The management of weight remains a complicated and difficult thing to achieve for many people. We live in a world of constant pressure and expectations about how you are supposed to look. That can increase the stress you experience besides the stress that comes from pregnancy.
While individuals want to see pregnancy as a time to look forward to a new member of the family, you need to maintain your health.
An increase in weight not only impacts your health but the baby’s health as well. For this reason, health practitioners and scientists attempt to find the best options. These options include regulation of your food consumption, the types of food you eat and when you consume certain meals. Also, other activities become important for example taking part in regular exercises.
Weight management includes control of your food intake and what your body can absorb. Meaning it refers to the number of calories you retrieve and how quickly you burn them. I mention this because ways to maintain weight includes everybody. Weight management should not only focus on individuals who struggle to lose weight. Pregnant women also sometimes struggle to gain weight. The principle stays the same if you want to lose or gain, one needs a method of management to maintain your weight.
The article aims to provide readers with ideas on weight maintenance. Let us see what it means. First, let us look at what the scientists say about mothers and weight loss.
What do the scientists say?
A significant portion of mothers struggles with weight gain during their reproductive years. The impact of weight increase causes mothers and children to experience many illnesses. Research displayed that pregnant women tend to display insulin resistance and subsequent glucose intolerance. Therefore, the occurrences of lower metabolism and extensive weight gain or obesity happen during pre-pregnancy or pregnancy periods. Women also carry increasingly fat content before and after birth. This can cause significant health impacts on the mother and child (2).
The following options may provide some insight into the lives and weight maintenance options of pregnant mothers. Keep in mind that weight loss or increase should happen to keep your baby’s health in mind. Pregnancy revolves around the safety and health of both.
Ways to Maintain Weight While Pregnant
1. Prepare a plan when losing weight
Similar to planning your expecting baby’s room outlay, clothes, and playroom, mothers also should include a diet plan. This diet plan allows for mothers to ensure they live a healthy life and eat the correct foods at the right time (1). A diet plan provides you with direction and allows you to purchase food that supports the health of your baby. A well planned and balanced meal allows pregnant mothers to remain the focus throughout the pregnancy. It, therefore, guides you to purchase the food types you need aligning with your bodily requirements.
2. Start pregnancy at an early stage
An individual who plans to become pregnant or experiences pregnancy needs to focus on the intake of nutrition and described vitamins. Weight maintenance connects with a person’s ability to ensure the intake of correct minerals that guarantees a healthy body. Ask your doctor to determine your body mass index (BMI) and assist with weight loss recommendations. Prenatal vitamins allow your body to prepare itself for the upcoming event and builds the strength you need.
If you develop an understanding of your BMI and your metabolism rate, it increases your ability to plan. Early pregnancy we tend to find reasons to overeat. Individuals either feel hungry all the time or they consume the incorrect foods. If you develop an understanding of your body’s tendency to increase weight during an early stage, it helps.
This means you plan your meals properly. A good understanding of the food types that increases or decreases your weight stays significant. Regular consultation with a specialist provides you with the guidance you need during the time. A few basic tips during this time ensures the development of a healthy baby from the start of your pregnancy. It also prevents you from regular sickness and fatigue.
3. Understand your family history
It remains important to understand your weight management approach. But you need to dive into your family history as well. This means if you develop an understanding of typical weight issues, it helps to plan going forward. Having children stays a significant life change for all women. The transformation experienced by women becomes a significant physiological and physical impact (3).
Genetics and family history influences our bodily status. If we like it or not. There are some things we cannot get away from. If your mother or grandmother struggles with weight increase, you may as well. Also, look at the types of foods they consumed. This means you need to stay away from those foods. Historically, we consumed a lot of carbs and meat, for example.
4. Eat frequent meals
The consumption of frequent but balanced meals allows your body to receive regular food intake. But keep in mind regular should not include oversized meals. The aim of regular meals means your body continuously receive small amounts of food. It prevents you from starving your body and expected baby. Normally one withholds from eating during the day for example and overeat in the evenings. The extensive calorie intakes result in increased weight because our bodies cannot absorb all the energies.
