While some expectant mothers fear of losing their figure with their pregnancy, others go into pregnancy with overweight. This situation can represent a health risk for both. Nevertheless, by procuring a healthy diet you can easily maintain a healthy weight and return to a great figure in 3 months.
Notwithstanding, it is utterly important for you to consult your pregnancy nutrition plan with your midwife or doctor. You might have a special condition that will require you to have a specific diet. In this article you won織t find any extreme weight loss measures, instead I will give you some easy tips to improve your diet. In fact, all pregnant ladies should follow these tips in order to procure the best nutrients for their babies. Here you have 5 pieces of advice on how to lose weight when pregnant, healthy and safely.
1. Eat healthy fats
There is a type of fat that everyone should be eating, but especially you! Polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, however when you are pregnant it is even more important to include a natural source of fatty acids in your diet. An example of a fatty acid that will be great for you is DHA (or Docosahexaenoic acid). DHA is a type of fatty acid that helps the development of your baby織s brain and eyes. Additionally, good fats help you lose weight by maintaining a good level of fat burning hormones, reducing food cravings and making you feel fuller for longer.
You can find good fats in foods like organic eggs, butter and Wild salmon, Hemp and Chia seeds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts and Brazil nuts.
2. Drink enough water
Drinking enough water is especially important during pregnancy as it will help you avoid water retention and constipation. While it might seem like an obvious recommendation, drinking sufficient water is frequently ignored by many people. Still, water helps the body to metabolize stored fats by supplying the kidneys with enough water. Consequently, the liver織s fat burning function boosts. According to Isabel de los Rios, Nutritionist and Fitness Certificate Expert and author of the book "The Diet Solution Program", water brings great benefits to a weight loss plan. She sets as rule of thumb that everybody should drink at least 1 liter of water a day for every 65 pounds of weight, plus one extra glass every time you exercise or consume caffeine.
3. Fiber is your friend
Fiber is great for pregnant ladies. Once it is in your body it will start absorbing water. This will make you fill fuller, thus reducing your food cravings. Additionally, fiber helps you reduce and prevent high sugar levels, digestive problems and heart disease, it also helps you flush unwanted fats. Moreover, a high fiber diet early in pregnancy has been linked to reduce risks of preeclampsia. Furthermore, studies in pregnant woman suffering from diabetes reveal that fiber reduces the need of insulin shots.
Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that our body ca not digest nor absorb, it is not even considered a nutrient. Another characteristic of fiber is that it is divided into 2 types: soluble and insoluble. The first type will help you flush out unwanted fats by adhering to fatty molecules and taking them out of your organism, while insoluble fibers help you maintain a healthy digestive system by moving waste down and cleansing the colon. In short, fiber will not only make you fill fuller for longer, it will also help you clean your body from unwanted substances.
Fiber comes from plants exclusively, and you will find it in oats, barley, corn, green beans, lentils, oranges, apples with skin, bananas, strawberries, potatoes with skin, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Naturally, eating them fresh is always better, but they are good even if they are dried. And try to make it a goal to consume around 20 to 25 grams a day. While increasing your dietary fiber in take, don織t forget to drink plenty of water with.
4. Sugar and artificial sweeteners
We all know that sugar must be avoided when trying to lose weight. Certainly, pregnancy makes you especially vulnerable to certain conditions that can be aggravated by sugar. Examples of this are tooth and gum decay, high blood sugar levels and obesity. Conditions such as diabetes need to be closely monitored during this time too.
Sugar is a processed ingredient that is present in almost all industrialized foods, even if it is not clearly labeled as sugar. Cane juice, corn syrup and corn starch are just some of the variation forms of sugar used in processed foods that should be avoided.
What modern society seem not to acknowledge is that popular 織diet織 or 織sugar free織 alternatives contain highly dangerous chemical ingredients such as chlorine. And even when not all sweeteners contain it in their final product, it has been used in its process.
The topic of artificial sweeteners is in deed a very controversial one. Most western doctors say it is safe for its use during pregnancy unless you have developed an allergy to any of its ingredients. Its use is also banned for patients suffering from Phenylketonuria, also known as PKU. In spite of this, many studies reinforce the notion that it is safe to use during pregnancy.
On the other hand, research performed before artificial sweeteners became popular do find a link between its use and an increased incidence in cancer, tumors, migraine, seizures, anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Additionally, artificial sweeteners have been found to be addictive. Furthermore, studies on its ingestion during pregnancy found evidence of abnormal behavior on animal and human offspring, for instance: hyperactivity, control inhibition and minimal brain damage in severe cases. Radical recent studies even conclude that artificial sweeteners do not help in long-term weight loss either.
When looking at medical studies many factors should be considered. Factors such as techniques used in the trial, extent of samples and financing of the study (directly or indirectly) could affect the veracity of their results. At the end of the day it is for you to decide. While I recognize the arguable benefit that artificial sweeteners bring to modern dieting, I personally try to stay away of sugar and avoid all products using artificial sweeteners. Especially since there are other natural choices that do not cause obesity, do not represent any health risk and taste even better. I use Agave honey instead, but Stevia and Maguey honey are also great choices. All these are natural, sweeter than sugar, contain zero calories and a very low glycemic index.
Why would I marinate my food in chlorine when there are better options? Companies may do so because at the moment is cheaper for them.
5. Do not forget good carbs
Most doctors will recommend you to stay away from low-carb diets while you are pregnant, even some months after labour. This is because low-carb diets can be very extreme and might turn unsafe for you both. Carbohydrates mix with fat molecules to produce energy, and not only you and your baby will need tons of this during her development, you also need it to burn stored fat. Another characteristic of carbohydrates is that there are two types: simple and complex. The first are natural sugars that are present in fruits, vegetables and honeys; complex carbs are fiber and starches; present in fibrous vegetables and grains.
While carbohydrates are needed to help you cope with the pregnancy and burn fat, it is also true that with a surplus of these in your body will produce too much insulin. Too much insulin will make your body store fat and will suppress the production of Glucagon and Human Growth Hormones that are responsible for burning fat, among other important functions.
Since you need carbohydrates to keep healthy and to burn fat, it is important to find the right balance between carbohydrate type and quantity specific for you. Carbohydrates are a tricky thing as not everybody absorbs them equally. For this reason, Isabel de los Rios recommends us to take a metabolic type test. Such test will tell you which type of carbohydrates are easier for your metabolic type to assimilate and in which quantities. Thus, increasing your body織s fat burning capability and avoiding risk of storing fat.