A comprehensive pregnancy diet for overweight women can be easily designed whilst keeping certain factors in mind. Learn how to balance meals and which foods to include and stay away from as part of the diet.
Being pregnant is a time when a woman has to be careful about her movements, how much activity she does in a day, and above all what she eats. There are certain foods that require women to stop eating them all together, for fear of harming the baby. Therefore, for 9 months or less in some cases, you need to concentrate on the welfare of your growing baby and being moderately fit, to help you during the day of the delivery.
Not all women are physically fit while giving birth, with many growing way too large during the process and after. Therefore it is wise to watch what you eat, especially if it is in your gene structure to rapidly pile on the pounds. It may not be easy at first, but reminding yourself that this will serve not just you, but your baby, should help in sticking to what is healthy while ditching what is otherwise not.
Weight Gain During Pregnancy
It is natural for one to have food cravings during pregnancy, but it is your job to make sure that what you’re eating is healthy, and not junk. Putting on weight during pregnancy is absolutely normal as well, and by eating the right food, you help your body gain weight where it should, and not build up on unnecessary fat. As you lose all that bad fat in your body by going on a healthy diet, the weight that is there is due to other factors.
|Weight Gain Chart|
|Blood supply||4 pounds|
|Baby weight||8 pounds|
|Amniotic fluid||2 / 3 pounds|
|Fat stored for breastfeeding and delivery||5 / 9 pounds|
|Placenta||2 / 3 pounds|
|Increased uterus size||2 / 5 pounds|
|Tissue in breast||2 / 3 pounds|
Diet for a Healthy Pregnancy
It is crucial to watch what you eat as you progress through one trimester to the next. Here’s how you can help yourself to stop piling on the unnecessary calories that will come about from unhealthy eating.
Low Fat / Nonfat Milk Products
It is important to opt for low-fat / nonfat milk products that includes besides milk, even yogurt and cheese (avoid processed). It will help you cut down on those unwanted calories, where you have to up your portions of this to about 3 to four servings in a day. So when you drink a glassful of milk, have one during the day coupled with oats / cereal (100% whole grain) and fruit (fresh not tinned), then have a nonfat / low-fat yogurt as a snack during midday and then eat a slice of brown toasted bread (organic), with a sliver of low-fat cheese at sundown. Any foods that you eat should be fat-free – check the product to make sure it isn’t whole fat. Dairy should be limited to thrice a week, and not everyday, except for maybe a glass of milk which you can have everyday.
*Alternatives to dairy for women who are lactose intolerant / vegan / vegetarian: Although organic soy milk is a good source of nutrients and the likes, it isn’t something to indulge oneself with. Therefore try alternatives like rice milk, almond milk, oat milk or coconut milk.
Eat Food Made at Home
It is important to avoid outside food made by another’s hands to be on the safe side when dealing with bacteria and germs. Go to a very hygienic restaurant if you want to down some gourmet food to satiate your cravings. Stay clear from delis, or small joints that have fast food options and greasy food. Produce brought from outside should be organic / fresh, unprocessed, preservative and additive free, and low fat / sugar-free (avoid artificially sweetened products).
Go Easy on Salty Foods
Don’t overindulge yourself with salty foods, since this causes the body to retain water. Slash your intake of sodium and limit it as much as possible. Check the back of products to make sure that sodium isn’t a questionable amount.
Healthy Cooking Methods
It is important to eat foods that haven’t been deep-fried, or fried in unhealthy oils or other alternatives (like butter / lard). Opt for healthier options like roasting or baking. It will help you stay clear from oily foods and charred meats from grilling. You can sauté foods using olive / canola / sunflower oil.
End your day with a generous portion of leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, bell peppers, garlic, tomatoes, olives, herbs and other beautiful fruit / veggies. Avoid salad dressings that come in bottled packaging and opt instead for lemon juice, Greek yogurt, olive or sesame oil as your dressing alternatives. This will fill you up nicely and serve as a good way of providing everyday minerals and vitamins that the body needs.
Avoid Processed Products
Besides healthy foods like milk products that come packaged, don’t overindulge yourself with preservative-soaked foods, like tinned fruits and vegetables, soups, ready-to-eat meals, microwavable dinners / lunch and so on. Make everything from fresh produce, and put these eatables together from scratch. It will give you a whole lot more of the healthy stuff than something that contains harmful chemicals.
Drink Plenty of Water
Your body will constantly expel water, making you run for the toilet frequently. Make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water during the day, in order to keep your body hydrated at all times.
Make sure you eat carbohydrates like bread in their healthier whole wheat versions. If you like eating rice, opt for brown instead of white. Couple brown bread with natural cheese plus seasoning of your choice. You can also indulge in capers, since spicy food spikes your metabolic rate.
Pregnancy exercises are important to do during this time that aren’t strenuous. Brisk walking and swimming are healthy options to keep extra weight off, but consulting with your doctor is advisable first on what kind of exercise is all right to do. A professional trainer who has worked with pregnant women, can help you stay in shape during pregnancy.
Foods to Include During Pregnancy
It is now time to find out which foods are okay to eat during your months of being pregnant.
- Fruits (avoid mangoes / papayas) and veggies
- Organic lean meat
- Sweet potato
- Whole grain cereal
- Cashews and almonds
- Homemade desserts / pastries (using healthy, nonfat, unprocessed ingredients)
- Low fat / Nonfat unprocessed dairy products
- Probiotic drinks (check which brands are safe to drink)
- Whole grains
- Legumes and beans
- Olive oil
- Occasional dark chocolate
- Chilies / capers
Foods on Red Alert During Pregnancy
These foods are best not eaten and should be avoided during pregnancy in order to help the baby grow into a healthy infant whilst canceling out the chances of a birth defect.
- Raw food (sushi / meats of all kind)
- Milk or any other liquid that hasn’t been pasteurized.
- Unwashed vegetables and fruits.
- Avoid fish high in mercury, like tilefish, shark, king mackerel and swordfish.
- Cheese that hasn’t been pasteurized.
- Raw eggs
- Carbonated / aerated drinks.
- Smoked seafood / other meats
- Processed food (not unless it is all natural / organic / whole grain / free from chemical add-ons)
Please remember that the diet plan for pregnant women cannot be designed with foods that you aren’t allowed to eat. I understand how hard it may be for you to avoid these eats especially when food cravings are at an all time high. Just think of your health and the baby’s, and it should give you a strong motive in following through on your diet. Have a healthy tomorrow.