Medical research has proven the fact that to much weight gain raises the risk of serious diseases. And it’s especially dangerous when it’s connected to pregnancy. If you gain too much weight during your pregnancy, you shouldn’t go without a healthy diet.
Why is to much weight gain dangerous for pregnant women?
An initially plum woman or a woman who becomes overweight during the pregnancy period has the risk of:
- Late toxicosis (together with which there can be an increase in arterial blood pressure, swelling, proteinuria and other organ system disorders of the mother-to-be).
- Premature aging of placenta.
- Fetal hypoxia (lack of oxygen).
- The birth of a big fetus.
- Uterine inertia.
- Post-term pregnancy.
Pregnancy weight gain
Every woman has her own normal range of weight gain. It depends on body-weight index which can be calculated in the following way: divide the weight of the body (kg) by its height (m2). The normal range is usually from 19,8 to 25,9. The lower the body-weight index is, the more weight the woman gains (about 10-14 kg). If you expect twins, add 2,3-4,6 kg to the number.
As a rule, pregnant women gain 40% from the whole pregnancy weight gain during the first term and 60% of it during the second. If the woman has normal weight before pregnancy, she can put on 1,5-2 kg during the first term. Sometimes in a case with early toxicosis there can be not a weight gain, but a weight loss which can lead to the hospitalization of the woman.
During the second term the woman should put on 0,3-0,4 kg in a week. And during the ninth month the woman can gain only within 0,5-1 kg. It’s quite possible that the mother-to-be doesn’t gain anything during the last month of her pregnancy or even lose some weight before the delivery. The weight should increase constantly and gradually, as the normal development of your baby depends on it.
It often happens that slender women gain more weight during their pregnancy and they can do it, as they make up for their physical weight deficit. So, if the normal weight gain during the first two months for every woman is 0,5 kg, a thin woman can put on 5,4 kg, a middle-sized woman – 4,8 kg and plump women are allowed to gain only 2,9 kg within the first twenty weeks. Within 32 weeks the weight gain should respectively be 11,3; 10 and 6,4 kg. And within 40 weeks it should be 15,2; 13,6 and 9,1 kg.
It should be mentioned that the weight of pregnant woman can include not only fatty deposits, but it can also be affected by swelling caused by the development of gestational toxicosis. Water does also have its weight. So, if you have rapid everyday weight gain, especially during the second and third terms, you should pay attention to your body. Are there any traces on your ankles after wearing socks? Do your rings and shoes become tight by the evening? You can also count the amount of water you drink and excrete. The amount of the first shouldn’t be bigger than the second. These are the signs of accumulation of fluid in your body and the development of edema. In such a case you should go straight to your doctor.
The everyday ration of any mother-to-be should include 100-120 g of protein in which 70-90 g should be of animal origin. Such protein can be got from milk, cottage cheese, kefir, yoghurt, eggs, meat and fish. During the pregnancy the amount of everyday fats is 80-100 g (including all the fats which you get together with food) and at least 20 g of it should be of vegetable origin.
There should be 350-400 g of carbs in everyday ration of a pregnant woman. However, in the second term the amount of carbs should be reduced to 300 g a day by eating less bread, pastries, sugar and increasing the amount of proteins a bit. It’s advisable to eat with small portions 4-5 times a day. And there should be the following distributions of calorie content: 30% for breakfast, 10% for the second breakfast, 40% for lunch, 10% for afternoon tea and 10% for dinner. The last meal during the day should be eaten 2-3 hours before going to bed and include only digestible food such as various dairy products.
Food can be boiled, stewed or baked. The temperature doesn’t matter. Salt should be reduced to 5-6 g a day, as it causes water retention and, as the result, pathological weight gain. It’s advisable to drink about 1-1,5 litre of fluid a day. It’s necessary to take pregnancy vitamins and minerals.
Pregnancy meal plan
Bread and pastries: 100-150 g a day. The amount can include hard-baked wheat bread made of first or second grade flour, dietary salt-free bread, wheat bread made of coarse flour, bran bread, rye bread, shortbread cookies and biscuit.
Soup: about 200 g a day. It’s advisable to eat various vegetable soup with little amount of potatoes, cereals and pasta. You can add to your soup some cream, low-fat sour cream and some fresh herbs.
Meat: within 150 g a day. The usual things are steamed cutlets, quenelles, zrazys, steamed puddings made of lean beef and veal, rabbit meat and poultry (chicken or turkey without skin). It can also be beef Stroganoff made of boiled meat. After having boiled the meat you can bake it or make it in aspic.
Fish: within 150 g of low fat fish a day. You can take cod, mackerel icefish, pikeperch, saffron cod and so on, boil it or make steamed fish soufflé, cutlets, quenelles or fish balls, puree or rolls and many others.
Dairy products: within 200 g of whole milk if you aren’t allergic to it. You can add some milk into your tea, porridge or make a cream soup. You can also eat 100-200g of low fat cottage cheese and 100-200 g of low fat kefir or low fat sugarless yoghurt during your day.
