Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Over Eating During Pregnancy

There are few things more important in pregnancy than a well balanced diet. It is critical that you provide high nutrition for you and your baby. In years past doctors were a lot more involved in monitoring weight gain in pregnancy. When pregnant women gained more than the averages recommended for gestational schedules they were often placed on restrictive diets and given guilt trips for their carelessness.

Today the opposite is true. Friends and family members can often be heard encouraging newly expectant moms to, "Dish up. You're eating for two now!" Carrying a pea sized fetus hardly merits eating for two! But this is often when eating behaviors change. Perhaps we have swung the pendulum a bit too far.

The challenge is finding balance between over indulgence and insatiable hunger. Which isn't an easy task to manage. Part of the battle is psychological. Pregnant women often behave the way they have been taught to behave and therefore give in to unhealthy cravings and irrational eating habits based on a subconscious idea that such behavior is justified in pregnancy.

Normally disciplined woman may find themselves reaching for snacks high in carbohydrates such as crackers, chips, or pastries. These are extremely poor food choices because they provide little to no nutrition with a maximum number of calories and consequences. Furthermore, they often are the culprit for nausea.

If you're concerned about your weight gain in pregnancy follow these tips when you're having a snack attack.

1. Drink at least 8 ounces of water.
2. Wait at least 10 minutes.
3. Occupy mind and body with an activity unrelated to food while you wait.
4. If you're still hungry at the end of 10 minutes choose a food high in protein or high in fiber.
5. Measure a predetermined amount of the snack food (9 almonds) and put the rest away.
6. Eat slowly and enjoy it.

Following these guidelines will allow you to respond rationally to your body's cravings and help you make wiser decisions related to food consumption.

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