I’ll be the first to admit it: I had ice cream almost every day when I was pregnant with my first. I also had venti whole milk iced lattes, hold the ice.
Those bad habits made trying to eat better and lose weight afterward even more daunting.
In my second pregnancy I learned it doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other. The options aren’t just “eat perfectly" or "eat whatever you want.” There’s a middle ground.
Not long ago, I talked to a friend who wanted to lose weight, and we were chatting about working together. She recently called again to tell me she was pregnant. (Yay!) Because of this, she wants to wait until after she has the baby to work with me.
Of course, I totally understand. No reputable doctor would approve of trying to lose weight while pregnant. Restricting nutrients isn’t healthy for a growing fetus, and it’s not ideal for the soon-to-be mother, who’s already battling a host of challenges.
I can also relate.
Working on nutrition at a time when you’re guaranteed to put on 20-30ish pounds (I put on 50 with my first) isn’t super exciting.
I get not wanting to start a diet plan while newly pregnant because you’ve got a lot going on, BUT... when are things going to get easier? (Ummmmm, you more experienced moms can let me know because my first is 6 and I’m still waiting.)
The Middle Ground
Being pregnant has its unique challenges each trimester. Sometimes the first one is just a matter of survival— what can you eat that appeals to you and won’t make you hug the porcelain bowl?
But that doesn’t mean you can’t start building healthy eating habits now.
Start by taking your prenatal vitamin.
Then work on managing portion sizes. You only need 300-500 extra calories in your 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
That’s roughly 100 extra calories per meal. Which is an additional small potato, a few bites of cheese, or a small extra serving of chicken.
Or have two healthy snacks in addition to 3 meals a day. Like this one:
You can break it up however you want. Just remember, you’re eating for two, but not doubling your intake.
It won’t always be easy. That’s why I also recommend giving into your cravings every now and then. It’ll happen anyway, so when it does, don’t stress about it. You can get back to work on your new habits at the next meal.
Changing your eating habits can be intimidating, pregnant or not. If trying to eat healthy during your pregnancy is overwhelming, I’m here to listen and offer some ideas. Email me any time...
Any pregnancy advice you get (including mine) should be viewed through the lens of “every pregnancy is different.” Some of the eating decisions you make will be completely out of your control.
You may find it difficult to eat anything, or only be able to hold down very specifics foods.
How you handle whatever your body throws at you varies greatly from person to person and pregnancy to pregnancy. So don’t feel bad if your entire pregnancy is just about getting through it and eating whatever you can to not get sick or go crazy.
Ultimately my point is to do whatever you can now, no matter how little it may seem, rather than putting it off.
It’s much easier to keep a few good habits you’ve already worked on than to make a massive overhaul as a new mommy with your hands more full than you could have ever imagined. (Seriously, you’ll wonder what you ever did with all your free time.)
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