Eating During Pregnancy: Handling Weight Gain

If you are concerned about eating during pregnancy, you are probably concerned about gaining weight as well. Over time, the attitude toward weight gain during pregnancy has changed dramatically.

In the past, it was considered proper to “eat for two” over the course of your three trimesters. Then the pendulum swung to the opposite extreme, and it was considered bad for any pregnant woman to gain any amount of weight.

Fortunately, practicality reigns nowadays, and a weight gain of between 20-30 pounds is considered ideal. This will give you enough extra weight to supply your baby with everything she needs for growth, without making it too difficult to regain your pre-baby weight after delivery.

Drink Your Water

While some weight gain is desirable, you don’t want to go overboard. So drinking water during your pregnancy is important to keeping your weight under control. Water will help flush out toxins that can lead to water retention, and will help you maintain regularity if you suffer from constipation.

Water also helps make you feel fuller between meals. Ideally, you should drink half your body weight in water daily, so make sure to track your intake. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you should be drinking at least 80 ounces of water per day as a minimum.

Teas, sodas, coffee, and juices should all be avoided or at least cut to a minimum in favor of water—which, besides offering a plethora of health benefits, also has zero calories.

Exercise Regularly

Though it’s tempting to give up exercise during the next nine months, you need to stay in shape for labor. Plus, exercise will help keep you toned and your weight gain under control.

You’ll want to avoid exercise that is high-impact or which can cause you to fall easily, as your center of gravity will shift as your baby grows, making you more unsteady on your feet.

So forego tennis, horseback riding, and running in favor of yoga, swimming, and walking.

Low or no-impact aerobic activity will help keep you fit and healthy over the next few months. Finding an activity you love is one way to get started. You should also try finding an exercise buddy to keep you motivated. You might even try a stroller exercise class, and start making friends with other new moms.

Indulge on Occasion

One of the biggest concerns of second trimester nutrition is cravings. Should you give in to them, or ignore them completely? Moderation is the best way to deal with this issue, since the last thing you need to do is stress out about your food intake.

Find ways that you can treat yourself without going overboard, and do so without any guilt in your heart. You should also check with a dietician or your physician to make absolutely sure your cravings aren’t related to any nutritional deficit.

If you crave junk food, perhaps you could limit your intake to one treat per week–enough to satisfy you without causing you to gain too much weight.

Eat Protein with Every Meal
Another great way to curb your weight gain is to include a serving of lean protein with every meal. Not only does protein help you feel fuller and satiated for longer, it provides crucial nutrients to your developing baby. During your second trimester, it’s wise to up your intake of protein because of the amino acids protein supplies to your baby as her brain develops.

If you have trouble finding ways to eat enough protein, try including a handful of raw nuts with every snack, and lean protein with every meal. You could try an organic egg or lean, all-natural beef or chicken. Seafood is even OK if you eat low-mercury varieties and limit your portions.

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