"Eating for two" is so last season. If you're expecting, you'll quickly figure out that this is an ideal time to slow down a little, watch your food intake and try to get away with as much cookie-eating as possible. OK, that last part is not advised. It's tempting to give into the sweet cravings and tell yourself, "Oh, it's just a little extra for the baby... I'll lose this weight later." Enough! For a healthy pregnancy, you need to eat an extra 340 calories during the second trimester and 450 calories more than usual during the last trimester. That's it.
More fuel, please. The reason behind adding calories is because your body is doing more work. Developing a little group of cells into a human being is tough! Upping your fuel intake will help you get through the day-to-day waddling of pregnancy and help your baby grow and develop. Too many calories, and your body begins to turn them into fat and store them. Once you store fat cells, they become unwanted tenants that are extremely frustrating to evict.
>> Read more: Redirect Those Cravings: 10 Perfect Pregnancy Snacks
Gaining weight via fat storage during pregnancy can really slow you down and make you more susceptible to health problems for both you and your baby, like preterm labor. Recent research shows too much weight gain during pregnancy has been linked to the child becoming overweight in the following years. What's more, your child can develop high blood pressure.
"Nothing sounds good!" When you're pregnant, your appetite can be all out of whack — what you liked before sounds disgusting now and vice versa; you might toss half of what you eat and will take whatever you can get; your cravings take over your willpower; flavors taste completely different thanks to hormones, and more. So, how can you combat the weight gain with all of these obstacles? Take the winning foods and hold on tight. Click here to read up on more strange side effects of pregnancy and how you can handle them.
Pack your snacks. As your belly grows, you're not going to be able to fit much in your stomach before you feel full or uncomfortable. Snack throughout the day on veggies and fruit, healthy energy bars and nuts and yogurt (try these 10 healthy on-the-go snacks here). Go for lean meats in portions of three to four ounces for lunch and dinner. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! You'll need about eight to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water per day to keep your systems moving, more if it's hot or you're exercising.
Not sure how to measure those extra 340 or 450 calories? Here's a few snapshots of what those look like:
For an awesome power meal in between breakfast and lunch, 285 Calories for a bowl of Skinny Chicken Fried Rice.
A couple slices of this 181-calories per serving quiches: Skinny Chicken and Veggie Frittata
Three of these Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries are about 100 calories of sweet bliss to calm your sugar cravings.
Add a little something extra each day — a dish or treat that you'll be able to enjoy. Pair your healthy eating with at least 20 minutes of walking or exercising each day for good blood flow and digestion. Soon enough, you'll be pushing a stroller during those walks!