Pregnancy has you going cravings crazy and baby’s calorie consumption is leaving you with a hungrier-than-usual tummy. Depend on frequent, nutritious snacks to harness your hankerings and appease your appetite.
Although you won’t need to double your diet, you will need to increase the number of calories you consume. One of the best ways to fuel your body’s baby-developing feats is to consume two to three snacks daily—in addition to your typical breakfast, lunch and dinner—providing a consistent source of energy to you and your baby throughout the day.
Need to feed
Aim to eat at least every four hours, although you may want to eat even more frequently. (If you eat breakfast at 7 a.m. before work, have a snack at 10 a.m. to hold you over until lunch at 1 p.m. Another snack at 4 o’clock will keep you full until dinner at 7 p.m.) When you dine, make sure you consume both carbohydrates and protein. According to Jennifer Ventrelle, Clinic Coordinator for the Nutrition and Wellness Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, this winning combination “keeps blood sugar stable and metabolism going. The more often you eat, the faster your metabolism works.” Keep in mind, too, that the fetus feeds only on carbohydrates, so make certain to consume quality carbs to ensure your baby’s nutritional needs are met.
Curb the cravings
Your need to feed is no excuse to devour Doritos or gulp down gummy bears. Instead, depend on a dynamic carbohydrate-and-protein duo to keep cravings at bay. Ventrelle explains that the carbohydrates “prevent you from craving sweets due to low blood sugar” by keeping your blood sugar stable. Proteins “allow the food to stay in your stomach longer, helping you feel full longer, and preventing overeating.” Try a fun-size candy bar with a glass of milk to fill you up and satisfy your sweet tooth. If you’re lucky, the sweet snack might be just enough to prevent you from polishing off the entire pint of rocky road.