Overweight and pregnant…
When am I considered overweight ?
A woman is considered overweight when her pre-pregnancy BMI is between 25 and 29.9 while she is considered obese when BMI 30 or greater.
In case I am overweight, how much weight should I gain during pregnancy?
• If your baseline BMI is between 25 – 29.9, it’s recommended that you gain between 6-11 kilograms by the end of your pregnancy, which is approximately 1 kilogram per month in your second and third trimester.
• If your BMI is 30 or greater, you are advised to gain only 4 to 9 kilograms during pregnancy.
A study * published in 2010 found that pregnant women who gained more than the suggested weight, had 50% greater risk of developing gestational diabetes than others whose weight stayed inside the recommended limits.
Can I lose weight during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is most definitely not the right time for a weight-loss diet and a low calorie intake is not recommended. There are cases of women losing weight, especially in the first trimester, because of morning sickness that diminishes appetite. Overweight and obese women have an extra reserve of calories in stored fat. Therefore, it is not a problem for them to maintain a steady weight or even lose some of it while the fetus is growing. What’s not ok is losing weight on purpose by reducing the daily caloric intake.
To diminish the risk of gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, it is important to maintain weight gain inside the recommended limits, which also helps the mother fell good during pregnancy and beyond.
Eating right during pregnancy
Pregnancy is the best time in a woman’s life for her to improve her eating habits. That’s of course because she has an extra motive to do so. At the same moment, the need for a more ballanced diet is bigger, as the fetus must receive all the necessary nutrients for its growth. Of course, the solution for this is not for the mother to “eat for two” but eating healthier. After all, eating better does not mean eating more or less.
Tips for a healthier pregnancy diet:
1. Do not forget to eat breakfast: Make sure you consume a balanced breakfast, consisting
of the four basic macronutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrates and fiber. That will keep you happy all day!
2. Eat three meals and snacks between them: By inserting the snacks between the meals you balance your metabolism and reduce the sence of hunger. This way, the three bigger meals get smaller and easier.
3. Make sure all your meals contain protein. Avoid foods with sugar additives. This way, your blood glucose levels stay relatively steady, reducing the sence of hunger.
4. Insert fruits and vegetables in your meals: add vegetables in your morning eggs or make a fruit sandwich. You can also add fruits to your salads and do not forget the dried fruits!
5. Chose good oils (olive oil or peanut oil for baking) over bad fats (butter, margarines, palm oil etc.)
6. Focus on the folic acid: Most women do not receive the amount of folic acid they need. In any case, every pregnant woman must take a folic acid supplement (400-800mg daily). Women with greater baseline weight need to take more than lighter women in order to avoid any risk of giving birth to a child with a neural tube defect. Ask your doctor what’s the recommended dosage for you.
7. Avoif alcohol and caffeine cunsumption.
8. Out with the medium rare, in with the well done: Make sure the fish and the meat you consume are well cooked. This means you should not eat sushi or fish that has not been cooked properly and that the meat must not have any “pink” spots. Besides other microorganisms such as listeria, meat is the main carrier of toxoplasma for whom cats have been unfairly accused of carrying and harming the unborn child. In order to avoid these bacteria, you need to cook food for a long time in high enough temperature.
Healthy snack ideas
• A fruit
• A palmful or almonds or walnuts
• A glass of milk and a banana
• A slice of bread with milk butter
• Yogurt with a teaspoon of honey
• Six whole wheat crackers with low fat cheese
• A boiled egg
• Vegetable snacks like carrot strips or celery sticks