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Is Your Weight Affecting Your Fertility?
A blog by Sarah Clark, May 31, 2016
You may have been told to lose weight in order to increase your chances of having a baby.
The statistics don’t lie; moderate weight loss does impact fertility. If you are struggling with ovulatory infertility, according to one study, losing 5% to 10% of your current weight is often enough to improve ovulation.1
This is especially helpful for women with PCOS, as weight loss can help to restore menstruation and ovulation.2
Excess weight can also affect men’s ability to conceive. One study suggested that overweight and obese men are more likely than their normal weight peers to produce lower numbers of sperm counts or no sperm at all.3
These statistics can either be motivating or down right scary.
Here are some tips to help you bring awareness to your habits around food. When you allow yourself to slow down, you begin to connect to what your body really needs.
- It is best to eat with no distractions: Yes, that means turning off the TV, putting down the book or magazine. It’s time to keep your meal times calm and relaxing.
- Give thanks for the meal: It is an especially good idea to thank the cook; she or he will be more apt to cook again for you when you express your thanks.
- Take your time to chew each bite: Learn to savour your food instead of stuffing it into your mouth. Try chewing 10 times for each bite of food. Yes, it takes longer to eat, but you will actually be satisfied for longer.
- Eat only when you are hungry: That’s a shocker. Many of us don’t even know what our body is telling us. Maybe it’s full from overindulging at the lunch buffet. Key is to take a few minutes and listen to your body. No guilt or shame required.
- Stop for a few minutes: If you find yourself unconsciously going to the fridge to numb feelings of loneliness, sadness, anger or frustration, stop. Put a reminder on your fridge to stop and take a few breaths before you indulge. Tap into your feelings, and maybe instead of food you really need a hug or social connection such as calling a friend or loved one.
Dealing with infertility is difficult enough and then adding the pressure of trying to lose weight can be overwhelming. Reach out for support. Take small steps every day toward your goal. Celebrate your wins and if you slip up don’t give up! Start again the next day.