As we enter the holidaze, let's talk about your best diet while pregnant (& holiday foods you should avoid).
The holidays are a tempting time for any carb & sweets lover; however, just cause you're "eating for two" doesn't mean your fetus wants that third slice of pie. Here are some helpful tips to help you navigate all the delicious temptation coming your way:
Be conscious of your weight gain. How much weight you should gain during pregnancy is determined by how much you weighed previously (Were you normal weight? Overweight or obese?), and whether you're carrying multiples. If you were normal weight, expect to gain 25-35 lbs; underweight: 28-40 lbs; overweight: 15-25 lbs; obese: 11-20 lbs.). Remember, the excuse that you're "eating for two" can lead to overeating, which may result in gestational diabetes, overweight babies, C-sections, heartburn and pregnancy stretch marks.
Continue exercising. Studies have suggested mothers who were active during their pregnancies lose the post-pregnancy pounds easier. So while the colder weather may make you want to hibernate, grab your sweater and aim for at least thirty minutes of activity each day -- even if it's just a brisk walk. If you need moral support, have your partner or bestie join. Personally, we think it's an awesome way to catch up on some great podcasts. (Serial, anyone?)
Drink up before you eat up. There are some reports that drinking 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before meals can help you regulate your eating. So before you carve into that turkey or ham, guzzle down some water.
Establish a regular eating pattern. Many of us approach holiday meals in unhealthy fashion. Just like establishing a sleep pattern, follow a regular eating schedule -- by which we mean, don't skip breakfast and lunch just to stuff your face at that Thanksgiving dinner.
- Be vigilant about what you eat. Preggo ladies are more at risk for food-borne illnesses because of their lowered immune system. Be careful of E. coli and listeria, which is a bacteria that can be found in poultry, cattle and raw milk products. Avoid unpasteurized foods, deli meats, smoked fish or meat, and raw eggnog.
- Trade in carbs for veggies. We know, that's like, the most boring statement ever. But considering many mothers don't get enough daily vitamins, this is a great time to load up on healthy sides before you reach for the mashed taters, bread and cake. Veggies like asparagus, avocados, beets and green peas are popular holiday side dishes that will pump you with nutrients and help relieve common pregnancy problems like constipation and hemorrhoids.