How to Lose Body Fat During Pregnancy

A pregnant woman is walking in a field with a man.
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Your pregnancy is a time for excitement and anticipation as you await the arrival of your newborn baby. During the course of the pregnancy, you have several options for an exercise program to maintain your fitness level and manage your body fat. Pregnancy isn't a time to follow a weight-loss diet, but there are specific steps you can take to lose body fat during pregnancy. Considering the potential side effects associated with exercise and pregnancy, consult your doctor before starting any workout routine.


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Step 1

Plan to work out at least 150 minutes per week. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity for healthy women. This time frame and intensity level promotes fitness while burning excess calories and body fat.

Step 2

Choose low-impact exercises that you enjoy. Sample exercises include jogging, swimming, water aerobics, yoga and cycling. You can combine the cardio exercises with flexibility exercises and strength-training exercises. Using exercises you enjoy helps to keep you motivated for a fun and challenging workout that burns body fat.

Step 3

Increase the intensity of the workouts gradually as your fitness level improves. For example, start with walking at a moderate pace for one mile three days per week, then add hills or more distance as you improve.


Step 4

Listen to your body during every workout. Pregnancy is a time where your body will give you specific warning signs about your health. Watch for dizziness, shortness of breath or unusual discomfort. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience any abnormal conditions.

Step 5

Avoid any bouncing, jarring or leaping exercises, which cause sudden changes of direction that risks abdominal injuries. Some doctors also recommend avoiding exercises in which you lie flat on your back after the first trimester.


Step 6

Track your food intake with a food diary. The focus shouldn't be specifically on caloric intake, but on consuming the right amount of nutrients while drinking plenty of water. The diary helps to track and monitor your food intake as your mood and hunger levels change.

Step 7

Monitor your healthy weight gain throughout the pregnancy. Weight gain is natural during pregnancy and adjusts with your fitness level going into the pregnancy. Slow and steady weight gain is the best way to control excess body fat as the pregnancy continues. Healthy weight gain ranges from about 25 to 40 lbs., depending on your body weight before becoming pregnant.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardio workout equipment

  • Lightweight dumbbells

  • Resistance bands

  • Food diary

  • Scale


Consult a registered dietitian for a personalized healthy nutrition plan to promote losing body fat.


Always consult your doctor before attempting to lose body fat during pregnancy.




Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

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