Of Diets, Babies and Weight Gain

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April 17th, 2009

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By Katie Wilson

It’s a sort of irony – that women, who are more conscious about the way they look and their weight, are prone to weight gains at various times in their lives, just by virtue of being born among the female species. Girls who hit their teenage years tend to look fat and bloated as they menstruate for the first time; they have a difficult time managing the changes that their body is going through. Women tend to put on weight during a pregnancy and have the most difficult time getting rid of all the extra fat once the baby is born. And then there’s menopause with its unsightly weight gains, hot flashes, mood changes and other symptoms – the less said about them the better.

But you see the pattern here – how nature is biased against a woman trying to lose weight. And now there’s more bad news, well, if you’re among the women who’re on strict diets and also trying to get pregnant. First up, a diet and pregnancy don’t go together – even if you’re just trying. You need to eat healthy food and make sure your body gets the right kind of nutrients when you’re preparing to make a baby. And second and most important of all, new research has shown that women on diets who get pregnant are the ones who gain the most weight during pregnancy and have the most difficulty in getting rid of this weight once the baby is born.

This study from the University of North Carolina might have just sounded a wake-up call to all you would-be moms out there who’re so determined to lose weight that they resort to desperate measures like crash diets and near starvation. Weight loss must be achieved in a healthy way, through a sensible combination of regular exercise and good eating habits. While there’s no harm in trying to lose weight, it’s a pointless exercise when you’re trying to get pregnant as well. Of course, if you just happen to get pregnant without planning for it, then it’s time to stop all the exercise and dieting until you consult your OBGYN.

If regular exercise and healthy eating habits are a routine aspect of your life, you don’t have to worry about weight gain, either pre or post pregnancy. Of course, when you’re pregnant, you’ll have to eat more of the right kinds of food and you are bound to gain some extra weight. But you shouldn’t let this bother you as you have to do what’s best for the new life you’re carrying. And once the baby comes, you can always get back to your diet and exercise routine, again, after consulting your doctor first. So eat sensibly, and have a happy pregnancy.

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