Weight. It’s a complex issue and I think we often oversimplify it. I can be guilty of this too. Working in weight management and eating disorders has shown me that the numbers on the scales do not always do what you expect them to do.
You may be eating enough for weight gain and just not see it and vice versa for weight loss. I find it can be very confusing for people when they know they should have lost/gained weight and yet the scales say they have maintained. So let’s think it through.
The body does not work in days or weeks like we do. I always advise people if they weigh themselves to stick to once a week on the same day at around the same time. It could be a couple of days later and you will get a different reading.
Sometime there is a lag phase where your body takes a while to adjust and realise you’ve changed your dietary intake.
Weight is not just determined by what you eat. Your hormones, fluid intake and the time of the day can play a role too amongst other things. You will weigh more at the end of the day, when you have your monthly cycle and when you drink more.
Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you are exercising more you may be building muscle and weigh more.
So let’s not focus on the individual numbers too much. Instead look at the trend over a few weigh-ins or if you are trying to lose weight why not think about ditching the scales and look at waist circumference measurements and how your clothes fit. I have one client who has to have her clothes taken in each time she visits the tailor which is a sure sign things are going the right way!
I was fortunate enough to be asked by a media company to work with a journalist and write a column on Fertility and diet. This was fascinating for me as it meant I spent some time reading the research on this area and brushing up my knowledge. The article is at the end of this post.
There has been some good research showing:
There is a U-shaped relationship between weight and fertility, with lower fertility rates in obese and underweight women, so you have the best chances of concieving when you are a healthy BMI.
Caffeine should be restricted to <300mg/d (1-2 cups tea/coffee). More than this is linked to an increased risk of miscarriage and poor fetal growth. Caffiene has a prolonged half life meaning it hangs around in the body so you really want to cut down the caffeine before you become pregnant.
A large piece of research calls the Nurses Health study followed 17,000 plus women who were trying to conceive over a period of 8 yrs. The study showed that healthy eating is key. Women eating less trans fats, more monounsaturated fats (heart healthy fats such as olives and avocardo), more plant protein, high fat dairy products, high fibre, low glycaemic index carboydrates and more iron that comes from plants had higher fertility rates.
There is some research to suggest over exercising and infertility may be linked. Although it is not proven that it is the exercise that causes the infertility, it makes sense as over exercising can stress the body and lead to being underweight, which are things we know affect fertility.
Freelance Dietitian specialising in helping those with Eating Disorders and a Media Spokesperson for the profession.