Gaining weight during pregnancy is natural, expected, and healthy. It is important for the proper development of your baby and the healthy adaptation of your body to its new needs and functions. By gaining too much weight, it raises your risk for birth complications like C-section delivery, premature birth, gestational diabetes, difficult delivery, stubborn postpartum weight, preeclampsia and a number of other health conditions.
Here are few easy ways to avoid weight gain during pregnancy.
1. Start pregnancy at a healthy weight
Besides taking prenatal vitamins, the most important thing you can do before getting pregnant is to start your pregnancy at a healthy weight. If you are trying to conceive, consider making a preconception appointment. Your healthcare provider can help you figure out your current body mass index (BMI) and suggest ways to lose weight if necessary
2.Know your goal weight
Women don’t have to gain a ton of weight to have a healthy baby. For most women, 30 pounds is enough. But before getting pregnant it is important to determine what’s right for you. Calculate your body mass index (BMI), and then figure out where you fall.
3. Keep track of calories
In the grand scheme of baby making, your body needs roughly 80,000 calories over the course about 40 weeks to build a newborn. That averages out to around 300 extra calories per day. One additional small meal per day, such as half of a turkey sandwich and a glass of milk, is all you need. This means you don’t have to keep on nibbling or any big chunks with excuse of baby.
4. Eat moderately and often
You don’t need that many extra calories per day to nourish your growing baby. You need 340 extra calories per day in your second trimester and 450 extra calories per day in your third trimester if you’re starting pregnancy at a healthy weight.
Focus on small, frequent meals that are high in lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Then choose healthy snacks between meals. Not only will you be providing good nutrition for your baby, but your blood sugar will stay level throughout the day so you’re less likely to feel starving at dinnertime.
5. Sip water throughout the day
If you crave foods most of the times, then you are not hungry all the time but thirsty. Have plain water instead of reaching for soda or juice which are both loaded with calories and sugar that get stored as fat. Water is the only liquid that truly hydrates your body. It reduces bloating, flushes out toxins, and can keep excess weight gain in check. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces daily. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, that’s 70 ounces of water.
6. Make starches work harder
Carbohydrates can be a pregnant woman’s best friend, especially if you’re battling the nausea and morning sickness. But simple starchy food such as white bread, rice, and pasta raise your blood sugar without giving you the nutrition that comes with whole grains. Instead of such food, reach for complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole grain breads and pastas. Which not only provide you and your baby with more nutrients, but will help you feel full for longer and make you less likely to give in to unhealthy cravings later in the day.
7. Have the occasional indulgence
Mother-to-be shouldn’t deprive themselves of a favorite treat. Instead of making that indulgence a daily habit enjoy it once a week. Occasional indulgence is not really bad. It satisfies you with your favorite food and lessen the food craving. For example: satisfied pregnancy sweet tooth with a half-cup serving of full-fat ice cream (about the size of a tennis ball) served in a small bowl to make it look bigger.
8. Focus on eating whole foods
If you eat simple carbohydrates you’re going to gain a lot of weight and fast. But also you can indulge in cinnamon rolls and Doritos occasionally. Filling your plate mainly with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein will help you keep calories in check. Plus, whole foods provide more usable nutrients than processed ones. This benefits both you and your baby.
9. Stay active
Regular exercise is good for your overall health, and it will help you burn calories and store fat in the right places. Staying active not only makes it easier to get your body back to its pre-pregnancy weight quicker, but it also keeps the pounds from piling on too high. If you already exercise, you can continue your routine at a lower intensity. Keep an eye on your heart rate so it doesn’t go above 150 beats per minute. Activities that don’t make your heart race, such as yoga, swimming, walking, and weight-bearing exercises, are all great. Just be sure to check in with your doctor first.
10. Make your cravings constructive
The key is to satisfy your urges while getting the protein and healthy fats that you and your baby need and help you feel full. Combine something healthy with one of your less-healthy cravings like mix a high-fiber cereal with some really yummy granola on top.
If you are craving of chips and salsa, then use a tortilla and topped it with a fried egg and a pile of shredded cheese, salsa, and diced avocado. Besides more calories but it is packed with lots of nutrients than regular chips.