Eating healthy before getting pregnant is highly
recommended by most physicians. Even if you weren't able to start
eating healthy before pregnancy, as soon as you find out you are
pregnant is as good of a time as any to start. When you are
pregnant you will feel like you want to eat anything and
everything and a good chunk of it may not be good for you or your
baby. Eating right during pregnancy will give your future baby a
chance at a healthy development with low risks. Eating healthy
also can effect you after your baby is born as far as weight
My pregnancy with my daughter was a surprise and so I didn't get a chance to learn and try out a healthy diet. At the time I felt like I was hungry all the time and craved a lot of different foods and most were junk food. I use to be 120lbs before I was pregnant and ate small portions of pretty much anything. I figured while I was pregnant I could do that but because I had a large appetite I couldn't stop at one small portion, I had to have more. It felt like I was growing out of control but because I was still not gaining much weight I ate more and more because I was being watched by my doctor. When you are pregnant it is normal to gain a extra 30lbs which is both baby,the "water" baby is in and uterine lining that gathers as baby grows. For 7 months I wasn't gaining much even though I felt like I was eating the amount a country eats.
Each pregnancy is different and a lot of women don't gain all of that 30lbs until their 7th or 8th month which is both common and normal. I ended up gaining those 30lbs at the 8th month and was fine. After I had my daughter I kept on that extra 30lbs because what I had eaten the time I was pregnant was all junk food and the fat stayed with me. Because I was so use to eating junk food I ended up gaining another 20lbs months after my daughter was born. My daughter is almost 21 months and I am still 150. I haven't gained much weight but its been harder to lose it. Now I realize that eating a healthy diet is better for both baby and you. If you eat a healthy diet that is fruits,vegetables,chicken,and reduced fat then you don't get as much of the bad fat storage as you would with just eating junk food. Then after baby is born you won't have a battle losing a lot of weight.
Oddly enough my doctor and I have found that my second pregnancy is taking along alot of characteristics as my first as far as weight gain goes. With this pregancy I didn't have much morning sickness but still lost 15lbs. As of 2/22/01 I am almost 7 months, 22 weeks pregnant and have just started gaining the weight but very slowly. I don't even look like I am pregnant right now. This time I am taking precautions so I still eat right and don't keep the weight after baby is born.
I have read in many pregnancy books and have been recommended by my doctor that in order to maintain both your body's needs and your baby's needs, its best to eat six small meals a day and plenty of protein.
Never try any fad diets or weight lose diets while pregnant.
Here is a list of the 6 food groups and how much you need to intake a day. Eat less of the foods in the starting food groups and more of the foods in the ending food group. A really good way to keep track of what you eat is to make up a chart and keep track of how much in each group you have eaten a day. Planning meals with the essential foods is a huge help also. Personally I don't follow these food groups to the dietary amount level. I will eat plenty of meat,dairy,veggies,fruits,and breads a day but I make it a rule to keep fats very limited and sugar some what limited and of course no alcohol. I believe that having fast food once a week and eating out once a week can be a healthy part of your diet without the extra weight. Below the list is a example list of what I look at as a good healthy diet
FATS,SUGAR,SALT,AND ALCOHOL: Eat sparingly. These contain few nutrients and unwanted extra pounds. Do not go on a low fat no fat diet. There are such things as good fat and bad fat. The good fat is there as insulation for the winter and as a side source incase you skip a few meals and your body needs nutrients. The bad fat is all the extra unwanted pounds that stick to your stomach,hips,legs and butt. So some fat is good but too much is a bad thing.
MEAT,POULTRY,FISH,BEANS,AND NUTS: These provide protein,vitamins A and B,fibera9nits and beans),iron and zinc.
SERVINGS NEEDED: 2-3 daily (1 serving is equal to a choice of 2-3oz of meat or fish, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp peanut butter or half a cup of cooked beans.
DAIRY PRODUCTS: These provide calcium,protein,vitamin A(whole milk products),zinc,magnesium,and iodine.
SERVINGS NEEDED:2-3 daily. (1 serving is equal to a choice of 11/2oz of cheese,6oz milk or yogurt,1 cup cottage cheese.
VEGETABLES: These provide fiber,vitamin A and C,folic acid,potassium,and iron.
SERVINGS NEEDED: 3-5 or more daily. Select from yellow or green leafy for vitamin A. (1 serving is equal to a choice of 1 cup of leafy greens (salad for example),1/2 cup cooked carrots or squash.
