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Top tips for avoiding pregnancy weight gain

The Irish Independent published a feature on Saturday, 3rd February titled ‘What to expect when you’re expecting!’ and it focused on our pregnancy weight plan.

The article featured Aisling Connolly, clinics director here at Motivation and Lynne Murphy, one of our weight loss consultants based in our Wexford clinic.

The feature covers three key areas of pregnancy, pre, during and post and offers up some great advice on how to tackle issues, especially those associated with weight, be it weight to lose due to fertility challenges, how to ensure it’s only the baby that pouts on the weight and last but not least, how to lose pregnancy weight gained.


A strong sense of purpose is essential to any successful weight loss programme – and when it comes to motivation, what greater incentive can there be than a new baby!

Here, the experts at Motivation Weight Management, speak about the importance of overcoming unhealthy habits to lose and maintain weight pre, during and post pregnancy.

“Overweight expectant mums should be conscious of the need to follow a healthy and balanced nutritional eating plan that takes account of the baby’s health, as well as their own,” says Aisling Connolly, Clinics Director for Motivation Weight Management. “During our 23 years in operation, the Motivation Pregnancy Programme has helped expecting mums to combat the hunger, tiredness and cravings that can be associated with pregnancy.

“The programme helps them to lose weight, while protecting the health of the baby and encouraging them to have a positive mental attitude, and healthier habits and behaviours.”

Developed by world-renowned weight loss specialist Dr Maurice Larocque, the Motivation programme is based on the principle that diet alone produces only short-term results.

The focus of the programme is on the ‘mental weight’ principle, which states that the only way to change a person’s physical weight is to change their mental weight. This is the weight you’re certain to reach if you continue with your current eating habits, behaviour and attitude towards food.


Pre-pregnancy taking temperature. Pregnancy weight is so important.Recent international research has shown that being overweight may reduce both the chance of conception and the response to fertility treatment. Being overweight also increases the risk of miscarriage and pregnancy complications.

Not forgetting, obesity can have an impact on male fertility also.

Aisling, who has personally trained with Dr Larocque, adds, “If you’re overweight or obese, ensuring your new baby gets the best start in life is a great motivator to make positive changes that will also benefit your own long-term health and well being. If a client wants to lose weight to become pregnant, we have a choice of pregnancy eating plans based on their weight and current lifestyle. They can sign up to a 10- or 20-week programme.

During Pregnancy

“If you become pregnant half-way through the programme, then we will change the plan for you, as you’re going to need more calories while pregnant. Remember, you will gain between approximately one to two stone from baby weight when you’re pregnant, so try not to focus on the weighing scale. It’s such a negative instrument.
“In all of our 25 clinics around Ireland, we have a fat replica vest, which weighs a stone and a half. We put this on our clients if they’re trying to become pregnant. This way, they can imagine how difficult it would be to carry the extra baby weight, on top of the current size they are. This helps illustrate how everything you’re doing is going to benefit your baby.”

During pregnancy Aisling herself has followed the Motivation Pregnancy Weight Programme during the three pregnancies of her daughters, now aged 17, 13 and 11. She says, “As an expectant mum your main weight management goal should be to avoid putting on any weight yourself.

Any pregnancy weight gain should be due to the weight of your baby, along with placenta, amniotic fluid, would be appropriate. If you are of normal weight, a 25lb gain is recommended. If you are overweight, you should aim to gain no more than 20lbs.”

Motivation’s unique approach to looking at not just what their clients are eating, but why they eat it, is what makes the programme a success.

“Many women may have that mindset of needing to ‘eat for two’ or say ‘I’m going to put weight on anyway’. And, one example are ginger nut biscuits. These are sometimes recommended to ease nausea while pregnant but unfortunately, many women may end up eating the packet of biscuits instead of just one or two!”

The Motivation Pregnancy Weight Programme advises eating healthily every 3-4 hours, a similar pattern to how you would feed your baby.

“It is important to realise the Motivation pregnancy eating plan isn’t a ‘diet’,” says Aisling. “You’re eating what you would eat if you were following a a normal healthy diet.


During pregnancy, a recommended increase of 300 calories per day is advised to support the growth of the baby. This is catered for in our pregnancy plans. A pregnancy diet or pregnancy diet plan is all about eating about eating a balanced diet and maintaining your weight as the baby continues to develop.”

“Because I was eating every 3-4 hours, I wasn’t hungry, I had great energy, I didn’t get cravings and I gained only baby weight. Most importantly, I followed the advice recommended on the Motivation mental weight analysis report regarding the habits and behaviours to work on and

I used the Motivation audio programmes to help me keep a positive healthy mental attitude.”

Aisling recalls the time her first child was born, “Paul, my husband, business partner and personal motivator, bought me a gorgeous pair of leather trousers, and I made it my goal to fit in them six weeks after the birth. Using the tools that we recommend on the Motivation Pregnancy Weight Programme, it worked. The feeling was amazing and I think the phrase ‘nothing tastes like slim feels’ sums it all up. I am also very proud to say that two pregnancies later (and two more beautiful daughters), the story was the same!”


Lynne Murphy, who has been a weight loss consultant at Motivation’s Wexford clinic for two years, understands this amazing feeling Aisling experienced, “With my first child (now six), I struggled to lose the pregnancy weight I had gained. After having my second child (now 10 months), I went on the Motivation Pregnancy Weight Programme with the goal of losing 3st. But after four and a half months, I lost about 3st 10lbs and reached a smaller size than I have ever been!

“When I returned from maternity leave, I was still trying to meet my target weight at that time, while meeting clients. So, many of my clients have been on the weight loss journey with me and saw the weight I was losing. This gives them more belief that if I can do it, so can they.”

Lynne adds, “Most women think that once you have a child you’re never going to be the same size again, or smaller. But you can, it just takes planning and changing your attitude and habits.”

If you would like some more information, please click here for our 6 Top Tips For Avoiding Pregnancy Weight Gain.

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