Trying to stay healthy and fit during pregnancy? Today I am sharing some of my secrets to prevent gaining excess weight during pregnancy so that you can stay in good shape for those 9 months and beyond!
Thanks to Gestational Diabetic (GDM), I received a lot of dietary recommendations and advice on what to expect during pregnancy. And I mean A LOT.
Every pregnant woman I talked to feel the need to share with me exactly how much weight they gained during their pregnancy, and it usually ranged anywhere from 9 – 16kgs. That’s a wide range.
On a day to day basis, I have always worked really hard to eat right and exercise in order to stay fit and healthy, as much as I wanted the baby and knew that there would be sacrifice involved in having a child, I also did not want to give up all the years of hard work that I had dedicated to staying in shape. I also did not want to view my body in a negative light for the rest of my life post baby. I just want to feel good about myself, don’t you?
One of my biggest fears during my pregnancy was GDM. I must change my eating habits, I made a commitment to myself to eat as healthy as possible throughout my pregnancy not only for my own benefit, but also for the health of my baby. After all, there was a little person growing inside of me, so I wanted to ensure that I was providing all the necessary nutrients. By the end of my pregnancy, I had gained approximately 4.5kgs, which was primarily baby and fluids, and I was pleasantly surprised that I hadn’t gained very much additional body fat. I am back to my prebaby weight 4 days after delivery.
I am certainly not saying this to brag, but more so as an encouragement to you, because I had always just assumed that gaining a bunch of body fat was a given when you are pregnant because that’s what I had always read or been told. And I think a lot of women have this perception, but that totally doesn’t have to be the case !If you take care of yourself, pay attention to what you ‘re eating and exercise on a regular basis, you definitely don’t have to give up your body when you have a baby.
Before I share some of my strategies, please recognize that pregnancy is a very individual journey and of course everyone will experience a different rate of weight gain. Along with following these strategies below, I recommend working closely with your doctor to ensure that you are gaining the right amount of weight based on your BMI and size. Please note that the amount of weight gain depends on your situation:
- Overweight women need to gain less (7 to 11 kilograms or less, depending on their pre-pregnancy weight).
- Underweight women will need to gain more (13 to 18 kilograms).
- You should gain more weight if you are having more than 1 baby. Women having twins need to gain 16.5 to 24.5 kilograms.
Now, here are some of the strategies that I found worked for me and many of my friends:
- Don’t eat for two
The misconception of Malaysians, and one of the most frustrating things that I heard throughout my pregnancy: you need to eat for two because you are pregnant!
No! You don’t need the extra calories to support the growth of the baby in the first trimester unless you are severely underweight. You only need approximately 300 – 450 extra calories in the second and third trimester, that’s equivalent to an apple, handful of nuts, and a yogurt. It’s not that much extra food.
- Keep a food journal
I know this is not easy, but it works! By writing down what you eat every meal, it helps keep you more accountable and if you are packing on the pounds a little faster that you’d like, you can always go back and review your food journal to see where you might be overdoing it and figure out what tweaks can be made.
As a GDM mom, I am very cautious of sugar intake. My best strategy was to eat smaller more frequent meals throughout the day and pay attention to portions. Being said so, less carbs, more fibre and protein in every meal is the key.
The combination of fibre and protein helps to regulate blood sugar and can also control hunger levels since fibre and protein both make us feel full for longer. As an added bonus, fibre helps keep pregnant women from constipation and has a ton of other benefits!
- Take supplements
It is important to take a prenatal supplement throughout pregnancy to ensure that you are getting those extra nutrients you might be skimping on in your diet like calcium, iron, folate.
I took Obimin, Calcium, Neurogain as recommended by the doctor, meanwhile, I am taking Rosy Time too. (If you want to get Rosy Time at a cheaper rate, please do not hesitate to contact me) .
- Drinks a lot of water
Having a large bottle constantly full can make it easy to calculate whether you are getting enough fluids. Drink 12 – 14 cups of water daily.
- Good snacks
Fresh fruits (not juice), vegetables and yogurt (sugar free) make good snacks. They are full of vitamins and low in calories and fat. Eat breads and cereals made with whole grains or flourless. Also, choose low-fat or fat-free cheese and sugar-free yogurt.
These can be your supper too in case you are hungry at night!
- Exercise regularly
This is very important, exercise at least 30 minutes twice a week is good enough. You can check out my previous blog on prenatal workout I did.
In addition, some of the best foods you should consume during pregnancy include walnuts, chia seeds, lentils, cooked eggs, legumes, and flax seeds.
Remember, you must take control of what you eat and what’s best for you and your baby. Hope my strategies help!
You may also check out my pregnancy diary here :