Archive for the ‘Weight Gain’ Category

You Can Gain Weight Even If it Seems Impossible

Monday, August 18th, 2014

You might be asking yourself why in the heck can’t I gain any weight. I eat but nothing seems to work. I asked myself the same question being underweight through a lot of my life. Some people have a harder time with it and instead of burning too few calories, our bodies go into super overdrive with no help from us. And guess what? I actually was successful gaining weight with these guidelines I made up. And I built them into handy tips so everyone can give them a try. Hopefully you will be successful with them so give them a try, ok?How to Gain Weight Tip Number One: Entice Yourself with Favorite Dishes

This tip is completely effecting to gain weight, so I listed this as number one. This is where you can make a list of your favorite foods, and dishes that you like to eat. And in fact you might want to thumb through picture recipe books hosting whole meal set ups and try new dishes since pictures and thoughts of favorite foods tend to make me hungry for them.

Gain Weight Tip Number Two: Don’t Skip Meals

I know this one is hard if you only eat when you get hungry. If I don’t keep a running mental list of what I eat in a day, I find myself skipping meals, because I forget to eat. If you have to write on a piece of paper meal one, meal two, meal three in big giant letters and tape it where you will see it maybe in the kitchen somewhere or even of all places in the bathroom and cross off when you eat your meals.

Weight Tip Number Three: Stay Away From Heavy Foods

I noticed after eating heavy meals and desserts like cheese cake or a cheeseburger with no vegetables, I wasn’t hungry most of the day after. If fact I could go through the whole day not being hungry from just eating two pieces of cheese cake. I gained maybe 600 calories from the cheese cake, but that was all the calories I ate for most of the day. In fact I would lose weight eating like this. So the conclusion was to stay away from heavy foods. And if you want to eat cheeseburgers, make sure to add lots of vegetable so your stomach has some roughage to process the burger easier. And for the cheese cake, eat lots of fresh fruits with it. I would stay away from heavy foods unless you can balance them out with some sort of salad or fruit of some kind to aid in your digestion so you can get hungry faster.

Gain Weight Tip Number Four: Eat Proteins and Carbohydrates

These two are your best friends while trying to gain weight. Proteins such as meat, peanut butter, beans are a good pick. Carbohydrates, choose a nice big bake potato with butter and your favorite cheese and add lots of steamed broccoli for your digestive system. One of my favorites is peanut butter pie which gives you 623 calories for a 1/8th piece. Also rice is excellent, I like to saute cut up chicken pieces in a mixture of soy sauce and butter, cook until done, then add this chicken to a bowl of hot rice and throw in a handful of cooked peas.

Gain Weight Tip Number Five: Wear Loose Clothing

You know what they say if you wear loose clothing, when you can’t see how much weight you are gaining, you tend to gain it. I think of this like not peaking into a cooking pot of dumplings. If you uncover the lid, the dumplings stop cooking. Call me superstitious but if you wear looser clothing, you tend to gain more weight. I realize that loose clothing actually has nothing to do with how many calories you intake or how fat stores in the body, but I still think this idea works. It does for me.

Gain Weight Tip Number Six: Take a Nap

Try to take a nap during the day if you can. Sleeping not only helps refresh your brain and body but also help to store calories since you are not burning hardly any to sleep.

Gain Weight Tip Number Seven: Anxiety and Stress can Keep You from Gaining Weight

Anxiety and stress actually reeks havoc on the body. And some people when they are stressed forget to eat, don’t have an appetite, and actually can’t eat or they will feel sick to the stomach. I am that way. I can hardly eat for the whole duration. Extreme stress can make you sick so try and relax as much as possible and try to find helping tips that will remedy anxiety and stress to help you feel better faster.

Women’s Weight Loss After Menopause

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Health and diet researchers have shown that it is much more difficult to achieve weight loss as you age. It’s even harder for women. Not only must women deal with the natural slowing of their metabolism as they get older, but they must also take into account how their body changes after menopause. Menopause can affect weight loss and dieting. The Mayo Clinic says that “during your 40s or 50s – usually coinciding with the menopausal transition – you may notice that maintaining your usual weight becomes more difficult. Weight gain after menopause seems to be harder to lose, and the inches tend to accumulate around your abdomen, rather than your hips and thighs.”

In this health and wellness article, we’ll show you how to deal with post-menopause weight loss. A woman’s body is special, and the way you go about trying to lose weight is also special.

Women’s Weight Loss after Menopause

On the average, a woman can gain a pound a year at this time. An average woman 30-40 years of age who leads an inactive lifestyle requires a rough estimate of 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day to maintain a normal weight. With older women menopause generally makes weight loss a lot more difficult to solve.

A woman in who is going through menopause normally notices that maintaining her usual weight or realizing weight loss becomes a lot harder. Research shows that approximately 90% of menopausal women gain some weight between the ages of 40 and 55. Still it is important to keep in mind that this weight gain is normal and to be expected.

This is not to say, however, that weight loss after menopause cannot be anticipated. It must be known that the hormones associated with menopause are not the only cause of weight gain.

Work habits and lifestyle play a big role in her change of body composition. Menopausal women have the tendency to be more deskbound than other women that can lead to weight gain. This inactivity while dietary habits stay the same or get worse makes weight loss seemingly impossible to achieve.

Menopause-related stress is also a contributing factor in weight gain. Struggling with your weight all throughout your menopausal years often affects your ego when you least expect it. Because of this you become anxious and frustrated, which in turn can prevent weight loss as they beckon your body to go into storage mode.

Another factor that should be taken into account is the fact that during menopausal years, insulin resistance can occur. This happens when the body turns the calories you take in into fat, making weight loss almost impossible. It is therefore recommended that you a low-fat but high carbohydrate diet. Avoid eating processed foods as well as refined foods. This may make your body resistant to insulin and can therefore make way for weight gain.

On the brighter side, weight gain during these years is regulated by the body. This prepares you against osteoporosis and other diseases. So try to be more accepting of new body instead of hating yourself. Strive to be healthy and more active, and not trying to fit into your old clothes.

Women: 5 Lifestyle Habits That Cause Weight Gain

Monday, August 18th, 2014

We all know the secret to weight loss: Eat less and move more. Yet a hectic lifestyle, stress and dealing with numerous obligations can make weight loss seem difficult–and in some cases, downright impossible.

Unfortunately, it’s those menial habits we practice throughout the day–the habits we often don’t think about–that can also derail our diet, according to WebMD. Here’s where your lifestyle habits can turn a seemingly healthy lifestyle into an unhealthy one:

1. You get three to four hours of sleep regularly. Women, here’s a heads up: Not getting enough sleep can make you gain weight. Why? According to Michael Breus, Ph.D., director of The Sleep Disorders Centers of Southeastern Lung Care in Atlanta, Georgia, not getting enough sleep causes ghrelin levels to rise, a hormone that stimulates the appetite. Once that occurs, you can expect more bouts of hunger throughout the day, which can tempt you to eat more, and as a result, ruin that calorie deficit. While not getting enough sleep won’t magically cause you to gain weight, it can trigger your appetite, which, in many situations, causes you to eat more calories. As we all know, eating too many calories causes weight gain, so this is definitely not a good thing.

The solution: Constantly sleep deprived? You may be suffering from insomnia, a type of sleep disorder. Chronic insomnia can affect more than just your appetite, so seek medical help if it lasts for two weeks or more. Otherwise, make sure to cut down on caffeinated beverages and keep a regular sleep schedule.

2. You always eat low-fat foods, assuming they’re good for weight loss. The reality: Low-fat foods aren’t necessarily low-calorie, and may contain other additions, such as sugar, to turn up the food’s flavor factor. Also, low-fat foods don’t guarantee automatic weight loss–although you usually lose fat when you lose weight, weight loss is caused by a calorie deficit, not a dietary fat deficit. Unfortunately, dietary fat and body fat are not the same.

The fix: To lose weight, pay more attention to your caloric intake instead of your dietary fat intake. You can reduce your caloric intake by eating smaller portions, switching out pasta and rice for more vegetables, or by cutting out caloric beverages, such as milk and creamy coffee. It’s still important to pay attention to your dietary fat intake, however–it’s just not the key to weight loss.

3. You’re stressed out all the time–and you don’t do anything about it. Or if you have been doing something about it, it’s probably involved late-night munching or overindulging in comfort foods. While food therapy can help you feel good in the short term, excess calorie consumption can lead to weight gain, which could make you even more stressed out.

The cure: To prevent weight gain during stressful times, Edward T. Creagan, M.D., a Mayo Clinic oncologist, recommends de-stressing with yoga, meditation or a soothing massage. Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and keeping comfort foods out of the house can also help control your unhealthy eating habits. Ultimately, the main goal is to deal with the source of the stress, such as a stressful relationship, the wintertime blues or financial turmoil.

4. You don’t eat enough. To lose weight, you need to eat less–but eating too little can slow down weight loss, cause mood disturbances, and in some cases, cause uncontrollable binges. Most women often under-eat while on a diet, and often don’t know how many calories they need to maintain their weight.

How to fix it: The key to steady, sustainable weight loss is to lose it slowly, losing no more than two pounds per week. Also, most women shouldn’t eat less than 1,200 calories a day, the minimum dietary intake most doctors recommend. Although some women do have to eat less than 1,200 calories a day, it isn’t common, so don’t aim for this amount. Instead, aim for an amount that is appropriate for your activity level–the more you move, the more calories you need.

5. You’re too strict with your eating regimen. If you eat the same foods everyday, don’t allow yourself to eat any so-called bad foods, or punish yourself when you eat slightly off your diet plan, here’s some bad news: you could be setting yourself up for diet failure.

Here’s the evidence: According to a 2002 study published in the journal Appetite, women who practiced rigid eating habits were more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI), as well as experience mood disturbances and body image issues. Ironically, women who were more flexible with their diet had lower BMIs and a generally more positive attitude towards their bodies.

Although a degree of control is required while dieting, you shouldn’t stress out over small diet mishaps, nor should you forbid yourself from making any mistakes–that’s unrealistic and unhealthy. Remember that we, as women, are normal human beings, not superheroes (even though sometimes we wish we could be)!

References:
WebMD
WebMD
The Mayo Clinic
ScienceDirect.com

Winter Season and Weight Gain Reasons: Finding a Solution!

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Winter encourages us to put on some extra clothes to keep us warm but putting on some extra weight has also been a winter affair. Come summer this extra winter weight is still keeping us warm. This could go year after year and before we know it, the extra weight is there to stay.

And one wonders, why this gain occurs and what can we do to fight this winter weight gain?

First, inheritance to store fat as winter approaches was seen as one probable factor in winter weight. Compare human bodies with that of several animals who storing fat during winter keeps their survival vital. The more fat there is, the more our body can be protected of the dreaded winter breeze. Excess in fats also help fuel the body in late winter and early spring wherein supplies of food can deplete. And even before winter, we tend to consume food that has abundant fat content.

Second, our desires and appetites are controlled by certain hormones and other chemicals that dictate the way we consume food. Neurotransmitters of the brain also have a contribution that adds to this winter weight dilemma. It was found that people having a hard time to lose weight has low levels of these neurotransmitters. As a result, depression and sleep deprivation sinks in as well as excessive eating that certainly leads to adding up some unwanted weight.

Winter does not only bring additional weight but it can also trigger the Seasonally Affected Disorder (S.A.D), popularly called as winter depression, as daylight shortens during late fall and winter time.

To combat S.A.D, we sometimes over indulge ourselves with foods that have significantly high levels of carbohydrates to give us a boost, the “sugar rush”. This can range from candies to cereals or to any high sugar content food that people tend to consume more of during winter. The carbohydrate rich food will of course cause weight gain that lead to content about depression, and triggers more craving to eat.Thus, creating a path that seems to flow in a circular motion. Bipolar or clinical depression should not be seen as S.A.D.

There are countless reasons why we tend to eat foods that are high in carbohydrates during winter. Carbohydrate rich food like cookies, pies, and chocolates, can also contain high levels of fats.

We can always substitute bad carbohydrates with good ones. Carbohydrates that is rich in fiber and fat free, the likes of cereals, rice, and fresh fruits.

Obviously winter limits our physical activities. Hence, it is strongly recommended that we take extra effort in trying to find ways to exercise in the comfort of our home. It may be cold but with the presence of heaters in our home can be readily addressed. For the more serious types, gyms are always present in every area.

Even in winter we still need to burn those unwanted carbs showing on our waistline, or better yet transform those carbs into useful body energy.

That way, winter weight does not have to stick around any longer.

Why Does Menopausal Weight Gain Occur?

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Studies show that 90% of women who go through menopause between the ages of 35 and 55 will put on some weight. The good news is that this weight gain isn’t your fault. In other words, you haven’t been eating too much. It merely happens because of the sudden change in your hormone levels.

On average, women tend to gain around ten pounds during menopause. However, this weight will usually be gained on a gradual basis through the pre-menopausal years, so you will actually only be gaining a pound each year. Another thing you have to get ready for is the fact that most of this weight will accumulate around your stomach as opposed to in the usual areas like your hips, butt and thighs. This is because your body will have a harder time redistributing your weight evenly during menopause.

So, what actually causes menopausal weight gain, to begin with? Well, one of the major causes would be the sudden drop of estrogen levels in your body. Since your ovaries produce less estrogen, in general, your body will start to search for other places that it can get estrogen from. Unfortunately, fat cells are very effective at producing estrogen, too; and because of this, your body will start turning your extra calories into fat, so that it can increase your levels of estrogen. This is usually the main reason why women gain weight during menopause.

Progesterone, on the other hand, is the hormone responsible for regulating your body’s water weight. However, this hormone also declines quite fast during menopause, causing you to retain much more water as time goes by. This, too, will pack more pounds onto your body during menopause.

Your testosterone levels will also drop during this time. Since this hormone creates lean muscle mass out of your consumed calories, you will actually lose muscles during menopause and your metabolism will get slower, thus contributing to even more weight gain during this stage of your life.

Lastly, there is androgen, the hormone that sends new fat straight into your stomach. In fact, this hormone can be blamed for all of the stomach fat that you get during menopause.

Now, don’t freak out just yet. The good news is that it is possible to battle menopausal weight gain. All you have to do is eat a balanced diet every day and quite possible try supplements now available on the market today such as Amberen and others. You will also have to get rid of all of the refined sugars in your diet and replace them with vegetables and fruits. Ideally, you should also start following a proper exercise regime in order to produce more endorphins. This will ensure that you always feel good in both your body and your mind as you go through menopause.

Why Do People Gain Weight After a Gastric Bypass?

Monday, August 18th, 2014

About 7 years ago I had a gastric bypass. I wasn’t as heavy as many who have this surgery and after losing about 70 pounds I looked and felt great. I and my doctors had hoped that having the surgery would cure my diabetes but it did not. Today I have regained about 30 pounds of that loss. Among my friends and patients who have had the surgery more than 5 years ago, almost everyone has had a significant weight gain.

The one reason I can identify that is common to all is that the surgery does not take away the habit of eating for self soothing. Most overweight people eat when they are not hungry. Most of them will tell you they have never been hungry. I have always likened overeating to an addiction and Overeaters Anonymous would agree. The surgery does not address this issue. So for the first few years the limited capacity of the new stomach reduces intake and causes weight loss. But people continue to overeat and often feel nauseous and even throw up after they eat. Each time this happens the pouch is stretched just a little until after a few years it actually is almost the same size that the original stomach was. People who have used food to help them feel better when they are angry, sad, happy, mad, or any other mood will continue to do so. And the weight comes back easily.

