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Weight Gain During Pregnancy
I was wondering if there is anyone out there who might have advice on losing weight during pregnancy. I just found out I am pregnant and I was in the middle of a weight loss program. I am about 20 pounds overweight. I would love to get through this pregnancy with only baby weight gain and possibly losing my own fat and giving it to the baby. In other words, gain minimal weight while pregnant but still having a healthy baby.
I am currently eating very healthy and clean and exercising (listening to my body). But I was wondering if anyone has heard of it being possible to lose one's own fat while pregnant. I would love to only gain about 10 pounds during this pregnancy which would mean once I had the baby I will be at my target weight.
Thanks for your help! And I do not have an eating disorder so that is not an issue for me. I am eating healthy. Just wondering about the weight loss issue. Thanks! Anon
Here are a few reasons: (1) studies have shown that babies who are deprived in the womb tend to become overweight adults; (2) pregnancy takes a huge toll on your body - the baby will take what it needs from you, but as a result, you may not get enough. You can do a lot of damage to your body this way. (3) by not gaining weight, it doesn't necessarily mean you are losing weight - it might mean that your baby isn't gaining instead. Low birthweight babies face significant health risks in life.
I'm sure all of us wish we'd been lighter before getting pregnant, and I'll tell you, no matter how much you weigh now, you'll be shocked by what you're gonna weigh later! But it's temporary and it doesn't necessarily signal extra pounds later - many women I know ended up at a lower weight than pre-pregnancy, mostly because of extended breastfeeding, which requires even more calories than pregnancy! Besides, even if you want to lose weight or limit your gain during pregnancy, you might not be able to because your body has other plans, so why set yourself up for failure?
Eating healthy, as you are doing, is important and will help you establish good habits for the future. But don't read too much into gaining weight during pregnancy -- it's not a sign of poor health, but the opposite. Focus on taking care of yourself and the baby, and deal with the weight issues later. --just focus on the good
I know it's normal to get big faster the second time around, but I'm only 22 weeks and look like I did at 6 1/2 - 7 months, with my first pregnancy! I've already gained about 20 pounds, and don't know how to slow it down! The first problem was I ate non-stop through the first 4 months, because it was the only thing that relieved the 24-hr nausea. But when the nausea abated around 4 months, my appetite did not. I still want to eat all the time. Secondly, I've been exhausted (I'm in my very late 30's, after all!), have almost no time to exercize due to a 10-hr. a day job, 1.5 hours of commuting and a 2 year old waiting for me at home. (I try to walk with her as much as possible on weekends.) I am trying to work a lunch time walk into my routine, because I know that exercize is a big part of the story.
I eat very healthy foods for most meals; I'm a vegetarian, but I'm including a little fish to up the protein intake while pregnant and breastfeeding, BUT: I am addicted to sugar! That's a big part of what I'm indulging in all day long between meals: cookies, pastries, ice cream, chocolate - you name it.
Does anyone have ANY advice for how to break this cycle of constantly needing to have something (preferably sweet) in my mouth?! I don't know how anyone gets control over indulging their eating impulses. I've never had a weight problem in my life. My doctor is not concerned, but I would really love to find a way to slow down the hoovering. I read somewhere that a pregnant woman really only needs about 300 add'l calories per day - I must be getting 1200! How can I stop this ravenous appetite?
Any advice appreciated. the Human Vacuum
I am a nutrition and fitness counselor specializing in addictions. It sounds like you definintely are dealing with a sugar and refined carbohydrate addiction. It is hard to combat but definitely attainable!
Here are a few suggestions:
Check the labels on your cereals, salad dressings, soups, anything in a can or package for sugar. Even if it reads ''organic dehydrated cane juice,'' it's still sugar! Consuming these doses of sugar in the staples you eat every day will make you crave more. See if you can start phasing out these hidden sugar foods.
Switch from white bread to whole wheat, especially with the bagels. Switch from white pasta and rice to whole wheat or quinoa pasta (avail at most stores in Berkeley) and brown rice. The whole grains will slow the sugar being absorbed into your blood stream and you'll avoid the high and then the crash to low blood sugar that happens when eating refined carbs.
