Let’s face it. Not everyone is in tip-top shape.
The list of reasons is endless, but pregnancy often inspires women to take better care of themselves. If you find yourself overweight and pregnant or just want to lose a few pounds to make bouncing back post-baby easier, you can safely start working towards your weight loss goals and lose weight during pregnancy.
The key here is “working towards”.
Women want to know how to lose weight during pregnancy, but weight loss during pregnancy is not good and is definitely not the time to start following a weight loss program. It just isn’t safe for the baby.
Although true, you can follow a mommy-to-be fitness plan to manage your weight and increase your fitness level. With this approach, you can get more toned and become more physically fit.
Maintaining weight during pregnancy is tough, but the following mommy fitness tips will help you to lose weight during pregnancy easily.
How to safely lose weight during your pregnancy?
1. Get active
Rather than doing endless internet searches for queries like, “how to lose weight during pregnancy fast?” “is it safe to lose weight while pregnant?” and “pregnancy weight loss”, focus on getting in shape while pregnant and making fitness a part of your life.
The sooner you start, the better.
- Low impact cardio is highly recommended,
- Commit to taking a walk every morning.
This can be outside or on a treadmill. Continually progress until you reach a mile, 2 miles and maybe move on to 3. As endurance levels increase, try jogging, but with caution.
For those who did not run/jog on a regular basis before pregnancy, keep your jogs light and listen to your body. If it says stop, stop. You also want to try swimming.
Swimming is very relaxing, is really effective cardio and activates almost every muscle in the body. This is how you can lose weight during pregnancy without causing too much damage to your unborn child.
In addition to cardiovascular exercise, regular strength training is recommended due to the fact that it increases stability and strength. This means fewer aches and pains, a healthier baby and according to research, an easier delivery.
A strong body is a stable body that is more capable.
Strength training also better prepares your arms for carrying that heavy car seat and stroller, strengthens your core to make getting your waistline back less of a task and works the glutes and legs for a more fit post-baby body.
Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is the best way to lose weight while pregnant.
2. Feed your body well
Nutrition is everything during pregnancy and is even more important for those that really want to manage their health and lose weight while pregnant. To ensure that you are feeding your body and baby well, eat as clean as possible.
Clean eating means you only consume fresh, whole foods and avoid processed ones to easily meet your nutritional needs.
This means a diet consisting of lean meats like chicken, turkey and fish, beans and legumes for vegetable sources of protein, tons of fruits and vegetables for fiber and essential nutrients, and whole grains with complex carbohydrates that keep energy levels up.
Also, do not forget the dairy. Low-fat milk, cheeses, and Greek yogurt are excellent. Just enjoy in moderation. In addition to eating clean, you have to eat often. Proper weight management requires small, frequent meals.
This approach manages portion size, keeps you feeling full, and helps you to lose weight during pregnancy.
3. Exercise suggestions
At this point, you probably want a few exercise suggestions and answers to a couple of questions such as, ‘is it healthy to lose weight while pregnant?’ ‘is it possible to lose weight while pregnant?’ or, ‘how to lose weight while pregnant fast?’
Also, there are a lot of questions surrounding exercise during pregnancy. Women want to know exactly what they can do. Let’s go over a few suggestions aside from cardio that you can do throughout your pregnancy. You will find those below –
- The Plank – To perform the plank, lower yourself on all fours. Align your wrists under your shoulders using your forearms to stabilize and straighten out your legs with knees off the ground. Once you create a straight line with your body, hold this position as long as you can. This will strengthen your core and abdominal muscles safely and keep that dreaded back pain away.
- Bicep curls – Choose a set of dumbbells that you feel comfortable with and start lifting (after stretching and warming up those muscles). Whether you are sitting or standing, keep your back straight, keep elbows and shoulders stable, keep elbows pinned at your sides and maintain neutral wrists. Do not rush as you perform the lifts. Taking the concentric and eccentric phase of the lift slowly really activates your muscles.
- Squats – Squats will keep your lower body strong. They target the entire lower body including the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves. Do not allow your knees to pass your toes.
- Chest Presses – Chest presses work the pecs which will help keep things perky despite the changes in cup size. These are done at the gym with a chest press machine. Start light on the resistance and move your way up. Machines are great because they control the range of motion and encourage proper form.
4. Exercises to avoid
Now that you know what you can do, let’s go over the types of exercises to avoid.
Pregnant women should steer clear of any exercises involving overhead lifts.
The motion involved can increase the curve of the lower back. In addition to that, avoid any exercises that involve lying on your back after the first trimester and do not use any exercise machines at the gym that press against your belly. Both cause unnecessary pressure that can restrict circulation to both yourself and the baby.
Any jarring or leaping exercises are also a no. The sudden movements involved increasing the risk of an abdominal injury. You can perfect your jump squat a month or so after baby.
Lastly, avoid any exercises with an increased risk of falling. Stay away from skating and cycling in addition to sports like skiing (obviously).
When it comes to pregnancy weight loss, focus more on staying fit and eating right rather than losing weight. Gaining weight while pregnant it is inevitable, but you can control how much you gain. Your doctor will provide you with a healthy range.
From there, make sure to monitor your weight, adjust your diet, and exercise plan accordingly to lose weight during pregnancy.
Stay fit ladies!