“You’re eating for two!”
“Go ahead, enjoy a second helping for the little one.”
“Don’t worry about your weight gain. It’s all baby!”
“Eat while you can. One day your kids will want half of every bit you take.”
How many times have you heard these bits of advice? Too many! The “eating for two” mentality has effected many women and aided them in becoming binge-eaters during pregnancy. Who can resist wanting to be the classic pregnant woman that tells her husband she needs a doughnut or cheeseburger—NOW! Not too many times in a woman’s life do people quickly scamper to the closest fast-food chain to bring her back something hot and fully laden with way too many calories!
“When I went to my first prenatal class I was appalled by one of the other ladies attending the class. She continually ate through the entire four hours. Even during the hospital tour she was pushing food in her mouth. No one encouraged her to slow down her eating, but it was disgusting to watch!” recalls one mom.
How can you resist from being one of those pregnant moms that always has a bag of chips in her hand?
Don’t become discouraged. You are not alone. Many women, especially women that have a history of binge eating, can become frequent binge-eaters during pregnancy.
Binge eating is consuming unreasonably large amounts of food during a short period of time. If this has happened during your pregnancy, don’t fret about the past. Turn your future around now and stop the binging. Here are some ways to overcome the temptation of overeating.
- Eat several meals a day. Break down the typical three meals a day into five or six smaller meals. Eating more frequently can keep excessive hunger at bay. If you go out with some friends for a restaurant meal, eat half at the restaurant and take home half for later. Do not let yourself consume average servings of food five or six times a day. The more frequent meals should be half the size of a suggested serving.
- Don’t skip breakfast. If you skip out on your morning fuel from breakfast you are more susceptible to eat a larger than acceptable portion for lunch. Take time to enjoy a fiber-filled nutritious breakfast and you have added a great start to a binge-less day!
- Avoid buffets. Mega-bars, buffets and all-you-can eat meals can wreak havoc on your goal to stop binging. So many tempting foods in one place, and with a hefty price tag on the meal you leave feeling guilty if you don’t “eat your share.”
- Keep a food journal. Some people gain strength and inspiration to eat healthier from writing down all the foods and beverages they consumed during the day. Food journals have a way of helping you face the truth about your eating choices. No one has to see it. It’s just a reminder and also a wake-up call on how you should tweak your overall diet to become more nutritious and healthy. It can also help you track your progress of your transition to a healthier way of living.
- Focus on consuming high-volume foods. Some foods can leave you feeling empty in little as 30 minutes after consumption. Choose foods that pack the volume, but are low in calories. Need some ideas? Try these foods to fill up your tummy!
Soups and stews( watch out for sodium in canned soups)
cooked whole grains
Fruits and veggies
Lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs
Not sure how to implement these into your pregnancy diet? Try these tips:
• Sneak in veggies into pizza, lasagna, casseroles and more. If veggies are finely chopped or even pureed, they can go into almost any main dish.
• Chop up various kinds of fruit into bite-sized pieces and keep stored in your refrigerator for an easy, ready-to-go snack that’s full of fiber and volume.
• When scanning the cereal aisle, try to score some whole-grain puffed cereals.
• Always go for the whole grain version of breads and pastas.
• Eat a small salad or soup before your main meal that’s loaded with veggies.
• Top your main entree salad with nuts and lean protein to pack a fuller punch.
• Skip empty, calorie laden desserts and enjoy some fresh, tangy fruit instead! Enjoy the fruit with plain yogurt and you score some extra calcium.
• Drink skim or low-fat milk in place of sugary drinks for more protein and calcium.
Congratulations on your desire to change your eating habits during pregnancy. Take little steps to overcome the temptation to binge. Add some weekly, aerobic exercise and you will be well on your way to having a healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery.