According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, being overweight or underweight can drastically influence a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. For women who are overweight, too much estrogen released from a combination of natural hormones and fat cells can cause the body to cease ovulation. High doses of estrogen, like those produced by birth control pills, cause the body to stop ovulating so that it can’t become pregnant.
For women who are overweight, it helps to lose weight when trying to become pregnant. Maintaining a healthy BMI can improve hormone production and increase regularity in your ovulation. However, losing weight fast through fad diets or outrageous exercise programs isn’t the healthiest way to do this. For women trying to conceive, here are some healthy methods to manage weight.
Changing Eating Habits for Life
Any doctor or nutritionist will recommend changing your eating habits early on to prevent additional weight gain. The best way to increase healthy eating is to choose whole foods, rather than pre-packaged, processed foods. Basically, anything that you have to peel, cut, and cook yourself over something that comes already mixed and seasoned is ideal.
Another change that will help decrease excessive weight gain is portion control. The amount of food most Americans eat in a day is out of balance with what the United States Department of Agriculture recommends. Eating proper portions, especially the produce-to-protein ratio, is important for digestion and energy use. When the body is provided with too many calories to burn, it begins to store them. This energy is converted into fat cells, which hang around and wreak havoc with your hormones.
Changing your eating habits works best if it’s a lifestyle choice, rather than a diet. Diets last a week or a month and then are finished, while lifestyle changes happen gradually and become habits which you continue over the span of your life. If you make healthy options part of your regular daily routine, it will become second nature to choose those ingredients over the less healthy ones available at the supermarket.
Find Ways to Stay Active in Everyday Life
Like eating, being active should be a lifestyle change, which you develop and continue over the span of your life. Going to the gym regularly isn’t an option for every American, but staying active doesn’t require a membership. Finding ways in your daily life to exercise is easy if you’re willing to put in a little extra activity throughout the day. Choose the stairs over the elevator when possible, park at the farthest side of a parking lot so you walk farther to get to the store, fold your laundry on the main level of the house so you must go up the stairs to put it away.
Along with these small everyday changes, you should try to include 30-minutes of planned cardiovascular exercise. Take a walk, jog, hike, run, or bike after dinner each day. Visit the beach or pool on the weekends for a swim or take a local class occasionally to practice yoga, spinning, or even martial arts. Whatever you choose to do to stay active, try to make it enjoyable.
For more ways to lose weight healthily, speak to your doctor. Avoid “quick fixes” and commit to dropping pounds over time to achieve a long-lasting, healthy for your body-type, weight. Remember, losing weight to improve fertility isn’t about looking like a model or celebrity; it’s about helping your body work at its maximum levels, so that you feel good and your hormones regulate themselves more effectively. If you notice irregular ovulation or menstruation, speak to your doctor as soon as possible, these changes are not always due to weight and could be signs of other medical issues.