FRUITS: These provide fiber,vitamin C, and potassium.
SERVINGS NEEDED:2-4 or more daily. Select from citrus fruits,tomatoes,or other fruits. (1 serving is equal to 1 medium apple,pear, orange or 3oz fruit juice.
BREAD,CEREAL,PASTA,AND RICE: These provide fiber,vitamins and minerals.
Foods that have plenty of fiber are whole wheat bread,baked potatoes,and cereals with whole wheat,oat bran. Cereals are also fortified with vitamins and iron.
SERVINGS NEEDED: 6-11 daily. (1 serving is equal to 1 slice of bread,1/2 english muffin or small bagel,1oz of cereal,1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta.
Bowl of corn flakes with 1/2 cup of milk
1 piece of toast with butter and jelly
Glass of orange juice
Glass of apple juice
LUNCH: Egg salad sandwich (turkey sandwich if you don't like egg salad) on wheat bread
1 cup of yogurt
Glass of juice
SNACK: Fresh fruit
Baked potato with butter and sour cream
Ice tea with 2tbs sugar
Glass of milk
TAKE YOUR TIME
Starting out on a change of diet shouldn't be done suddenly it should be done gradually. Don't look at this list and all of a sudden change your meal plans to accommodate this list. Taking it gradually and taking one bad part of your diet a day and exchanging it with a good part of a healthy diet each day will keep you from getting frustrated and dismissing the idea all together. For example
Monday: replace your dessert with fresh chopped strawberries sprinkled with a little bit of sugar and mixed. It tastes just as good as your piece of cake and much healthier.
Tuesday: replace your regular bag of potato chips with baked lays. They taste just as good and have almost no fat.
Wednesday: Eat a bowl of Total for breakfast. Total has 100% folic acid which is important before and after pregnancy and it also has 100% calcium. Not to mention the regular Total has a hint of sweetness to it.
Thursday: Make grilled chicken for dinner and spice it up with some herbs or a herbal rub from the store.
Friday: If you're going out to dinner eat a salad with regular salad dressing for dinner. If you have a OutBack Steak House near you their salad with grilled chicken and almonds is absolutely delicious not to mention healthy.
If you work and can't sit down for
breakfast grab a cereal bar, a sandwich bag filled with a cup of
dry cereal and eat while you work, take a piece of fruit with you
or the new to go oatmeal cups that are sold in stores. Any of
these choices is both healthy and fast. If you're too tired to
cook when you get home the best thing to do is spend a Sunday
cooking a weeks worth of dinner in one day and freeze it. When
you get home from work heat it up in the microwave. I wouldn't
suggest t.v. dinners or frozen pizzas from the grocery store.
Both can be loaded with fat and calories.
Eating a healthy diet has a lot more benefits then just eating right. Eating a healthy diet improves your energy, boosts your immune system, makes you feel better and increases the chances of having a safe and healthy pregnancy. If you start to feel like you are losing interesting in your battle to eat healthy remember that you aren't just doing it for you, you're doing it for the health and well being of your baby. Think of having a healthy baby a reward for your work on staying healthy. Once you hold your healthy new born baby in your arms you'll feel like all the frustration was worth it. If you still feel like you're losing the battle to eat healthy feel free to post a message on the message board. Other women are going through the same thing you are and almost all of them are looking for others to help them with their struggle too. I know I'm one of them.
COOKING YOUR FOODS:
When cooking your food you want to try to keep things as healthy as possible. Broiling or baking foods is very healthy but if cooking calls for using a skillet with butter, margarine or cooking oil, using canola oil is the healthiest. Peanut oils and oils with high saturated fat are not good at all. If something calls for deep frying then check on the package to see if there is another alternative. Deep fat frying contains a lot of unhealthy fat and grease.
If you are planning on eating vegetables for dinner pass on anything canned. Canned vegetables lose their vitamins and nutrients in the canning process. Choose either fresh or frozen. Placing frozen veggies in the microwave and cooking them that way steams the veggies and they still keep their goodness. If you are cooking fresh veggies then the best way is to steam them in a little regular water with nothing added. Avoid boiling if possible because nutrients can leach out during the cooking process.
If you do use cooked hamburger in a recipe make sure that after it is cooked it is drained in a paper towel lined strainer. Before placing the meat back into the skillet make sure that the skillet is cleaned with a different paper towel. This will get ride of all the fat and grease.
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