Pregnancy Diet Tips

Giving birth will be one of the most magical moments of your life and to ensure that your child is strong and happy, it is important that you do all you can to have a healthy pregnancy. You owe it to both yourself and your baby to eat a healthy diet. An increase in size and weight is normal for a pregnant woman. It is brought about by an increase in the size of her breasts, uterus and some other muscles, as well as the growing fetus in her womb. During pregnancy, the woman's food intake also increases to nourish both herself and the developing fetus. A lack of nutrients caused by an inadequate diet will interfere with the normal development of the baby. Proper diet is necessary to have a healthy pregnancy.

Nutritionists agree that a pregnant woman should nourish herself around the seven food groups; protein, whole grain, leafy green vegetables, yellow vegetables, citrus and other fruits, dairy products and oils and fats. Following a diet that includes all these major food groups is probably the simplest approach to a healthy diet. Many people think that healthy eating is boring, tasteless and requires too much discipline; however, following a healthy diet is really not that difficult.

The first step toward healthy eating is healthy shopping. You should always prepare a list before you go to the store; without a list you will be at the mercy of impulse buying. Also, do not ever go shopping when you are hungry; you'll usually end up with a basketful of "junk" food. One of the best ways to shop at your local grocery store is to stay on the outer aisles, where the fruits and vegetables are located. Usually as you approach the center of the store the more "junk" food you'll see. Try to select fresh or frozen and avoid canned fruits and vegetables. Always remember to check expiration dates, especially for meat and dairy products, to ensure that these items are fresh. Also, try to select lean cuts of meat. If you're careful in your food choices now, you will have a much easier time losing your pregnancy weight after your baby is born.

You need to be realistic about your weight gain during pregnancy; talk to your doctor about how much weight gain he or she recommends for you. Pregnancy is not a time to be worrying about your weight. Remember that during pregnancy it is vital that you do not cut back on your caloric intake. This has the potential to rob your baby of essential nutrients that are necessary for his/her growth and development. Don't skip meals as you and your baby need as much nutrition as possible, always making sure that you get a good balance of a variety of foods. You may discover your appetite changing during the course of your pregnancy. This is common and shouldn't alarm you if you have unusual food cravings. It is very acceptable to enjoy "bad" food once in a while, as long as you limit how frequently you indulge in these foods. You have heard it said that you are what you eat; it is even truer that your baby is what you eat as he/she depends on you for the nourishment to grow properly.

So what can you do to help manage your weight and stick to a healthy diet? Since some nutrients aren't abundant in most foods, doctors often recommend that pregnant women begin taking vitamin supplements. Again, discuss this with your doctor. Perhaps the number one complaint of women trying to watch their weight during pregnancy is that they are hungry all the time. True, pregnancy does result in an increased metabolic demand on the body, which can cause you to be hungry. Many women also experience a number of cravings during pregnancy, which can make healthy eating challenging. The number one defense against hunger is to eat each meal.

If you have a habit of skipping breakfast, you'll find that you are not only more fatigued but ravenous during your pregnancy, which will result in overeating. Try eating several mini meals throughout the day. This will not only help you feel fuller longer, it will help minimize the nausea often experienced during the first trimester. Satisfy your cravings with nutritious snacks. Have a variety of healthy things to snack on readily available so you avoid overindulging in foods that are not good for you or your baby.

If you are craving something sweet, consider having some chocolates near by or have cup of hot chocolate. Both are far better for you than an entire candy bar or piece of pie. The use of caffeine during pregnancy is debatable. You should discuss this with your doctor if you normally consume coffee, tea or soda on a regular basis. Avoid high calorie beverages such as soda (which isn't good for you anyway, particularly during pregnancy), juices and other flavored drinks which can contain a good 100-300 calories per serving. Stick to water or flavored water during your pregnancy. Make sure to drink plenty of water, about 6 to 8 glasses a day. You may think you are hungry, when in fact you are actually thirsty. The brains hunger and thirst centers often get mixed up, so people often feel hungry when they are in fact dehydrated. The better hydrated you are, the less likely you are to overeat. Do yourself a favor; remember that the food choices you make today will affect you, and even more so, your child for the rest of your lives.

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