Extremely late post as I have already given birth to our little monster, but better late than never right? Let’s talk about the “eating for 2” concept many of us women fall into during our pregnancies.
If you don’t want to gain bad weight during pregnancy that will leave you with more of a challenge than need be, don’t get into the mentality of “eating for 2 grown people”. When we found out I was pregnant last November, not only were we super stoked of course, but I suddenly found myself in the mindset that I needed to nourish the little one constantly on top of what I was already eating for myself. It was like this switch that flipped: “Oh man, I can eat this too because the baby needs it!” or I had a lot of people actually telling me “It’s okay, that’s for the baby” as I stuffed chocolate or cookies into my mouth. Technically yes, you are eating for 2, but not in the sense that most women embrace.
Now I’m not saying this “eating for 2” is entirely wrong, and this is all meant to be taken as a lighthearted discussion, but we definitely don’t need to be eating 3 full extra meals – especially in the beginning. Stop using your pregnancy as an excuse to eat bad things. Your baby is a ball of cells, if you don’t want to get scientific about it imagine the baby just being the size of a bean. You don’t need an entire meal for a bean, in fact by the end of the pregnancy you really only need an extra 500 or so calories plus your prenatal vitamins daily (unless your practitioner or midwife tells you otherwise – I am not a doctor). Don’t be like me in my second trimester, secretly using the baby as the reason I reached for a bag of chips. No! I totally wanted those chips for myself dammit… own it.
I was good during my first trimester– ate clean. Oatmeal, eggs, yogurt, peanut butter toast, or cereal in the morning for breakfast, tuna sandwiches or leftover dinner for lunch, and dinners were a variety of things but consistent with all food groups. I fell off the charts and gained a bit more weight rapidly in the second trimester because I was eating so many snacks (that above mindset got me). Healthy snacks and bad snacks. Doesn’t help that I worked at an elementary school where the teacher’s lounge always had something to eat either; no self control! Then I leveled off at the end of my pregnancy because I didn’t like the mentality I was in with how I was eating previously.
I was 142 pounds pre-pregnancy, my last weigh in before baby was born I was 181 pounds, the day after baby I was 172 pounds, and now 4 weeks post-partum I am weighing in at 150 pounds. No dieting or exercise, just breastfeeding and eating normal. Notice I still have a belly/pudge below. So I gained what…39 pounds? “Average” good weight gain is 25-30 pounds but if you look at these pictures, I didn’t look overweight. It’s all a matter of knowing your body and how it reacts to different foods – it also helped that I consistently worked out throughout the entire pregnancy.
Eat the way you normally eat (assuming you eat relatively decent) during your pregnancy plus 2-3 snacks between meals. Preferably fruits, vegetables, yogurt, protein rich snacks, etc. Definitely don’t go into your pregnancy now thinking you’re eating for two grown people. Probably won’t like the end result – and it’s okay to eat chips or cookies in moderation, just like how it is if you’re not pregnant. Just don’t go overboard AND use the baby as the reason for your choices.
I need to be harder on myself about producing content every week. Don’t give up on me yet, stay tuned!