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Cutting Back Calories


Cutting Back Calories

There are times during pregnancy when women may need to take steps to keep their weight down. Drastic diet measures are certainly not advised and weight loss during pregnancy is never recommended. However, women who experience rapid or excessive weight gain during pregnancy may need to be careful with their weight. Other women may want to 'improve' their diet and pay more attention to quality vs. quantity. The goal during pregnancy, in preparation for pregnancy, or for women who recently gave birth is to eat a good quality diet that is moderate in calories. Below are some guidelines to help in this effort.

Before Pregnancy
If you have been advised by your physician to lose some weight before pregnancy, your weight loss should be gradual. Depending on your height and starting weight, no more than 1-to-2 pounds per week is suggested. Smaller women should aim for the lower end of this range; larger women usually tolerate a bit faster weight loss rate. In almost all cases, avoiding rapid weight loss is recommended to maintain normal hormone cycles and fertility. A more rapid weight loss should always be monitored by a physician. To ensure nutrient adequacy, a multivitamin-mineral supplement is recommended when calorie intake is low prior to pregnancy.

Guidelines for Better Weight Management

Small Frequent Meals: Don't skip meals or go more than four hours without eating, it sets you up for later temptation. When meals are more than six hours apart, plan a small snack. This is especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women who can have rapid drops in blood sugar, and a hunger which progresses rapidly.

Eat Moderate Portions: If you need to cut back, eat a little less of everything, rather than cutting out one important food group completely. Remember your need for calcium and protein, however. Your food sources of these nutrients should not be cut too low. Neither of these nutrients can be covered by a multivitamin-mineral supplement.

Beware of Concentrated Sugars: Excess sugar eaten alone (sodas, jellybean-type candy, most sweets) causes more insulin secretion. Insulin promotes fat storage and can result in a rebound drop in blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar, in return, stimulates the appetite, especially cravings for more sugar. Try to limit sugar intake to small amounts during a meal, rather than as a single snack item.

Eat foods high in fiber: Fiber fills you up and helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. This effects your appetite. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. We need both of them in our diet!

Lower your fat intake:Limit foods that are high in fat. No need to be overly zealous, just aware and cautious. A little fat in each meal can help keep you satisfied between meals.

Avoid alcohol intake: Avoid drinking alcohol when pregnant or breastfeeding. For others, be aware of the effect of alcohol on weight. Not only does it provide calories and few nutrients, it facilitates weight gain.

Drink plenty of water: Weight loss increases your need for water. Drink at least 8 eight ounce glasses of water or other hydrating, low calorie fluids daily. Be aware that caffeine and alcohol act as diuretics (water wasters). They do not replace water, they waste it.

Eat Slowly: It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal the brain that it is full. If you eat too quickly, you will probably overeat. Put your fork down between bites and chew your food well.

Pay Attention to Late Night Snacking: Your metabolism is fastest in the morning and afternoon, then begins to slow down, with the lowest level at night. When your metabolism is low and your calorie intake is too high, you are more likely to store fat. During pregnancy and lactation, a night snack may be important, but do not over-do portions or fat content. Try to make this snack healthy.

Create a Supportive Environment: There's a good chance that if it's not in your environment it won't get eaten. Go through your cupboards and rethink whether or not those unhealthy nibbles are really worth keeping.

Not all exercises or diets are suitable for everyone. Before you begin this program, you should have permission from your doctor to participate in vigorous exercise and change of diet. If you feel discomfort or pain when you exercise, do not continue. The instructions and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. The creators, producers, participants and distributors of this site disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the exercise and advice provided here.

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