Eggs: You can eat1-2 eggs a week and it can be soft-boiled or poached eggs or steamed omelettes.
Fats: you can eat some fresh butter including a clarified one. Oils can only be added to the meals and there can be no more than 15 g a day.
Cereals and pasts: cereals can be added to soups. Buckwheat and pearl barley porgies can be included in your everyday meals only if you reduce the amount of bread. The same goes for pasta. You can put it into your soup if there is no other cereal or eat as garnish if you don’t eat bread and cereals during the day.
Vegetables: there can be any type of cabbage, fresh cucumbers, squash, pumpkin, tomatoes, bell peppers, leaf lettuce. When it’s possible, it’s better to eat fresh vegetables. It’s also advisable to include into your meals grated kohlrabi, carrots and artichokes. And the amount of green peas, beans, radish, beetroot and boiled carrot should be reduced to the minimum. Spring onion, dill and parsley can be added to various dishes as dressing. You can also cook different vegetable puree, steamed soufflé, puddings, cutlets and so on.
Appetizers: you can make salads with fresh or pickled but washed vegetables, beetroot salad with boiled meat or fish, fish or meat in aspic. It’s also possible to eat low fat unsalted ham.
Sauces: you can use various fruit cream sauces, béchamel sauce without flour, but with little butter and sour cream.
Spices: you can take small amount of chopped parsley or dill, bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves. Fruit and berries: there can be any sharp-sweet kinds of them which you can eat fresh or boiled or stewed.
Sweets: if you have a rapid weight gain, you’ll have to reduce the amount of sweets to the minimum.
Beverages: you can drink weak tea with milk, sugar-free juices made of fruit, berries and vegetables mixed with boiled water and hips infusion.
Healthy diet for mothers-to-be
Here’re some simple pieces of advice to get rid you of problems with overweight:
- The main nutrition rule is moderate eating. Your portions shouldn’t grow together with your belly. You have a baby inside, but it doesn’t mean that you should eat for two. You should rise from the table slightly hungry rather than repleted.
- The other important rule is the right pregnancy meal plan. There should always be various food of high quality every day and week. But every meal should include only two courses. If you have lots of dishes on your table, it’s hard to resist the temptation to taste all of them.
- It’s necessary to include into your everyday meals as much fresh vegetables, fruit and berries as possible. Pregnant women should eat fresh vegetables, fruit and berries every day to supply her body and fetus with enough mineral salts and vitamins.
- It’s better to eat usual for the place you live in foodstuff. Thus, for European women cabbage and apples are more common products than oranges and pineapples.
It’s undesirable to eat at once after waking up or less than 2-3 hours before going to bed. Normal interval between our meals is 4-5 hours. Try to keep to your usual meal plan. If you eat at the usual time, your body and stomach will be ready for food and, as the result, it will be digested more quickly and much better.
- Eat at least 4-5 times a day with small portions.
- You mustn’t skip breakfast or dinner.
- You’d better stop to have shacks, especially junk food.
You can also try:
- A glass of still water helps you to suppress your appetite, but don’t forget to be careful with swelling.
- Try not to eat because you’re in a bad mood.
- Avoid eating every time someone suggests having a snack together.
- Don’t be afraid of leaving unfinished food on your plate if you’re full.
- Don’t eat something just because it can spoil soon.
- Buy food according to the list you’ve written beforehand.
- Read labels. Don’t trust such fine words as “dietary” or “low fat”, but look through all the information on the label attentively. Remember that low fat yoghurt with a great amount of sugar can bring to naught all your attempts to control your weight gain.
- Cook healthy low fat food.
Foodstuff to avoid during your pregnancy
- Fresh bread, pastries, hard sauce, cakes, chocolate, sweets, gingerbread and other confectioneries.
- Condensed milk, ice cream and milk shake.
- Cheeses and high-fat dairy products, sweet yoghurt, puddings, chocolate glazed curd bars, sweet creamed curds, curd tarts, cheese cakes and so on.
- Junk food.
- Fatty meat, oily fish, bacon, goose meat, duck, offals, smoked food, sausages, canned meat or fish, herring, salt or smoked fish, cavier.
- Strong meat or fish or mushroom broth and sauces
- Any fried or cooking in fat food.
- Fried or hard-boiled eggs.
- All mushrooms.
- Very sweet fruit and berries such as grapes, melons, pears and bananas.
- Spicy or very salty appetizers.
- Strong tea, coffee or cocoa.
- Herbs and spices such as paprika, pepper, mustard, horseradish, vinegar, mayo, ketchup.
And of course pregnancy diet excludes any alcoholic beverages and refined granulated sugar.
Can exercise help you to control weight gain?
To lose overweight with the help of exercising isn’t a very easy task. Having run about 7 km, you spend as much calories as 100 g of chocolate has (35% of fats and 55% of carbs).