It is hard to maintain a normal weight when you are eating for two. But too much weight gain during your pregnancy increases the risk of gestational diabetes. Also, gaining too much weight while pregnant will make it hard to shed the pounds after giving birth.
A healthy pregnancy starts at maintaining a normal weight. On average, a woman gains 25 to 30 pounds when pregnant. So how do you maintain a healthy weight when you are expecting? Consider these tips:
Start at a Normal Weight
It pays to start your pregnancy at a healthy weight. This way, you can manage your weight as you progress with your pregnancy. If you are planning to get pregnant at some point or you are already trying to conceive, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will determine your current body mass index (BMI) and provide tips how to lose or maintain weight to prepare yourself for pregnancy.
Breaking Down Meals into Mini Meals
Instead of having 3 square meals every day, try breaking down your meals into 5 to 6 mini meals. The fact is, although your baby does not need many calories, you will become hungrier as the baby grows. By breaking down three major meals into mini meals, your appetite stabilizes. You will feel less hungry because of the frequency of your meals.
Of course, the serving per meal should be modest. Remember, you will only need 340 extra calories each day during the second trimester and 450 extra calories during the third trimester. Instead of loading up on fatty foods, fill your plate with fresh fruits, organic vegetables, whole grains and lean protein!
You don’t have to avoid snacking just to keep your weight in check while pregnant. Snacking is important because it stabilizes the blood sugar level in the body. By stabilizing the blood sugar, you do not experience intense cravings or hunger.
The key is to eat mindfully and snack smartly! Instead of sweet or salty treats for snack, opt for nuts, grains, fresh fruits and raw veggies. Then choose healthy snacks between meals. Go for fruits and veggies with high fiber and high water content. As for nuts, eat unsalted, raw or roasted.
Hydration is important for you and your baby. Drinking helps reduce constipation, digestive issues and bloating. You want to drink enough water every day to prevent dehydration. Make it a point to drink at least eight glasses of water and add two glasses if you engage in light activities.
Caving into Cravings the Healthy Way
Is there a way to cave into fattening cravings without gaining a lot of weight? Yes, by not going overboard. Start by combining healthy foods and a controlled portion of unhealthy foods (such as French fries or ice cream).
For instance, if you are craving for something sweet, try mixing high fiber cereal with delicious granola on top. If you are craving for ice cream, have a scoop and nothing more. If you want something salty, make your own chips and salsa!
Light exercises are also important to maintain a healthy weight during and after pregnancy. Exercising also reduces common aches and pains associated with pregnancy. A walk is a great exercise because it burns off calories while keeping the heart rate up. If you got the green light from your doctor, you can also do bits of running or aerobics exercises. Yoga and Pilates work great to strengthen the muscles and ease pregnancy pains too!