Wondering why do some women not gain weight during their pregnancy? Or how to not gain excess weight during pregnancy? Here are some daily habits to practise when pregnant that will help you with a belly only pregnancy.
So you just found out you are pregnant? Congratulations!! There is no better feeling in the world.
No doubt it is a magical period in your life. I mean keeping aside the nausea and that constant feeling of being exhausted haha. And you’ve already told your partner and had your first pre natal check up. And now you are worried about the weight gain that comes with it.
Mainly because you worry about having to lose it later. And you have heard all about how difficult it is to lose weight postpartum. And there is nothing wrong with not wanting to gain excess weight during pregnancy. Of course you are bound to gain some amount of weight, but it totally possible to avoid excess weight gain.
How much WEIGHT should I GAIN DURING PREGNANCY?
On an average women gain anywhere between 12 to 40 pounds. It could be more if you are having twins. But the weight gained by women during pregnancy varies depending on their weight and BMI at the time of conception. If you are already overweight or obese you doctor might recommend you to gain as little as possible. If your BMI is over 30, you’d be recommend to gain about 5 to 9 kgs.
And if you are under weight, you will be asked to gain more weight to have a healthy pregnancy. Women who are underweight are asked to gain between 13 to 18 kgs.
Only some weight that you gain is actually fat. In fact,
HERE is where all the pregnancy weight goes:
The weight gain during pregnancy is not all fat. And even with healthy diet, exercises etc, you will gain some weight because you are growing another human inside of you. Here is a breakdown of weight gain during pregnancy:
- Placenta: 1.5 pounds
- Increased Blood volume: 4 pounds
- Increased fluid Volume: 4 pounds
- Breast tissue: 2 pounds
- Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
- Uterus: 2 pounds
- Maternal source of fats, protein and other nutrients: 7 Pounds
- Average full term baby: 7 pounds
But, in case you want to avoid excess weight gain, here are some of the habits you should adopt right now.
#1: Don’t eat for two:
You may have heard that because you are pregnancy you must eat for two. Well, it’s not true.
Not in your first or even in your third trimester. No matter what you mom and aunts have been telling you. You certainly do not need to eat for two. Think about how small your baby is. It makes sense that you do not need all those extra calories right? Also, eating all that extra food is not really going to effect your baby’s development in any way.
So stop eating for two. In fact, for the first trimester, you could continue eating the same amount of calories as you were eating before being pregnancy. The average calories for women in their first trimester is 1800 calories, 2200 calories in your second trimester and about 2400 calories in your third trimester.
#2: Count your calories:
I generally do not recommend counting calories because it is so exhausting. But it sure comes in handy when you are pregnant and want a belly only pregnancy. Counting your calories and watching what you are eating and how much is important during pregnancy when all you are craving is potato chips and ice cream. Those calories can add up really quickly and if you are not mindful, you will no doubt end up agin weight pretty quickly.
#3: Stay active:
Staying active is one of the best tips for pregnant women who want to avoid excess weight gain. it is good for the baby and it is good for you too. It even helps makes labour easier. So stay as active as you can without over exerting yourself. Talk to your doctor about what exercises are safe for you.
I was recommended to not do any high intensity workouts, so I walked. And I walked like I meant business. Some days I even walked for about 2 hours, with proper breaks in between.
While working out, it is important to listen to your body as well and not try to push your limits right now. Take breaks as and when you need. Being active and getting your sweat on also release endorphins which lift up your mood.
#4: Stay hydrated:
Staying hydrated is important for everyone. But now, even more so for you. Your body needs all that extra water and hydration because of the increased fluids in your body. And even though the thought of getting up and going to pee every few minutes is not very encouraging, you must drink water.
Drinking enough water also keeps all those pregnancy cravings in check. I am not saying you shouldn’t indulge your cravings, but it’s your body’s way of telling you what you need. But drink enough water to be able to distinguish between hunger and dehydration.
#5: Get enough sleep:
Getting enough sleep and rest throughout the day will help you avoid excess weight gain during pregnancy. I know sleeping during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester is not always easy or comfortable. But you must take rest and get sleep whenever possible. getting enough sleep ensures that your metabolism is strong and helps you burn the calories faster.
#6: Avoid stress:
Did you know that stress cause inflammation in your body? Yes, it’s true. Cortisol is a hormone that’s released by our kidneys when we are stressed. And elevated cortisol levels can cause cravings for sweet, fatty and salty foods. So you’re more likely to gain weight when you are stressed. It also cause a decrease in the production of testosterone, which can slow down how your body burns calories.
#7: Focus on nutrition:
So you are counting the calories, great! But focussing on nutrition is super important as well. I am sure you are aware that the same amount of calories from french fries and from healthy balanced meals are processed differently in our bodies.
Having excess amounts of fatty, salty foods will cause excess weight gain, no matter how many calories you are eating. So focus on getting balanced nutritious meals. You also need to watch your protein intake because it’s really important when pregnant.
Also, check for what are your go to snacks during pregnancy. Some healthy snack ideas are:
- Boiled eggs
- Carrots, cucumbers with a side of hummus
- Whole Nuts and seeds (trail mix)
#8: Don’t drink your calories:
As you are keeping an eye on the total calorie intake, also watch out for the liquid calories. Watch what you are drinking. Avoid sugary drinks like sodas and packed juices. Energy drinks aren’t that great too.
And if you are consuming fruit yogurts thinking that they are healthy, think again. Read labels before you buy these thinks because they’re usually loaded with sugars.
And that’s it. Some pretty simple tips to avoid excess weight gain during pregnancy. Adopt these healthy habits to have a belly only pregnancy. And do not stress too much if everything doesn’t go exactly according to your plan. you are human, after all. And enjoy this time while it lasts, Mama!