If you find that you are overweight headed into pregnancy, is it safe to go on a diet to avoid pregnancy weight gain or even lose some weight?
Pregnancy is a time of big changes in your body – it is not the time to worry about losing weight. When we go on a diet to lose weight, we consume fewer calories than we use. We are basically living off of our own flesh! Your baby can’t thrive this way – they need regular nourishment at regular intervals. Even if you do not feel hungry, you should eat regular meals throughout the day.
On the other side of this is the old adage that you are “eating for two”. Does that mean you can eat twice as much? No. The second person in this equation is very little and their caloric needs are not as big as yours (roughly about 300 calories a day).
It is a time to consider carefully what you are eating and make the healthiest choices for you and your baby. Make every bite count. Remember, 150 calories from a donut is a lot different than 150 calories from a whole grain cereal with milk or some fruit.
You should also drink lots of water – 8 cups or more a day at least.
We could devote an entire book to the healthy eating recommendations for pregnancy! The big thing to remember, is make healthy choices (fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, etc.) for you and your baby. If in doubt, talk to your doctor or care provider.