Overweight people are not notoriously those who exercise. After the surgery many begin to exercise and may do so for a few years. But it’s hard to really make a lifestyle change that has you exercising several times a week, and I have found that most people stop after a year or two.

Food choice is also an issue. Overeaters like fattening food. Again, the first few years brings an enthusiasm which allows them to feel good about restricting the sweet and fatty foods they liked in the past. But in time the desire for those food returns and the weight comes on.

Stress has always been a killer for those watching their weight. People eat when they are stressed and many of my friends and patients are out of work or feel concerned about their finances. Financial problems often lead to marital problems and other family problems. Being unemployed will lead to increase caloric intake and if you have had a gastric by-pass this will result in weight gain and other uncomfortable side effects. Dumping syndrome is one very significant side effect www.associatedcontent.com/article/2557557/living_with_dumping_syndrome_after.html.

Doctors tell you when you are preparing for the surgery that you should expect some weight gain over time. How much you gain will relate to the lifestyle changes you make as well as how much stress and problems life brings.

Why Did Your Cat Gain Weight

Monday, August 18th, 2014

You have noticed that your cat has been gaining weight. You think you have been feeding him right and maybe you are. However, there may be many reasons why your cat is fat.

Food, most likely is the number one culprit. Like human, when cats eat more calories than they burn off, they will gain weight. Even if your cat appears to be a picky eater like Morris, he may be nibbling his food all day.
If your cat is an indoor one, you are protecting him from getting hit by a car and attacks from other animals. However, he may not be as active as an outdoor cat and does not get enough exercise.

When you are sitting down to your favorite meal, your cat may be looking up at you with those sweet eyes of his begging you for that delicious food. His kibble is just too bland for his wants and desires. Feeding table scraps is not healthy for your cat. While it does not have the nutrition that your cat needs, it also can cause him to gain weight. Even the pouches of cat treats the pet stores sell do not contain the nutrition your cat needs.

The cat food itself may be what is causing the weight problem in your cat. Check the label. Does it contain grain and meat by-products? If it does, you are feeding him the wrong food. You cat needs to eat meat and needs about 40% of protein with each meal. If he does not get enough, he will eat more to make up for lost nutrition.

While it is more convenient and cheaper to give your cat dry food rather than wet food, dry food is high in carbohydrates since it contains flour and sugar.

If you are the responsible cat owner, you will make that appointment to get your cat spayed or neutered. However, fixed animals tend to be not as active.

If you are a Good Samaritan, you may find a stray cat or kitten. You notice that he is awfully thin and you do what any kind-hearted person would do. You adopt him, take him into your house and begin feeding him back to health. It appears that many rescued cats then to get weight problems later on. The loving owners are so determined to get their new pet back to a healthy weight that they tend to forget when enough is enough.

Just like in humans, stress is a major factor in weight gain in cats. When they are in a new environment, cats can get upset. This causes cat to eat more.

Another cause for your cat’s weight gain is that he may have a slow metabolic rate. A rare medical condition, called Hypothyroidism causes the cat to gain weight even when he does not eat much.
Now that you have determined the root cause of your cat’s weight gain, call your vet. He can recommend food and changes to your cat’s diet and even prescribe medicines that will help him get back down to a healthy weight.

Weightless Weight Gain Exercises

Monday, August 18th, 2014

I remember when I first went on my quest to go from being skinny to actually getting big. My main concern was that I didn’t have any money to join a gym, so their was no way I could gain the size that I wanted without going to the gym. I am here to tell you that this is far from the truth. In this article, I want to go over some different exercises that you can use that does not require you to go to the gym or will not require you to use free weights at all, but will bring you the mass that you desire. Lets begin.

