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It is completely natural to gain weight when you are going through a pregnancy. On average, normal-weight women in Denmark gain about 12-15 kilos during their pregnancy.
The extra kilos come from different areas of the pregnancy: 3,5 kilos is the baby, 2 kilos are the amniotic fluid, 2 kilos are an increase in breasts and uterus, 3 kilos are extra water in the body, and the last 1,5 kilos are an increase in fat. If you gain more than 12 kilos, it is probably due to an increase in the amount of fat than the normal 1,5 kilos. However, it is important to emphasize that the weight gained, and the distribution of it varies from person to person.
You have probably heard that you should “eat for two” during pregnancy, but your calorie need is actually only increased by 200-300 calories per day – that is approximately a slice of rye bread with 5 grams of butter and two slices of cheese. Advice would be that it is easier to prevent a bigger weight gain, while you are pregnant than losing the excess weight afterward.
When your pregnancy is over, and you are dying to get back into your favorite pants, it is not recommended that you begin a strict diet if you are still breastfeeding, as your calorie needs are increased by approximately 600 calories per day. For most breastfeeding women, the deposits gained during the pregnancy can handle this extra calorie need. Naturally, this means that you will most likely lose weight at a slow and steady pace if you a normal, healthy diet. After the birth, and while you breastfeed, it is ideal to implement some physical activity by long walks with the baby carriage.
When you are done breastfeeding, you can – in good conscience – begin losing the last kilos. As in all weight loss programs, it is essential that you are in a calorie deficit if you want to lose weight. For example, increase the number of vegetables and fruits in your diet, can cut down on carbohydrate sources such as rice, pasta, (white)bread, and potatoes. If you replace your carbohydrates with vegetables, you will automatically lower the number of calories, as vegetables often have a far lower carbohydrate content than aforementioned.