How to Avoid Excessive Weight Gain in Pregnancy: Have a Heatlhy & Fit Pregnancy

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Eating for Two

You have probably heard of the expression, “eating for two”. It’s a line that many women look forward to using when they’re pregnant. After all, it can be a fabulous excuse to indulge without the usual guilt that accompanies eating more than you should. In a sense, when a woman is pregnant, she gets a temporary pass from the pressure to be thin. There aren’t many people that would condemn a pregnant woman for gaining weight, even if she does go overboard.

The problem with adopting the “eating for two” state of mind is that it is terribly deceptive. Don’t be tempted into thinking that being pregnant justifies piling a plate twice as high as usual. After all, in the beginning of a pregnancy, one of the two people you’re eating for is no bigger than the size of a strawberry. How many calories could a strawberry-sized baby need anyway? Not enough to justify doubling up on all your portion sizes.

In fact, a woman of a normal weight only needs about 300 extra calories per day while she’s pregnant. This number is an estimate by your doctor and dietitian can tell you how many more calories are best for you.

When You Don’t Know How to Count Calories

The challenge becomes translating this number into actual meals and snacks instead of a few numerals. Keep these 300 calorie food combinations in mind to give you a sense of how much more food to eat when you’re pregnant. After all, you don’t want to look at the scale at the end of your pregnancy and realize you’ve gained 60 pounds when only 6 pounds is the baby.

300 Calorie Combos

  1. 1 cup of plain cooked pasta + 1 cup of skim milk
  2. 2 egg whites + 1 cup of low fat yogurt + 1 waffle (4 inches)
  3. 3 cups low fat, microwaved popcorn + 1 medium apple + 1 hamburger bun + 3 oz ground beef
  4. 2 slices of bacon + 1 biscuit (3 inches) + 1/2 cup orange juice
  5. 1 small potato + 1 tbsp butter + 2 tbsp sour cream + 3 ounces of dark meat chicken with skin
  6. 1 plain English muffin + 1/2 cup of dried fruit
  7. 1 cup of cooked rice + 3 oz of meatloaf
  8. 1 cup of vanilla ice cream + 1/2 cup of strawberries
  9. 1 glazed doughnut + 1 tbsp of jelly
  10. 10 peanuts + 1 cup of low fat soy milk + 1 small banana + 1 plain slice of toast

Now you have an idea of how much (or how little) food makes up about 300 calories. This should help you to keep your portions in check during your pregnancy so you don’t gain any more weight than you need to.

This post is part of the series: Pregnancy Nutrition

Learn the ins and outs of pregnancy nutrition, including foods that you should be eating and foods that aren’t safe.

  1. What Are the Best Foods to Eat During Pregnancy?
  2. Getting Enough Calcium During Pregnancy
  3. Essential Vitamins for a Healthy Pregnancy
  4. Diet During Pregnancy: Consequences of a Poor Diet
  5. What Vitamins are Needed During Pregnancy?
  6. Nutrition During Pregnancy - A Healthy Diet
  7. Pregnancy Food Guide: What to Eat and What Not to Eat
  8. Healthy Weight Gain Tips for Pregnancy
  9. Eating Iron-Rich Foods During Pregnancy
  10. How to Avoid Gaining Too Much Weight During Pregnancy