Coffee Table Press

This exercise came about from my desire to actually have free weights, but as I stated before, I didn’t have any money for Gym or to buy any free weights. I started to think about what I could use to copy the weight that I wanted. Then I took a look at my coffee table. It was pretty sturdy and stable enough for me to press like a barbell, hence the name Coffee Table Press. Here is what you will need to perform this exercise. A coffee table, or piece furniture that has significant weight to it, you and the floor. That’s it. To begin this exercise, first you need to lie down on the floor. Lift the Table will lying on your back. Slowly lower the table with control movements, moving down to your chest. Press the table back up and squeeze your pec muscles. This exercise are for those who like to do bench presses for your chest. Following this exercise, you can get you the exact same results as a bench press.

Chair Curls

Every man wants big huge biceps. But to get those biceps you have to use free weights right….wrong!!! I used this exercise for a long time when I didn’t have any weights and it worked wonders for my biceps and it can do the same for yours. All you need for this exercise is a dining room chair. That is it. The first thing that you need to do is stand up straight. There is the part of the chair that has a bar on it that connects to the legs. This is where you want to grip. Keep your elbows to your side, Curl the chair up towards your chest, make sure you keep elbows by your side. Hold for 2 seconds and squeeze. Slowly bring down with control. This exercise is the same as curling a barbell.

Leg Extensions

Leg extensions are a great way to develop your quads, but if you do not have a machine, are you totally out of luck. My answer is no. The only thing you will need for this exercise are ankle weights and the end of the table. Strap the ankle weights around your ankle. Sit on the edge of a table and hold the sides. Now with your feet together, raise both legs up slowly. Hold for 2 Seconds. Now drop back down slowly with control. This exercise is the same as you using a leg extension machine.

There you have it. 3 exercises that did not require you to have any weight and that can be done in the comfort of your own home. Try them out and I’m sure you will see great results

Weight Gain from Environmental Toxins and Related Weight Loss Issues

Monday, August 18th, 2014

The increasing obesity epidemic has researching grasping for explanations. More people are overweight than ever before. Those affected are finding it more difficult to lose weight as well. Although eating habits and sedentary lifestyle are most frequently blamed, other factors should be considered, such as weight gain from environmental toxins.

Studies have found that pesticides, growth hormones and other environmental toxins may cause weight gain. These chemicals can affect the thyroid and metabolism. They can also disrupt levels of hormones, such as leptin, that control hunger and the desire to eat.

One pesticide that causes weight gain is atrazine. In addition to extra weight, atrazine appears to increase fat tissue in the abdominal area and around the organs. But even chemicals that have been banned still linger in soil and water supplies and can enter our bodies through the foods we eat. These environmental toxins can cause health risks including weight gain.

These environmental toxins are stored in fat cells. You would think that losing weight would help rid your body of these toxins. But researchers at Lavel University in Canada say that weight loss leads to high blood levels of these toxins. As fat tissue is broken down during weight loss, the chemicals are released into the body and build up in the blood. Instead of being locked into fat cells, these chemicals are now coursing through the body causing increased risks to health.

When these toxins are released back into your body, you may not gain weight if you are maintaining your weight loss program but you may notice a decrease in weight loss if there is enough of these chemicals to affect your thyroid, metabolism or disrupt hormone levels.

This information should not prevent you from starting a diet or continuing with your weight loss efforts. Higher concentrations of environmental toxins were seen in those who lost a greater amount of weight in a shorter time period.

You must weigh the benefits and risks of either maintaining obesity versus the release of toxic chemicals into the bloodstream. If you lose weight slowly and eat a healthy diet high in fiber, you stand a better chance of helping your body eliminate these toxins a little at a time. Although these chemicals will be drawn to remaining fat cells, your body can metabolize and eliminate some of these toxins.

It is important to note that turning to one of the colon cleansing products or special detox diets is not going to help in this situation. Those products were not developed with chemical environmental toxins in mind. Also, these products are not proven to work and can actually be dangerous. A high fiber diet with plenty of fluids is a natural solution without risk of serious side effects.

If you’ve had a hard time losing weight, perhaps environmental toxins are part of the reason. As they have been proven to cause weight gain, they can also affect your weight loss efforts.

CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE STARTING ANY WEIGHT LOSS OR EXERCISE PROGRAM.

