Being pregnant and giving birth is a blessing, but it does present some challenges. It may be tough to stick to guidelines about gaining weight when pregnant. It’s particularly tough when you’re craving something sweet and savory and everyone is encouraging you to have it because you’re “eating for two” now.
Unfortunately, there are very serious risks with gaining too much weight when pregnant. It’s not just a matter of cosmetics. The more weight you gain the greater the risk of birth complications including premature birth and the need for a C-section. If you begin your pregnancy at an unhealthy weight then losing a bit of weight can help to prevent issues such as gestational diabetes.
Here are 7 ways to keep yourself safe from gaining too much pregnancy weight.
Everything in Moderation
While it’s true that you’re eating for two, it’s also true that the little one inside you doesn’t need a whole lot. As they currently stand, the guidelines say that women in their second trimester only need an additional 340 calories per day. Women in the third trimester should look to get an extra 450 calories per day. How much you weigh going into your pregnancy can affect how many extra calories you nee during it. Be sure to stick to what your doctor recommends.
You should focus on eating smaller meals more regularly. Eat foods that are rich with lean protein along with fruits and vegetables. Snacking is okay as long as it’s a healthy snack.
Eating healthy snacks every few hours can help you to control your appetite when mealtime comes. You’ll be giving your baby the nutrition they need while also keeping your blood sugar levels at a healthy balance.
Fruits rich in fiber and water – such as apples, oranges, grapefruits, berries, and plums – all leave you feeling fuller for longer and prevent constipation.
If you don’t have the nerve to cook all your meals yourself, you can use a meal plan service. There are quite a few out there that are well reviewed, for instance Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem. You can read this well-thought out article that outlines the key differences between those two: Jenny Craig vs Nutrisystem.
Get Lots of Water
One of the worst things you can be while pregnant is dehydrated. There are other benefits to staying hydrated too, including feeling fuller for longer between meals.
Drinking water helps to ease constipation, which is another good reason to get plenty of it during pregnancy. Being pregnant can slow down the digestive system to allow your body to drain everything you eat of every last nutrient. Getting the fluids you need prevents bloating and ensures everything moves through your system smoothly.
Stretch Those Starches
Carbohydrates can work wonders for morning sickness symptoms. The problem is that you need good carbohydrates for the sake of your diet. Simple starches like white bread and pasta increase blood sugar but they don’t have the nutrition you get from a good grain.
It’s best to go for the more complex carbohydrates. Choose brown rice, bread, and pasta. Not only do these alternatives provide you and you rbaby with nutrients, but they also leave you feeling fuller for longer and prevent cravings later on.
Take a Walk
Walking is one of the best things a pregnant woman can do to stay healthy and happy. Start out small with just ten minutes per day, taking a walk at a consistent time. You can add another 10 minutes every month or so and before you know it you’ll be walking for a while every day.
Walking does more than just prevent pregnancy weight gain. It also reduces the cramps and pains that come with the later stages of pregnancy.
Talk About It
Talking to your midwife or doctor about your weight during checkups and prenatal visits can help. It keeps you accountable and gives you the opportunity to assess the situation and make any necessary changes. It’s important to see – and recognize – your progress. This will help you stay motivated.
Not sleeping enough will get in the way of maintaining a healthy weight while pregnant. Sleep is important to losing weight and keeping it off and it’s particularly important for pregnant women. While it’s true that many pregnant women have sleeping problems, there are things you can do to lessen them. Keep to a sleeping pattern, get regular exercise, and change your diet to make it easier to sleep at night and stay asleep.
Less Stress is Best
Stress is a huge factor for pregnancy weight gain, not to mention weight gain in general. When you are stressed out you make poor dietary choices and eat food with more fat and sugar. That’s on top of the other damage stress can do. Practice calming exercises like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing to stay calm and collected.
Maintaining a healthy weight while pregnant will ensure a simple and complication-free pregnancy. Make smart eating choices, exercise when you can, get plenty of water, and cut out as much stress as possible to stay healthy during pregnancy.