It remains critical to keep your meals balanced according to your body needs. Being pregnant does not mean you necessarily need to eat for two people. This is a misunderstanding we lived with for many years.
5. Focus on significant water intake
Ensure regular intake of water that keeps you from rehydration but also keeps your baby healthy. The recommendations remain to drink at least 10 glasses of water daily between eating. It also helps to keep your digestive system healthy and maintains the constant cravings one struggles with. Regular fluid intake prevents you from feeling bloated as well. Mix your water intake with cucumber or lime to make it tastier.
Water allows you to eat controllably. It also ensures that your expected baby receives the fluids they need to stay healthy. Many times we revert to unhealthy fluids, for example, sugar-induced cold drinks inclusive Coke. It makes us feel better for a short while.
If you continuously struggle with morning sickness, for example, the use of water may help too.
6. Manage your cravings
Cravings when pregnant offer diverse difficulties. Besides, pregnant women may constantly stay hungry and crave for interesting food combinations. These constant cravings generally relate to fattening food types, for example, ice cream. It remains important to focus on healthy snacks and foods. Healthy food ensure you feel good and your baby remains healthy.
If you continue to focus on eating healthy meal types for example high-fiber foods, you feel full. It prevents you from purchasing oily or sugary snacks when you hungry. High-fat foods significantly increase your weight levels. Especially during emotional times, we revert to unhealthy meals. Ensure to manage your cravings using a healthy way.
Some examples to use include the consumption of granola when you feel hungry. It replaces the feeling of snacking and psychologically makes you feel better. Other options pregnant women can use relates to eating a piece of low-fat cheese, egg or avocado. All these foods remain healthy and can easily transform into a snack looking meal.
7. Plan your exercise program
Pregnant or not pregnant, exercises stay one of the most important activities of your day. Develop an exercise plan that suits your body needs but also remain healthy for your baby. Visit your health practitioner to determine the types of exercises you can participate in. Meaning prevents you from undertaking exercises that cause harm to you and your coming baby.
Some exercises you may look into relates to walking. Each day before you start an attempt to take a walk at the beach or a safe area close to your home. A ten-minute walk each day increases your ability to stay fit and keep your baby healthy.
The research highlighted the importance of physical as well as mental exercises to stay healthy. These exercises became even more popular and needed with pregnant women. Exercises make you feel healthy but also assist with the maintenance of weight gain. Other positive exercise influences focus on the limitation of pain and the reduction of depression. People feel healthier and more active.
During pregnancy, many upcoming mothers feel depressed. They experience diverse emotions of frustrations and discomfort. Physical activity decreases levels of feeling emotionally unstable and unwell (4).
Some activities pregnant women may take part in include the following:
If you struggle with physical discomfort, for example, chest pains, fluid drip, headaches, fatigue or other discomfort check with your doctor first. Your pregnancy remains a sensitive time in your life, and physical activity requires a careful approach.
8. Use a weight chart
Different individuals require working towards a different weight number. Our bodies vary between different sizes and requirements. For this reason, if your neighbor focuses on losing 20 kg it does not mean you should as well. Especially during the initial stages of your pregnancy, you need to display sensitivity towards your weight. Morning sickness may cause you to lose abnormal levels of kilograms. Therefore, the use of a weight chart may help you maintain your weight correctly. Also, understand the different phases of your baby’s growth and understand the amount of weight you should gain. Collect a weight chart from the clinic, hospital or doctor. They continue to provide you with the necessary information you need.
9. Stay away from crash diets
If you aim to maintain weight while pregnant, the use of crash diets and extreme weight loss options impact your body negatively. Therefore, it aligns with you as a person to focus on the use of healthy diets. Eating soup for a whole week to lose weight should not form part of your approach. It becomes critical to look after yourself by following a properly worked out diet program. The intake of minerals and nutrients remains critical during pregnancy.
10. Eat healthy foods
The basics in weight increase relate to the person eating more than their body can burn. This especially happens when you consume more calories than your body needs. For example, if you drink a high-energy smoothie in the morning and add another high-energy meal in the afternoon, you sit with a challenge. You need to burn those calories. Here it becomes important not only to eat healthily but watch your calories.
