8/07/2016

HOW NOT TO GET OVERWEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY

Weight gain is inevitable for most women during pregnancy. You find many women gaining 10kg-20kg and over during this period. This aspect of pregnancy is probably the part that most women do not appreciate. Sadly, a lot of women find themselves not being able to shed off the weight gained post pregnancy. Aware of this fact, that weight gain is inevitable, I decided I was going to control my weight gain. My start weight pre-pregnancy was 60kg, by 39 weeks I was 79.4kg that’s just a little under 20kg gained during the period. After delivery, I weighed 75.4kg, and six weeks post-pregnancy, I weigh 71.2kg. This means I am left with 11.2kg to lose, which in my opinion is not bad. So far, I have lost 8.2kg with no exercise as I was awaiting my 6 weeks post-delivery doctor’s appointment before I resume. I have also eating very well as I am breastfeeding and must nourish myself, to the benefit of my baby.


Many women think it is impossible to control your weight gain during pregnancy, but it is very possible and I would tell you how. 

Firstly, you would want to find out what the ideal weight gain should be for your body type. I did mine and was advised that a 10kg-15kg weight gain was reasonable. This was the range I worked with. So, yes I was 4kg over my maximum weight gain range, but being aware of the number kept me in check. I could have gained a lot more if I was not disciplined. 

Secondly, I tracked my weight gain (see chart). Mathematics isn’t one of my strong points, but from my chart you would see that in my first and second trimester, my weight gain was very controlled and gradual. Mind you, I was not on a diet, I ate normally, gave in to a few cravings and was very satisfied. However, I was still very physically active at these stages. I instructed my dance classes, and continued my exercises. In my third trimester, however, as a result of a pre term labor scare in my 31st week, I was advised to stop exercising until my 35th week. Even then, I was advised to limit my workouts to short walks only.

Thirdly, as indicated above, try to stay active, unless you have a medical reason not to. Walking and swimming are some recommended exercises for pregnant women. I was used to Zumba fitness and ballet and continued with these formats during pregnancy, modifying the movements to suit my pregnant state. 

Finally, avoid overeating. It is very common for many women to overeat during pregnancy. “I’m eating for two” is every woman’s excuse for gluttony during pregnancy. Research shows that you barely need additional calories during your first trimester, 250-350 additional calories per day in your second trimester and about 500 additional calories in your third trimester. Eating for two does not mean doubling your usual portions. “How about my cravings?” you ask. You would cause no harm to yourself or your baby if you do not give in to cravings. I did have cravings for foods high in artificial sugar and fats, but I had to discipline myself and resist. The few times I gave in, it was planned. I would do an extensive post on how to manage cravings during pregnancy.

I must mention that intentionally restricting your food intake as a means of weight control is not acceptable. Now is not the time to try out a weight loss diet. Nourish your body with the right foods and you would be happy you did.

These are the few tips that worked for me. How did you or are you controlling your weight? Please share and help others. If you need help controlling your weight, contact me and I would be happy to guide you.

Stay blessed!
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