I live somewhere in the world where it is quite common to see women who had the perfect weight before pregnancy, adding so much weight during pregnancy. It usually starts in their 2nd trimester, they keep adding and adding that by the third, they are overweight.
Most of them have normalized it and they see it as a mark of motherhood. I believe we must have seen one or two women adding so much weight during pregnancy, so at least I am not saying something strange.
Adding baby fat, was one of the things that made me scared of pregnancy when I was a younger lady. I have never loved to be fat, and I still don’t, I always wanted to have the ideal weight.
So when I hear about pregnancy cravings and see the baby-fat women around me had, I was a little scared if it was possible to have a belly-only pregnancy.
Now, while it isn’t bad to gain weight during pregnancy ( You should appreciate your body and the changes during pregnancy), an added weight that isn’t necessary for pregnancy is not ideal.
Yes, your growing fetus will need a lot of energy to grow And your body will provide that, so you need to eat a little more to be healthy for you and the baby but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a belly-only pregnancy.
The Body mass index for a normal weight in pregnancy falls between 18.5 to 24.9kg. If you don’t fall between this range, consider your self being at risk of:
- Premature childbirth.
- Increased sugar levels( gestational diabetes)
- Birth complications leading to interventions like cesarean section, induction, etc.
- Postnatal depression.
Truth is, sometimes, we know the risks involved but it can be hard to stick to the ideal weight especially with pregnancy cravings. You are tempted to eat just the way you feel, damming the consequences. But you can do it, you can have a belly-only pregnancy.
The tips I share, on how not to gain weight during pregnancy, will help you gain the minimum weight during pregnancy, which is all you need.
1. Do Not Always Give In To The Cravings
When you are hungry and craving something, it can be sooooo tempting to eat anything that you just feel like having, even if it is unhealthy and adds unnecessary weight. You should however try to always control yourself because you tend to overeat this way.
The thing about craving is satisfying the urge. My advice is this: do not get so much of the many different things you crave for. If you are intensely craving for something take a little and eat do not overstuff yourself with it too.
Chances are that you may likely lose interest in the things you are craving before you finish eating them. So, when you crave something, take a small portion of it and eat. If you still feel you want more, take and eat again.
This way you do not get to eat too much at the time. I trained myself in “cravings training”. I always ensured I ate throughout the day but in small portions. I don’t wait so long to get so hungry before eating.
So when I crave something I try to hold myself and see if I can do without it. Sometimes the cravings wane off. So I just avoid eating. If it’s something I keep cravings for even after some time, I take only a little of it and see if it is OK for the moment. Sometimes it works that way and helps me stop having so much food.
2. Eat Small Amounts At Frequent Intervals
Are you finding how not to gain weight during pregnancy? Eating small portions of food frequently is one of the best ways to go about it. When you eat food often, digestion rate is faster increasing metabolism, which is work going on and your body is exercising.
Also as you take smaller portions, there is hardly any fat or carbs store because the food isn’t so much, the body uses up the energy produced, and digestion keeps taking place because you eat regularly.
The opposite is the case when you load up with food and take a long time before you eat to have another heavy meal. The digestion rate is slower, there is reduced metabolic activities, greater chances for you to eat more, and the body to body store fats in body cells which leads to weight gain.
This strategy is very helpful in pregnancy as it reduces hunger levels (times, when you get so hungry that you feel like tiny ants, are marching in your belly). It reduces the tendency to overeat, and a great trick for pregnant women that experience heartburns.
It also boosts your energy level up throughout the day, without fear of high blood sugar levels. This is how to gain minimum weight during pregnancy.
3. Reduce Calorie Intake
I know it may be difficult to completely avoid calories and sweets because many women crave sweets stuffs in pregnancy. But you can achieve a minimum calorie intake.
Carbs are a fast way to gain weight during pregnancy and how not to gain weight during pregnancy by having a belly only pregnancy is by taking only small portions and meeting your recommended carb intake in pregnancy.
You can achieve this by eating a healthy balanced diet. Do not take carbohydrates only, mix them up with some proteins and lots of veggies so that you can feel full and avoid junk as much as possible. If you have to take sweets take them in small amounts and combine them with healthy foods or snacks.
Trade unhealthy fats and carbs with other healthier options like plant-based fatty foods such as olive oil, peanut butter, or avocado.
Eat a balanced diet that consists of lean meats, Carbohydrates, and vegetables. High fiber snacks should be taken often and a healthy balanced meal at mealtime. This Is How to prevent weight gain during pregnancy.
Many women fear that exercises may affect the baby. But if you do it right, and follow your doctor’s directions, you have nothing to be afraid of.
I was a bit scared of exercising at first during pregnancy, but during prenatal classes, I was encouraged and with time I saw the importance of doing pregnancy appropriate exercise often.
