Dieting During Pregnancy: What it means.

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So you are pregnant. And now you realize that you are gaining a lot of weight. You panic because you feel like you are not seeing your feet while you are still early in pregnancy. Everyone tells you you need to eat for two people. People! Really. The other human being is less than 500 grams of weight for quite some time during your pregnancy! Only in the last few weeks of pregnancy do they go from half a kilogram to 3 kg or more. So, you are not eating for two people. You are just hungry. Pregnancy hungry! So, you decide you need to lose the weight so you do not put on 30 kilograms and deliver 5 kilograms of them! (baby and fluids and placenta). Now you are stuck trying to lose the 25 kilograms or so, all while not being able to move, not sleeping, and people stuffing you with meghlee for the baby’s milk. What do you do?

            Dieting and trying to lose weight during pregnancy IS NOT A GOOD THIING. It can down right hazardous also. It is almost always a bad idea to attempt weight loss during pregnancy for many reasons. Weight loss regimens may restrict calories and important nutrients, iron and folic acid that are vital for the baby’s health. What is recommended is always to eat right when pregnant. So, planning is of the utmost importance. Whatever anyone is telling you, whatever the relatives, friends and relatives and friends tell you, please take it with a grain of salt. A huge grain of salt. Meaning, what they say does not always translate to what is true.

            So, my question is: why not plan? When you find out you are pregnant, and you go visit your doctor, how many of you ask him or her about the proper way to eat? You are so worried about the pregnancy you forgot about the pregnant one! There are several things you can do to avoid the excess body fat and weight. You can start by finding out how many calories you will need to avoid becoming overweight. Because no matter what people say, the weight will not melt off after you deliver. It stays with you, sometimes for years and forever. Let us look at some of these steps.

  1. Do not listen to friends and neighbors and relatives.
  2. Discuss with your physician or dietitian. This is especially important if you have diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes or on medications. All of these will be very important.
  3. Understand what you can and cannot eat or drink. Some people are under the impression that an occasional drink every now and then is okay. IT IS NOT!. One drink is enough to cause fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS. And it is a horrible disease and syndrome. It is a combination of several defects that can range from mild to severe and is detrimental to the baby and you and your family.
  4. No, no amount of cigarettes are allowed. Not one. And being around people who smoke is not advisable also.
  5. Drinking water is essential for your health and the baby’s health. Just be judicious as you will start to retain more water with advanced pregnancy.
  6. Folic acid, iron, vitamin C and essential vitamins and minerals are extremely important. Pregnant women need at least 70 g of vitamin C every day. Make sure you eat enough oranges and other citrus fruits. Make sure you eat green vegetables, such as broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables.
  7. Eat your carbohydrates. Make sure they are complex carbohydrates such as potatoes and whole wheat. Avoid the immediate sugars and white bread if possible as they will give you sugars but will also add weight and fat. Carbohydrates need to be your essential source of energy.
  8. Proteins are extremely important as well. Make sure you take in adequate amounts and varied amounts such as chicken, fish, eggs red meat and grains. They will provide the important vitamin B needed. The USDA recommends 27 grams of protein daily. 27 grams. That is like two morsels of meat! Not a steak and 500 grams of protein every day!
  9. Dairy products: You need 1000 mg of calcium every day for pregnancy. Drinking it from skim milk will save you so much calories than from whole milk. That alone can save you 300-400 calories! Not to mention a lot of fat.
  10. Take your supplements and prenatal vitamins!

Pregnancy is an amazing and wonderful life experience. It is also a good test for you to learn how to care for yourself before anyone else to continue taking care of your children in your belly and outside of it!