leads to good sleep and mental health. Regular exercise should be done to reduce the complex problems of pregnancy. This helps in weight loss after pregnancy.

Talk to your doctor and consult before starting any exercise. If you have bleeding or any other problems during the exercise, stop it and contact your doctor immediately.

Walking, swimming, dancing, cycling, etc. are some excellent types of exercise that you can choose from:

Activities such as kick-boxing, basketball, which are prone to stomach injuries, and horse riding, which are likely to fall, be abandoned entirely in pregnancy.

Also, avoid scuba-diving as there is a possibility of gas bubbles forming in your childs blood.

Can You Lose Weight While Pregnant

Dr Oen Blog: Can You Lose Weight While Pregnant

Generally speaking, no mom-to-be should intentionally try to lose weight once she knows shes pregnant, even if shes overweight. Research shows that losing weight on purpose can increase the risk of complications for baby, and restricting calories and nutrients can be harmful to you and your developing child, says Pooja Shah, MD, an ob-gyn and regional medical director for Banner Medical Group AZ East.

If you are obese, your doctor will offer you advice on how to avoid possible complications. For weight gain during pregnancy, we base our recommendations on what moms pre-pregnancy BMI is, Kimberly Henderson, DO, an ob-gyn at Health Quest Medical Practice, with offices in Rhinebeck and Kingston, New York. Women who are very obesea BMI of over 40may not gain any weight in their pregnancy.

Still, its possible for you to find yourself losing weight while pregnant, even if its not intentional. Read on to learn what might be causing you to drop those pounds and what you should do about it.

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Is Losing Weight While Pregnant Safe

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourages women to reach a healthy weight before getting pregnant. According to the organization, even a small amount of weight loss can make a difference.

Losing weight before you become pregnant is the best way to decrease the risk of problems caused by obesity. Losing even a small amount of weight can improve your overall health and pave the way for a healthier pregnancy.

But what if you get pregnant unexpectedly and your body mass index falls into the overweight or obese categories? Or what if you are following a healthy diet and exercise program for weight loss and you get pregnant before you reach your goal?

Dr. Dr. Julie Rhee is a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist and Director of the Preimplantation Genetic Screening Program at Vios Fertility Institute in St. Louis. She is double board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as reproductive endocrinology and infertility .

According to Dr. Rhee, if you are overweight or obese, there is no need to discontinue a healthy diet and exercise program once you get pregnant. She adds a few cautions, however, for weight loss during pregnancy.

“Drastic weight loss would be discouraged in pregnancy, but a healthy diet consisting of exercise and portion control with well-balanced meals can be started during pregnancy.”

Julie Rhee, M.D.

Know Your Weight Needs

The amount of weight that you should gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy BMI . Before you decide to lose weight during pregnancy, it is good to know your threshold for pregnancy weight gain. The below chart helps you know how much weight you can gain :

Pregnancy weight category

: Institute of Medicine/ ACOG

According to ACOG, women who are overweight or obese can gain lesser weight than that recommended as long as the baby is growing fine.

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Can You Lose Weight While Pregnant: Conclusion

Can you lose weight while pregnant? Whilst there are healthy ways and also reasonable indications to lose weight during pregnancy, it is never advised to do it on your own. Always talk to your doctor and stay away from self-experiments, diet plans, diet supplements or weight loss pills before you haven´t talked with your doctor.

If you aren´t dangerously obese or overweight you might want to wait with your weight loss efforts after giving birth, as it widens your opportunities to lose weight safely Check out our article on How to lose weight after pregnacy.

I hope you found a good answer to Can you lose weight while pregnant in our article. Let us know in the comments below what you think of this topic.

Possible Problems For Your Baby If You’re Overweight In Pregnancy

How to Lose Weight While Pregnant.

Problems for your baby can include being born early , and an increased chance of stillbirth.

There is also a higher chance of your baby having a health condition, such as a neural tube defect like spina bifida.

