Weight gain during pregnancy – it’s not an excuse to eat whatever you want!
Before we start, I have some super-exciting news: baby Greer is due May 29th! One of the first questions many of my friends asked (after the due date, of course) was if I was worried about weight gain during pregnancy. After all, I had just completed a 45 pound weight loss!
So why have another baby?
This is actually our third baby, which is sort of amazing, because we only ever planned for two. We wanted a boy and a girl, and boom- we had them just in that order.
And then we started thinking… these kids are pretty fun. We do have a pretty big house…. I bet we could handle three…
So after months and months of deliberation, we decided to go for baby 3! Will there be a fourth? I honestly have no idea. But I can tell you this pregnancy is already totally different than my first two.
Pregnancy feels different when you weigh less.
The biggest change? After that 45 pound weight loss, which was only partially baby weight, I’m at a normal BMI for the first time ever. So my starting point was 25 pounds lower than when I got pregnant the first time. Maybe it’s just a different pregnancy, or maybe it’s the weight loss. But I have much less nausea and less of that incredible fatigue that I noticed during the first two pregnancies.
My relationship with food is also totally different this time around.
If you haven’t heard about my weight loss over the past two years, it’s been a huge deal. It was hard work, and transformative. The to biggest changes for me?
- Realizing that low calorie and exercise was not the answer.
- Dealing with my emotional eating.
With my previous pregnancies I felt like the baby was an excuse to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Consequently there was a lot of macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, and ice cream consumed.
Since then I’ve become much more intentional about what I eat. I plan my food in advance. I limit dessert (or any food with flour and sugar) to once a week. I don’t eat if I’m not physically hungry.
It’s been interesting noticing how pregnancy has changed my hunger levels and the amount I can eat. I’m definitely full sooner, and hungry more often. But more often now means I eat breakfast and occasionally have a snack before bed (otherwise I will literally wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back to sleep). It’s not the continuous grazing I had with prior pregnancies.
The biggest difference? No emotional eating. That was a huge change, and I’m so glad I’ve worked through it. I still have the temptation sometimes, but I recognize it for what it is, and I’ve learned that food really isn’t going to make me feel better in the long term
Are you worried about weight gain during pregnancy?
You shouldn’t be trying to lose weight during pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work on eating better. Even just limiting eating to when you are truly physically hungry can make an enormous difference. I had one friend lose 7 pounds just by doing this! But emotional hunger is often confusing because it can feel like physical hunger. In addition, it’s insidious- many of us have been emotionally eating for so many years we don’t even realize we do it. I surveyed hundreds of people about their emotional eating behaviors and found that the more often they ate for emotional reasons, the more likely they were to be overweight. I took this information and used it to develop a quiz:
Want to know if emotional eating is a problem for you? Take the quiz!