Discovering that you and your partner will soon have your first baby is probably one of the most euphoric moments in your life, especially if you’ve been trying to conceive for a long time. Earlier, you made all your life decisions keeping only yourself and your partner in focus. Now with the much-anticipated arrival of your little one, there’s almost nothing you do without thinking about how it will impact the angel growing in your womb.
As you accustom yourself to these changes, there’s one huge (pun intended) change that worries you the most – your weight gain. Though it is normal for women to gain weight during their pregnancy, you surely don’t want to end up looking like a human version of Godzilla. Well, here are seven ways to avoid gaining too much pregnancy weight:
Drink A Lot Of Water
When everybody, from your doctor to your fitness trainer and nutritionist harps about the importance of drinking plenty of water, you have to believe that there’s some truth to it. Apart from keeping you well-hydrated and energetic all day long, drinking water also curbs your cravings at odd times of the day that may have you pile on free calories. Since, during pregnancy, your digestive system slows down, drinking enough water can also contribute to healthy bowel movements and therefore prevent bloating. Water is also important for the formation of the amniotic fluid that surrounds your fetus.
Staying active throughout your pregnancy is also a great way to prevent excessive pregnancy weight gain. It also makes the process of postpartum weight loss a lot faster and simpler. Practice low to moderate intensity exercises like walking, swimming, kegels, yoga, etc. for an hour every day. Apart from helping you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy, exercise can also help elevate your mood and ease pregnancy-related discomforts according to a study conducted by Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise reports. Avoid exercises that can make you susceptible to falling, and do consult your doctor before adopting an exercise regimen.
Eat Often (But Eat Healthy)
As counter-intuitive as it may sound, eating frequently can also contribute to the maintenance of healthy weight during pregnancy. The key is to watch what you eat. Include generous portions of fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables in your diet that will do a wonderful job of providing you and your little one with wholesome nutrition while keeping you full for long periods. Opt for lean meats, fish (choose varieties low in mercury) and low-fat dairy foods to meet your protein, omega-3, and calcium requirements, respectively. Eat a lot of leafy greens rich in folic acid, vitamin C, calcium and vitamin K. For snacks, stick to healthy options like nuts, pomegranates, Greek yogurt, sprouts, etc. Of course, you are allowed to give in to your cravings once in a while, but keep a check on the portion sizes.
Avoid Eating Out
Love eating out? Unfortunately, during pregnancy, you may have to cut down on your restaurant indulgences, especially fast foods. Unless you’re opting for soups or salads, food available in restaurants can be pretty high in calories and low on nutrition. If not cooked properly, it can also make you susceptible to food poisoning that can be harmful to both you and your little one. As far as possible, minimize your intake of outside food. If you are planning to eat out, do a prior check on the ingredients, calories and possible allergic reactions caused by the dish you’re planning to order.
It always helps if you team up with someone sailing the same boat as you. Instead of joining a regular gym or yoga class, join one dedicated solely to expectant mothers so there’s greater motivation for you. Join a pregnant women support group to share ideas on nutrition and fitness for better results.
Get Enough Sleep
Not sleeping enough can also get in your way of maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy. A study conducted by The Journal of Women’s Health reports that inadequate sleep can contribute to excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Though sleep troubles are common during pregnancy, certain measures like regular physical activity, a routine sleep pattern, dietary improvements, and the right sleeping postures can help you get a good night’s sleep.
Cut Out Stress
Stress is another crucial factor that can contribute to increased pregnancy weight gain. It can negatively impact your dietary choices, making you crave for foods high in fats and sugar. Practice calming exercises like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga to keep your stress levels in check.
Though these tips will help you sustain your recommended body weight during pregnancy, always remember that you should not compromise on your required nutritional intake to lose weight as it could hamper your baby’s development. The key is to adopt a healthy balance in your lifestyle and eating habits. Congratulations on the great news.
- Is It Safe To Have Pomegranate & Pomegranate Juice During Pregnancy? – Mom Junction
- Exercise during pregnancy and pregnancy – Pub Med