I always wanted to be a cute pregnant woman but my cuteness looked a little different in my first versus third pregnancy. Many things influenced the differences in my weight, but the biggest influencer was my starting weight. I was always active in all my pregnancies and ate an overall 8/10 on a clean eating scale.
Here’s Maria Kang’s advice for a healthy and fit pregnancy!
1) Start at an ideal weight. This is my BIGGEST advice. Be active and eat clean at least a year prior to becoming pregnant and you should have a healthy pregnancy. I usually gain 35-38lbs while pregnant…a part of me feels that women have a ‘set point’ in how much they gain in each pregnancy. In my first pregnancy I started at 143. In my 3rd pregnancy I started at 125.
2) Only eat 300-500 extra calories a day. That’s actually not a lot of calories. The additional calories you should be taking in is almost equivalent to just half of a Subway Sandwich…or even one Starbucks drink!
3) When you do eat those extra calories, make sure they are quality calories. Quality food is the same definition as when you weren’t pregnant. That means avoiding saturated fat and sugars…those two things are the biggest culprits when it comes to weight gain.
4) Ask yourself, are you craving or are you splurging? I honestly think most women splurge. I’m not saying you don’t get cravings – I just think that we use pregnancy as an excuse to eat that extra muffin, or ice cream, or cheeseburger because our ‘body’ says we need it. To me, cravings are usually in the form of wanting to lick an iron skillet or eat pickles with lemon. (these are just examples)
5) Stay active while pregnant. The amount of activity you do is dependent on how active you were before getting pregnant. If you ran marathons there is a high chance you can run a marathon (or maybe just a half marathon) until you are six months pregnant. However, if you weren’t very active, pregnancy is not the time when you should start. The biggest fear with creating a new fitness routine while pregnant is injury.
6) Studies are showing that overweight mothers breed overweight kids. Keep that in mind when you want ‘what is best’ for your child. I’m not saying being overweight is wrong, I am saying that dealing with health-related problems is not how you want your child to live.
7) Remind yourself that only 20 pounds will shed after you give birth. The rest is all you baby! So if you gained 60 pounds be prepared to be staring at 40 pounds that will require diet and exercise after you deliver.
8) Remind yourself that your diet and exercise schedule will not be the same after childbirth. For the first few months you will experience sleep deprivation. Many women also nurse. (I nurse from 3-6 months normally) Your life’s schedule will not be the same and therefore make losing weight after birth much harder.
9) Know that your body’s overall strength will help during labor. When you are in labor, you use your entire body to literally push that 7-9 pound baby out of you. If you are conditioning your body throughout your pregnancy, you will able to experience a better labor experience because you are physically (and possibly mentally) stronger.
10) Pregnancy is an opportunity to have greater respect for your body and the foods you consume, after all, you’ve become mother earth to a little existence inside of you! Feed your body quality foods, give it fresh oxygen by exercising and strengthen its limbs through muscle conditioning. Developing a healthy outlook on your pregnancy is the absolute key to birthing a healthy baby and becoming a healthy mama after birth! Good luck.