Since about 55 percent of women of childbearing age are overweight, the guidelines may be tough to meet, but setting some small goals may help lead you in the right direction, and the less overweight you are, the better.
Since pregnancy is not the time to lose weight, now is the time to address your weight issue by gradually making some changes in your diet and increasing your physical activity level. So if you are a young, overweight woman planning your future family, consider instituting these five easy, healthy habits now:
• Drink skim or 1% milk. Calcium is important to women’s health, and if you don’t already use lowfat dairy, now is the time to give it a try.
• Include 3 pieces of fruit in your diet everyday. Fruit is loaded with vitamin C and fiber and helps keep you full. If you munch on fruit through the day, you are less likely to eat high calorie snacks such as candy or chips.
• Skip the soda. A 20 ounce bottle of regular soda pop contains 250 calories! Sip on ice water or diet green tea instead. Or better yet, brew your own green tea once a week and make a big pitcher of iced tea to keep in your refrigerator.
• Limit fast food or fried food to no more than once per week. Choose salads and grilled meats. When you do treat yourself to some French fries for instance, share them with a friend or order a small size,
• Take a walk. Even if you aren’t a “jock” or don’t consider yourself athletic, you can walk for exercise. Invest in a decent pair of walking shoes and get outside. Or join a local gym or fitness center. Some will charge a “day rate” and you can go in and check it out for the day. You may be surprised to see that everyone there does not have a perfect body and are not skinny. But they are getting fit, and that’s your goal.