Witnessing your waistline stretch and expand in ways you never imagined and seeing those numbers climb higher than they’ve ever been before can be tough. Especially if you’re someone who’s worked hard to maintain a healthy physique all your life.
But remember, you’re having a baby. You’re literally growing life. Try to embrace the changes and have faith that you will be able to get back to a body you’re comfortable in. It may not be exactly the same (mine definitely isn’t!) but it will be better, because you’ll be a mother. A strong, beautiful, needed mother.
Shedding the extra weight once baby is born shouldn’t be difficult if you’ve been eating relatively well thoughout your pregnancy. A lot of women use pregnancy as an excuse to eat without guilt. Eating more during pregnancy is normal, but eating crap simply because you’re allowed to eat more is not a good idea.
So focus on quality. If you want to have ice cream, get the expensive, rich kind that you know will satisfy you. You’ll savor the flavor and be less likely to make it a habit since you’ll be hesitant (hopefully) to break the bank.
Like I mentioned in an earlier post, make sure you’re getting enough protein and good quality fats. These will keep you satisfied and support healthy tissue growth and a healthy baby. Go easy on the refined carbs like cookies, chips, crackers, bagels, bread – basically all the stuff you crave during pregnancy!
Once baby is born, relax for a couple of weeks and focus on the miracle you’ve just created. When you’re feeling strong again, set a realistic goal and start picking up some good habits. This is a chance to start fresh. Here are a few strategies to get you going.
- Focus on protein and non-starchy veggies – Lean protein like fish, poultry, pork, lean beef will keep you satisfied longer, while veggies will deliver tons of nutrients and help you feel full.
- Make starches the side show – The main parts of your meal should be the veggies and protein. Carbs are delicious, but make them your “treat” and stick to about ½ cup serving (potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, etc.). That’s about the size of the palm of your hand.
- Eat a good breakfast – Don’t skip it, ever. A good breakfast sets your metabolism to high speed all day.
- Stay hydrated – Keep a water bottle on hand all day long so it’s easy to sip.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth – Signal the end of lunch and dinner with a little something sweet, like a square of dark chocolate. I find it keeps me from going back for 2nds.
- Plan ahead – Go grocery shopping on the weekends when you have extra help to make sure you have healthy choices on hand.
- Keep moving – If, like me, you think exercise is a 4-letter word, just get outside to stroll the babe for 30 minutes, clean the apartment, push your cart around the nearest Costco (avoiding the little old ladies with the free samples), or come up with an errand that gets you out to stretch your legs.
A lot of people ask me what I eat. By no means am I advocating you should eat what I eat, but this gives you an idea of the strategies I use to stay satisfied without feeling guilty. PS. This is a good day for me. Most days I indulge in a cookie or generous scoop of gelato (like Talenti Mediterranean Mint, my obsession), or a 2nd glass of wine.
2 eggs, scrambled in olive oil
1 piece whole grain toast with butter (sometimes peanut butter)
coffee or tea
7 oz 2% plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon and fresh or frozen berries
Green salad with vinaigrette
1-2 squares dark chocolate
1 sliced Honey Crisp apple
1 Tbsp peanut or almond butter
1 cup decaf black tea
3 oz salmon, seared in olive oil
1 small baked sweet potato
1 cup steamed broccoli or green salad
1 glass of wine
1-2 squares dark chocolate
½ cup frozen peaches or cherries
1 cup herbal tea