Health experts continue to warn pregnant women to eat healthily. This means the identification of good food types but also manage your calorie intake. Some healthy foods recommended include the following:
Women need an intake of milk products daily. Attempt to focus on low fat or low-calorie food choices. The same counts for the consumption of different yogurt types.
Other foods pregnant women need to take into consideration related to fresh fruits and vegetables. These food choices allow your body to consume low-calorie food choices but still contains vitamins.
Focus on whole grains to form part of your snack meals. These options also allow for good digestion and low-fat opportunities.
As much as we focus on the identification of healthy food types, one needs to look-out for the bad choices. Some bad foods we must stay away from during pregnancy include the following:
- Attempt to stay away from high-sugar foods and drinks. Also, refrain from using artificial sweeteners.
- Stay away from artificially sweetened drinks because they carry significant calorie levels. Always investigate before you purchase a party, soda or fruit drinks.
- Other food types you need to prevent from eating include cookies, cake, sweets or chips.
- Preferably stay away from high-level fats for example sauces, butter, oils or margarine.
11. Attempt to focus on home cooking
As much as we enjoy eating out and maintaining our social environment, one needs to focus on home cook meals if possible. Home cooking allows us to make low-fat or low-calorie meals that keep us healthy. Identify recipes and meals that make spaces for fresh fruits or vegetables. Also, it attempts to stay low on the use of too many proteins and fats. Boiling, grilling or baking may offer healthier options during cooking.
During our pregnancy months, we generally reach a time when we want to socialize. The frustration remains that a person feels excluded from society and you become depressed. Typical restaurant food pregnant women may enjoy include:
Read the restaurant menu and ask for specific healthy meals. Also, understand the different calories in each meal. Stay away from too much salt and added spices. It stays best to avoid eating fast foods, especially when you pregnant (5).
12. Eat healthy carbs
Consumption of simple carbs increases your insulin levels while complex ones assist with weight management. Complex carbs include the consumption of grain bread or brown rice that makes you feel full as well.
13. Specialized diets
Attempt to follow specialized diets either developed by your health practitioner or dietician. It allows you to follow a focused meal option. These meal plans normally include nuts, yogurt, eggs or spinach. If you receive assistance from a specialist, they also help with monitoring. Regular check-ups and support provided by an external party allow you to stay on track. Especially during the bad days when you continue to feel depressed and moody.
14. Stay mentally focused
It remains critical to stay mentally focused when pregnant. Many times our emotions change from bad to good, happy or sad. It results in us to find ways and means to feel better. Many times we attempt to feel better by eating sweets, chocolates or chips. The reality remains these food choices only make us feel worst. Therefore, a good psychological state stays just as important as a good physical state. Attempt to share your frustrations with other people in the same situation as you. Support from other individuals makes you feel less lonely. This helps to prevent you from eating bad foods and increase your chances of weight gain.
15. Remember the negatives
Keep the negatives in mind during weight maintenance. One should only lose or gain weight controllably and without impacting on your baby’s health. Some negatives may happen if you prevent from maintaining weight with caution in mind. These negatives relate to the following:
- You constantly feel tired and become sick regularly.
- You lose abnormal amounts of fluids.
- You constantly feel uncomfortable and nauseous.
- Your baby may become underweight because of a lack of nutrition.
Fifteen ways to maintain weight while pregnant allow pregnant mothers to look after bodies healthily. It also ensures the development of a happy and healthy child. It stays critical to consult with your doctor regularly and ensure you follow the correct dietary requirements.
- Catalano PM, Shankar K. Obesity and pregnancy: mechanisms of short term and long term adverse consequences for mother and child. BMJ. 2017;356:j1. Published 2017 Feb 8. doi:10.1136/bmj.j1, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6888512/
- McKinley, M., Allen-Walker, V., McGirr, C., Rooney, C., & Woodside, J. (2018). Weight loss after pregnancy: Challenges and opportunities. Nutrition Research Reviews, 31(2), 225-238. doi:10.1017/S0954422418000070 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29984681
- Chan, C.W.H.; Au Yeung, E.; Law, B.M.H. Effectiveness of Physical Activity Interventions on Pregnancy-Related Outcomes among Pregnant Women: A Systematic Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1840. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101840