I safely lost weight during my fourth pregnancy as I entered the 2nd and third trimester. Being my fourth pregnancy, I had done this with my last three pregnancies as well, so I’ve learned the safe and effective tricks to help you lose some of the extra weight that can easily jump on in the first trimester.
I have the worst time during the first trimester. I feel completely nauseaus and hungover, so all I can do is eat carbs literally all the time. Some of the weight you gain during pregnancy is just water weight and extra fluid for the baby, but there is also extra fat. I naturally start burning fat again during pregnancy as I get into the later trimesters because I start feeling better. I’m able to stay awake during the day, I start exercising again, and healthy foods start sounding good again. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can cause many risks including gestational diabetes, so I hope my experience can help you have the healthiest pregnancy for both you and your baby. Remember, this is just the best way for me, but you need to talk to your health care provider before taking any of my advice. I do have a great, fat-burning meal plan that you need to try! It is free, and I think it will really help you get started on the right path!
Is is safe to lose weight during pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe to lose weight during pregnancy, and according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the amount of weight gained during pregnancy can affect the immediate and future health of a pregnant woman and her infant. If you begin your pregnancy overweight, or you’ve gained too much weight during your pregnancy, your doctor may recommend that you lose weight and manage your blood sugar. In those cases, it is absolutely safe because of their advice for you and your baby. In other cases, where you know or feel like you’ve gained too much weight, it is something you can absolutely discuss with your doctor or midwife. There is no reason you can not lose weight during pregnancy, assuming you’ve gained the more than necessary.
Weight loss and weight gain guidelines during pregnancy:
Generally, if you are normal weight, The Institute of Medicine (IOM) advises that you gain 25-35lbs total for your pregnancy. If you are overweight when getting pregnant, this drops to 15-25lbs. Obese women are advised to gain only 11-20lbs. In the IOM published guidelins for weight gain during pregnancy, which will give you a guideline to know how much total weight you should gain. This table will help you get an idea of where you are at. Not every knows ther pre-pregnancy bmi for this chart, BUT you probably have a good guess, which will help you have a starting point, and to know if you gained a healthy amount of weight, or already have excessive weight gain.
How to I lose weight safely while pregnant (easy steps!):
The trick to burning fat while pregnant is to eat the right kind of calories and the right calorie intake to nourish your body and baby, while also telling your body to use fat as an energy source. This is the quick summary of all my tips together. Small lifestyle changes, healthy eating, healthy food, reduced extra calories and a good exercise program go a long way to shed the extra pounds. Here is exactly how I do that!
The Belly-Only pregnancy fitness program is a specific program for pregnant mamas looking to stay as fit and healthy as possible while pregnant. This program is also designed to prepare you for labor, as well as protect your core and pelvic floor for after baby. I’ve had three babies, and I wish I did a program like this! I was able to gain minimal weight during all three of my pregnancies, and lose it all within a few months because of my diet, but I didn’t focus on the repair work my muscles needed to recover and heal! That is why I first created my postpartum program, The Postpartum Cure. After popular demand, and many requests for a pregnancy program, I now created this program for mamas wanting to do some prep-work, eat clean and gain minimal weight while pregnant!.
Increase nutrients, rather than decrease caloric intake:
By increasing the nutrient-dense foods you eat, you naturally may lower your calories, while still giving your body all the important nutrients it needs. I do this by using protein shakes every day. I make them to ensure I’m getting in a lot of nutrients in one meal. I use Bump Dust protein powder, which is specifically formulated for pregnant mothers to get in the protein you need, the folate (not folic acid!), superoods and antioxidants that are essential for prenatal mothers. Don’t be scared to use fat as energy. That is what it is there for, and for some reason many mamas have a fear that if they reduce calories in any way, they won’t be giving baby enough energy or nutrients. If you reduce calories and eat low-quality foods like packaged goods, breads, crackers, fast food etc., then you are doing a disservice to both mama and baby. Eating nutrient-dense foods, like the ones I recommend in my clean eating challenge for pregnant mamas, then you are doing more than just helping your body burn fat.
Eating a clean, nutrient-dense diet is the first way to switch your body into burning fat. By giving it a lot of fruits and veggies, you are reducing the excess sugar and fat that comes in any packaged and process foods. The excess fat and sugar is what gets stored in fat cells. Switching to nutrient-dense foods fills your body with nutrients, rather than ecxess calories. It alos dmatically impacts your growing baby.
A nutrient-dense diet determines your baby’s health:
This is really important to go over becasue eating healthy to burn fat is one goal, but eating health to positively pre-program your baby should be another major goal. Your baby’s genes can actually be turned on or off based on your nutritional intake. Your nutrition can protect your baby from diseases, help baby learn to properly digest food and regulate metabolism.
There are many benefits of eating healthy for baby, so you can burn fat while pregnant, and still know you are supplying your baby with everything it needs! Eating more vitamins and minerals during pregnancy ensures you are giving your baby the nutrients it needs to develop. A great diet during pregnancy can override genentic predisposition to disease. “
Research shows that maternal nutritional status during pregnancy plays a more important role in determining foetal health and predisposition to some diseases, than genetic factors…Source.
