Loosing Weight and Nauseous. What Can I Do?

Kimberly A. Tessmer's picture


Dear Nutritionist,
I am one week pregnant. I don't feel like eating anything and am losing weight. What should I do?


The very first thing you need to do is see your doctor! I am not sure if your chief complaint is morning sickness or something more serious. Below are a few ideas that can help to alleviate morning sickness but they should not be a substitute for discussing this problem with your doctor! Your doctor may refer you to a dietitian who can help to ensure you are getting the calories you need! Since you are just beginning your pregnancy you may be interested in my book, The Everything Pregnancy Nutrition Book.

  • Stay away from foods with strong odors and flavors that may trigger nausea. Women who are pregnant sometimes find that they have an exaggerated sense of smell, which makes common smells seem unappealing.
  • Keep your kitchen well ventilated during cooking and meal times or let someone else do the cooking for you.
  • Go easy on spicy foods such as those cooked with pepper, hot chili peppers, and garlic.
  • Some women may find cold food easier to tolerate than hot foods. Everyone is different so listen to your body and do whatever works best for you.
  • Before getting out of bed in the morning eat a starchy type food such as dry crackers, graham crackers, melba toast, dry toast, pretzels, or dry cereal to help get rid of stomach acid. Carbohydrate-rich foods can help to slowly elevate your blood sugar levels and help prevent symptoms of nausea.
  • Rise out of bed slowly. Abruptly going from laying down to standing up can increase feelings of dizziness and nausea.
  • Instead of three large meals, eat five to six small meals or snacks per day every two to three hours. Don.t allow yourself to become hungry. Nibble on carbohydrate-rich foods such as crackers, dry cereal, pretzels, and rice cakes.
  • Drink beverages between meals and not with meals and always make sure you are well hydrated.
  • Limit fried, greasy, and other high-fat foods that may be hard to digest. Stick to easy-to-digest foods such as plain pasta, potatoes, rice, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry, and eggs.
  • Eat your meals and snacks slowly.
  • Before going to bed at night eat a light snack such as peanut butter on bread and a glass of milk, yogurt, or cereal.
  • Try beverages that may help settle a queasy stomach such as lemon or ginger tea, ginger ale, lemonade, peppermint tea, or water with a slice of lemon. Experiment with beverages because some women do better with hot liquids while others do better with cold ones.
  • Choose foods that agree with you and stay away from ones that don't. Even if they aren't perfectly nutritious, it is better to get something in. If the problem persists though and you have a hard time eating nutritious type foods for long periods of time, speak to your doctor and a dietitian.
  • Take advantage of the times that you do feel good and eat nutritious foods at those times that you may not have the taste for at other times.
  • Iron supplements and PNV's can sometimes intensify nausea. Make sure to take them with food. Do not stop taking them if you find they are adding to your nausea! Speak with your doctor first.
  • Some women find relief by sucking on "fireballs", an intense cinnamon candy.

-- Kimberly, RD LD