One of my biggest fears while pregnant with my daughter was gaining too much weight! I had so many friends who gained 50 or 60lbs and they were tiny to begin with. They had a terrible time getting the weight off and some of them couldn’t get it off at all. I wanted to be healthy, have a healthy baby and feel good about myself after having my daughter. I’m not going to lie… I am thin to begin with, but I don’t think genetics/build are the only factor here. The picture to the right is me taken a few days after having my daughter. Don’t get my wrong I still had a little swelling around my belly from my uterus still being enlarged, but I was wearing my pre-prego clothes. Here are some tips that I used. Also.. breastfeeding does help! **Please check with your OB/Midwife to make sure these tips are safe for you. I am not a doctor. These tips were safe for me and cleared with my OB. Every woman is different and every woman is given a specific amount of weight to gain.***
Keeping weight gain to the required 25-35lbs: (yours may be less or may check with your doctor!)
- Keep a weight gain journal- I weighed myself daily and wrote it down in my pregnancy calendar/journal. This just gave me an idea of how much weight I was averaging per week. I didn’t start this until I was 3 months pregnant since I didn’t gain much in the first trimester from morning sickness.
- Eat similar foods each day. I pretty much eat the same breakfast & lunch everyday. Dinner is always different, but I cook very healthy. When you eat similar foods you know what you are getting.
- Don’t drink your calories. Avoid pop, juice & sugary coffee drinks. Stick to water and skim milk. I also drink coffee with cream. You need to stay hydrated and water is the best thing for you. Pop & juice are really just empty calories.
- Salads are amazing, especially salad bars. They are a great way to load up on veggies which will fill you up without adding tons of calories.
- I figure that I can eat as many fruits and veggies as I want. If I’m hungry I always make sure I have tons of apples, oranges, pears, baby carrots, etc to munch on.
- All your carbs should be whole grain AKA not white carbs. Stick to wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes.
- Switch all dairy to fat free dairy. Skim cheese, low or non-fat yogurt, skim milk, frozen yogurt instead of ice cream
- Snack on veggies or go for chips that are baked or popped. I also love the 100-calorie pack kettle popcorn bags.
- Add eggs or peanut butter to a meal or snack. Additional protein will help fill you up.
- Avoid fatty foods. They aren’t good for you or your growing baby. Don’t eat fast food or eat out a lot. You would be surprised how much fat and calories are in restaurant foods. Avoid fatty sauces like gravy & ranch. Opt for a light dressing for salads, hummus for veggie dip.
- Get moving! Try to be active everyday or at least 3-4x a week. Take a brisk walk, take a class for pregnant women.
Gaining too much weight is not just bad for you and weight loss after baby. It can cause serious health problems for the baby, gestational diabetes, hypertension and more.
Here is what I typically eat..
Breakfast: Whole grain English muffin with a cooked through egg & skim cheese. Sometimes I spread on a little jam too
Morning Snack: Apple or pear- Sometimes with peanut butter
Lunch: Large salad loaded with toppings. Mixed greens, carrots, chickpeas, peas, skim cheese, chopped hard-boiled egg, dried cranberries, broccoli, mushrooms, shredded chicken or broken up turkey bacon. (dressing on side)
Side of fat free cottage cheese
Whole grain roll
PM Snack: Handful of pretzels
Dinner: Load half my plate with veggies, 1/4 with lean meat like chicken, 1/4 whole grain carb like brown rice
Night Snack: Bowl of cereal! my favorite snack