Rest assured, however, that being pregnant does not have to be synonymous with a life-changing increase in body mass. In fact, it can be an opportunity to implement the type of healthy lifestyle you may be after. What could be more motivating than getting fit and fabulous for the sake of your child?
If you’re already in the groove, finding out you’re pregnant can give you an extra boost to stay on track and focus even more attention on your diet and exercise routines. And if you’re just starting off in the world of healthy awareness, you can really use this time to up your knowledge and implement smart routines into your daily life.
Don’t let anything get in the way of enjoying your pregnancy to the fullest- follow these tips for integral wellness and maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy.
Focus on Foods
It’s important to keep in mind that pregnant women only need about 300 more calories per day to nourish baby. So, while you may be eating for two, the second person in question here is of course much smaller than the first.
If you haven’t already, read up on what really constitutes healthy food choices. A balanced diet of lean proteins, whole grains, good sources of calcium and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables has never been more important. Not only will your diet provide you with the energy you need during pregnancy, it will help stave off cravings for fatty or sugary foods.
Another essential factor in maintaining a healthy diet while expecting is dedicating some time to it. Schedule in a good hour each day for preparing healthy meals. Use a weekend morning to shop for options you can have on hand for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks throughout each day.
Feed your Cravings
Of course you’ll have cravings for tasty things (or strange combinations!) during pregnancy. You just need to remember to recognize them for what they are and satisfy them smartly.
Ask yourself why you’re craving a certain food item. If you’re dying for a cheeseburger and fries, for example, your body may be low on protein and iron. Or, you may be suffering from low blood sugar altogether from having skipped lunch.
You can then determine what to do- have you eaten well today and generally satisfied most of your hunger with healthy options? Then go ahead and have that cheeseburger! If you haven’t earned your ‘cheat’ meal, you might be better off making a good low-fat cheeseburger at home with some carrot sticks on the side.
Feed cravings for sweets with low-fat dark chocolate or frozen yogurt topped with a handful of blueberries. Tempted by processed potato chips? Try tortilla chips instead, dipped in some homemade guacamole with plenty of tangy lime, tomatoes and onions.
There is no secret to exercising during pregnancy, other than avoiding any activities that could result in a fall or hard impact. You don’t have to sign up for yoga or join an aqua aerobics class (although these can be great ways to stick to your routine and meet other mothers-to-be).
The key is to stay moving, every day. Twenty-thirty minutes of gentle exercise will keep your blood circulating well and stimulate your metabolism. Think of it as your time to focus on your health and well being Treat yourself to an invigorating morning walk or peaceful evening stroll. This will do wonders for clearing your mind as well.
Swim whenever you have the chance- the feeling of weightlessness is delicious during pregnancy. Or, dance around in the living room with your older child. A body in motion is a naturally healthy body, and it doesn't take much!
Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy doesn't have to be a scientific or painful process. Use this as an opportunity to implement healthy lifestyle changes- you can then pass them on to your child.
Sonia Moran is a mother of two active boys who struggled with weight gain during pregnancy and losing the weight afterwards. Her journeys lead her to realize that there’s no way around it- you simply have to adopt an overall healthy lifestyle, the sooner the better! She is also a writer and consultant for www.amoralia.com.