Losing Weight While Pregnant

Alexandra Powell Allred's picture

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QUESTION

Hi,
My name is India,and I was already overweight when I became pregnant. I weighed around 185 or so,and I'm only 5'3.

Now I'm 6 months pregnant, I weigh 195 and I would like to start loosing weight now, nothing that would harm my baby of course. I started walking on my treadmill. I wanted to try to do this twice a day, 45 minutes both times. Is this ok?

I'm trying desperately to lose weight on my upper arms, which tend to be a little flabby looking these days. Do you have any tips on how to do this?

Also I would like to tone my fat thighs. Any tips on this? And the last thing, my face has gotten chubby looking and I'm only 22. I know it comes from the weight. Does facial exercises really work?

Thank you!

ANSWER

Hi India,
A couple of things. First, if you are six months pregnant and have only gained 10 pounds, this is a very small amount. Let's assume that you are keeping regular OB/GYN appointments and your doctor is monitoring your small weight gain. The last thing you need to be worrying about right now is weight gain.

You have many, many things going for you. At just 22 years, your body will recover very quickly from pregnancy. But there is a HUGE red flag with the idea of you walking on a treadmill for 45 minutes twice a day. No more! Once a day is great. It is all that you need. To walk on the treadmill twice a day is too much and you are risking high levels of inner core temperature. The best thing you can do for yourself and for the baby is to establish a weekly workout routine.

*We have such routines posted on the pregnancy.org site.

But to give you a better indication of what I'm talking about, let me give you an example:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays: Walk on the treadmill 45 minutes, even giving yourself an incline if you feel strong.

This said, I would ask that you check your inner core temperature half way through the routine. This ensures that you do not exceed 101 degree F. Many women will say, "Well, I didn't feel that hot," or "I wasn't sweating that much," or "I felt fine!" but, in fact, you cannot FEEL how hot your inner core temperature actually is. Many outside factors will trigger a spike in your temperature. By using a rectal thermometer, you will be able to document just how hot you really are (*CHECK OUT OUR INFO ON INNER CORE TEMP).

On those same days, following your treadmill workout, use light weights for strength and conditioning workouts.

Monday and Thursday: upper body.
Tuesday and Friday: lower body. *** Exercises are posted on line using 2 and 3 pound weights.

If you do this throughout your pregnancy, you will begin to build a great base for both cardio and toning for after the baby is born. Once your baby is born, you can kick up that time/distance/incline on the treadmill to really burn calories while we also increase weights for upper arms, hips and thighs. But right now, you need to focus on staying strong, fit, building endurance for childbirth but not getting too hot.

Women often have that feeling of panic ("Oh, no, I'm going to be huge!") and try to lose weight while pregnant. This can be damaging because your body knows best and will literally shut down your metabolism in an attempt to save calories. You will do more damage long term -- in terms of trying to lose weight -- by screwing up your metabolism. Let nature take its course.

The worst mistake women make is to believe they are eating for two. Clearly, you know better than this. India, with your young age, willingness to workout and determination, you have nothing to worry about! Enjoy your pregnancy and the (temporary) weight gain to have a healthy baby. When the time comes, we will give you a KILLER workout to lose that baby weight.

Good luck.
--Alex