What is even more astonishing is that by eating healthy, you are pre-programming your baby to properly digest food, produce insulin and regulate metabolism. This is a long quote, but it is super important to support the impact of a healthy diet during pregnancy:
Maternal nutrition during pregnancy also appears to have a “foetal programming” effect, that is, the foetus learns nutritional habits, which will influence it for the rest of its life, before it is even born. A foetus will also adapt its metabolism and other body systems to cope with different states of nutrition. For example, an under-nourished foetus, which does not receive enough macronutrients or energy, responds by reducing glucose and insulin production, which ultimately slows the rate of foetal growth and increases the risk of low birth weight. It may also alter the metabolism permanently and leave an individual predisposed to metabolic conditions such as diabetes. The foetus also adapts to under-nutrition by redirecting blood flow and therefore the supply of nutrients to protect the brain, at the expense of fully developing other organs including the kidneys, muscles and endocrine system (the system which regulates the body’s hormone production).” Source.
Your nutrition is so important to burning fat during pregnancy, and I highly recommend grabbing delicious protein shakes to help you get your fruits and veggies down. That’s partly how I keep from gaining tons of weight in the first trimester, and how I stay healthy all through my pregnancy. I of course drink this protein powder, and the pregnancy formula will be out soon, which is very similar!
I eat small meals
As I get bigger and farther along in my pregnancy, I start eating smaller meals. This really works to help reduce weight gain, and keep me at a healthy weight gain overall. My stomach can’t handle much food at once, so I end up snacking a lot. It helps keep me from overeating all at once. I try to keep all my small meals full of food groups that are colorful, full of fiber and protein. Protien is an important nutrient that is really important for both mom and baby. A good lean protein choice is a clean, vegan protein powder like this one, which is specifically made for pregnant mamas. Your overall health is so important to baby’s health, and gaining less weight will make you feel so much better. Keep that in mind when you are drinking your protein shakes. Those thoughts helped me a lot.
I exercise as much as I can
Exercise is going to be super important to burning fat as well as your nutrition. I put nutrition above exercise, because that is honestly the key. Exercise is going to give you more energy, help you become strong for birth and increase your health overall. An exercise plan can help your blood sugar levels as well as blood pressure, which are monitored during pregnancy. Weight management can also be monitored by your doctor, which is a great way to stay accountable for you and developing baby.
Walking regularly is one of the best ways you can stay active during pregnancy. I usually get back to running in the second trimester, then go to walking in the third. I try to go 5-7 days of the week. Either way, walking helps your body stay moving, has a low-injury rate, and it is difficult to over exert yourself. When you combine walking with compound weight movements like I have in my program, you can really stay very fit all pregnancy. A great plan to stay fit at home would include some weight work maybe on a Youtube video, and walking 3-4 miles 5-6 days a week.
Walking and weight lifting tend to keep you in a fat burning zone, which is partly why I suggest this activity as your workout plan.
HIIT workouts and running are amazing for more calorie burn, but it is really easy to over exert yourself and get an injury if you are carrying more weight than necessary.
Since having my fourth baby, I’ve found cycling and the Peleton to be so fun. I love that I can do it while the kids are with me at home, and it is low impact if you have any knee or hip issues. I wish I had started cycling while pregnant with my fourth because as I got bigger running became too hard on my pelvis and pubic bone. I’m in a Peleton Preggers and Postpartum Facebook group, and all the pregnant mamas there who cycle through are so inspiring. I started with a spin bike I got second hand. It is a Sunny from Amazon, and my advise is to get a cheap on and use the Peleton App first, to ensure you like it, then upgrade to the real Peleton later. That’s what I did.
Drink lots of water:
This is the last tip to burn fat during pregnancy. Water is going to help you swell less, feel more full, and avoid headaches. It will also help heal your muscles after weight lifting. I keep a 24oz reusable Starbucks cup with me at all times, and do various versions of ice water plain, with a little lemon and sometimes with grapefruit or cucumber. Depending on what I have, but the little bit of taste changes it up. It’s hot here in South Florida, so keeping ice water on hand at all times is really important.
I highly suggest my free, high-protein meal plean to help you get started. It is a clean, nutrient dense plan with some delicious recipes for you. With this, you can have some guidance on what to eat, and some recipes to help you know what to make! Your first step is to clean up your nutrition while pregnant. This often times slows weight gain naturally, because healthier foods are lower calories. Healthy foods are high in fiber and protein, which makes you feel much more satiated on lower calories.
I also go over all the calorie recommendations for pregnant mamas. I learned all about this in my certification course to become a Pre/Post Natal Exercise Specialist, and there are specific calorie points you can start with when deciding how much to eat. I highly recommend writing down everything you eat for three days, with no attempt to eat more or less. Then total the average calories per day, and reduce by a few hundred each day. That will give you a benchmark. I go into more details on burning fat while pregnant with exactly how much you should gain or not gain when starting pregnancy heavier, the calories you can start at, and recipes for comfort foods to keep you on track!
I also have a very popular Postpartum weight loss program, The Postpartum Cure. This is for mamas looking to heal and lose the baby weight safely, while keeping your milk supply super high! I encourage you to check it out and see what some of the mamas are saying about it! I have a package deal, so you can do both programs, or if you are already feeling too far into pregnancy to attempt to change your habits, The Postpartum Cure might be just perfect for you.