Engaging in regular physical activity and maintaining a balanced diet are important steps, but there are certain foods that pregnant women should avoid to help control their weight gain. By being mindful of what they eat and making smart food choices, pregnant women can prevent excessive weight gain.
Foods to avoid
- Avoid white sugar as far as possible. Both palm sugar and powdered jaggery sugar contain beneficial nutritional components; However, white sugar undergoes an extensive refining process that strips away almost all of its non-carbohydrate constituents, leaving it as a simple source of energy with little to no nutritional value.
- Sugar provides tremendous source of energy as it is rapidly digested and absorbed by the body. It lasts until the sugar gets used up, and leaving one craving for more sugary foods to alleviate the low feeling. If you develop a sweet tooth. What you do is that you inhibit the body’s ability to produce the body takes energy necessary energy from all other food. The body takes energy from sugar instead and the other energy is converted into fat. This would also apply to anyone who regularly consumes sugary drinks, such as sweet tea, soda, or fruit juices
- If you find yourself craving sweet foods, try opting for natural sweeteners like jaggery, raisins, mangoes, chikoo, honey, and dates. These sweet foods not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also provide valuable nutrition. It’s best to avoid sweets such as chocolates, lollipops, ice cream, cakes, and pastries as they contain high amounts of processed sugar. Instead, consider substituting some of your sweet snacks with healthier options such as cheese, channa, apple, carrot, cucumber, and sprouted moong dal.
- Gradually reducing your dependence on sweet foods can be a slow but effective process. Start by reducing your intake of sweets over time and finding healthier alternatives. Try to be gentle with yourself and be patient, as it may take some time for your taste buds to adjust. With persistence, you’ll find that your cravings for sweets will gradually decrease, and you’ll be able to enjoy healthier foods without feeling the need for added sugar.
- Using sugar substitutes like Sweetex or other artificial sweeteners should be avoided while trying to cultivate a new taste. It can be difficult to stop craving sugar if you consume artificial sweeteners.
- Reduce the amount of oil used in your cooking and try to limit your consumption of deep-fried foods like chips, pakoras, puris, fried namkeens, and papads. After cooking a vegetable dish, ensure that there is no leftover oil in the serving dish. This indicates that the oil was used in excess. Similarly, in curries, there should be no oil floating on the surface of the dish.
- Boil kidney beans or rajma, chickpeas or kabuli channa, horse gram or kala channa, and all kinds of pulses or dals with salt, turmeric, garam masala, onion, ginger, and a teaspoon of oil. Eat them with vegetables and chapattis, but avoid using fried masalas. Thick, rich masala curries, as well as white sauce, thick soup, mayonnaise, and foods with creamy sauces, are all fattening. Highly refined foods should also be avoided as they have lost most of their nutrition. Foods made with maida and sugar, like samosas, cakes, noodles, white bread, jalebis, jams, rice, kachoris, mathris, etc., fall under this category.
- If you tend to overeat at meals, try to include foods that are high in fiber such as raw vegetables or fruits to help you feel full. You can also opt for low-fat yogurt or lassi as a filling option. Additionally, avoid adding ghee or other high-fat toppings to your dal or chapatis.
How much weight to gain during pregnancy?
The ideal weight gain for a pregnant woman is a matter of debate and varies depending on individual factors such as pre-pregnancy weight and health status. Earlier the permitted weight was 9 to 10 kg. Then it became 12.5 kg and now it is accepted that it may be a little higher than 12.5 kg.
If you started your pregnancy underweight, you may need to gain more weight than a woman who began her pregnancy at a healthy weight. On the other hand, if you have a tendency to gain weight more rapidly than others, you may need to be cautious and mindful of your weight gain during pregnancy. One thing is for sure, pregnancy is not a time to diet or try to remain slim; doing so can harm the baby.
Weight gained during pregnancy is needed by the body to support and nourish the baby, and fat laid down in tissues is used up to breastfeed. Women who do not breastfeed may find it difficult to lose the weight gained in their tissues.
How soon do you start gaining weight in pregnancy?
During the first 3 months of pregnancy, weight gain may not occur and may even decrease due to nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Weight gain usually starts in the 3rd month and is not significant until the 5th month, accounting for only 25% of the total weight gain. The largest increase occurs in the 5th, 6th, and 7th months, but it should not exceed 1 kilogram per week. Excessive weight gain during this time is associated with toxaemia, and doctors may ask you to monitor your weight if it is excessive. Weight gain slows down after 7 months until the 9th month, after which there is often no weight gain in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy.
Dr. Tom Brewer (An American obstetrician) believes nutrition is important in pregnancy and even mild under-nutrition in the mother can interfere with the baby’s normal growth and development. His theories go against the widely held belief that the baby is a parasite. He and his wife discuss this in their book, “What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know.” Many doctors now believe a weight gain of 16 kg (35 pounds) or more is reasonable for some women, and up to 18 kg (40 to 50 pounds) for twins. Undernourishment can lead to poor contractions during delivery and may require induction or Caesarean section.