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How To Avoid Excess Weight Gain When Pregnant

Tips and tricks for expectant mothers.

BY Mercy Kipchilat

May 02, 2023, 06:06 PM

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Pregnancy is a time of incredible change, both physically and emotionally. Since you have another human being growing inside you, it’s only natural and healthy to gain weight and for your body to change during pregnancy.

However, gaining too much weight and keeping their weight in check is a real struggle that many expectant women worry about. So how do you not gain too much weight during pregnancy

Here are a few simple strategies to help you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy:

Eat A Balanced Diet.

A balanced diet is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Your body needs a variety of nutrients, including protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals. 

Make sure to eat a variety of whole foods, including lean protein sources like chicken, fish, and beans; complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and olive oil; and plenty of leafy greens. This will help you to maintain a healthy weight throughout your pregnancy journey.

Stay Hydrated.

Drinking enough water is crucial during pregnancy. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, and more if you’re active or live in a hot climate. 

Staying hydrated can help prevent constipation, reduce swelling, and support healthy fetal development. It can also help you to feel fuller and avoid overeating.

Exercise Regularly.

Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy and improve your overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. 

Some of the healthy exercise options during pregnancy include walking, swimming, riding a stationary bike, and prenatal yoga.

Get Enough Sleep.

Lack of enough sleep during pregnancy can lead to stress and overeating which can lead to unhealthy weight gain, so make sleep a priority.

Aim for at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night and get some power naps whenever you can.

Monitor Your Weight.

Regularly monitoring your weight can help you stay on track during pregnancy. While weight gain is normal and healthy, gaining too much weight too quickly can be a sign of an unhealthy pregnancy. 

Talk to your healthcare provider about what a healthy weight gain range looks like for you then monitor your weight to make sure you maintain a healthy weight range.

Don’t Skip Meals.

While skipping meals might seem like a good idea for weight loss, it has the opposite effect as it can lead to overeating which can result in weight gain. 

Make sure to eat three meals per day and snacks if needed. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day can help keep your metabolism revved up and prevent overeating.

Practice Mindful Eating.

Practising mindful eating can help you tune in to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. This can help you avoid overeating and gain weight at a healthy rate. 

Take time to savour your meals, eat slowly, and pay attention to how your body feels.

Avoid Processed Foods And Sugary Drinks

Processed foods and sugary drinks can be high in calories and low in nutrients, and can contribute to excessive weight gain during pregnancy. 

Try to limit your intake of these foods and drinks, and instead choose whole foods that are high in nutrients.

Manage Stress.

Stress can contribute to overeating and weight gain, so it’s important to manage stress during pregnancy. 

Consider practising relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or prenatal yoga. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to your healthcare provider or a mental health professional.

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others.

Every pregnancy is unique, and weight gain can vary widely from woman to woman. Don’t compare yourself to others or feel pressured to meet certain weight gain goals. Instead, focus on making healthy choices and taking care of yourself and your baby.