A lot of women are able to hold their weight fairly well until the point when they become pregnant. Then without these women realizing how and why, they put on so much of weight during pregnancy that it becomes quite difficult to lose it there after. A study that investigated the link between dieting and pregnancy weight gain was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
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Dieting Causes Pregnancy Weight Gain
The study found that restrained eating behaviors and dieting were associated with pregnancy weight gain that was over and above the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine. This applied to normal, overweight, and obese women. The Institute of Medicine’s weight gain guidelines were elaborated in an earlier article entitled “What is Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy”.
Excess Pregnancy Weight is Difficult to Lose
The authors of the study expressed their concern with excessive pregnancy weight gain. Studies have found that women who went over and above the guidelines of the Institute of Medicine, found it very difficult to lose pregnancy weight gain after delivering. Those interested to find out more, could refer to an earlier article entitled “Pregnant Overweight Women Find it More Difficult to Lose Weight After”.
Interestingly, the study also found that underweight women who engaged in restrained eating and dieting, actually gained less than the normal and healthy weight gain expected. This could be due to underlying issues of eating disorders.
A Compromised Metabolic Rate Makes it Difficult to Lose Pregnancy Weight
A lot of women are helpless and are not able to understand the reason for this uncontrolled pregnancy weight gain. Pregnancy weight gain puts a lot of women into depression at a time when they are very vulnerable. The reason for this downward spiral could be due to a compromised metabolic rate. Most women between their 20s and 30s are able to shed pound off easily by reducing their food intake. Their robust metabolic rates and high levels of useful hormones help this. Unfortunately, this sort of easy weight loss becomes more and more difficult to do as a woman ages. Hormonal imbalance could be one reason for this tilt. Another reason could be the loss of muscle mass with each dieting bout.
Your metabolic rate, irrespective of whether you are a man or a woman, depends on the amount of muscles that you carry. The more muscles you generally carry, the higher your metabolic rate. This does not mean that a woman should go out there and build muscles. She just has to make sure that she maintains the same amount of muscles that she had at the age of 21. As a young 21-year-old, a woman would probably carry an ideal amount of muscle mass. Unfortunately, every bout of dieting will not only result in the loss of body fat. Muscle is also loss with dieting. As the dieting and starvation continues, the scale tilts and there could be more proportion of muscle loss than fat loss.
Build Your Muscle Reserves Before Pregnancy
This is the reason a woman who has not exercised will find that she is carrying less muscles at the age of 30 than when she was 20. This off course could be avoided if a woman exercise and incorporates a regime of weight resistance exercises. Weight resistance exercises are exercises that stress your muscles against a load. Squats or lunges are examples of weight resistance exercises.
Unfortunately, a lot of women diet without exercising in their 20s only to pay a heavy price when they become pregnant. The battle with weight loss after pregnancy becomes a frustrating and a lifelong one. A woman should be in the prime condition of her life before conceiving. She should be the fittest she has ever been. This will make sure that she has a healthy pregnancy and reduces risk of abnormalities in the unborn child. This would also reduce difficulty in losing the excess weight there after.