Can I Lose Weight While Pregnant?

QUESTION

Dear Nutritionist,
Hello. I'm a 28-year-old who recently found out she was (unexpectedly) pregnant. I realize I'm a little behind the power curve, but I have every incentive now to improve my health. My diet is varied and I eat lots of fruits/vegetables/nuts/lean meats. I just haven't been disciplined enough to limit my portion sizes.

I am overweight -- my BMI is 30 -- and I have a family history of both adult onset diabetes and gestational diabetes. So, I'd like to not only maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy, but to possibly loose some excess weight as well. Any thoughts on the safety of this, or tips on making it happen without overly depleting stores of nutrients the baby needs?

Jenny

ANSWER

Hi Jenny,
Weight loss can be a touchy subject during pregnancy! You need enough calories to ensure your health during pregnancy as well as the healthy development of your baby. Your calorie needs as well as other nutritional needs increase during this time.

It is never too late and the fact that you want to start watching your diet closer is wonderful!With your family history of diabetes and gestational diabetes I highly recommend that you make an appointment to work one-on-one with a registered dietitian that specializes in pregnancy. A dietitian can work with you on your individual needs and an eating plan that will moderate your portion sizes. A dietitian can work with you and your doctor to monitor your weight and ensure you are getting what you need nutritionally. You may want to start by asking your OB/GYN for a referral to a dietitian. You definitely want to make sure that the dietitian you choose specializes in pregnancy.

Good luck!
-- Kimberly, RD LD

Kimberly Tessmer

Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus" www.nutrifocus.net, in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.

To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and Healthology.com, Inc as well as continuing education courses for www.care2learn.com. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.