Losing weight during pregnancy is generally not advised by medical professionals. Even overweight and obese women are always advised to gain weight during pregnancy. However, there are things you should do to prevent yourself from gaining unnecessary weight during your pregnancy. Let’s have a look.
Understand Your Calorie Needs
Women need an average of 300 extra calories per day during their second and third trimesters of pregnancy. If you are normal weight then it is advised to consume 1900 to 2500 calories daily. If you are underweight, overweight, or obese during conception, discuss your caloric needs with your doctor. Don’t go for dieting during pregnancy, as it could not only deprive your baby of necessary calories, vitamins and minerals, but also increase the risk of miscarriage.
Avoid Fatty And Sugary Foods
Instead of providing any of the necessary nutrients to your baby, food items with high sugar and fat content will lead to unnecessary weight gain. The usual culprits include soft drinks, desserts, fried foods, rich dairy products like cheese or whole milk, and fatty cuts of meat. Therefore, it is advised to avoid such items during pregnancy. Consuming caffeinated drinks, alcohol and raw seafood can also be a cause of weight gain.
Gorge On Fruits And Vegetables
Focus on foods that provide folate and make sure to get plenty of protein, healthy fat, carbohydrates and fiber. Foods rich in folate include orange juice, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, beans, fortified breads and cereals, whereas whole-grains and cereals are excellent source of carbohydrates. Vegetables, fruits, pulses and beans fulfill the requirement of protein and fiber. Use oils rich in unsaturated fat like olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil for cooking.
Take prenatal vitamins
During pregnancy your body will have additional nutritional needs. Prenatal vitamins i.e. vitamin B and C allow you to address these needs without having to ingest more calories than absolutely necessary. Iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acid supplements also help maintain your body functions while aiding your baby in his or her development. Instead of using supplements, try to attain these vitamins from your diet. Avoid supplements that provide excess vitamin A, D, E or K.
Eat Healthy Snacks
Choose healthy snacks rich in nutrition over processed foods and desserts heavy in sugar or rich dairy fat. Consider a banana smoothie or frozen fruit sorbet instead of ice cream and shakes. Munch on fruits and nuts in between meals instead of going for chips and biscuits. Hard-boiled eggs, whole-grain toast, and plain yoghurt are other healthy snacks options worth considering.
Do Light Exercise
Exercise plays an important role in achieving a healthy weight during pregnancy. It also relieves pregnancy aches, improves sleep, regulates emotional health, and lowers the risk of complications. Healthy pregnant women should do atleast 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise weekly, that too under experts guidance. Good exercise options include low-impact activities like walking, swimming, dancing, and cycling. Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise regimen. Stop exercise immediately if vaginal bleeding occurs or if your water breaks prematurely.
How Much Weight Gain Is Normal
⇒ Obese women : 5 to 9 kg ⇒ Overweight women : 7 to 11 kg ⇒ Normal-weight women : 11 to 16 kg ⇒ Underweight women : 13 to 18 kg