Keeping a Healthy Pregnancy: Avoid Overeating!
If you are slim and non-pregnant, gaining extra weight and eating high calorie but low nutritional food may not be such a great issue. But to the “infanticipating” woman, there may be more serious consequences if she is not meticulous in watching what she eats. Here's the whys and hows of being more prudent with your palate during party time.
Why You Should Not Gain Too Much Weight
Too many calories and extra pounds can put you at a higher risk for pregnancy complications such as hypertension or diabetes, and may make labor and delivery more difficult. Although you do need extra calories during pregnancy, particularly during the last trimester, you also need lots of extra nutrients, so those extra calories need to be chosen wisely.
A woman who is not pregnant needs between 1800 and 2200 calories per day. When you are pregnant, contrary to popular belief, you only need to increase your calories by about 300 per day, so keep in mind that what matters is quality, not quantity. Remember that if you gain way beyond the prescribed weight, your chances of having a large baby also increases, which in turn may also increase your chances of ending up with a Cesarean section.
Here are tips to help you keep the scale from tipping over.
1. Prioritize your requirements.
Make sure you meet your daily requirements first before you allow yourself the treats. Get your fill of the salads and protein sources while filling your healthy carbohydrate requirements. Eat your fruit first before you hover over the dessert table. Hopefully, that would have killed your craving for the pastry department.
2. Avoid starvation.
It is truly difficult to control your appetite if you arrive ravenous during a party. You are bound to eat everything in sight! So before you go to the party, have a nutritious snack like a granola or muesli bar, veggie sticks with yogurt-garlic dip, or some dried fruits and nuts so you won't be obsessing over the buffet table.
3. Drink before you leap.
If you have the urge to splurge, gulp down a glass of water, fruit juice, or some clear soup. That will instantly appease your grumbling insides and allow you to be more sane and prudent in your choice of food.
4. Cheat sensibly.
If you must absolutely give in to your sweet tooth, at least make the wiser, more nutritious, lower calorie choice. An oatmeal or ginger cookie is better than an empty sponge cake or a fatty cheesecake.
5. If you must indulge, eat only a portion.
If you can't resist the cheesecake, instead of gobbling up the whole slice, eat only half or a few bites of it. Remember, it doesn't matter whether you have had 50 bites or only two. In the end, your mouth is empty. But the 50 bites will take your weight farther up the scale.
6. Burn what you eat.
Just because you are pregnant doesn't mean you cannot exercise. As a rule, you can still continue your exercises, dances, or low-impact sports. Remember that brisk walking for 20 minutes will raise your metabolism and cause you to burn calories faster.
7. Don't be a stress chomper.
Resist the impulse to munch away your stress. Be prepared with your arsenal of anxiety busters such as yoga, meditation, or a massage, instead of taking it out on food.
Remember that staying within your prescribed weight will ensure a more favorable outcome for your pregnancy, as well as prevent your risk for breast cancer. Now that's really worth dieting for.