Eating during pregnancy is about more than just making sure you give your baby everything she needs to grow healthy. It’s also about making sure you stay healthy and well-nourished throughout the nine months you carry your child.
But most women worry about how much weight to gain throughout these nine months—how much weight gain is too much? Staying as fit as possible during pregnancy is desirable because you can achieve your pre-baby weight much more easily after you have your baby.
Weight gain is a particular concern for second semester nutrition, as this is the time in which you will gain the most weight throughout your pregnancy. So how can you keep your weight within a healthy range? Following are some tips to help you keep your gain to a minimum.
The Importance of Water
Water is the most important ally you can have in the fight against gaining too much weight during pregnancy. In fact, water should be your default beverage throughout the next nine months. You should aim to drink at least half your body weight (in pounds) in water (in ounces) per day. Therefore, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink at least 70 ounces of water daily.
Water will help flush toxins from your body and will help keep water retention at bay. Water will also help you feel fuller for longer, which will help keep you from consuming too many calories. Water also aids in keeping your elimination regular, which will keep you from becoming constipated.
Eating During Pregnancy: Know the Right Foods
Pregnancy is a great time for learning how to eat properly, a habit that can last the rest of your life.
Rather than looking at food as an indulgence, why not use this opportunity to study different foods and how they can effect, improve, or harm your body?
Increase the value of every bite you take by selecting fresh leafy greens, organic eggs, raw nuts, nut butters, and lean proteins and incorporating them into every meal if possible. Add healthy fats such as organic butter, olive oil, and coconut oil so you feel satiated and get your allotment of essential fatty acids. Avoid foods that can cause problems, such as sugar, artificial sweeteners, or foods containing high levels of caffeine.
Indulge on Occasion
When it comes to pregnancy nutrition, it’s tempting to try to completely change your diet overnight. But this can cause more stress than it’s worth. In fact, it’s best to avoid stressful situations during pregnancy, so changing your diet overnight can trigger a stress response in your body–something that should be avoided. So try incorporating small changes over time.
For example, if you have a strong coffee or tea habit, try stepping down your consumption over time. If you quit cold turkey, your detox symptoms could make you quite ill. Rather than stress over your food choices, find small ways you can change your every day routine—ways that you can increase your health and wellbeing and your baby’s health throughout the next nine months.
How Much Is Too Much?
The most common question about eating during pregnancy and weight gain must be, “How much is too much weight to gain?” It’s best to gain a minimal amount of weight during pregnancy because your recovery after you have your baby–and your return to your normal weight–will be much easier.
Minimal weight gain also helps you to stay healthy and active throughout your pregnancy, which makes for an easier labor. On the other hand, you should expect to gain some weight during the next nine months. A gain of between 20 and 30 pounds is within the normal range. If you gain more than that, weight loss after pregnancy will be much more of an ordeal.