Gaining excess weight during pregnancy raises your risk for pregnancy complications like cesarean section (C-section) and premature birth. Maintaining a healthy weight further reduces the chances of developing gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. What you eat not only affects your weight but also the health of your pregnancy and your unborn baby.
- Plan pregnancy when you are of healthy weight – If you are contemplating pregnancy or trying to conceive, opt for a preconception appointment where the healthcare provider helps determine your current BMI (body mass index) and draws up a weight loss plan if necessary.
- Exercise regularly – Regular exercise during pregnancy is important. Regardless of pregnancy, an adult female should have a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Pregnant women can continue with the same level of activity as before the pregnancy.
- Eat home-cooked food – Consume food that is made at home and using low-fat cooking methods. Baking, broiling, grilling, and boiling are some excellent lower-fat methods of cooking. Foods thus cooked are healthier and enable you to maintain an ideal weight.
- Avoid certain types of foods – Foods rich in simple carbohydrates (white bread, rice or pasta) and sugar (sweets, soft drinks, or other artificial sweeteners) should be avoided. Foods with complex carbohydrates and natural sweeteners are recommended instead.
- Keep track – Keeping track of what you eat is a great of knowing the number of calories you consume. Note everything down in a journal and learn to look at the nutritional break-up of each food item you eat. This improves the quality of your diet and helps lose weight.
- Cut empty calories – Weight gain during pregnancy is natural. Which is why the aim is to not stop weight gain but to keep it at a healthy rate instead? Cutting down on empty calories, eating nutritious food and avoiding junk food boosts your health, and that of your unborn babies.