But there are some simple ways to avoid gaining too much weight during pregnancy: Do your best to eat balanced meals and healthy snacks, stay hydrated, choose complex carbohydrates over simple carbs, get into a regular exercise routine, and ask your healthcare provider for help.
You’re not alone if you gained more weight than you wanted during pregnancy. Pregnancy is the time when most women gain weight. It can be hard to avoid putting on pounds, but there are some simple ways to avoid gaining too much weight during pregnancy: Do your best to eat balanced meals and healthy snacks, stay hydrated, choose complex carbohydrates over simple carbs, get into a regular exercise routine and ask your healthcare provider for help.
There are some simple ways to avoid gaining too much weight during pregnancy. Eating balanced meals and healthy snacks, staying hydrated, choosing complex carbohydrates over simple carbs, getting into a regular exercise routine, and asking your healthcare provider for help can all help you keep your waistline in check during pregnancy.
While it’s impossible to avoid every pound of weight gain during pregnancy, there are some simple ways to decrease your risk. Eat balanced meals and healthy snacks, stay hydrated while pregnant by drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day, choose complex carbohydrates over simple carbs, get into a regular exercise routine, and ask your healthcare provider for help.
Pregnancy will often cause you to gain weight — typically anywhere from 25 to 45 pounds. But you don’t want to gain more weight than what’s necessary, since this can increase your risk of pregnancy complications and lead to delivery-related problems. There are a few ways you can avoid gaining too much weight during this special time.
During pregnancy, you may gain a considerable amount of weight. This is completely normal and your baby needs the extra calories, fat and nutrition in order to grow.
How Much Weight Gain is Normal During Pregnancy In Kg
It can be challenging to stick to the guidelines for pregnancy weight gain, especially if you’ve never craved carbohydrates so much in your life, and everywhere you turn people encourage you to eat for two. But there are some simple ways to avoid gaining too much weight during pregnancy: Do your best to eat balanced meals and healthy snacks, stay hydrated, choose complex carbohydrates over simple carbs, get into a regular exercise routine, and ask your healthcare provider for help.
IN THIS ARTICLE
- Start pregnancy at a healthy weight if possible
- Eat balanced meals and refuel often
- Drink up (water, that is)
- Make your cravings constructive
- Choose complex carbs
- Start a simple walking routine
- If you’re already moving, don’t stop
- Make weight a regular discussion
- Breastfeed if you can
Only 32 percent of women gain weight within the recommended range for pregnancy, and 48 percent gain more than advised. But gaining more than recommended during pregnancy can put you at higher risk for complications and issues including:
- Gestational hypertension
- Gestational diabetes
- Preterm birth
- Having a large baby and difficult delivery
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Cesarean birth
- Starting out your next pregnancy overweight
- Having a child with childhood obesity
Below, doctors and dietitians offer important – and achievable – tips for healthy pregnancy weight gain.
How to stay fit and healthy during pregnancy
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From yoga and Pilates to swimming and brisk walking, here are some of the best ways to stay active and fit during pregnancy.
Start pregnancy at a healthy weight if possible
More than half of American women are overweight or obese when they become pregnant, putting them at risk of complications. Losing even a little weight before becoming pregnant can decrease your risks and improve your health.
“The most important thing you can do before getting pregnant, in addition to taking prenatal vitamins, is to start your pregnancy at a healthy weight,” says ob-gyn Lauren Hyman.
If you’re at the “thinking about it” stage of pregnancy, or 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.
Eat balanced meals and refuel often
You need about 340 extra calories a day during the second trimester and 450 extra calories daily in the third trimester. In the first trimester, you don’t need any extra calories. (If you’re underweight or overweight, these numbers will differ based on your weight gain goal.)
That’s not a lot of extra to play around with, so choose foods that pack a big nutritional punch and help you feel satisfied. Consider working with a registered dietitian to help you meet your macronutrient needs and hit your target for healthy weight gain.
Focus on small, frequent meals that are high in protein, nourishing fat, and complex carbohydrates. It can help to learn more about meal planning during pregnancy.
Then choose healthy snacks between meals. “Eating a healthy snack every three hours should help you avoid overdoing it at mealtimes,” advises dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth. 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.
Choose meals and snacks that include protein, fiber, and some healthy fat. Examples include:
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- An apple with two tablespoons of nut butter
- A sprouted-grain English muffin with a scrambled egg and sauteed spinach or a sprouted-grain English muffin topped with one or two fried eggs and avocado slices
- Protein-rich pasta with quality ground beef and tomato sauce (Add sautéed chopped mushrooms, onions, and garlic to enhance the flavor and nutrient profile of the sauce.)
- Greek yogurt with berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries) and chopped walnuts, chia seeds, and/or ground flaxseed sprinkled on top
Fruit with lots of fiber and high water content – like grapefruit, oranges, apples, berries, pears, and plums – can also help you feel full and keep constipation at bay. Choose a variety of colors and types of fruit throughout the day. Include plenty of deep-pigmented berries, which offer a lower glycemic load, are a good source of fiber, and are packed with phytonutrients.
