1. Don't Eat For Two
Easier said than done! During my first trimester I couldn't eat enough... I was always hungry! On top of the hunger, my sweet tooth (which had disappeared when I cut out sugar and followed a whole foods diet) quickly returned with pregnancy.
Of course, I had to eat when I was hungry... I couldn't starve little Baby C! However, to ease my mind and my pounds gained, I stuck to my whole foods, healthy living way of life. I did this for several reasons, just as whole foods (greens, protein, healthy carbs & fats) are good for me, they are also good for the baby! In fact, being a Nutritionist, I took it a step farther. I made sure to make meals that were filled with nutrients that the baby needed for early growth. To do this without having to do hours worth of research and memorizing, simply focus on eating all the colors of the rainbow and incorporate all food groups!
Some may feel that you should not worry about gaining weight or what your body looks like during pregnancy but I completely disagree. Gain the weight your body needs in order to sustain the healthy growth of a beautiful baby. Remain confident about your appearance to enhance this magical journey. Eating unhealthy foods and excessive weight gain could potentially be the last thing your little babes needs!
Like mentioned above, sugar cravings overwhelmed me in full force. I found out I was pregnant and it was as if a switch was flipped!
I empathize with those with cravings, they are simply downright impossible to ignore at times!
Below are some simple tips that allowed me to avoid the sugar binge even when I yearned for it the most:
- Healthy Alternatives-
- I made donuts, muffins, cookies, banana ice cream and a few other goodies that were all modified to have all natural foods and no added sugar. All were naturally sweetened with banana or dates.Even though there was no added sugar, they were sweet and tasty and just what I needed to avoid calling my husband to have him pick up ice cream on his way home!
- Understanding Sugar-
- Not only was I insistent on staying healthy for fitness and weight gain (I'm not completely selfish!) but I was extremely concerned about the health of my baby. According to me and the research I've done, sugar is a silent killer. I had no interest in feeding it to my baby. I also did not want gestational diabetes or any other diseases related to high sugar/carb diets. Keeping this in my mind allowed me to stay on track as much as possible. Don't worry- I indulged a few times but by no means was it part of my weekly regime!
- Only Eat When Hungry-
- I find this to be the best advice of all. It's hard to over consume or eat the wrong things if you stay true to this statement. After a meal, every time I flirt with the idea of ice cream or a cookie, I ask myself, "Are you even hungry?". If that answer is no, then I don't eat! Rarely when I am hungry, would I choose ice cream or a cookie over a meal for a few reasons... One being that I find it important to first provide the baby with the nutrients it needs and the second being that sugar does WAY more harm than good for our bodies and our baby's body!
During pregnancy it's as if your body becomes a host to a hungry, hormonal, crave-all-the-wrong-foods alien! Thank you, hormones! I've personally taking a particular liking to mexican food and pizza lately. Not exactly part of my daily diet pre-pregnancy. However, the alien (hormones) that have taken over our bodies for the next 9 months sometimes have more of a say than we do! I've overcome this by simply making my healthiest version of whatever I'm in the mood for! Last night was pizza. I made cauliflower crust as well as a homemade wheat crust, with homemade pesto sauce, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil- DELICIOUS! And the previous 2 weeks we've had "mock" chipotle bowls, completely healthy and made by yours truly! Don't get discouraged by craving things you wouldn't normally eat or by finding it hard to stay "healthy" during pregnancy. You can make anything healthy! Check out my Pinterest for ideas and get creative!
4. Stay Active
Anyone that is currently pregnant or has been pregnant knows how difficult this can be, especially when fighting the fatigue of the first trimester! It is a very real thing and actually the first symptom I had that encouraged me to go get a pregnancy test! I was falling asleep at 6pm... for 3 months! However, running is the core of who I am and when I don't run, I don't even feel like myself (and trust me, I already didn't feel like myself enough!). Running is also my "me" time, my dogs daily "walk" and how I vow to stay "fit".
Follow the tips below:
- Take The Pressure Off
- Whether running, weightlifting, walking, hiking, etc, don't put too much pressure on yourself. Within days of finding out I was pregnant, my running pace immediately slowed. I couldn't catch my breath, I was constantly sucking air, I simply felt exhausted! I ditched my garmin and my "fast" paces and embraced my situation. If I needed to walk, I did. I was simply happy to be out there doing more than laying on the couch (at least once it was over!). Don't worry about lifting heavy, doing intense circuit training, burning the most calories, etc. Just do something. Preferably something that you like and can remain doing throughout your pregnancy!
- Listen To Your Body
- Some days my body is ready to run and other days it tells me otherwise. I listen. Yesterday, I set out for a 6 mile run which quickly turned into a 5 mile run, 1 mile walk. I was thrilled that I got an hour worth of a work out in. If you need to switch your rest days, do it. If you set out to run, but it feels better to walk, then walk! Be flexible and be happy with whatever work out you do get in. Right now is not the time to worry about being the best... focus on being healthy!
- Set Attainable Goals
- Be realistic. If pre-pregnancy you worked out 3 days a week, setting a 5 day a week goal might not be in your best interest. Before I got pregnant I was running 5-6x a week and around 35-40 miles a week (if I wasn't training for a marathon)... By the end of my pregnancy, my goal was simply to keep moving in whatever comfortable way I could. Pregnancy certainly calls for an adjustment on your workouts, but does not mean you have to give them up entirely! If you've never worked out and are struggling to start now, consider getting a step counter and setting step goals of 10,000 or more! Also, walking can be a great way to spend time with your better half or get your four legged friend out for some exercise.
Good Luck, Mama! In no time, your sweet angel will be in your arms and it will all be worth it!