SOURCES:

Paula F. Baille-Hamilton; Chemical Toxins: A Hypothesis to Explain the Global Obesity Epidemic; The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 8:2, 185-92.

Soo Lim, et. al.; Chronic Exposure to the Herbicide, Atrazine, Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Insulin Resistance; Plos One

Chevrier, J., et al.; Body weight loss increases plasma and adipose tissue concentrations of potentially toxic pollutants in obese individuals; Cat.inist

RELATED READING:

Jolynne M Hudnell; Leptin and Maintaining Weight Loss; Associated Content/Yahoo!

Jolynne M Hudnell; Should You Eat Organic to Lose Weight?; Associated Content/Yahoo!

Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Weight gain is one element in pregnancy that I have decided not to worry too much about. The variables are too great and every woman’s experience is so completely different that monitoring your weight gain may not help you much, if at all. Health care providers like to stick to a schedule of weight gain for pregnant mothers, but the truth is that there is no way to determine how or when you will gain weight or how much. Still, you may wish to keep track of your weight once a month or so, just for your own personal knowledge.

Websites, books, and care providers will tell you that you need to gain a certain amount of weight and that you should be eating more – usually about 300 extra calories per day. As a person who does not and has never counted all of the calories I eat every day, I personally feel that this is an unreasonable goal. We don’t run on numbers and charts. Your body will tell you what you need and when you need it. Eat when you are hungry and don’t worry about cramming that extra helping of dinner into your mouth just because some book says that you should.

Some women gain a lot of weight in early pregnancy. Other women will not gain any weight at all until their second or third trimesters. Many women actually lose weight before their second trimester, usually because of morning sickness or aversion to foods.

Continuous weight loss during pregnancy is a cause for concern. If you are still losing weight for any reason on into your second trimester, there could be a problem. If it is caused by nausea and no remedies are working for you, it may be time to see a doctor and get a prescription for anti-nausea medication. If you are dieting, stop now. You should never diet during pregnancy.

Do not worry if you don’t gain any weight in your first trimester. At this point, the baby is extremely tiny. Even if you are unable to keep food down, your baby does not need much at all and he or she will take what is needed from your own body. At this point, you should be more concerned with what chemicals are going into your body than with the amount of food you are able to eat.

On the other hand, excessive weight gain during pregnancy is also not healthy. It is a common myth in our society that pregnancy makes women obese. This is not true. If a woman becomes obese during pregnancy, it is for other reasons. Either she is overeating, eating more unhealthy foods because that is what she is craving, or she is not taking care of herself properly. You should be eating healthily and getting plenty of exercise while pregnant.

If you are overweight, it does not affect your ability to have an unassisted birth at home. Extra weight can make you more likely to have problems during pregnancy and labor, however, so if you are not yet pregnant, this may be the time to lose a little weight. Overweight women are much more likely to develop health problems in pregnancy such as preeclampsia and diabetes. An overweight woman who initially wanted and planned for an unassisted birth may be upset at having to change her plans because of health problems.

Extra fat deposits around the vagina may also make giving birth more difficult. Women who are overweight may find that their pregnancies are harder on them, that they get tired more easily, or that they have more trouble with blood clotting and stiffness in the joints. Overweight women are also more likely to need caesarian sections because of emergency problems such as diabetes and preeclampsia.

The following are charts with what are considered “normal weight gain” for most pregnant women, but deviation is completely normal.

Approximate weight gain throughout pregnancy:

  • Underweight – 28 to 40 lbs
  • Average weight – 25-35 lbs
  • Overweight – 15-25 lbs
  • Obese – 15 lbs

Approximate distribution of weight:

  • Baby – 7-8 lbs
  • Placenta – 2 lbs
  • Extra Blood – 3 lbs
  • Uterus – 2 lbs
  • Amniotic fluid – 2 lbs
  • Breasts – 2 lbs
  • “Maternal Stores” – 6-8 lbs
  • Retained water – 2-4 lbs