Shaping Up for Conception - Part 2
If you need a reason to improve your nutrition, get active and lose weight, what better reward than improving your fertility?
Being overweight or obese has been proven not only to reduce the chances of a couple conceiving naturally, but also means fertility treatment, such as IVF, is less likely to be successful.
The good news is that fertility is improved with a relatively modest degree of weight loss (or gain if you are too thin). But with hectic lifestyles and so many weight loss messages out there, it might be difficult to know what is right for you.
“Working long hours, eating on the fly or gravitating towards pre-packaged food for convenience, can all contribute to an unhealthy diet – resulting in less energy and weight gain,” says Kate O’Flynn, Genea Nutritionist.
Here are Kate’s top tips for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle while Trying To Conceive (TTC):
1. Know your goal weight.
Calculate your Body Mass Index to know what your optimal weight is. In both men and women a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18.5-24.9 is considered normal. If your weight loss target is a little daunting, set yourself weekly targets, creating smaller, more achievable goals.
2. Aim for a healthy, unprocessed and nutritionally optimal diet.
Include as much fresh food as possible and organic options where feasible. Try to choose good quality protein, plenty of fruit and vegetables, high fibre, low glycaemic carbohydrates and good fats such as olive oil, nuts and fish. Avoid trans fats found in biscuits and fried foods.
3. Increase exercise.
If you are finding it difficult to reduce what you are eating, try stepping up the exercise to burn away the rest. Ideas for fitting more exercise into a busy routine include taking the stairs instead of the lift, parking further away from your destination and walking the rest of the way or going for a walk after dinner to help digest your food.
“Some of my patients are anxious about exercising when trying to conceive – don’t be,” adds Kate. “Exercise is great for the body and it won’t affect your chance of falling pregnant.”
4. Add in a prenatal vitamin
. Folate is well recognized for its benefits in reducing the risk of chromosomal abnormalities and neural tube defects. But vitamin D and iodine are both also considered an essential part of a woman’s preconception care.
5. Support one another.
An unhealthy weight in both men and women can affect fertility so, ensure you both have a healthy BMI and monitor your diet and exercise regime together.
“Support one another to focus on your weight loss goal, keeping in mind the ultimate reward – a greater chance of becoming parents,” Kate adds.
6. Visit an experienced nutritionist who specialises in fertility
and can provide specific advice and guidance to your personal circumstances.
“A weight loss program for conception is different to other programs — make sure you see someone that understands this,” Kate adds.
Through a comprehensive nutrition and lifestyle assessment, the Genea Holistic Nutrition for Fertility program helps couples achieve optimal health prior to conception. The program focuses on dietary modification, specific nutritional supplementation, stress and weight management. Kate will work closely with you to design a personalized program to ensure the best possible chance of a healthy baby.
Genea Holistic’s Fertility Fit® Program is a scientific, medically sound 12-week program for weight loss aimed at improving diet, reducing weight and improving the chance of conceiving naturally, or should IVF be required, to increase the chance of success.