Trying to get pregnant and lose weight?
(Image is just an illustration, Pauline is not trying to get pregnant) *editors note
10 things you should know!
1. Being overweight increases your risk for hypothalamic amenorrhea. It means you will not ovulate on your own. The reason this happens is not completely understood.
2. Insulin resistance in overweight women can affect your baby too. What you eat during pregnancy definitely impacts the fetus just like smoking has detrimental effects for a growing baby.
3. For hard training athletes, the intense training regimen can cause hypothalamic amenorrhea as well. Women's bodies don't like to be stressed and since elite level training is a stressor, it can change your menstrual cycle a lot.
4. Underweight women are usually in an energy deficit, self-induced or unintentional, a woman who has no fuel to support a growing fetus will not ovulate.
5. "Eat for two" is a bad suggestion for pregnant women. It takes no more than 200-500 calories extra per day to support pregnancy. Note that this is in addition to the calorie intake you need to maintain your weight and body composition, taking into account you can lower your calorie need by under eating chronically, which means your requirement might be a lot higher.
6. Ever notice how Hollywood starts get pregnant while they're skin and bones? It's a typical sign of having had fertility treatment. Using ovulation inducing drugs like clomiphene, used off label by men who want to increase their testosterone by increasing the LH pulses from the pituitary to the testes, and female hormones, can override the natural system, allowing these women to carry a child. The risk is big for negative consequences when you do....
7. Know your priorities: if you're overweight you should first focus on achieving a healthy weight, then focus on conceiving. Why? Losing weight requires a calorie deficit, which is anything but helpful for a pregnancy. Your body can use up fat stored from your fat cells, but that is part of being in a deficit, which means, your body will not prioritize supporting a growing fetus.
8. Training addicts, be prepared to slow down and cut down on your workouts. Over time of a pregnancy, your joint and ligaments loosen up, which can increase the risk of injury. Know your limits and train appropriately.
9. Some supplements can support your pregnancy, but do you really need a 'pre-natal multi'? No. The key micronutrient in it is folic acid, so just be sure your vitamins include that. Another important one is vitamin D. Get a blood test done to make sure you're in optimal range.
10. Work on improving your diet during pregnancy. You don't need to balloon up 100 lbs. That does not come from the increase of female hormones and not from not working out like a maniac. If you eat healthy and avoid calorie dense trigger foods, your weight gain will not end up staying there for life!