Weight gain, digestive problems, cravings, “forbidden” foods, the diktat of healthy eating: eating during pregnancy can quickly become a headache.
Tip #1: Make the scale your friend
Stepping on the scales doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It is recommended that you put on about twelve kilos during pregnancy, but this weight gain is rarely linear. “One kilo per month” is a myth. Every pregnancy is different, and weight gain is normally lower in the first few months, but this is not the case for all. A word of advice: weigh yourself once a week at most. If you find that you are gaining too much weight, consider splitting your diet. This can help you manage your appetite. Constipation or water retention can also weigh on the scale, so remember to eat fibre (wholemeal bread, fruit and vegetables, etc.). Also remember to keep yourself hydrated, preferably with magnesium-rich mineral water.
Tip #2: Know how to detach yourself
You want to eat as healthily as possible during your pregnancy: organic food, superfoods, etc. And that’s perfectly normal! And that’s perfectly normal! But try to detach yourself from all the information about food that you hear. It’s contradictory and creates stress and guilt. Just eat everything in moderation, organic if possible, and relax!
Tip #3: Allow yourself some pleasures
The more you restrict yourself, the more easily (and heavily) you will crave food. So, one solution: give yourself a “little pleasure ritual” every day, without feeling guilty: two squares of chocolate at breakfast, your favourite biscuit at snack time… Choose YOUR “little pleasure ritual”! And from time to time, give yourself a bigger treat: that chocolate éclair that you’ve been eyeing at the bakery, that burger you’ve been dreaming about, that ice cream that’s been taunting you in the freezer… Enjoy these pleasures without overdoing it and, above all, without feeling guilty, and you’ll see that you’ll be able to manage your cravings better!
Tip #4: Take the list of forbidden foods in stride
Of course, during pregnancy, certain foods should be banned to avoid listeriosis (raw meat, fish and eggs, uncooked cheeses, etc.) and toxoplasmosis (badly washed raw vegetables, etc.). But by thinking about it too much, you generate a lot of frustration and stress, negative for you but also for your baby. So ease your guilt by (re)discovering certain foods (cooked cheeses: parmesan, comté, etc.; canned fish: tuna, sardines, etc.) and by adopting certain tricks (homemade makis with canned tuna; homemade chocolate mousse without eggs but with whipped cream). You will find that by finding small, simple alternatives to this very restrictive list, you will be more relaxed.
All of these tips won’t solve the dietary upheavals you experience during pregnancy, but they will help you live with them better, be less frustrated and remove guilt.