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Obesity and Weight Management

Excessive weight gain

01/10/2007

Question:

I had a baby 17 months ago via c-section. Since that time I have gained 40 lbs. My dr. checked my thyroid functioning, but all was normal. I have no idea why I`m gaining a few pounds every week but feel that it must be medical in origin as I do eat healthy and exercise. I am losing my mind at how fat I am becoming and feel that there has to be a reason. Any ideas? Thank you.

Answer:

Gaining weight can be very frustrating and quite alarming. Something that may help you sort out what is going on is to ask a series of questions. What was your prepregnancy weight?  How much did you gain during pregnancy?  How much did you lose by 6 weeks postpartum? Are you breastfeeding? If so, how for how long?

You want to review the answers to these questions with your doctor.  They will help you to determine how much of this weight has been retained after pregnancy and how much is new weight that is occurring.

Be aware that your eating patterns may have changed, especially if you are more stressed and breasting feeding. Your amount of food may have increased and you may be eating later than usual. Try not to eat after your child as well. Many mothers will eat their own food and then eat what is on their child's plate.

Examine what types of food you are eating. Try to avoid rice, potatoes, pasta, bread and corn and eat more fruits and vegetables, fish and lean meat. Drink plenty of water. Avoid snack food such as chips and soda and fast foods. In order to lose 1 pound at the end of a week you have to remove 500 calories from your diet a day. Make sure you are exercising at least 30 to 60 minutes daily and incorporate a weight training program at least 2 times per week to increase muscle tone, which will promote more calories burned. If you have been doing your same exercise routine for a while, it may be time to change the intensity or the type of exercise you are doing.

Overall, be patient with yourself. Weight loss takes time. Talk with your doctor and a nutritionist for more ways to make changes in your diet that will promote good health.

For more information:

Go to the Obesity and Weight Management health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Esa M Davis, MD, MPH Esa M Davis, MD, MPH
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University