Goals for healthy pregnancy eating
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Eating well during pregnancy may seem difficult, especially with food cravings and aversions. Find out what you should aim to eat to help your baby grow.
Drink up (water, that is)
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises pregnant women to drink 8 to 12 cups (64 to 96 ounces) of water daily. Some nutritionists suggest adding more for each hour of light activity. Largeman-Roth recommends three liters of water daily, or 101 fluid ounces.
Other experts suggest monitoring urine color: If it’s dark yellow or cloudy, your body needs more fluids. Sip throughout the day to keep your urine color pale yellow or clear – a sign of proper hydration.
Why Am I Gaining Weight So Fast During Pregnancy
Most women should gain somewhere between 25 and 35 pounds (11.5 to 16 kilograms) during pregnancy. Most will gain 2 to 4 pounds (1 to 2 kilograms) during the first trimester, and then 1 pound (0.5 kilogram) a week for the rest of the pregnancy. The amount of weight gain depends on your situation.
- Overweight women need to gain less (15 to 25 pounds or 7 to 11 kilograms or less, depending on their pre-pregnancy weight).
- Underweight women will need to gain more (28 to 40 pounds or 13 to 18 kilograms).
- You should gain more weight if you are having more than 1 baby. Women having twins need to gain 37 to 54 pounds (16.5 to 24.5 kilograms).
A balanced, nutrient-rich diet, along with exercise, is the basis for a healthy pregnancy. For most pregnant women, the right amount of calories is:
- 1,800 calories per day in the 1st trimester
- 2,200 calories per day in the 2nd trimester
- 2,400 calories per day in the 3rd trimester
What’s Causing the Weight Gain?
Much of the weight that you gain during pregnancy is not fat, but is related to the baby. Here is a breakdown of how 35 pounds (16 kilograms) adds up:
- Baby: 8 pounds (3.5 kilograms)
- Placenta: 2 to 3 pounds (1 to 1.5 kilograms)
- Amniotic fluid: 2 to 3 pounds (1 to 1.5 kilograms)
- Breast tissue: 2 to 3 pounds (1 to 1.5 kilograms)
- Blood supply: 4 pounds (2 kilograms)
- Fat stores: 5 to 9 pounds (2.5 to 4 kilograms)
- Uterus growth: 2 to 5 pounds (1 to 2.5 kilograms)
Managing Weight During Pregnancy
Some women are already overweight when they get pregnant. Other women gain weight too quickly during their pregnancy. Either way, a pregnant woman should not go on a diet or try to lose weight during pregnancy.
It is better to focus on eating the right foods and staying active. If you do not gain enough weight during pregnancy, you and your baby may have problems.
Still, you can make changes in your diet to get the nutrients you need without gaining too much weight. Talk to your health care provider to get help with planning a healthy diet.
Below are some healthy eating tips to help you get started.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables make good snacks. They are full of vitamins and low in calories and fat.
- Eat breads, crackers, and cereals made with whole grains.
- Choose reduced-fat dairy products. You need at least 4 servings of milk products every day. However, using skim, 1%, or 2% milk will greatly reduce the amount of calories and fat you eat. Also choose low-fat or fat-free cheese or yogurt.
Foods to avoid:
- Naturally sweetened is better than foods and drinks with added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
- Food and drinks that list sugar or corn syrup as one of the first ingredients are not good choices.
- Many sweetened drinks are high in calories. Read the label and watch out for drinks that are high in sugar. Substitute water for sodas and fruit drinks.
- Avoid junk-food snacks, such as chips, candy, cake, cookies, and ice cream. The best way to keep from eating junk food or other unhealthy snacks is to not have these foods in your house.
- Go light on fats. Fats include cooking oils, margarine, butter, gravy, sauces, mayonnaise, regular salad dressings, lard, sour cream, and cream cheese. Try the lower-fat versions of these foods.
- Knowing the amount of calories, fat, and salt in your food can help you eat healthier.
- Most restaurants have menus and nutrition facts on their websites. Use these to plan ahead.
- In general, eat at places that offer salads, soups, and vegetables.
- Avoid fast food.
Cooking at home:
- Prepare meals using low-fat cooking methods.
- Avoid fried foods. Frying foods in oil or butter will increase the calories and fat of the meal.
- Baking, broiling, grilling, and boiling are healthier, lower-fat methods of cooking.
- Moderate exercise, as recommended by your provider, can help burn extra calories.
- Walking and swimming are generally safe, effective exercises for pregnant women.
- Be sure to talk to your provider before starting an exercise program.
Body Image During Pregnancy
If you have struggled with your weight in the past, it may be hard to accept that it is OK to gain weight now. It is normal to feel anxious as the numbers on the scale edge up.
Keep in mind that you need to gain weight for a healthy pregnancy. The extra pounds will come off after you have had your baby. However, if you gain a lot more weight than is recommended, your baby will also be bigger. That can sometimes lead to problems with delivery. A healthy diet and regular exercise are your best ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.