Choosing Healthy Habits To Increase Fertility
Many women are surprised to learn just how much weight can impact fertility outcomes. Being overweight or obese can make successfully conceiving harder to achieve. In both situations, a woman’s hormones may be negatively affected. Most typically, being outside of normal weight ranges can cause a woman’s menstrual cycle to become irregular and make tracking ovulation difficult. But taking a proactive stance to engage in regular exercise and reach a healthy BMI range can improve a woman’s fertility.
Focus on losing weight before conception
Once a woman’s pregnant, the focus is no longer on weight loss. Instead, the emphasis will be on carefully watching how much weight is gained throughout the pregnancy. And whereas a woman with a normal BMI will be encouraged to gain between 25 to 35 pounds, women who are overweight or obese will be told to gain no more than 25 and 20 pounds, respectively. So, women with a BMI over 25 before getting pregnant should focus on losing weight before trying to conceive.
Consider revamping dietary choices
The key to losing weight is a combination of diet and exercise. Rather than focusing on extreme dieting that is unsustainable, consider re-evaluating everyday meal choices and swapping out unhealthy picks for foods rich in nutrients. Research shows that extreme diets are challenging to maintain, and people often regain the lost weight more quickly. Consider speaking with a nutritionist or dietician to help reframe dietary choices.
Create a caloric deficit
Creating a caloric deficit doesn’t have to equal attempting a starvation diet. To lose weight, the body must burn more calories than are being consumed. And in many cases, women often eat far more calories than necessary per day. Sometimes simply substituting lower-calorie alternatives or skipping a second helping can help nudge the scale in the right direction. A good rule of thumb is to consume 1,000 fewer calories per day to lose at least two pounds per week.
Get and stay active
Getting in a bit of regular physical activity can do more than help a woman shed pounds. Research has proven that working out, even with moderate exercise like walking or swimming, can improve overall health and boost mood. Aim for roughly 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week for vigorous exercise. Spreading workouts throughout the week works best.
Incorporate proven natural supplements
Sometimes a sluggish metabolism can make weight loss difficult. But green tea is a proven and natural catalyst that can help to burn fat and increase metabolism. The herbal drink is full of antioxidants, with EGCG being the powerhouse that encourages fat burning. Specifically, EGCG inhibits the hormone norepinephrine and, as a result, promotes fat breakdown. Plus, green tea also contains caffeine, another known fat burner and metabolism booster.
Taking control for the future
Losing weight to improve fertility is an essential first step for women who are overweight or obese. But the focus shouldn’t be a temporary goal. Instead, women who decide to lose weight before getting pregnant should commit to maintaining healthy habits that can extend beyond pregnancy and into postpartum and beyond.