Obesity and pregnancy are serious conditions that can have long-term effects on the health of both mother and child. Obesity can put a strain on the kidneys, heart and other organs, and is also a contributing factor to the increased risk of complications during pregnancy.

There are many treatments available for obesity and pregnancy, some of which may be helpful in cases of mild obesity and pregnancy and others that may be more appropriate. Women who are diagnosed with obesity and pregnancy should first discuss their options with their doctor. There are many types of treatment for obesity, including diet, exercise, medication and surgery.

Obesity and Pregnancy

It is important that a patient find the right combination of treatments for her particular case. It’s not unusual for a pregnant woman to experience side effects from her medications and surgery, and it’s also possible for obesity to lead to preeclampsia, which is a life-threatening condition in pregnancy.

The treatment of obesity will depend on the patient’s preferences, as well as on her specific circumstances

For example, exercise may be recommended as a way to treat obesity. It can be done safely and in a comfortable manner, without any damage to the organs. Low-impact exercise, such as walking or cycling, is an option for some women. Exercise can improve blood circulation and increase energy levels. It is also important that a woman remain vigilant about her weight.

If she were to lose weight during pregnancy, there is a good chance that her fetus may be underdeveloped, or that her pregnancy could be jeopardized. A healthy weight is important for a pregnant woman to have, so she needs to make sure she is keeping up her exercising routine and that she is eating a healthy diet. If obesity becomes a problem, it is always best to talk to a physician to get a proper diagnosis of the problem.

Some of the common symptoms of obesity and pregnancy include

  • A feeling of being bloated
  • Feeling cold and congested
  • Being unable to focus
  • Fatigue and weight gain

Sometimes, these symptoms are mild and can be easily remedied by light exercise. But in many cases, it is possible to avoid obesity and pregnancy through proper nutrition and regular activity. The causes of obesity and pregnancy are complicated.

In many cases, there is no simple cause. Sometimes a woman experiences postpartum depression following the birth of her child. Other times, a woman may be genetically predisposed to obesity. Her body may have been built to handle the extra weight, or it may have been altered by environmental factors.

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Diet Plan for Overweight Women

Day 1

Breakfast
7 oz full-fat plain Greek yogurt with 1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 grapefruit

  • Per serving: 276 cal, 11 g fat (6 g sat), 24 g carbs, 14 g sugar, 88 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 21 g protein

Snack
5 celery sticks with 2 tablespoons of almond butter

  • Per serving: 63 cal, 5 g fat (1 g sat), 3 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 16 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein

Lunch
Chicken spinach salad: 2 cups raw spinach, 4 oz grilled chicken, 1/4 sliced avocado, 1 tsp olive oil

  • Per serving: 273 cal, 13 g fat (2 g sat), 5 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 150 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 38 g protein

Snack
1 6-oz almond milk latte
10 cashews

  • Per serving: 129 cal, 9 g fat (1 g sat), 7 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 137 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein

Dinner
Green tea-marinated cod over lentil-currant salad (get the recipe!)

  • Per serving: 260 cal, 4 g fat (0 g sat), 33 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 574 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 21 g protein

Day 2

Breakfast
Broccoli rabe and egg toast

  • Per serving: 318 cal, 12 g fat (3 g sat), 41 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 290 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 12 g protein

Snack
1 cup sugar snap peas with 1 oz goat cheese and fresh thyme, warmed in the oven for 3 minutes

  • Per serving: 111 cal, 6 g fat (4 g sat), 6 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 104 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein

Lunch
Shrimp salad: 2 cups mixed baby greens, 5 cooked shrimp, 1/4 avocado, 2 sliced hearts of palm spears, 1/4 lemon juiced, 1 tsp olive oil

  • Per serving: 197 cal, 11 g fat (2 g sat), 15 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 319 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 14 g protein

Snack
1 green apple with 2 tsp peanut butter and 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • Per serving: 161 cal, 5 g fat (1 g sat), 29 g carbs, 20 g sugar, 49 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 2 g protein

Dinner
1 small sweet potato, 1 cup sautéed spinach, 1/4 lemon, juiced, 4 oz grilled chicken

  • Per serving: 375 cal, 4 g fat (0 g sat), 46 g carbs, 14 g sugar, 305 mg sodium, 10 g fiber, 41 g protein

Day 3

Breakfast
Avocado banana smoothie: 1 cup of almond milk, 1 small frozen banana, 1 Tbsp nut butter, 1/2 small avocado, 1 handful of raw spinach, 1 scoop protein powder

  • Per serving: 457 cal, 24 g fat (4 g sat), 36 g carbs, 14 g sugar, 280 mg sodium, 11 g fiber, 29 g protein

Snack
5 carrot sticks with 1 Tbsp hummus

  • Per serving: 64 cal, 3 g fat (1 g sat), 9 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 119 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein

Lunch
2 cups carrot kale salad topped with 1/2 cup quinoa and 1/3 cup chickpeas (get the recipe!)

  • Per serving: 379 cal, 13 g fat (1 g sat), 57 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 355 mg sodium, 14 g fiber, 13 g protein

Snack
12 small olives
1 oz Parmesan cheese

  • Per serving: 172 cal, 13 g fat (5 g sat), 3 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 664 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 11 g protein

Dinner
4 oz grilled tuna steak
1 cup sautéed red cabbage

  • Per serving: 255 cal, 12 g fat (3 g sat), 23 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 200 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 13 g protein
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Day 4

Breakfast
Salmon pesto tartine (get the recipe!)

