How to Avoid Excess Weight Gain during Pregnancy


Unwanted Weight Gain in Pregnant Women: Why and How to Avoid it

As you are going to be a mommy, you need to take some extra care of yourselves for baby’s good health. Healthy food, good diet, and regular exercising should be added to your to-do list. Gaining weight during pregnancy is natural so do not panic but if you are gaining weight in excess, this is serious. Why? You will get it in some minutes.

It is necessary to have a healthy lifestyle or food habits during pregnancy. But sometimes these habits result in higher weight gain. Don’t know how much is extra? Read it here. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can increase the risk of birth complications like premature birth, cesarean section etc. So, it will be good if avoid such situation by planning wisely. Let’s start with good habits and causes (Detailed post on common causes) of weight gain. Finally, you will be introduced to the right ways to avoid putting on extra weight during pregnancy.

Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Tips for Pregnant Women

– Add foods with has low fat and high nutrition value to balance your diet.
– Eat more fruits and green vegetables. It will increase your red blood cell count.
– Drink more water as it is the best way to throw out toxins from your body.
– Avoid artificial sweeteners.
– Walk for few minutes daily. It will improve your blood circulation.
– Regularly give some time (10-30 minutes are enough) to yoga or meditation.
– Movements should be regular to keep your body active.

Cause of weight gain during pregnancy

A pregnant woman is supposed to gain weight about 30 to 35 pounds. It is normal but gaining more weight will be troublesome. The gain varies from women to women and number of babies she is carrying. Increasing weight indicates growing baby so don’t worry about it much.

But … It’s not all about the baby

Your baby only weighs about 7 to 8 lbs of your total body weight. The extra weight of your body during pregnancy is from your body fluid, amniotic fluid, enlarged placenta etc.

Generally, you crave for high salt food or processed foods during pregnancy which causes weight gain. Hormonal imbalance also occurs to accompany these weight-enhancers. It is natural in pregnancy that female hormone progesterone decreases, causing an increase in complications like gas production, uncomfortable feeling, cramps, fluid retention, depression etc.

Is it possible to decrease weight during pregnancy?

This question might always come in your mind. Yes, it is possible. By changing your diet or including workouts in your daily plans, you can decrease your weight.

But keep in mind that you will always gain weight in pregnancy. So, do not make it an issue unless you got major weight gain. If you see abnormal weight, then only go for these things.

NOTE – Decreasing weight gain is possible but my advice will always be – Don’t try. You can instead focus on slowing down the current weight gain. Focusing on weight should be done during the pre-planning or post the pregnancy (learn how by clicking on these links).

Is Being Overweight is Risky?

Why am I focusing too much on avoiding excess weight gain during pregnancy, is it risky?

Yes, being overweight can be risky. It can lead to complicated situations as it may cause severe deficits to mother or baby. Every pregnant woman must look for the monthly weight checkup. Talking about risks will be an effective way to make you follow the avoidance methods. Isn’t it? Learn about the risks below –

Gestational Diabetes

Obese pregnant women often develop this diabetes during their early pregnancy period. Those who have gestational diabetes may have the higher risk of post-pregnancy complications like C-Section or others. Their children are also prone to inherit this disease.


It is a condition, mainly found in obese women. It causes difficulty in breathing while sleeping as blood circulation decreases eventually & oxygen level decreases. This will further give rise to more severe conditions like Preeclampsia, high blood pressure, Eclampsia or even stopping of breaths etc.


Preeclampsia is a condition in which pregnant women have higher blood pressure and due to which a seizure like sensation arises. It can be harmful to mother and baby both. This condition possibly arises due to increase in weight and is a higher stage of Apnea (explained above).

Cesarean Section

This could be a most painful condition for every pregnant woman. And you might be in terror of operation. Overweight is one of the main causes of c-section. If you have higher weight, more than the expected range, then your baby will also have more weight. This will create problem while pushing her out. So, it’s better to stick with the diet plan and other tips.

Skin Irritation

This can be painful sometimes. Gaining weight during pregnancy causes swelling, blood clot, skin itching or rashes.

The Most Effective Ways to Avoid Excess Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Enough talking about risks, causes, and tips, here are the best ways to avoid the excess weight gain while you are expecting a baby –

Healthy Diet

You should be taking 300 to 350 calorie extra per day but how will you calculate?
So, you don’t need to count on your calories per day. The only thing you have to do is – Eat for staying healthy. It will provide proper nourishment to you & your baby. Choose foods which have a lot of nutritional value and lower fat as I discussed above.
• Don’t eat or drink sugary substances in excess. It will increase your weight. If you want then eat such things. Go for natural sweeteners because artificial sugars will adversely affect your weight.
• Focus on small meals which must be high in proteins or vitamins like fruit, milk, green vegetables, lean meat, beans, fibres, etc.

Yoga & Healthy YOU!

Yoga is the best way to stay fit for any person as well as pregnant women. If you have any yoga tutor in your place then you can try them out. Otherwise, there are plenty of yoga tutorial and articles for pregnant women on the Internet. Learn the best ways to stay active during pregnancy from these available sources.

Deep Breathing

Breathing is the easiest exercise, most suitable for pregnant women. While doing it, concentrate on your breath and relax. You can try it simply anywhere (just as we say for the mobile devices). Just take deep breaths, hold for a few seconds and then release. This exercise will make your lungs more susceptible.

Fluid Intake

It is necessary to drink water for the excretion of waste matter and avoidance of dehydration. Fluid intake also induces proper blood circulation. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.


Movement normalizes regulation of blood in your body. More you move, more your blood serves your muscle and you will stay active. As movement induces nourishment of your cells by blood, it’s like a pumping more fuel to a machine. But go slowly otherwise, it’ll damage you and baby.

Decrease Salt Content in Your Diet

Add a little amount of salt in your diet. It obvious for some girls that during pregnancy they crave more for salt but it is not good in pregnancy as it causes retention of fluids from your body which will create further problems like bloating etc.


This can be the most interesting activity for you and it will help you in reducing weight. Though the exercising was not considered an important part during old times but now it’s gaining attention. Walk and do light exercise. Don’t go for exhausting exercise. Start with a slower pace, Kegel, and other safe exercises are good to do daily. Try to make it a habit and be regular as this will help you in maintaining body weight.

If you’ve read it to full, you must have understood why and how to avoid excess weight gain while you are pregnant! The thing which is left is obviously following it, which you have to do. I don’t think it’s tough if you’ve decided – Just do it for a happier pregnancy!
Featured Photo By Julia via


About Author


An IT professional, a mom of two, Sapana had belly-only pregnancies in her life & has lost 15Kg weight twice. Along with fitness, Sapana is an expert in Indian names & has helped scores of Indian parents to shortlist suitable baby names by virtue of her years of expertise in Sanskrit origin names & logical approach towards cultures & trends during the name research. Drop a comment to get help from her.


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