for Two" is Not a Good Idea
By Linda Gouk
pregnant! A healthy pregnancy begins even before conception.
A woman’s diet during the few months before she conceives can
be as important for your baby’s well-being as what you eat
The old wives tale of “eating
for two” is not a good idea. Your energy requirement throughout
your pregnancy only increases by 300 calories (1200 kilojoules);
that’s equivalent to having 1 cup of low fat cereal with 1
cup of skim milk and 1 small banana. Some experts even recommend
that this increased energy requirement is not necessary in
late pregnancy owing to the decrease in physical activity.
If you are concerned about the dreaded post-pregnancy pudge,
just follow these simple guidelines for a healthy baby and
a happy you:
It’s not just the total
calories that you eat but also the quality. Although a 50g
Cadbury chocolate bar may contain 300 calories, you and your
baby will be better off eating foods that are nutritious instead
of indulging in empty calorie foods. A chicken or turkey breast
sandwich on multigrain bread is an excellent choice. Avoid
foods high in fats and refined sugars.
Protein is an important nutrient for your
baby’s growing needs. Eat high protein foods at least twice
a day. Some excellent choices include skim milk, low fat yoghurt,
eggs (limit to only 1 yolk per day), turkey and chicken breast,
lean red meat, tofu, Temper, low fat cottage cheese, fish,
lentils and legumes.
As nutritional insurance, take a prenatal
multivitamin and mineral supplement each day. Your need for
most vitamins and minerals increase when pregnant.
Fruits and vegetables
are an essential part of your diet. Choose different colours
for all the different phytochemicals; dark green (broccoli
and spinach), orange (carrots, peaches, squash, sweet potato)
and red (tomatoes, red capsicum).
Grazing throughout the
day is highly recommended. Choose low fat snacks instead of
cookies and chips. Whole-grain crackers with a low fat dip,
low fat yoghurt, fruit or a glass of skim milk are great snack
Avoid caffeine-based drinks
such as coffee and soft drinks. Drink water, skim milk or green
Your goal during your
pregnancy is not to lose weight. Embarking on a weight loss
program is just too dangerous for your developing baby. Even
women who begin pregnancy overweight should still gain around
6-7 kilos to support their growing babies. Beat your post baby
weight after your baby is born.
If you suffer from morning
sickness and cravings, there is some good news. Vitamin B6
and magnesium are helpful for the nausea of pregnancy. Consult
your doctor first.
Ginger root has a long
history of helping with nausea of all sorts. You can get it
in any good health store. Again, talk to your doctor before
you start any form of supplementation.
Last but not least, have
a realistic, healthy physical and mental approach to post-pregnancy
weight loss. You may end up feeling depressed and discouraged
if you set impossibly unrealistic weight loss standards. If
you eat well, get in a reasonable amount of physical activity
and remain positive, there will be less weight to work off
after you deliver your bundle of joy.
copyright Linda Gouk 2003
used by permission from http://www.ezine-writer.com.au/
Linda Gouk is
a BSc (Dietetics & Nutrition) Hons, Registered Fitness