Exercises can help you burn out those extra calories you have accumulated as a baby-fat plus it makes you active and energetic.
Personally for me when I do not exercise often, I feel slow and sluggish and the pregnancy mood swings sets in. I can become cranky irritated over little things.
But when I take a walk outdoors or do something to engage myself I feel productive. Exercises have lots of benefits. Apart from the obvious fact that it helps regulate the body’s weight during pregnancy it also makes you feel more active and reduces the pain and aches.
You don’t have to go for long hours. A 15 to 20 minutes walk around the house in the morning is awesome or swimming in the heat of the day. You can also take yoga classes. There are yoga classes specifically for pregnant women that can be super beneficial to you.
Ps: The type of exercise you do depends on the nature of your pregnancy. Always seek medical advice for the appropriate exercise you can engage in.
5. Begin Pregnant With The Ideal Weight
Your weight before pregnancy will generally impact how you manage your weight during pregnancy. To prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy, it is advisable for trying to conceive moms (TTC) to keep a check on their weight and ensure it falls within the appropriate body mass index.
The growing fetus will need some fats for growth. So you are likely going to add some weight, but it should fall between the necessary range so you don’t become overweight.
If you have the ideal weight from the early stages of your pregnancy, you only need to maintain it by eating right, exercising, and avoiding overeating.
But if you are already overweight when you conceive, you may find it hard to avoid extra fat and reduce weight (If you are pregnant and obese, you need to see a doctor put you on a proper meal plan).
6. Fluids Are Your Next Best Friends
In pregnancy, you need a lot of fluids especially water as you and the growing fetus will be consuming much this time. Myriads metabolic reactions will be taking place, and you don’t want to get dehydrated.
How not gain weight during pregnancy, using fluids as an aid: drink lots of water while eating this is a trick that helps avoid the extra fats. Take water before a meal so you feel full and don’t have to take too much food.
The fluids you take help to flush the body system and keep you replenished. It prevents bloating in women and constipation. So eating frequently and drinking water is another way on how not to gain with during pregnancy.
Pregnant women are expected to take about 10 glasses of water and other fluids every day. You can make water-drinking easier for you by keeping a water bottle nearby so you can always have a sip.
It doesn’t only have to be plain water, twist things up by adding sprigs of mint leaves to give a hint of flavor. Other fluids like beverage drinks and milk are also cool. Avoid sodas as much as possible.
7. Take Necessary Steps Immediately When You Start Noticing Excessive Weight Gain
The best time to prevent weight gain and monitor yourself to have a belly-only pregnancy is by monitoring your weight early enough between the first two months of pregnancy or else, it may be difficult maintaining the ideal weight.
Immediately you notice your weight has started going above limits, see your doctor. This is how not to gain weight during pregnancy. You may be placed on a meal plan suitable for you to avoid any extra weight.
This can help you maintain your required body weight and help you cope in the second and third trimesters when the baby is growing rapidly and when you tend to crave more. This tip is especially useful for pregnant women who are on the big side.
8. Have A Pregnancy Weight Goal
Have a weight goal to keep you on track on how you should eat, exercise, and keep fit during pregnancy. If you don’t have one, chances are that you may not be well motivated to keep track of your right body weight.
You can discuss the goal with your doctor so you both work together to see what works and the Doctor can also help monitor and keep you in check so you are within the ideal body weight.
Weight tracking apps are also useful to help you maintain the ideal weight. You simply record what you eat for the day and the app calculates if you have had the recommended calorie intake for the day or not. Then you know if you are overdoing or underdoing things.
9. Stick To A Meal Plan
This is a super-easy way that helps you know how to not to gain body weight during pregnancy as you are assured that you are eating right. There are tons of meal plans you can follow to suits your needs.
You may fear that meal plans may “box” you and not allow you to try out some of the things you crave, but trust me there are great meal plans suitable for pregnant women that you can try out and fall in love with.
These meal plans fix in the needs of pregnant women also ensuring that anything taken is healthy so you don’t gain bodyweight. Note: if you have complications in pregnancy you need a meal plan approved by a doctor.
10. Fibres + Proteins Are Great Combos
Try to incorporate as many fibers and proteins in your meals it is one way on how not to gain weight during pregnancy. These combos help you feel full so you don’t always feel hungry and eat too much.
It also helps you avoid constipation and heartburn. Try takings, fruits, and yogurt, scrambled or poached eggs with bread.
Starving yourself or becoming underweight in pregnancy Is not the point of this write-up. It is more about maintaining the ideal weight.
The tips on how not to gain weight during pregnancy, outlined above boil on that. While you will likely add some weight during pregnancy, it is very possible to have a belly-only pregnancy.
Save this for later mama!