Pregnancy is one of the most important times of your life. Your body is growing a human. That is amazing. As if taking care of yourself wasn't hard enough, you need to take care of your body now more than ever as it grows your new baby.
Pregnancy can be exhausting enough let alone trying to make sure you eat right. The mindset that you are going to get bigger no matter what you do will set in and you will feel like giving in to anything and everything and wind up paying for it later.
That's right, all your little snacks can add up to major pounds you will have to work twice as hard at to get rid of after your baby is born. Let me tell you, everyone's body is different and how it changes while you're pregnant is different, but if you follow these 7 guidelines you will be on the right track to gain more weight than you want or need.
7 Eating Ice Cream Every Day
I don't know what it is about pregnancy and ice cream that go together, but they do. There is nothing better after a long day of being pregnant than putting up your feet and enjoying a nice bowl of ice cream (complete with hot fudge of course). Yum.
The suggested serving size for a bowl of ice cream is 1/2 which packs 150 calories. If you are like me, your typical serving size is easily double or triple that amount. All the calories, day in and day out, will be sure to help you gain some extra weight that your body will hold on to. Eating a big bowl of ice cream at night will be of extra value to you as you won't be burning those calories off and they will convert to fat.
Thinking maybe ice cream isn't the best choice? Try frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt can be a healthier option if you decided you want to watch your weight. You will have to exercise portion control, however, as you could easily match ice cream in calories depending on how big your serving size is.
6 Just Stay in Bed
You're tired and for good reason, you're growing a baby. So instead of trying to get out of bed, just sleep all day. Don't be involved in anything, sit on the sidelines and watch your friends having a good time. They say you can participate in normal activity, but you would rather just stay in bed. I mean, after all, you're going to get bigger anyway. Why try to delay the inevitable.
When pregnant it can sometimes feel like a disability with all the stuff you shouldn't do.
Get your body up and moving. You want your body to be ready for the physically challenging task of labor. Keep enjoying the tasks you were already doing, making modifications per doctors activity, like say if you are a kick-boxer or sky-diver. You can keep a normal activity level well into your pregnancy and it will help your body be better prepared for labor.
5 Drink Your Calories
I get it, water can be boring. It is tasteless and there are so many good options out there that make your mouth sing. A can of pop on a hot summer day can be so refreshing. So if you are looking for more weight gain, you will want to stay away from water and turn to beverages with calories, like pop or juice. These sugar-filled drinks will also dehydrate your body causing your organs to be slower and work harder ensuring your fat storage.
So maybe you don't want to dehydrate your body by drinking beverages that are literally sucking the life out of you. Water is a great way to flush out all the junk in your body. Here are some simple things you can do to have great tasting drinks, but not the calories:
- Unsweetened hot and iced teas -you will want to watch your caffeine intake
- Make a water goal and see if you can make it every day. Set up contest with yourself or friends to make it more challenging.
4 Exercise Less
Isn't it great that some shopping establishments have "expectant mommy" parking? It's like you are getting special treatment not have to waddle yourself across the parking lot. Doing the least amount of extra movement will keep you from losing those extra calories you have been looking to carry with you. Especially as baby gets bigger and it gets harder to move around, it is really easy to put exercise at the bottom of your list.
Even though walking is one of the easiest and lowest form of impact, it has great benefits that would keep you from gaining the extra weight. According to the American Heart Association, walking can lower blood pressure, maintain body weight and lower the risk of diabetes and enhance your mental well-being to name a few. Swimming is another great exercise that is low-impact.
Get yourself moving, it's never too late to do something
You may not be interested in the whole swimsuit while pregnant thing, but there are some great suits out there that can make you feel good.
3 Eat Out
Cooking is such a chore, especially when there are many great establishments that have food just ready to help you gain weight. It can also be especially hard when you don't think anything sounds good or you just don't feel good (which face it, happens a lot during pregnancy). While getting fast food or take out is easy and means you don't have to cook, those meals will add up in your waist.
Cooking healthy meals at home will take more time and would give you a better return on your money, but you will also have food with more nutrients, and less added sugar which will make it easier for you to keep off those extra pounds you don't want or need. Here are some tips to help you avoid running out for food instead of eating in:
1. Freezer Cooking
Stocking up your freezer with meals on days you are feeling good will leave you an abundance of options on days that you don't feel well. It could be as simple as double some your favorite meals you already make.
2. Go to Snacks
Having snacks prepared and ready to go will enable you to grab something when you are hungry without a lot of effort for preparation. This is especially helpful during your first trimester when not a lot sounds good. Having crackers and fruit on hand could help you survive those morning sickness weeks.
3. Simple Meals
Don't forget the art of a simple meal. Sandwiches, quesadillas, salads are just some of the food that you can put together in a pinch and save you from picking up food through the drive-thru.
2 Stay Away From Fruits and Veggies
Junk foods are popular for a reason. They taste good. They taste good because they are made to taste good. Stuffed full of sugar and fat, chips and cookies will satisfy your short term cravings but leave your body lacking what it needs. This creates a cycle of you grabbing for more junk because you are still hungry. The easiest way to stop this cycle is to reach for some new food.
Most fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients. Eating a lot of these will help to control your weight and cravings and will slow your unhealthy weight gain. Replacing junk snacks with fruits and veggies will reduce what your body craves.
Choosing the healthy choice of snacks is just better for you and your baby
Another great way to get in some fruit and veggie servings would be to make smoothies. They have great flavors and you don't taste the vegetables. This chart gives you a starting point for making your own smoothies.
1 Give into Every Single Craving
You know what I'm talking about, the brownies, the pizza 3 meals in a row, potato chips, and ice cream. Sometimes you just want what you want and that is ok. You are pregnant and, believe me, no one is going to tell you that you can't have it. But this is not going to go well for you the whole nine months if all you are craving are cookies and cake. It will add up to the unwanted extra pounds that are so tough to lose.
Instead, swap them out for healthier snacks. Check out this post to see what your body may be craving. If you are noticing a pattern in what you are craving, it is a pretty good sign that your body is lacking some nutrients. So pay attention to what your body is telling you, and remember it is ok to treat yourself every so often.
Trying to follow all the nutrition guidelines can be really tough, especially if you haven't followed a healthier lifestyle before. It doesn't help when your body is growing and you just don't want to make any more decisions (seriously bring on the cake). While indulging every so often can be a great treat, getting stuck in the habit of eating poorly will be a pain to deal with later.
It'll be a whole lot easier to eat better now, rather than try to lose the weight after the baby. If you want to start eating healthier, start with one or two simple changes and focus on making healthy habits. Add more when you don't have to think about them anymore. Staying away from these guidelines can help you have a healthy and hopefully easier pregnancy.