Ask any pregnant woman what she does not understand the most about what she’s going through and, for sure, her reply would be her unusual cravings and the ever-present, nagging hunger. With such intense hunger pangs, logic goes out of the window most of the time. The brain may be telling her to eat more fruits and vegetables, but there’s also this fierce hunger for lasagna and cupcakes.
Clearly, pregnancy can be one of the most challenging periods in a woman’s life. The body goes through so many changes, and there are all kinds of sensations that can be quite alarming, especially if you are carrying a child for the first time in your life.
Plus, if you have been a healthy eater for most of your life, the way your body demands food can truly drive you to the edge. Don’t you fret, though. You can tame the cravings and your robust appetite, and bring sanity back to your life during pregnancy with proven effective health practices. Five of these practices are discussed below:
1. Go for healthier alternatives
Craving pizza? How about choosing a recipe that has a lot of vegetables instead of meat? Perhaps, consider a healthier crust as well like a gluten-free variety, or vegetable-based like one made of cauliflower.
This simple change can do so much in ensuring your health during pregnancy. You can actually stay within the normal weight range and even avoid the adverse effects of food indulgence such as constipation.
2. Stock your pantry and fridge with nuts, fruits, and veggie snacks
Make healthy food the convenient choice for snacks. You can stock up on the best snacks for pregnant women such as fresh or dried fruits, nuts, seeds, grains (granola bars) and yogurt. The even better thing about these snack options is they are easy to pack in a Ziploc bag so you do not have to settle for unhealthy options from convenience stores when you are on-the-go.
The key to always enjoy these pregnancy-friendly munchies is to try preparing them in different ways. For example, try adding dried fruits and honey to Greek yogurt when you are craving something sweet and yummy.
On days when you want something savory, make spiced nuts using healthy spices, honey, and sea salt. Or you can make your own kale chips by baking the leaves in a microwave oven for three minutes after seasoning them with olive oil and sea salt — sure beats potato chips!
Snacking healthy is one of the most effective ways of improving your wellbeing despite the weird food demands of your body. It is important to mention as well that this practice will equip you for motherhood. Parents serving as a good example of healthy eating is one of the most important tips in dealing with young fussy eaters.
3. Drink more
When you are pregnant, it is easy to confuse thirst with hunger. So, when you have a hankering for food, try drinking a tall glass of water first. A lot of pregnant women say that this strategy often works in calming down what your brain interprets as a strong demand for food.
4. Boost the nutritional value of your food
If you still enjoy cooking your own food while pregnant, find ways to make the recipes you love more nutritious. For example, add chopped cherries to burger patties. The cherries will not only enhance the flavor of the meat, but they also tenderize it and make the meat juicier and easier to digest.
5. Opt for smaller portions of everything
When you crave cake, just buy a slice or two (the other one for later) and relish that small portion. Most of the time, a slice is enough to satisfy your appetite or craving, especially when you eat with someone else. Plus, treating yourself to just a small serving can usually prevent you from going overboard with your indulgence.
‘Want to make this strategy even more effective? After satisfying your craving, go for a walk. There’s nothing like a walk to get rid of extra calories and also distract you from the desire to eat more.
Happily rein in those cravings
These smart practices will boost your health and even keep you happy (despite the hormones). Taking control of your food intake will give you the energy and stamina you need as a pregnant woman, and effectively outwork the crazy cravings haunting your pregnancy. Also, don’t forget to turn to your support group. Pregnancy truly is an emotional ride, and if you have good people encouraging you and helping you deal with the changes you are going through, it will be easier to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy for your baby.