Although the chances of these problems increase if you are obese, most pregnancies will result in a healthy baby.

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Keep A Healthy And Well

Contrary to popular belief, the best way to lose weight isnt to go on a crash diet. People who do this end up tired and gain back the weight at some point. Getting enough calories through healthy foods is a better option for anyone, but specially for new moms who need extra energy!

Your postnatal nutrition plan should include 3 to 5 meals during the day. Many new moms find it difficult to sit down for full meals, so having smaller meals that are interspersed with healthy snacks can help.

Dont skip meals, since this can cause more cravings later on. Breakfast is especially important, since it will help keep you satiated and energized.

If Youve Got Weight Concerns Youll Be Advised To Try To Do The Following:

Talk to a nutritionist

A nutritionist may be a wonderful source of data on diet and weight during pregnancy. After scheduling a meeting , youll discuss short, manageable lifestyle changes that wont hurt you or your baby. This is done by evaluating where youre vs. where youll get within an inexpensive amount of your time. Nutritionists and dietitians also are a superb resource for developing eating plans.

Your nutritionist will inform you of changes to form like reducing calories. Youll reduce your daily calorie intake significantly by eating smaller portions more frequently and in avoiding bad fats.

Eat healthy

During pregnancy, its important that you simply have a good sort of nutrient-filled foods. Increasing the amounts of fruits and vegetables whole grains vitamin D and protein that you simply have from day today is a crucial a part of establishing a diet during pregnancy.

Limiting salts solid fats and sugar sweetened foods and drinks will increase the quantity of nutrients youre getting while decreasing the quantity of fat filled calories youre getting from day to day.

Incorporating reasonable levels of activity and exercise

Adding half-hour of physical activity every day can make a big difference in weight related issues. Exercise during pregnancy doesnt need to be Hardcore gym workouts. Light walks swimming and yard work are all samples of acceptable sorts of physical activity.

Ignore Myths

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Will My Baby Be Affected If I Lose Weight During Pregnancy

Fortunately, no. In the first trimester, your baby is too tiny to draw out a large amount of nutrients. Your fat reserves are enough for her/him to grow. “The body’s first priority is to nourish the baby and thus it uses maternal reserves,” adds Dr Mukherjee. However, if you are unable to keep any food down due to severe nausea and morning sickness, consult a doctor.

Understand Your Calorie Requirements

Dr Oen Blog: Can You Lose Weight While Pregnant

Next, understand your calorie intake requirements during pregnancy.

The average number of calories an expecting mom needs during pregnancy is at least 1700.

However, this number will vary from person to person based on age, activity level, weight and genetics.

Most women do not need any extra calories during pregnancy until the second and third trimester.

If you are overweight or obese and not gaining weight but your baby shows adequate weight gain, then you probably dont need to consume extra calories because the baby is getting what they need.

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How To Lose Weight Safely During Pregnancy

Being obese during pregnancy can lead to many health issues and can also cause complications duringlabourand delivery. But losing too much weight too fast while pregnant can prove dangerous for your health as well as your babys health. This is why you should know how you can lose weight without harming the baby. Heres what you can do.

Pregnancy Weight Gain Chart

The recommended weight gain during the different stages of pregnancy varies depending on the individual. During the first trimester, you will not gain much weight as the baby is still tiny. On the other hand, morning sickness and loss of appetite in the first trimester can make you shed a few pounds. Your weight gain will really pick up in the second trimester as this is the time when your baby will start growing in size. By the third trimester, your baby will continue to grow but your weight gain should stabilise since your abdomen can get quite cramped and eating food can become difficult.

Take a look at the chart below to understand how much weight you need to gain throughout the nine months of your pregnancy:

PrePregnancy BMI


5-9 kgs

If yours is a case of multiple pregnancies , then the ideal weight gain should be somewhere between 16.5 kg and 24.5 kg.

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