A Nutrition Guide To Manage Obesity And Fertility

Sep 2, 2021, 21:12 IST

Wellness diet

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Obesity is a common metabolic disturbance and defined as excessive accumulation of body fat. According to Asian classification, a body mass Index (BMI) for normal person should be between 18.5 kg/m2 - 22.9 kg/m2 , a BMI of ≥ 23.0 kg/m2 is classified as Overweight and a BMI of ≥ 27.5 kg/m2 as Obese. The prevalence of obesity and overweight is rapidly increasing in both men and women and has become an epidemic worldwide. Gurpreet Kaur, senior nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Chandigarh, opines tat obesity has detrimental influence on all body systems, including the reproductive health.


Effect Of Female Obesity In Infertility -

 Obesity impacts the women health across their reproductive lifespan with adverse effects on not only fertility and short-term complications of pregnancy, but also on longer term health outcomes for both women and their children. As compared to healthy women, overweight women have a higher chances of menstrual dysfunction and an-ovulation. Moreover, the obese women are at a high risk for sub-fecundity and sub-fertility, conception rates, miscarriage rates, and many other pregnancy complications are increased in these women. They tend to have poor reproductive outcomes in natural as well as assisted conception or reproduction such as ovulation induction, IVF/ICSI, and ovum donation cycles.


Effects Of Female Obesity During Pregnancy

The maternal obesity and increased risk of multiple serious pregnant complications have both the short and long term negative effects. These risks include Pregnancy induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia, GDM (gestational diabetes) and antenatal depression. Women with obesity are more likely to experience induction of labor and Cesarean section and they are also more likely to have a stillbirth as compared to normal weight women.

Being obese during pregnancy not only effect the pregnancy phase but there are also consequences for a woman’s health in later life. There is greater chances of a woman developing diabetes, chronic hypertension and cardiovascular disease during her lifetime. Maternal obesity also increases the likelihood of gynaecological cancers in later life including ovarian and endometrial cancer.



Weight loss is the gold standard of treatment in both men and women with a high BM. Overweight and obese patients should be encouraged to lose weight before planning to conceive to reduce the poor obstetrical outcomes due to obesity.

Wellness diet

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Characteristics of diet negatively affecting fertility and causing Obesity:

- High intake of red and processed meat

- High intake of sweet drinks and unhealthy snacks

- Low intake of fiber, vitamins & minerals

- Poor consumption of fish

- Poor consumption of vegetables & fruits

- High intake of trans fats

- High energy density and sedentary lifestyle

- Poor consumption of nuts & seeds


Important Modifications of diet for both men and women:

  • Nuts and dry fruits are a great source of protein, vitamins & minerals and also they have high quantities of selenium (a mineral) that declines chromosomal damage in eggs which helps in boosting fertility levels. Always eat a handful of nuts and dry fruits such as almonds, walnut, raisins, figs etc. with milk every morning to boost the fertility levels.
  • Green vegetables are a rich source of folic acid and vitamin which helps in the process of proper ovulation. It also decreases the chances of miscarriage and genetic abnormalities. Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale must be included in the diet as these not only improves the egg fertility but also helps in making good quality of sperms.
  • Garlic is a fertility boosting spice for both men and women . For women, it maintains the estrogen balance in the body and thus supports fertility. For men, it helps in enhancing the sperm movement which increases the odds of conception when consumed regularly. 2 chopped cloves empty stomach could be consumed daily.
  • Milk and its products are rich source of vitamin C, good fats and vitamin D and these are essential for improving fertility levels. These products nourish whole body and helps in conceiving faster. Organic hormone free milk products such as yogurt, curd, lassi, buttermilk and milk should be incorporated in daily diet.
  • Fiber helps the body to get rid of excess hormones and keep blood sugar balanced. It can also help in removing excess estrogen by binding to it in the intestines. The excess estrogen is then removed from the body as a waste product resulting the control of estrogen levels.
  • Some animal proteins such as meat should be replaced with plant protein sources such as beans, lentils,nuts and seeds as these plants sources are linked to a reduced risk of infertility
  • Creating a calorie deficit is necessary for weight loss. Counting the calories help you lose weight by bringing awareness to what you eat each day. This could also helps identifying different eating patterns that you may need to modify, keeping you on track to reach your goals. Always take suggestion from your nutritionist for tailor made diet plans to achieve your target. The nutritionist will help you to shed off extra calorie and focus on fat loss and muscle building.
  • Along with diet, exercise also plays a vital role as it has many benefits for the health, including increased fertility. Increasing the moderate physical activity has positive effects on fertility for women as well as men, especially those with obesity.


*One should certainly inculcate the habit of going for regular workouts and consume a balanced diet. As a healthy body shall fundamentally help in speeding up the process of conceiving.


Also Read: Your Search For An Expert-Approved Pregnancy Diet Chart Ends Here