Stock your kitchen with plenty of organic fruits. You might try small quantities of organic dried fruits (still very high in sugar, yet fructose is easier for your body to handle than refined sugars.)
Add seaweeds into your diet. Dulse can be sprinkled onto your salads. Kombu can be cooked in with your whole grains. Seaweeds are rich in the minerals your body needs to keep blood sugar stable. If your blood sugar is stable, you are less likely to crave sweets.
Finally, you may want to check out Julia Ross's book called The Diet Cure. There is a section about how amino acid supplements can help with various cravings. (Please check with your doctor regarding the safety of supplementing with amino acids while pregnant.) The theory is that people experience cravings because of depleted brain chemistry from years of eating refined foods, stress, etc. By supplementing with certain amino acids, your body is able to make the neurotransmitters necessary to enhance mood. (This may help with your chocolate cravings especially.) Also, please remember that chocolate does contain caffeine and may affect your unborn baby.
Best of luck to you! The first step is definitely the cultivation of awareness around your problem foods. It sounds like you're on the right track.
If you have any additional questions, or would like to schedule a free introductory session with me, please visit my web site: Sylvie
If you keep gaining at the rate you're at now, you'll only have put on about 45 pounds by the end, which isn't too tragic- sounding. If you've never had a weight problem, you'll probably get most of that off afterwards without too much trouble. What everyone's told me about my own pregnancy sugar cravings is that they are ''really'' my body crying out for more protein. Maybe you can increase the milk and eggs in the sweet food you consume... amazingly rich chocolate pots de creme come to mind, which take a second to make and will last a week in your fridge. Also mousse made with premium bittersweet chocolate, melted and then blended with silken tofu. A little of these will go a long way. Heck, even chocolate-covered almonds...
But from the way you explained everything you're going through, it seems to me that you're using sugar to medicate some pretty stressful circumstances in your life, that seem too threatening or difficult to address directly, and framing the ''problem'' instead as one of you ''misbehaving'' with snacks and needing more ''control.'' I know how it feels to just want to binge. There's that aspect of eating as respite, in response to the rest of your day leaving you squeezed and slammed. And that sense of ''deserving'' dessert, of jeez I'm pregnant and this second time around I'm not being treated like royalty the way I (sort of) was the first time, so I'll ''treat'' myself to these snacks. (I have to admit that as a meat eater, I feel I have a lot more options for ''healthier'' ways to overindulge, like bacon cheeseburgers and greasy dim sum. More protein than cake, is what I figure.) And there's even that idea that much as another child is going to be wonderful, it's going to take that much energy and focus away from ME and my needs... even my own body is on loan to this little one inside, and will be for a long time, so at least this yummy piece of cake is just for ME.
You didn't mention whether you have a partner. If you're doing all this working and commuting and caring for a 2-year-old as a single mom, well wow then, who wouldn't want a bunch of donuts every day just to get through it? And if you DO have a partner, then the very fact that you didn't say anything about him/her makes me wonder a whole bunch of things, like, why isn't he/she letting you put your feet up for twenty minutes when you get home? Is she/he giving you a hard time about your weight, overtly or covertly? Come on, you're pregnant, somebody should be cutting you a break, either your partner or you yourself. It's easier to wrap your mind around ''oh my god I'm eating out of control, I have to get back in control'' than ''my life is out of control and I don't even have time for a good cry about it;'' easier to say ''I don't know how to slow down my eating'' than ''I don't know how to slow down the demands that are being placed on me.''
When I reach for a chocolate-covered graham cracker (or three) from my secret stash, all these thoughts and more go through my own mind, about exactly what kind of hunger I'm trying to satisfy. And I'm working on all different kinds of stuff, in my life and my relationship, but I'm not denying myself the chocolate-covered graham crackers along the way. I'm not drinking, I'm not eating sushi or oysters, heck I'm not doing drugs, it's only a few cookies, and in the end who gives a hoot; it's not going to stop me from being a good person or a good mom if I get really tubby before I have this baby. I deserve to treat myself well, and I try to make the treats I give myself be of the very highest quality, so that they feel like luxuries rather than slumming.
