Top tips for weight loss
Being overweight or obese has been proven not only to reduce the chances of conceiving naturally, but it also means fertility treatment, such as IVF, is less likely to be successful.
Working long hours, eating on the fly or gravitating towards pre-packaged food for convenience – all hugely understandable habits – can unfortunately contribute to an unhealthy diet. Throw in a global pandemic and you’re faced with less energy and probably weight gain.
The good news is that you can improve your fertility by losing a relatively small amount of weight (or gaining a small amount of weight if you are too thin). But with hectic lifestyles and so many weight loss influencers out there, it might be difficult to know what is right for you. Here are Genea’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 (BMI) to find out your optimal weight. In both men and women, a 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 in your diet and organic options where possible. Try to choose good quality protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, high fibre, low glycaemic carbohydrates and good fats such as those found in 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 the amount 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.
4. Add in a prenatal vitamin
Folate is well recognized for its benefits in reducing the risk of chromosomal abnormalities and neural tube defects. 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, team up to get your BMI into shape. Get competitive if that’s your thing – there's plenty of apps out there to help you track and challenge each other.
Visit an experienced nutritionist who specialises in fertility
A fertility nutritionist can provide specific advice and guidance tailored to your personal circumstances.