15 Ways To Avoid Gaining Too Much Pregnancy Weight
Being pregnant is not easy. A pregnant woman has to deal with a lot of stuff, and gaining pregnancy weight is one of them. Cravings are normal during the pregnancy, but that baby weight is not so easy to shake off later. That’s why many women don’t know how to behave during those nine months. Besides physical appearance, gaining too much weight while being pregnant can raise risk for birth complications. Some of them are c-section delivery and premature birth. Even if you became pregnant as an overweight woman, you should stick to the recommended range of weight in order to reduce the risk of health problems.
1. You should start your pregnancy at a healthy weight, if possible. One of the most important things a woman can do before getting pregnant is to start her pregnancy at a healthy weight and to take prenatal vitamins. Therefore, you should consider making a preconception appointment if you are really trying to conceive. Your doctor can help you find your current body mass index and suggest you ways to lose extra weight if it is necessary.
2. Many pregnant women think that pregnancy is that time of their lives when they can finally relax because they are eating for two. The truth is, you don’t need so many extra calories per day in order to nourish your baby. According to current guidelines, you need 340 extra calories per day in your second trimester and 450 extra calories per day in your third trimester, in case you started your pregnancy at a healthy weight.
3. But don’t worry, you are allowed to have a healthy snack every three hours, that will reduce the risk of overeating at mealtimes. These healthy snacks will provide your baby a good nutrition and your blood sugar will stay at a fine level, so your cravings will not be so severe. You should therefore choose meals and snacks that include protein, fiber and some healthy fat. For example, you should include an apple with two tablespoons of peanut butter, and you will feel full!
4. Drink water! It is very important to drink enough water and avoid dehydration during pregnancy. Not only that drinking water is healthy, but it will also make you satisfied between meals and snacks! You should drink at least 8 8-ounce glasses of fluids per day, while some nutritionists recommend adding even more for each hour of activity. Don’t forget that drinking water eases constipation, a common trouble for many pregnant women.
5. Of course, we know how hard it is to avoid junk food while being pregnant. You deserved those cravings, for god’s sakes! But the key is to combine your urges with the healthy stuff you and your baby need. This way you can get the protein and healthy fats that will keep you full! So the trick is to mix things such as fiber cereal with something really yummy, like granola on top. This way you will receive the fiber you need and you will kill the urge to eat something sweet.
6. If you are battling the nausea and vomiting in the morning, carbohydrates can actually be your best friends! But there is one thing you should know about carbohydrates and that is that starchy food such as white bread, pasta and rice raise your blood sugar and they don’t give you enough nutrition. Thankfully, you can eat more complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, quinoa and whole grain breads and pastas that will keep you full longer!
7. Don’t forget to walk! According to many gynecologists, the best thing any pregnant woman can do is to walk. Even 10 minutes a day count as an effective exercise. You can start with 10 minutes and add another 10 minutes every 30 days so by the end of the first trimester you will walk 30 minutes a day, which is very good for the rest of your pregnancy. It is also recommended to purchase pedometer and count your steps for better control!
8. But if you are already exercising, don’t stop! Of course, you should not keep exercising if you are into kick boxing and other risky activities, but you should definitely keep up with the good work! That means that you can continue with your running, walking, aerobics etc. Just stay away from the contact sports, and you will be fine. You might have to modify some of the movements as your baby grows, but generally, there is no reason to be inactive.
9. As we already mentioned, you deserved your cravings. That being said, you should indulge yourself occasionally. The famous pregnancy sweet tooth is not something you can ignore easily. But there are tricks that can make your stomach fuller and you will still save yourself from additional baby weight. For example, put a half-cup serving of full-fat ice cream in a small bowl, just to make it seem bigger. It is recommended to indulge yourself once a week.
10. You should definitely talk about your weight with your doctor or midwife at every doctor’s appointment. This will help you stay on track and you will be able to make changes if you need to. Your doctor can calculate your body mass index and give you further guidances on your pregnancy weight gain. By keeping the track of your weight gain, you will be well informed about your and your baby’s health, and you will lose that weight easier.
11. Breastfeeding is a tip that won’t really help you during pregnancy, but we thought it will be helpful to know that it can help you lose extra weight right after it ends. According to many specialists, breastfeeding is the best treatment for losing baby weight. In order to prove it to you, we will just tell you that breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day. Not to mention all the changes that happen in the first six weeks after the birth that should help you drop at least 20 pounds.
12. You should always plan your weekly diet. Make your own weekly meal plan (have in mind that you can always consult your doctor) and buy groceries according to the list. This will help you reduce the chances to eat fast food because there is nothing else in the fridge. Do everything in your powers to avoid eating unhealthy junk food. Include foods with important nutrients to your list such a fruits, vegetables and whole grains!
13. When you visit restaurants and fast foods, have in mind that their food may have significantly more calories than the homemade food. So when in restaurant, ask for low-calorie menu if it is available. You can always tell the waiters that you wish something low-caloric since you are pregnant and chef can recommend a dish for you. However, you should skip eating fast food as much as you can because it contains nothing nutritious.
14. Another good way to avoid fast food is to keep healthy and pre-measured snacks on hand whether you’re at home or you are on the go. As you can see, the best way to keep your weight balanced is to prepare everything whenever you can. By making it convenient to eat a healthy snack when the craving kicks in, you are reducing the likelihood of going to the nearest fast food or vending machine and grabbing something you don’t really need.
15. And finally, there are foods you should really avoid, such as foods with added sugar and artificial sweeteners. Also, you should avoid corn syrup and generally all the sweetened drinks that are high in calories. Always read the label before buying something to drink or eat. Choose water over sodas and fruit drinks. Avoid snacks such as candy, cake, cookies and ice cream. Do not add salt while cooking because it retains water and go light on fats!