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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

10 Tips to Keep Weight Gain in Check During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, especially if it is your first and you are new to the whole experience of being pregnant, once of the biggest challenges is gaining enough weight to keep your baby healthy. However, most woman gain more weight than is required, which can lead to health issues for both mother and baby, and makes it extremely hard to lose your baby weight.

Not to worry! There are some easy and sensible tips that you can follow that will help you keep your weight in check during pregnancy.

1. Eat Breakfast – Whether you feel like it or not, eat breakfast every morning. It helps to jumpstart your metabolism each day and will fend off unwanted pounds. Additionally, if you add a complex protein to your morning diet, such as peanut butter, it gives you and your baby a boost of protein to start the day.

2. Add 300-500 calories – You want to add 300-500 calories to your diet each day while you are pregnant, to ensure your child is receiving the proper nutrient levels. However, these should be good quality calories and not employ ones. Add more fruit, vegetables and protein to your diet and do away with colas, caffeine and food items high in sugar or fat.

3. Snack between Meals – Having healthy snacks throughout the day between meals makes sure that your body always feels full and satisfied and less likely to binge eat on fatty foods. Snacking also means that you will eat smaller amounts of food at each sitting and this helps to keep the unnecessary weight off.

4. Stay Active – Many women cease to exercise during pregnancy, especially during the 3rd trimester. Unfortunately, this only increases the odds that you will gain unwanted pounds during your pregnancy. If you stay active, you will actually feel better all throughout your pregnancy. Exercise can be as easy as taking a walk each night after dinner, going to the mall for a few hours where it is climate controlled, or taking yoga or aquatics class for pregnant women.

5. Choose Healthy – Many pregnant women have cravings, and although it is sometimes impossible not to indulge those urges it is best for the entire duration of the pregnancy to choose healthy foods. Leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grain breads, rice, potatoes and proteins are important to you and your growing baby.

6. Eat Fresh – One of the easiest ways to watch your weight during pregnancy is to buy fresh and eat fresh. First, this means you are eating foods that are very high in nutrients and vitamins; good for you and baby. Second, if you have to go out and do a little shopping each day to buy fresh, it means you are getting out and getting exercise. It may seem like a pain but look at it this way. Each day you can spend 10 minutes in the supermarket or once a week, you can spend an hour. Your pregnant body and your back will most often prefer the former choice.

7. Avoid Junk Food – Instead of chocolate ice cream, try frozen yogurt. Instead of potato chips, try cheese and crackers. Adjusting your mind to eat healthier, without compromising taste is the key to avoiding junk food during pregnancy. Your mind may be telling you it needs a chocolate bar, but neither your baby nor your hips need it.

8. Look Pretty – When you look good, you feel good. Depression about appearance and weight gain during pregnancy is common. However, if you make an effort to get dressed everyday, do your hair and put on a little lip gloss, you will instantly feel better about your state. This will help you avoid binge eating during low times.

9. Get Out of the House – Staying inside makes you depressed, and becoming depressed leads to overeating. If you can get out of the house at least once every day, you will be more active, less isolated and much happier.

10. Drink Lots – Throughout the day, drink plenty of juice and water. This provides your body with the fluid intake it needs, keeps your skin fresh and radiant and also keeps you filling full. If you feel satisfied, you are less likely to eat all the time.

A sensible dietary plan, one that is rich in nutrients and vitamins is essential for a growing baby. Striking a healthy balance is the ticket to delivering a healthy baby without gaining too much weight that you will struggle to loose months and sometimes years after your child is born.

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