Lose Weight Before You Try to Conceive
Getting Real About Getting Slim
Would you like to lose weight before you try to conceive? It's a good goal — healthy mothers make healthier babies. Plus, you'll feel a lot better about yourself and have more energy for pregnancy.
You may want to lose weight even if you're a little overweight. That's fine. You can lose a little weight or a lot with the lifestyle I'll outline.
It's Not Always Easy
You probably know that losing weight and keeping it off may not be easy. I want to clear up a misconception, though. There's a good chance that if you do what I recommend, the weight will come off easily, or at least steadily.
It does, however, require a lifestyle change that you may find challenging. It probably means eating differently than you're used to. That's a huge thing — I won't deny it. Realizing that I needed to change the way I cooked and ate, leaving behind “old standbys” was really, really hard for me. I got to the place where it wasn't so hard, and I will share some things that helped me later in this article. But do know that it may not always be easy.
You are changing your lifestyle — but that change will help the weight come off, and it will make you and your future baby healthier!
What Makes You Get Fat (and What Doesn't)
There's no point in sugar-coating things for you, because it won't help you — in my words or in the food on your plate!
I know it's hard to believe, but the fat that you eat doesn't make you fat. What does make you fat is sugar. You probably remember that sugar is used by your body as energy. When you take in more energy than you need, your body stores it away… as fat.
Now for the real shocker: any type of carbohydrate is a sugar to your body. It doesn't matter if it's “simple.” It doesn't matter if it's “complex.” It's all sugar! Even “heart healthy whole grains” are just a whole bunch of (not so healthy) sugars! Complex carbohydrates (like whole grains or wholemeal) are broken down into simple carbohydrates. Even if it takes a little longer for them to break down and get there, the destination is still the same: your fat cells.
A Girl's Best Friend
I know — you're thinking that you already know all of this. You know you should avoid the candy and the junk foods. You know you should give up white flour.
But that's not the real problem. The real problem is all of those carbohydrates.
And I know it's hard for you to think about giving them up. Let me tell you about me:
Giving up the Coke and the Sprite? Easy. Giving up candy bars? Not quite so easy, but still not too tough. Giving up the Ben and Jerry's? A little tougher, but I dumped those boys. Giving up sandwiches? Well, it took some work, but away they went.
Giving up the fettuccine, the spaghetti, the lasagna noodles? Wait a minute… those were my comfort foods. They were my friends whenever I needed something that tasted good. Whenever I wanted something delicious. Whenever I needed some comfort. Pasta was my go-to! I was also pretty attached to oatmeal. But all of that was sugar, sugar, sugar!
They may have tasted delicious and been satisfying emotionally… but the extra 30+ lbs that wouldn't get lost just couldn't be ignored. I had to do something.
It is hard to change your lifestyle (a.k.a. your diet). I want to acknowledge that there are emotional reasons for eating the way that we do. It may be hard for you to change that and give up the comfort and satisfaction of those foods.
Change in Perspective
What helped me the most to make the changes I needed to make to lose weight was a change in perspective. Initially I thought of everything I could not eat, and how unfair it was that I couldn't have my beloved pasta. I couldn't run out and get a sub sandwich or grinder. I couldn't have those breaded chicken nuggets.
Those feelings were a real struggle.
Then saw that there were people living a healthy, low carbohydrate lifestyle — and enjoying it!
They didn't feel deprived, and they were eating delicious foods. Not to mention they were slim, trim, and sexy!!
I came to realize that low carb (and our family is actually grain free, so no wheat, corn, etc.) was not a fad or a “diet” — it's a lifestyle, and it's one that can be enjoyed fully.
Once I started looking at all the tasty recipes I could make, enjoyable snacks I could have, and most importantly, the almost effortless weight loss, my thinking changed.
I can't have that bowl of beloved pasta… but I can still splurge on a creamy sauce now and then. One of my favorite splurges is mushrooms sauteed in butter, ladled into a bowl with shrimp, and topped with a homemade Alfredo sauce. Talk about decadent! I can't eat very much of this before I'm full and satisfied… and I'm down 29lbs and counting.
The First Step is in Your Head
You can make the change to a healthy diet and lifestyle that will really work for you. Plus, you can keep up this same healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy and postpartum… so the baby weight drops off as breastfeed your new baby. Then you'll stay healthy while you're bringing up your baby.
I will go over more practical information on how to change your diet and eating habits in the next section!
(NOTE: Want the Top Easy Steps to Boosting Your Fertility? Use these 5 simple, evidence-based steps to get pregnant and carry your healthy baby to term. Get them here.)
Photo by Zach Klein