Every pregnant woman knows they will gain weight. Unless you are carrying multiples, most experts want women to gain about 25-35 pounds. If you are overweight, experts want you to gain 25-30 pounds; underweight, 35-40 pounds. The majority of this will be gained in the second and third trimesters.
Many women worry about weight gain in pregnancy and want to know how to gain that perfect 25-35 pounds. You can keep your weight under control by following the tips you'll find in the excellent Fit and Healthy Pregnancy Guide.
Here's how to control weight gain during pregnancy:
- Watch your calorie intake. Experts recommend eating only about 2,300-2,400 calories a day, which is not a huge increase over what you eat before pregnancy.
- Drink lots of water. Part of a healthy diet means getting enough fluids. You need to be drinking at least 8 glasses of water or healthy fluids a day. Healthy fluids include juices and milk. Water will help curb your appetite if you are having difficulty taking in only the proper amount of calories. In addition, water helps flush wastes, aids digestion, helps regulate your body temperature and provides fluid for increased blood tissue and amniotic fluid needs.
- Control what you eat. The following are the daily recommendations for what to eat.
6 to 11 servings of grain products
6 to 8 glasses of fluids, which includes water, juice, tea, etc.
4 to 6 servings of milk and milk products
3 to 5 servings of vegetables
3 to 4 servings of meat and proteins
2 to 4 servings of fruits
And don't forget about your prenatal vitamin. It will help with your increased need for iron, calcium and folic acid.
- Do not eat fast foods. While fast foods (like a milkshake) are fine as an occasional treat, you should never be eating fast foods on a regular basis. The majority of fast food is high in calories and has little nutritional value.
- Decrease your sugar intake. That means cutting sweets from your diet. One way to avoid pregnancy weight gain is to switch from ice cream to frozen yogurt or mix fruit into your ice cream rather than sweet syrups. Try to cut back on the candy and chocolate, though the occasional treat is fine.
- Increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Put cut fruit in your fridge for a quick snack. Carry veggies around with you if you get hungry while at work or out shopping. While you cook, put in as many vegetables as you can. Add a small salad to your meal at either lunch or dinner. Not only will you and your baby be healthier, but you will be cutting back on constipation issues-a common problem in late pregnancy.
- Switch from white to wheat. Buy whole wheat bread rather than white bread. This will help keep your weight down and increases your fiber intake. Look for breads with a high fiber content on the label.
These pregnancy tips should get you started. With exercise and a balanced, you should stay within that 25-35 pound mark.