Maintaining a Healthy Weight
It's no secret that the United States is facing an obesity crisis. There are many physicians that refuse to discuss a patient's weight with her, but this is a great disservice to the patient. If your physician mentions that weight loss should be a priority for you, she is not being mean. Being overweight makes pregnancy, labor, and delivery significantly more difficult. Additionally, carrying extra weight increases you and your baby's risk for complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Determining Your Healthy Weight
Essentially, you want your weight to be within the normal body mass index (BMI) range. BMI compares your height and weight to analyze the amount of body fat you have. It's easy to calculate using tools that you can find online. Check out
A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. A BMI below 18.4 is considered underweight, a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 is considered overweight, and someone with one above 30 is considered to be obese. Try to not get caught up in the numbers though. If your BMI is 25.1 and you exercise regularly and eat a fairly healthy diet, perhaps try to eliminate some of the extra sugar and fat in your diet and incorporate a little extra exercise. This slightly higher number does not mean that you should not try to get pregnant until your BMI is below 24.9.
However, if you find that your BMI is in the high overweight to obese range, you might want to consider holding off on pregnancy until you can get your weight down into a healthier range.
Weight Loss During or Before Infertility Treatment
Let's face it. There are an abundance of weight loss plans and strategies out there. Look around on the Internet or even on the shelves at your local book store, and chances are you'll find at least a dozen books and plans promising to deliver easy weight loss. Do yourself a favor and ignore them all. Weight loss is hard work and takes effort, and it is best achieved through lasting lifestyle changes. Most of the diets promising “quick results” will deliver just that, but then you'll likely regain the weight once you stop following the plan.
The basic principle of weight loss is that you need to burn more calories through cardiovascular exercise and weight training than you are eating. The first step is to honestly evaluate your lifestyle. Are you active or do you lead a sedentary lifestyle? Keep a food journal in which you track the amount of calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates you eat over a week or two. Record everything you put in your mouth, including every “bite,” “taste,” and “piece.” Chances are you'll be surprised by what you are actually eating over the course of the week. Use the results to guide your future decisions.
Are there places online where I can track my calories and exercise?
Yes. Check out
If you choose to go the route of an organized diet plan, Weight Watchers is your best option. They stress portion control and healthy lifestyle changes, which are essential skills for long-term success.