Yes, it's true that expectant moms need an additional 300 calories a day during pregnancy, which becomes more important as they reach their third trimester. However, this is not a reason to have a food fest every day. Nutritious foods should not be replaced with copious amounts of pizza and late-night slurpees from 7-11.
Most pregnant women gain around 25 to 35 pounds, but it varies from woman to woman. The Nemours Foundation reports that there is approximately 7.5 extra pounds from the baby's weight, 7 pounds from extra stored protein, fat and nutrients, 4 pounds of extra blood, 4 pounds of extra body fluids, 2 pounds due to breast growth, 2 pounds due to the uterus getting bigger, 2 pounds of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and 1.5 pounds of placenta.
With all of these factors adding to your pregnancy weight, you really don't want to gain more from eating empty calories. The more junk food you consume, the harder it may be to lose weight after birth.
Snack on some superfoods during pregnancy
With pregnancy cravings left and right, it may be easy to reach for the closest bag of chips. To avoid this tendency, try buying healthier options when shopping at the grocery store, which can eliminate temptation. For instance, try making your own trail mix with superfood ingredients, such as dried papaya and pumpkin seeds.
Papaya is great for the body, because it contains an enzyme that helps digestion, as well as potassium, vitamins A and C, and folate. Pumpkin seeds, on the other hand, are high in protein, iron, fiber and zinc. They are also low-fat and have little sugar. You can easily roast them with some seasonings for a great taste.
Another food to consume during pregnancy is coconut water. Not only is the beverage easy to find in convenience stores, but it hydrates the body and is a rich source of potassium, which can prevent those awful leg cramps.
Finally, go ahead and let yourself eat some dark chocolate, which is chock full of antioxidants. If you can find a good chocolate bar with cherries in them, that can add an additional source of vitamin A and C, calcium, iron, fiber and even melatonin. Not to mention, cherries on their own are a great, healthy snack that can take care of a sweet tooth.
Don't forget to stay active
It's easy to be couch potato, and with a growing baby inside your body, you may feel more fatigued than usual. However, working out may be beneficial. Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson told DeJour Magazine that she doesn't believe that pregnancy is an excuse to let yourself go, and that women can continue exercising to avoid gaining excess fat.
"A lot of women use pregnancy as an excuse to let their bodies go, and that's the worst thing," said Anderson, who has two kids. "I've seen so many women come to me with disaster bodies that have gone through hell, or they've come to me years later and said, 'Oh, my body is like this because I have three kids.'"
The trainer recently gave birth to her daughter Penelope this past May and, since then, has lost nearly all her pregnancy weight. She stressed in her interview that it's possible with a little determination, and maintaining workouts, such as going for walks and participating in prenatal yoga, throughout the nine months.
How much weight did you gain during pregnancy? Was it easy to lose after giving birth? What were some of your favorite healthy snacks that you can recommend to other mothers? Leave your answers in the comments section!