Weight Gain

QUESTION

Dear Nutritionist,
Help! I feel terrible about myself!

My question is about excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Before my pregnancy, I was very happy with my size - 5'6" and 128 pounds. I'm now 23 weeks pregnant and have gained 24 pounds. I'm worried that I'm on track to gain an excessive amount of weight. I'm too afraid to ask my doctor about this because she is very heavy and I don't want to be offensive.

First and foremost, the baby is doing great - very healthy and growing beautifully.

That said, I had a very difficult first trimester as far as morning sickness goes, but rather than throwing up I had constant nausea that only seemed to be alleviated by potato chips or fries. And so it began...

I've really tried to be careful in the second trimester. I do 30 minutes of cardio at least 3 times a week and I'm trying to eat better, though I do give into my crazy cravings. All in all, I don't feel like I've gone nuts with the food during the last 6 months (I've always eaten a lot), but I can't seem to explain why I've gained so much weight already - and more importantly, it doesn't appear to be slowing. I feel so bad about myself when I read about women who only gain 25 pounds total. What can I do for the rest of my pregnancy to ensure that I don't gain 50+ pounds?

ANSWER

First of all, never be afraid to speak with your doctor about ANY issue. This is an important one and I wouldn't worry about her feelings, it is you that you should worry about! Gaining a lot of weight and gaining it fast can mean other problems so I would definitely voice your concerns to your doctor.

All you can do is continue your exercise, which is great! Keep eating healthy and watch the cravings. You can have a craving for something and just eat a small amount instead of going crazy. Try to eat at least 6 small meals per day or 3 meals with 3 healthy snacks in between. If you fill up on healthy foods throughout the day you are less likely to get hungry and crave foods that are not so healthy and high in calories. Drink lots of water too! You need to think about what you are eating everytime you eat instead of eating without thinking. It is way too easy to over-eat and eat the wrong foods when you are not thinking about what you are doing! You are not really eating for two as they saying goes. You DO need a few extra calories but only about 300 more per day.

-- Kimberly, RD LD

Kimberly Tessmer

Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus" www.nutrifocus.net, in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.

To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and Healthology.com, Inc as well as continuing education courses for www.care2learn.com. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.