Diet & Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an exciting time for a woman, full of anticipation and joy. Pregnancy can also be a time of when a woman begins to reflect on how her life will change. She will invariability begin to have questions on an array of issues related to her pregnancy, including what she needs to do to maintain a proper diet and weight during this time.
There are those expectant mothers who take pregnancy as a license to eat whatever they like, be it sweets or fatty foods low in nutritional value. It is quite normal when pregnancy causes odd craving in a woman, but it is important to remember that eating healthy meals and snacks it not only good for the mom, but also for the baby.
While there may be those that encourage overindulging for mothers-to-be, in reality, you really do not need to consume twice the calories you ate before you became pregnant. In fact, generally speaking, the average pregnant woman needs only to consume an additional 100-300 extra calorie per day beyond her normal calorie intake. If you are uncertain as to how many calories you need per day based various factors including level of activity and so on, consult with your healthcare provider. He or she can help you navigate through and questions and concerns you may have about having a healthy and relativity worry-free pregnancy.
Pregnancy Weight Gain
When it comes to an appropriate amount of weight gain during pregnancy, the normal range is usually between 25-35 pounds. If you are carrying twins or triplets, you will of course gain more. For twins, for example, you may gain an additional 10 pounds. Obviously, this is not all “baby,” since a baby's weigh will generally be between 7-9 pounds. If you are overweight, you may need to gain even less weight. Those who are obese may even need to lose weight during pregnancy, although always under medical supervision. Normally a woman will gain between 2 to 4 pounds during the first twelve weeks of her pregnancy and 1 pound a week during the remainder. Keep in mind that these numbers may vary wildly for very small or very tall women.
Buying Maternity Clothes
Choosing maternity wear is not always as straightforward as one might hope. Some pregnant women may think it impossible to look stylish in their ninth month or that nothing ever really fits right. Do not restrict yourself to stores. You may find that family member or friends have some great maturity outfits that they have stored away and which they will be happy to give to someone else who can get some use out of them.
It is important to understand that as your pregnancy progresses your wardrobe needs will change. It is not always easy to estimate when and how much your body will change in a given span of time. This means it is unwise to rush out and buy all your maternity clothes the moment you discover you are expecting. The smarter choice is to pick up items as your pregnancy progresses. Early in your pregnancy, it is a good idea to purchase pants and skirts with elastic waistbands, loose-fitting tops and other clothing items that feel comfortable.
When it comes time to move to the next phrase of your pregnancy, remember that unless you simply want to buy maternity wear from one of the many designer lines, it really is not necessary to do so in order to maintain you own personal sense of fashion and style. Many retail chains carry inexpensive maternity clothing. Buying some basic essentials like pants, skirts and simple dresses that can be jazzed up by adding different accessories can give to a fashionable look for less.
Remember to buy items that can transition from season to season. A summer dress, for instance, may work just as well in fall by adding a sweater or jacket. What is important is that you feel comfortable in what you wear, not whether you are wearing the latest fashion from a maturity collection.
Obviously, pregnancy lasts only nine months, so spending a great deal of money on clothes that you may never use again afterward is not a good investment. This money may be better spent on the array of other things you need after your baby is born, from items to outfit your nursery, like a crib, bassinet and, of course, lots of stuffed animals, to a gym membership that will allow you to get back in shape. So remember to prioritize so you can put purchasing decisions into perspective. That way you can make choices that make the most sense in the long run.
Controlling Weight Gain
There are several strategies that an expectant mother can employ to ensure that she gains the appropriate amount of weight during her pregnancy, while still getting the nutrients that her body needs. Stocking healthy foods in your pantry and refrigerator can help you avoid eating junk food with little nutritional value and that will quickly put on extra pounds. This is also true for the car and office. Keeping a healthy snack on hand when you have a craving will help you maintain a healthy pregnancy weight. Make a list of low-calorie meals and snacks you can eat that meet your nutritional needs while at the same time satisfying your cravings. It can also be helpful to have several smaller meals throughout the day.
As for snacks, you don't need to grab a candy bar (although one once in a while is fine) to satisfy a craving for sweets. Instead, try mixing a fruit of your choice (strawberries, blueberries or raspberries) with low-calorie whip topping. Crumble up a gram cracker over your dessert to give it some texture. Another great snack choice is to have a slice of toast with a thin layer of peanut butter with a banana for an afternoon snack. There are many snacks that come in around 100 calories that will allow you to indulge several times throughout the day without feeling guilty that you are over-indulging.
