Pregnancy is an exciting time for most women. However, along with choosing names and decorating the nursery, many women experience a weight gain beyond what their doctor recommends. You can avoid excessive amounts of weight during pregnancy by watching what you eat and staying active. Although friends and family may tell you that you are eating for two, Sutter Health, a network of physicians and doctors that serves Northern California, warns against consuming more than 300 additional calories per day, during the second and third trimesters. Healthy eating habits while you’re expecting can help you maintain a healthy pregnancy weight.
Eat whole grains, instead of products made with processed flour. Choose a high-fiber, low-fat cereal that contains folic acid, an important B vitamin. Swap out your white rice for brown rice and try adding cooked barley to your soups and salads to help you feel full. The Mayo Clinic recommends eating between six and nine servings of grains each day.
Fruits and Grains
Increase your intake of healthy fruits and vegetables. Not only does fresh produce contain numerous, important vitamins and minerals, it provides few calories and fat grams to your diet. Add a serving of sliced fruit to your morning cereal and snack on apples, oranges, apricots and mangoes. Satisfy your craving for pizza by making a vegetable pizza that contains no meat and only a small amount of low-fat cheese. Shoot for five or more servings of vegetables and fruit every day.
Keep your weight down by swapping out your normal, fatty cuts of meat, such as sausage and bacon, for low-fat choices, such as fish and poultry. The Mayo Clinic advises eating at least two servings of protein-rich foods every day. In addition to meats, beans, eggs and soy nuts also provide plenty of protein.
Keep your weight gain within a healthy range by consuming fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Although these may not taste as good as the whole-fat varieties, your taste buds will adjust. You will reap the rewards when you try on your pre-pregnancy clothes after your baby’s arrival.
Tuck your deep fryer toward the back of your cupboards. Minimize excess fats and calories by baking, broiling and steaming your foods. Try eating your vegetables raw to satisfy your snack cravings and eliminate unhealthy amounts of oil.
You may find you have little room for large meals as your pregnancy progresses. Limiting your food intake throughout your pregnancy to several small meals will help keep you feeling satisfied and support your developing baby’s nutritional requirements.
In addition to keeping you hydrated, drinking at least eight to 10 glasses of water each day can help curb your appetite. Place a few bottles of water in your car and keep a tall glass of water near your chair at work and at home.
- pregnant #3 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com