Hope any of this helps-- Heidi
My babies were fine, I was fine, my doctor wasn't worried about it. I gained 40-45 pounds each pregnancy and after the baby was born, had about 25-30 to lose. I did lose it. It wasn't easy and while I was working on losing the weight I cursed myself for eating all that Dreyers Grand Light Rocky Road - which, as it turns out, is only ''light'' if you don't eat the whole tub in one sitting. Who knew??
During my second pregnancy a good friend of mine was also pregnant, four months behind me. She's an MD. I was b*tching about how much I was gaining (I'm sure this was with a mouthful of ice cream) and she said ''Don't worry about it. It's just your pregnancy pattern.'' And you know, she was right. I gained the same amount every time, and every time I managed to take it back off.
I hope this is helpful to you. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't stressed out as much about it and just enjoyed my indulgences more. I do recommend Weight Watchers post-partum - and nursing your baby is enormously helpful, too. ice cream junkie
The wise holistic chiropractor I have been seeing off and on to treat ongoing back pain from bearing two kids recently said, after prodding my leg, ''You're not getting enough protein. What did you eat yesterday?'' And when I recited a list that included yogurt, nuts, sliced turkey, cheese, and pork loin (along with cookies, ice cream, and chocolate covered raisins), she said: ''I want you to go straight to Berkeley Bowl and get some protein powder. Make a shake with it every morning.''
Sure enough--that powder mixed with some milk, juice, yogurt, and fruit, is enough to sustain me from 8 in the morning until 2 without any thought of snacking. And when I do get sugar cravings now, they're more from habit than from hunger, and are thus easier to ignore.
There are a large range of protein powders on the market. I first tried whey powder, and then switched to brown rice when the staffer at Berkeley Bowl recommended it as the powder with the highest concentration of protein. Perhaps this will help you, too? d.
FWIW, my hunger-and-fatigue experience with my *first* pregnancy was a lot like yours. I gained more than 20 pounds in my FIRST trimester, and about 45 pounds overall. The extra weight, and then some, melted off in the six months following my baby's birth without my really thinking about it or doing anything special in the way of diet or exercise (yay for exclusive breastfeeding!).
The one caution I would say is that sugar cravings and rapid weight gain CAN be a sign of gestational diabetes. So you'll want to monitor that pretty carefully. Otherwise, go eat some more cookies. :-) anon
I wound up 35 pounds overweight with my second and the doc said it was OK, just try to eat less cheese. But I felt bad about the weight and was gaining more while I breastfed. I had also put on weight with my first and back then, was told by a nutritionist that I had one of those bodies that couldn't lose weight while breastfeeding.
Two months after my second baby was born, I got fed up and started going to WW weekly. I did what they told me to the best of my ability. I was far from perfect in following their recommendations and still steadily lost 1 pound of weight per week on average. At first I thought the ''motivational speaking'' and gold stars for losing 5 pounds at WW was a little goofy. But I got over that quick when the pounds started peeling off.
The 35 pounds came off gradually and steadily over about 7 months and without a huge hassle, and I still breastfed safely. I have not gained any of it back in the year since I met my 35- pound goal and it has not been hard to maintain the weight loss. I went from a tight size 14 to an 8. I'm 43 and feel great that I'm not carrying excess baggage along for the rest of my life. Even my husband lost weight by osmosis, just because I started cooking more nutritious meals.
The WW approach is to train you to take care of yourself for life, and to lose weight slowly and keep it off. You don't eat special food that only they sell, or eat only protein, or some other gimmick that you could only sustain for a few months. Instead, they retrain you to eat right and exercise. Much of the good advice you already received about carb addiction, nutrition, exercise and the right attitude is all rolled up into the WW program. What's nice about WW is that they got nutritionists, exercise people and psychologists to put all of their collective wisdom into one system that's relatively easy to learn. If you are interested, you can find a meeting close to you on their web site. Anonymous
I had a baby 20 months ago with a midwife at Alta Bates. We are thinking about getting pregnant again, but weigh more than I did the first time. I remember something about midwifes not taking high risk pregnancies, and wondered if anyone knew or was denied help from a midwife because they weighed too much. If so, can you tell me how much you were overweight. I have been dieting for several months, actually my entire life, but am not sure how far I need to go before I am not considered a high risk, or if even I am a risk. I am 30 years old, and in wonderful health otherwise. Anonymous please
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