Watching your baby bump grow is one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy. While a changing body, and some weight gain, are natural and healthy parts of pregnancy, it is dangerous to gain too much weight. Gaining more weight than the amount recommended by your physician can increase your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and premature birth. Plus, gaining too much weight while awaiting your little one makes it much more difficult to get your pre-baby body back once your bundle of joy has arrived.
So, while you are eating for two and craving chocolate ice cream and pickles, how do you avoid putting on too many pounds?
Start Healthy, Deliver Healthy
Are you in the “maybe baby” phase? Whether you are actively trying or just daydreaming about what it would be like for someone to call you “Mommy,” now is the time to start working on your fitness level. Going into pregnancy at a healthy weight and with a fitness and nutrition routine in place will make it easier to maintain that level of wellness throughout your nine months.
Rethink Eating for Two
Tacos at midnight? Sure… the baby must be hungry! Well, maybe not. Eating for two seems like a good excuse to fill your plate a little fuller and indulge all your cravings. But, nourishing your developing baby doesn’t actually require a lot of additional calories. For most people, an extra 350 – 450 calories is plenty, depending on the stage of pregnancy and your pre-conception weight. But, that doesn’t stop you from feeling hungry all the time.
Instead of overdoing it at dinner or giving into sudden cravings, plan for small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day. Eating smaller meals more often will keep your blood sugar stable and will help keep cravings at bay. Foods that are high in lean protein and fiber will also help you feel satisfied longer. Steering away from empty calories and focusing on foods that are nutritionally dense will help you avoid gaining too much weight during your pregnancy.
Careful With Carbs
Starchy carbohydrates are a favorite of many pregnant women. Carbs help soothe morning sickness and nausea, and cravings for sweet baked goods are hard to deny.
Sadly, simple carbohydrates are often calories without sustenance. Instead of giving in to white bread, pasta or pastries, reach for complex carbohydrates. Brown rice and whole grains will still battle nausea and satisfy cravings while packing a bigger nutritional punch.
Work With a Pregnancy Fitness Coach
Often, expecting mamas have questions and concerns about what types of exercise are safe and effective during pregnancy. Plus, planning small, frequent, healthy meals takes a bit of nutritional know-how. Los Angeles personal trainer Lalo Fuentes, CSCS says, “wellness, especially during pregnancy, is a way of life. Fitness and nutrition must work together for a healthy, happy pregnancy.” A pregnancy fitness coach can design an exercise and nutrition plan that works beautifully for your lifestyle and your stage of pregnancy.
Talk About Your Weight
Weight is always a bit of a sensitive subject, especially for pregnant women. While you shouldn’t feel compelled to reveal your weight to the well-meaning friend who insists that you are suddenly “all tummy,” you should feel comfortable discussing it with your physician and personal trainer.
Start off your pregnancy by calculating your BMI and then working with your doctor and pregnancy fitness coach to set weight goals for every trimester. Then, track your weight gain each week. Your personal trainer will be able to help you modify your fitness and nutrition plans to meet your goals.
Weight gain is a healthy and important part of pregnancy. With a little planning, dedication and help, you can ensure that you gain just the right amount. Focusing on healthy weight gain, and not gaining too much, means that, at the end of nine months, you’ll have a beautiful baby and not a bunch of pesky pounds to loose.