  • Per serving: 427 cal, 19 g fat (3 g sat), 36 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 1400 mg sodium, 19 g fiber, 28 g protein

Snack
1 cup jicama slices with 2 Tbsp tzatziki

  • Per serving: 116 cal, 5 g fat (2 g sat), 15 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 115 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 3 g protein

Lunch
Tuna salad: 1 cup romaine, 1 diced plum tomato, 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, 4 oz canned tuna, 1 tsp olive oil

  • Per serving: 159 cal, 6 g fat (1 g sat), 14 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 567 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 14 g protein

Snack
1 cup blueberries
10 almonds

  • Per serving: 154 cal, 7 g fat (0 g sat), 24 g carbs, 16 g sugar, 1 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 4 g protein

Dinner
4 oz grilled pork tenderloin
2 cups bok choy sautéed with 2 tsp avocado oil

  • Per serving: 297 cal, 17 g fat (1 g sat), 5 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 452 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 26 g protein

Day 5

Breakfast
1/3 cup dried oatmeal, cooked in water
1 banana with 2 tsp almond butter and a dash of cinnamon

  • Per serving: 377 cal, 10 g fat (2 g sat), 63 g carbs, 14 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 10 g fiber, 12 g protein

Snack
1 cup cucumber slices
2 Tbsp guacamole

  • Per serving: 62 cal, 4 g fat (1 g sat), 6 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 4 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein

Lunch
Avocado and cucumber nori rolls (get the recipe!)

  • Per serving: 193 cal, 12 g fat (2 g sat), 17 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 138 mg sodium, 7 g fiber, 4 g protein

Snack
7 oz full-fat plain Greek yoghurt with 1 Tbsp flaxseeds

  • Per serving: 283 cal, 20 g fat (7 g sat), 15 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 99 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 10 g protein

Dinner
4 oz salmon baked with 1/4 lemon juiced, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, and 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 cups sautéed spinach

  • Per serving: 317 cal, 18 g fat (3 g sat), 12 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 500 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 28 g protein

Day 6

Breakfast
Oatmeal pancakes: 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, 1 pinch of ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese

  • Per serving: 414 cal, 10 g fat (4 g sat), 35 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 550 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 34 g protein

Snack
5 celery sticks with 2 tsp peanut butter

  • Per serving: 63 cal, 5 g fat (1 g sat), 3 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 47 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein

Lunch
Green salad with shitake bacon: 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 pinch black pepper and sea salt, 6-8 large shiitake mushrooms, 2 cups torn butter lettuce, 1 Tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1/2 small clove garlic, 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar

  • Per serving: 436 cal, 24 g fat (4 g sat), 47 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 43 mg sodium, 11 g fiber, 13 g protein

Snack
1/2 grapefruit
10 walnuts

  • Per serving: 230 cal, 20 g fat (2 g sat), 12 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 1 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein

Dinner
Quinoa stuffed pepper

  • Per serving: 302 cal, 16 g fat (3 g sat), 30 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 208 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 12 g protein
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Day 7

Breakfast
Scrambled eggs (1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites) and 1/2 tsp oregano
1/3 cup cooked quinoa

  • Per serving: 239 cal, 6 g fat (2 g sat), 16 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 406 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 16 g protein

Snack
1 sliced red bell pepper
2 Tbsps guacamole

  • Per serving: 93 cal, 5 g fat (1 g sat), 12 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 145 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein

Lunch
Kale chicken salad:1 cup kale with 1/4 lemon, juiced, 1 tsp olive oil, 4 oz grilled chicken, 2 Tbsps pomegranate seeds

  • Per serving: 255 cal, 9 g fat (1 g sat), 11 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 126 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 38 g protein

Snack
5 cups air-popped popcorn

  • Per serving: 150 cal,0 g fat (0 g sat), 25 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 16 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 5 g protein

Dinner
Three-bean chilli

  • Per serving: 362 cal, 10 g fat (3 g sat), 37 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 515 mg sodium, 10 g fibre, 27 g protein (Source)

Women who are obese or considered to be overweight

These women should consider working with their personal doctors to determine the underlying causes of their obesity and pregnancy. Obesity and pregnancy need to be treated as a medical condition, with the proper medications and physical alterations necessary to alleviate discomfort and promote a healthy pregnancy.

If the underlying cause of obesity and pregnancy is not addressed, it is likely that it will continue to affect the health of the woman throughout her pregnancy. Some women may respond to treatment for obesity and pregnancy with an implantation adenoid. This procedure allows the surgeon to remove some of the baby’s appendages.

Obesity and pregnancy require that the woman maintain a regular exercise routine. She may need to change her current level of fitness in order to cope with the added demands of carrying a child. However, she should keep in mind that moderate levels of exercise are always beneficial for pregnancy.

Even those who are considered to be morbidly obese, with a Body Mass Index of about 28 or more, should consider including some form of regular exercise in their daily lives. A healthy lifestyle is an important part of staying healthy and happy throughout life.

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