Controlling your body weight can have positive effects on your general wellbeing and importantly on your fertility, for both men and women.
People who are considered a healthy weight tend to report higher success with assisted reproductive treatments. While reaching a healthy weight may take some time, the good news is that eating well and getting physically active improves your fertility, even before you see changes in your body weight!
Why Do People Gain Weight?
Generally speaking, weight gain is usually the result of eating more than the body needs and not doing enough physical activity over a long period of time. If we constantly take in more energy than our body burns up, the excess energy is stored as fat. If you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome your body is less sensitive to the hormone insulin, which influences testosterone levels and leads to weight gain so diet and exercise interventions that influence insulin will alter body composition.
Time to Start a New Diet?
There are an endless array of new diets and weight loss methods, all claiming to be the latest miracle cure. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Most diets and weight loss products offer a quick fix, and are useless for permanent weight control. Some are even dangerous. There is no fast easy way to lose body fat. Fast weight loss which occurs with fad diets or programs is mainly a loss of water and lean muscle tissue. Once you go off the diet, the lost water soon returns. The lean tissue does not come back unless you exercise so your new body will weigh much the same as before but have less muscle and more fat than before.
So How Do I Lose Weight?
The only sure way to lose excess fat is by taking it slowly. Fat on the body doesn't appear overnight and it certainly doesn’t disappear quickly. To lose fat and keep it off, you need to change eating and exercise habits. Starving or skipping meals is not effective. Without food, your body will think it needs to conserve everything you do put into it, storing energy for later and burning up fewer calories. To lose weight, we do not follow a “diet”. By following a sensible, long term healthy eating and activity plan you can successfully lose weight and keep it off.
How Much Weight Should I Lose?
A weight loss of no more than ½ -1 kg per week is recommended. A loss of 1kg per month however is a good goal for many. Most people gain weight over a long period of time and it is unrealistic to expect it to disappear overnight. Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to be sustained, rather than losing a large amount in a short time and having it all come back again, generally with some more. Body weight can fluctuate substantially, depending on the time of day, temporary fluid
retention, menstruation or increasing muscle mass with exercise. You should not weigh yourself any more than once per week. Always use the same set of scales and weigh yourself at the same time of day.
Reducing Energy Intake
Our weight depends on the amount of energy we take in and the amount we burn up. "Energy" comes from the food we eat and is measured in kilojoules (kJ) or calories (cal). Carbohydrate, protein and fat provide energy in foods while water, vitamins, minerals and fibre provide no energy. Alcohol also provides energy.
The energy in the different macronutrients per gram are:
Carbohydrate 16 kJ or 4 calories
Protein 17 kJ or 4 calories
Fat 37 kJ or 9 calories
Alcohol 29 kJ or 7 calories
The three main macronutrients in our diet are carbohydrates, and proteins, and fats. These are essential because they provide us with energy to fuel our basic functions such as sleeping, eating, daily chores, exercise, growth and repair. Each food contains different proportions of macronutrients. For example, yogurt has a combination of all macronutrients, bok choy is a great source of fiber, or carbohydrate, but is virtually fat free and has only a small amount of protein. Meat and nuts are a great source of protein, contain little carbohydrate and fiber, and varying amounts of fats. Given the unique combination of macronutrients of different foods, eating a healthy, diverse range of foods is essential to our health and well being. In addition to macronutrients, it's important to consider the energy that it yields, or the energy that our macronutrients provide to our diet and to our eating plan. So currently, en vogue are low-carb or no carbohydrate diets. People are concerned that they gain weight on carbohydrates. And there's a real move away from including carbohydrates
In addition to getting the balance of our macronutrients right, it is important to consider the energy that our macronutrients provide to our diet and to our eating plan. Low carbohydrate or no carbohydrate diets have become very trendy but focusing on the type of carbohydrate you are eating is important. There is a difference in how the body responds to a handful of lollies compared to eating wholegrain bread. A low carbohydrate diet (<40% of your daily energy needs) has actually been associated with an increase risk of obesity!
The energy content of carbohydrate and protein is almost identical. Removing carbohydrate from the diet means an increase in protein and fat which often leads to a greater energy intake. Carbohydrates are a really important component of a balanced, healthy diet and importantly wholegrain intake has been associated with improved outcomes for fertility treatment. Getting the balance of carbohydrate in your diet right to enhance your fertility is important. Your nutrition plan macronutrient guide is tailored to guide you on the ideal percentage for your eating plan.