When eating out, whether at a fast food chain or high end restaurant, it is important to make smart, informed choices. If you are not certain about how a food is prepared, the number of calories in an item or its fat content, do not be afraid to ask. There are clearly some things you want to avoid during pregnancy. For instance, too much salt that can add water weight, so be sure to check the sodium content of foods. Many fast food chains have included healthy menu options, such as grilled chicken rather than fried, fresh green salads and low calorie desserts like yogurt cups. You can also ask that sandwiches be made to order, allowing you to avoid condiments like mayonnaise while adding healthy additions like lettuce and tomatoes.
When making meals at home, look for menu options that allow you to broil or bake your food rather than frying it. There are many recipes for expected moms online, as well as cookbooks available for purchase and at your local library. You may also ask friends and family members who have been pregnant if they have any recipes that they could share with you. Remember that there are many alternatives available to you, from low-fat milk and cheese products to cooking sprays that do not have the calories and fat content of butter or lard.
Losing Pregnancy Weight
With all the joy that comes with bringing home a baby, there is the downside of having to lose those extra pregnancy pounds. Hopefully, if you followed a healthy diet plan throughout your pregnancy, you won't have too many pounds to lose. Whatever the number of pounds you need to get rid to get back to a healthy weight for your body, there are several approaches that can help you shed those unwanted pounds.
When it comes time to drop the extra baby weight you gained during your pregnancy, it is important to start by understanding what a pound of fat represents. This means that before you can know what you will need to do to loss one pound you must understand the mathematical equation (and that is what it is) to losing weight. A pound is, essentially, 3,500 extra calories that you have consumed. You can determine your BMI (body mass index) based on several factors, including your current weight, height, frame type. You will also need to factor your current level of activity into this equation to determine what level of activity you will need to reach to lose weight.
There are numerous websites online that provide you the opportunity to determine you current calorie needs to maintain your weigh. This will also tell you how many calories you will reduce daily (in addition to exercise) to drop those unwanted pregnancy pounds. For example, looking at the fact that a pound is 3500 calories, this means that you will need to loss 35,000 calories through diet and exercise to drop ten pounds. While it will take a little time to lose this weight, it need not be nearly as difficult as you might imagine.
Creating a Weight Loss Plan
They key to weight loss is setting realistic goals that allow you to reach your goal weight without depriving yourself or pushing yourself so hard that you give up on a completely obtainable goal. It is very important to note that, before you begin any regular exercise routine, you should consult with your doctor. The doctor can help you determine if you are ready to start an exercise plan, as well as what level of activity you should engage in. Taking a walk with your baby in its stroller is a marvelous way to get some outdoor exercise. Even a trip to the mall on a rainy day will give you a chance to burn some calories.
Trying to fit in enough “me” time to get back into shape while juggling family and work responsibilities can be difficult. Of course, one of the best ways to loss those unwanted pounds is to join a gym. You can even find classes for women who have the same goal as you, getting back to their pre- pregnancy weight. This can be a great environment in which to lose weight. You will have the opportunity to receive and give support to other women who have of many the same issues and stresses you have.
If you feel a bit embarrassed to exercise in front of other people, remember that there are fitness clubs that cater to women, as well as private classes for women at different fitness levels. Many fitness centers offer a holistic approach to fitness. These centers not only help you regain your physical balance, they can also help you find greater balance in other areas of your life that may have become a bit off kilter since the birth of your child.
Exercise at Home
Of course, another option is to purchase some home exercise equipment. There are so many different types of home gym equipment; the choices might seem a bit overwhelming. Many women looking to shed unwanted pounds are also interested in tightening abdominal muscles. From an exercise ball to a plan old exercise mat to do yoga, sit-ups and leg lifts, you do not have to spend a lot in order to get a great workout for your abs.
Another wonderful way to shed a few (or more) pounds is to get someone close to you involved by asking them to work out with you. Not everyone can afford a personal trainer, and for those of us who cannot, a spouse, friend or family member can be a perfect substitute to serve in that capacity.
There are so many fun activities that you can engage in to help lose weight, from biking to gardening and swimming. Simply spending some time outdoors playing with your kids can really shed the pounds. Finding the right activities for you is important because, if you find activities you enjoy, you are more like to keep doing them. This is because, rather than viewing exercise as something to you would rather avoid, you instead look forward to it.