We’ve all heard the phrase “eating for two”, but now that you’re pregnant, should you really be doubling your food intake? It’s important to eat a healthy pregnancy diet to ensure you have enough energy.
During the first six months of pregnancy, you should not increase your calorie intake at all. You may find that, by switching to a healthier diet, you are able to eat more if you feel hungry, but you certainly shouldn’t be eating extra crisps or chocolate bars. During the final trimester, pregnant women are advised to eat an extra 200 calories a day. This amounts to two slices of brown bread lightly buttered, or a large banana. Hardly eating for two, is it?
Risks of overeating
By eating too much during pregnancy, you can put yourself at risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, backaches, preeclampsia, and birth interventions due to having a larger baby. Putting on an excessive amount of weight during pregnancy also means that it will take longer to shift back to your pre-pregnancy weight once the baby is born.
So what should I be eating?
Interestingly, on films and TV, we hear the phrase “eating for two” whenever cake or ice cream is on the menu. It’s rare to see a woman ordering twice the mixed salad. It’s important to remember that when you do increase your food intake, it should be the healthy stuff you eat more of – not the junk food.
Now that you’re pregnant, your diet is more important than ever. It’s essential that your food provides all the goodness your body needs to make a person. This means eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure you get a mix of vitamins and minerals. You should also eat brown rice, brown pasta and brown bread, rather than choosing the less healthy white versions of these foods. Reduce your sugar and salt intake, and generally try to eat as healthily as you can.
Don’t starve yourself of treats though. If you’ve craving ice cream and salt and vinegar crisp sandwiches, go for it every once in awhile. As long as you don’t over indulge, and generally try to eat a healthy diet, you should be fine.
Healthy weight gain
Women who were a healthy weight pre-pregnancy should put on between 25 and 35 lbs. Women who were overweight before the pregnancy should aim to put on less, ideally no more than 25 lbs. Speak to your healthcare provider if you are worried about your weight gain.
The phrase “eating for two” isn’t outdated, it just needs a new meaning for modern life. Instead of thinking about double the quantities, we should think of it as changing our diets to increase the amount of healthy foods we eat – because we’re eating for two!
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.