Eight tips to avoid putting on too much weight during pregnancy
- Start your day with protein and/or fat. DO NOT begin with a high glycemic cereal, pastry or bread. Try eggs, a protein smoothie, steelcut oats with flax and walnuts or gluten free toast with avocado and olive oil OR almond/pumpkin/sunflower nut butter. This may indeed set the tone for your entire day as it will prevent you from having a “sugar crash” from the carby/sugary things that absorb into the blood stream too fast.
- Watch it with the sweets, sugar, and refined carbs. No matter how much you are craving that ice cream sundae, drink a big glass of water (if you have eaten recently already) or try to eat at “real meal” first. Wait 15 minutes and if you are still dying for it, get a kiddie size and treat yourself to a few bites.
- Wear pregnancy clothes that fit you (nothing that cuts off your circulation–but no moo moos:). Wearing flattering pregnancy clothes can make a huge difference in how you feel about yourself and help you make better food decisions.
- Eat real food with real fat. Cut out the low fat and fat free foods in pregnancy (and forever please). The baby’s developing brain needs those fats to grow, and you will feel more satiated feel full longer. This is a trick that will give you a better shot at controlling that appetite.
- Drink lots of water. More than you think you need. Often hunger and cravings can just be signs of dehydration. Cool it on the juices and smoothies (unless they are low glycemic and can work as a meal replacement for you). They can be very high in sugar and most of the time you will be hungry an hour later….
- Eat high fiber foods and foods rich in vitamin C. Consider making fiber smoothies a few days a week to keep up your intake and your digestion moving along smoothly. Constipation can make everything feel gross and you will feel even bigger than you really are! When you are regular, you will probably be able to stay away from the “bad” stuff.
- Stay active, but don’t stress about doing crazy amounts of vigorous exercise if you find its increasing your appetite. If the exercise makes you tired, then do less. Exhausting yourself will make you crave quick energy in the form of carbs and sweets. Sometimes with good quality exercise, less is more.
- Try to stay calm and relaxed. Cortisol (the stress hormone) can make you retain fluid and fat during pregnancy and affects your insulin levels. This is easier said than done, but prioritize self care and rest for yourself and growing baby. Explore mindbody practices such as acupuncture, meditation and prenatal yoga.
Kirsten Jordan & Dr. Christina Burns