If you have just become pregnant, you’ve probably given some thought to weight gain. Gaining extra weight while pregnant is normal, even necessary. But how much is too much weight gained? And how little is too little weight gained? Below are four ways to have healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
1- Exercising is a must
Doing some form of light exercise for 30 minutes around 3 to 4 times a week will provide numerous health benefits. Walking, swimming, yoga, stretching, and light weights exercises are all great activities to keep your body mobile and active1. Depending on which trimester you are in, be cautious about the intensity of your workout.
2- Don’t eat for two
The idea of eating for two while pregnant is misleading. A baby doesn’t need as much food as a full grown adult does. Excessive weight gain during the pregnancy can lead to a bigger baby, which can result in major problems, such as the mode of delivery and metabolic abnormalities like type 2 diabetes and obesity1. If you start your pregnancy at an average healthy weight, you should expect to gain around 25 and 35 pounds3.
3- Smart nutrition
Most doctors and OBs will either provide you with a nutrition plan or recommended for you to meet with a nutritionist to understand more about living a healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy1. It is recommended to eat an extra 300 calories a day than you normally would while pregnant2. To eat those extra calories, remember that eating healthy foods like:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Grains (cereal, pasta, bread)
- Protein (meat, eggs)
- Dairy (milk, yogurt)
will all be better for you and the baby rather than if you eat 300 calories of dessert. Today’s medical guidelines say that a pregnant woman’s diet should be broken into 20% protein, 30% fat, and 50% carbohydrates4. Unless you are eating high-calorie foods, try to eat frequent several small meals a day2.
4- What to cut out
Some small changes will make a drastic improvement to the way you gain weight. Choosing to drink water over sugary drinks will help control your calorie intake. Avoid high-calorie foods that do not add any nutritional value to you and your baby such as cake, candy, chips, fast food, etc. If you cook at home, switch from frying foods to baking, grilling, and boiling4. Lastly, limit your salt intake as it causes your body to retain fluids. Talk to a nutritionist if you have any questions about foods that are or aren’t healthy for your weight gain.
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1- Kelly, D. (2017, April 03). How To Gain Pregnancy Weight The Healthy Way. https://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/how-gain-pregnancy-weight-healthy-way
2- Miller, S. G. (2016, February 22). How to Gain Weight During Pregnancy, the Healthy Way. https://www.livescience.com/53780-how-to-gain-weight-during-pregnancy.html
3- Schwarz, R. H. (2015, July 28). Controlling Weight During Pregnancy. http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/weight-gain/controlling-weight-during-pregnancy/
4- Windham, L. (2016, January 14). How to Gain the Appropriate Weight in Pregnancy. http://www.wikihow.com/Gain-the-Appropriate-Weight-in-Pregnancy