Pregnancy: how not to gain too much weight?

Pregnancy how not to gain too much weight

The issue of weight gain during pregnancy is often a thorny issue for expectant mothers. How to balance your meals and not gain too much weight? Discover the advice and recommendations of Magali Le Mardeley, dietician.

While we thought we were vigilant, suddenly the scales are racing and the pounds are piling up! Macrosomia fetal, Gestational Diabetes, hypertension, difficulties in childbirth, too much weight gain during pregnancy is not without risk, both for the mother-to-be and for her baby. It is therefore important to take things in hand quickly and not hesitate to seek help from a dietitian if you are having difficulty controlling your weight gain.

On the same subject

Pregnancy: what is the ideal weight gain?

There is no standard weight gain that would apply to all pregnant women. The weight gain during pregnancy can vary considerably from one woman to another, without this being in any way pathological. It will mainly depend on the BMI (body mass index), the morphology of the mother and the development of the baby. It is generally considered that a pregnant woman gains between 500 g and 1 kg per month in the first trimester, 1 kg per month in the second and 2 per month in the last trimester. Thus, according to the BMI, the weight gain varies between 5 (when the BMI exceeds 30) and 18 kilos. However, we agree that the average is around 10-11 kg.

Balanced meals above all

“It is important to have three balanced meals a day, plus one to two snacks in order to avoid the anarchic intake of foods that are generally too fatty and salty”, insists the dietician. The latter recommends to give preference as much as possible to home-made meals and to organize meals based on the following basis:

  • Breakfast : A cereal product (bread, muesli, unsweetened cereals) with fat, a fresh fruit, a hot drink.
  • Breakfast : A soup or raw vegetables as a starter to provide nutrients, a portion of good quality protein (lean meat, chicken or turkey fillet, a portion of fatty fish per week for the omega 3 intake), green vegetables in quantity in order to achieve satiety. The plate should be divided in half, half starchy, half vegetable”, explains Magali Le Mardeley. We end with a dairy product (beware of raw milk cheese!) And a fruit for vitamins.
  • Having dinner : the structure is more or less the same as that of the lunch. The important thing is to vary the vegetables, the proteins and to enjoy eating!

Fruits are important for the supply of vitamins but they are still very sweet, so do not overdo it and limit yourself to three fruits per day. For a sufficient supply of calcium, the expectant mother can however consume 3 to 4 dairy products daily.

Rethink the snack and the snack

A snack is not mandatory but it is often necessary in case of a little craving.

“A mother-to-be has every right to want something sweet. It is important not to get frustrated, but it should be consumed sparingly.”, recommends the dietician. Yes to the chocolate nun to taste it… but only from time to time! For a satiating and balanced snack, the dietician recommends eating: a piece of bread (if possible with wholemeal or semi-complete flour), a bowl of muesli or a handful of oleaginous or dried fruits (almonds, cashews, berries and goji etc.).

Weight gain during pregnancy: foods to avoid

To control weight gain during pregnancy, the dietitian recommends avoid certain foods, or in any case to consume them only occasionally and in reasonable quantities.

  • Very sweet and very salty products: industrial cakes, aperitif cakes, etc.
  • Pastries
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Ultra processed foods
  • Cooked meals
  • Frying: fries, nuggets, breaded fish, cordon bleu etc.
  • Junk food: kebab, burger, industrial pizza, etc.

Thanks to Magali le Mardeley, dietician.

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