Weight Loss After Losing a Pregnancy

Woman Eating Fresh Salad At Home
Eating low-calorie salads can help you lose weight. (Image: tetmc/iStock/Getty Images)

Losing a pregnancy at any point can be upsetting and disappointing. Between 10 to 20 percent of recognized pregnancies are lost due to miscarriage before the 20th week. About 80 percent of pregnancy losses occur before the 12th week, according to Baby Center. If you have unwanted weight after a pregnancy loss, it may serve as a painful reminder of your loss. As you emotionally recover, use simple strategies that will help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight.

Timing

Woman's feet on weight scale
The earlier your pregnancy was lost, the less weight you will likely have to lose. (Image: Bine Å edivy/iStock/Getty Images)

The earlier your pregnancy was lost, the less weight you will likely have to lose. The American Pregnancy Association indicates that you can generally resume normal physical activities when you feel strong enough, but recommends that you consult your doctor before exercising strenuously. Begin your after-pregnancy weight loss exercise program by walking; move up to running or swimming when you feel ready. After your miscarriage is completed, either naturally or through surgical means, you can begin reducing the amount of calories you eat in order to lose unwanted pounds.

Nutritional Considerations

Grilled turbot fish with vegetables.
Consider the nutritional value of the foods you eat. (Image: karelnoppe/iStock/Getty Images)

Consider the nutritional value of the foods you eat when you are seeking to lose weight after a pregnancy loss, not only in order to lose extra pounds, but also to adequately prepare your body for a future pregnancy, if that is your desire. If you are eating 1,600 calories a day to lose the pregnancy weight, eat a full 2 cups of vegetables, about 1 1/2 cups of fruit, 5 oz. of whole-grain foods and lean proteins, 3 cups of milk and a maximum of 22 g of healthy oils. Consume at least 1,000 mg of calcium and 400 micrograms of folic acid, take a multi-vitamin and limit your caffeine intake if you want to conceive again, or as recommended by your doctor.

Caloric Intake

Pregnant woman eating a salad
You'll need to consume fewer calories than you did during your pregnancy. (Image: photodeti/iStock/Getty Images)

In order to lose a reasonable 1 to 2 lbs. per week, eat fewer calories than you were eating during your pregnancy. Either ask your doctor for an appropriate caloric intake, reduce your calories by at least 500 per day or use a reputable calorie calculator. Unless medically recommended otherwise, eat a nutritionally balanced diet of at least 1,200 calories each day in order to stay healthy. If you reduce your calories drastically and lose weight too quickly, you may find it difficult to maintain your weight loss or to meet your nutritional pre-conception needs for a future pregnancy. Regular exercise will burn additional calories.

Sample Menu

Closeup on spoon with yogurt in hand of smiling girl
Be sure to consume plenty of protein and healthy carbohydrates. (Image: Alliance/iStock/Getty Images)

Focus on eating a similar amount of food throughout the day as you lose weight. If you are following a diet of 1,600 calories, keep your morning calories in the 300 range, your afternoon calories at about 500 and your evening calories to 600. Add in one or two 100-calorie snacks throughout the day. Eat a protein and a carbohydrate for breakfast for energy. Oatmeal, Greek yogurt, fat-free cottage cheese and fruit are healthy choices. In addition to low-calorie salads, make whole-wheat turkey or chicken sandwiches or spread 2 tbsp. fat-free hummus inside of a pita wrap. Combine sliced celery, carrots and cucumbers with a low-calorie sandwich for lunch. Beans and rice, roasted turkey, low-calorie vegetarian lasagna or soups are filling dinner choices. Low-calorie snacks include low-fat cheese wedges, whole fruit, raw vegetables, whole-wheat crackers and rice cakes.

Considerations

Woman Having Counselling Session
Consider meeting with a counselor if you're having trouble reaching your weight-loss goals. (Image: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images)

Consider meeting with a counselor if you are having trouble reaching your weight-loss goals after losing your pregnancy. The emotional trauma of pregnancy loss may make it difficult for you to focus on your health. Be mindful of emotional eating episodes, and share your concerns with your physician or counselor.

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