Losing weight during pregnancy

 Losing weight during pregnancy

When you are pregnant, you assume that you will gain weight. Yet some women lose weight during pregnancy, especially in the first months. Or who want to loseweight during pregnancy. But can that hurt? How can you healthily lose weight?

Unintentional weight loss during pregnancy

During the first months of your pregnancy, your weight gain should be limited. However, it is also possible that your weight does not increase but somewhat decreases, without you wanting to. This can be for several reasons.


There are both severe and harmless causes for unintentional weight loss during your pregnancy:
  • Pregnancy sickness. The well-known morning sickness can cause you to eat little or not have much appetite. You can then lose weight instead of gaining weight in the first months. Fortunately, this usually disappears after about 12 weeks.
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum. Suppose you suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, a form of extreme nausea with excessive vomiting. In that case, this will last longer, and losing weight can have consequences for you and your baby. Problems with the thyroid gland can also cause weight loss and risks for your pregnancy. In both cases, treatment by a gynecologist is required.
  • Fanatic sports. An innocent reason may be that you are an avid sportsman, but now during your pregnancy by aches or fatigue, suddenly much less sport. This can cause muscle loss, which can also help you lose weight.

Underweight and pregnancy

Are you already underweight (a BMI below 18.5) before your pregnancy, and is it difficult for you to put on weight? Then it could be that your child will lack nutrients. Therefore, it is wise to discuss this with a healthcare professional at the beginning of your pregnancy.

If necessary, after a referral by your doctor or gynecologist, a dietician can help you with a tailor-made nutritional plan so that you and your baby get through your pregnancy as healthily as possible.

Intended weight loss during pregnancy

If you are already starting your pregnancy overweight, you may not be too happy with the coming pounds. However, continuing with strict lines or starting with it is not wise now. You can, however, limit your weight gain.

Why strict lines are not healthy

Strict dieting, such as crash diets or diets that eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet, is not recommended during pregnancy. You and your child must get enough essential nutrients, and with extreme dieting, you run the risk that you will lack these.

It was also long thought that the toxins that are stored in fat mass are released too much if you lose a lot of pounds in a short time. This is more nuanced. Fat burning does release pollutants, but much less than initially thought. As long as this is done gradually and in a responsible manner, for example, through a healthy diet and sufficient exercise, it cannot hurt. On the other hand, following a crash diet is not recommended during your pregnancy.

Strict dieting also does not benefit your condition because dieting can break down muscle mass. And you can use those muscles well later during your delivery!

How to lose weight healthily during pregnancy?

How can you still healthily lose weight? Ensuring that you only gain limited weight during your pregnancy in a sensible way can achieve a net weight loss. So 'losing weight' is possible by gaining a few kilos less than is usual during pregnancy.

With enough exercise, an excellent daily structure, and a regular and healthy diet, you can go a long way.

But how does that work with that net weight loss? An example: suppose that based on your BMI, the expected average weight gain is between 7 and 12 kg, and you manage to limit your weight gain to 6 to 10 kg. After your pregnancy, you will have lost a few kilos on balance. There are also plenty of women who gain about 30 kg during pregnancy, so if you manage to get below 12 kg, your profit is vast!

Losing weight during pregnancy


By following some guidelines, you can ensure that your weight during pregnancy does not get completely out of hand. Consider the following guidelines:
  • Eat 250 grams of vegetables and 2 to 3 pieces of fruit daily. Are you not hungry at night? In that case, instead, leave your potatoes (or rice or pasta) instead of your vegetables.
  • Make sure you eat enough bread, about 3-5 slices a day.
  • Take a glass of (butter) milk or a bowl of unsweetened cottage cheese or yogurt 2 or 3 times a day.
  • Opt for lean meats and low-fat dairy products.
  • Eat fish twice a week, including fatty fish once.
  • Do not overeat liver or products containing liver, such as liverwurst or liver cheese. The liver contains a lot of vitamin A and too much vitamin A is bad for your child's health.
  • Sweets as little as possible! Cookies and sweets contain a lot of sugar, containing 'empty' calories, or calories without nutrients. Your baby doesn't need them, and they will only make you fat!
  • Also, be careful with soft drinks and fruit juices. They contain a lot of hidden sugars.
  • Avoid chips and other fatty snacks as they usually contain a lot of salt.
  • Eat three meals a day regularly.
  • Do not skip meals. You will only 'snitch.'
  • Make sure you drink enough, 1.5 to 2 liters per day. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger!
  • Choose sensible snacks, such as a piece of fruit, cherry tomatoes, or a bowl of yogurt.
  • Take your time to eat, chew well, enjoy your food.
  • Do you feel hungry outside of your meals, do you wonder if you need to eat something right away, can you be hungry again?
  • Look for distraction. Usually, the pull disappears again.
  • Get moving! Walk for at least half an hour extra every day to start your fat-burning process. Also swim regularly.
If you follow these rules of life, you will gradually master a healthy lifestyle. In this way, you can ensure that you gain minimal weight during your pregnancy. After giving birth, you are even a bit lighter than before, so: net weight loss!

Seriously overweight and pregnant

With a BMI of 30 or higher, we speak of severe overweight, also called obesity. Even with such a BMI, it is possible to limit your weight gain by paying close attention to it.

Suppose you start your pregnancy with 120 kg and still weigh 120 kg before giving birth because you have followed the above guidelines. Once you have given birth, your weight will be a lot lower. So you have lost weight compared to before your pregnancy!

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