Looking for the perfect pregnancy diet?
The Internet is crowded with opinions on what you should and should not eat during pregnancy. Then throw in the mix all of the diet’s- keto, whole 30, Adkins.
This guide cuts confusion and leads to guilt-free eating.
3 Easy Steps To The Perfect Pregnancy Diet
During the first trimester, I was extremely sick. I could hardly function.
Keeping food down became a constant struggle for me, so I definitely was NOT thinking about if what I could eat was nutrient-dense. I kept a strict regimen of Panera Bread’s broccoli cheddar soup, macaroni and cheese, strawberries, and Chick-fil-a milkshakes. Nutritious, right?
You may be wondering if it’s really important to eat right during pregnancy. Maybe, you are one of the many women who let pregnancy be a time to let loose with dietary choices. (No shame- I’ve been there!)
The studies are in… overeating and poor dietary choices are harmful to your baby. (Source.)
Today, I want to show you the most beneficial way to eat for two.
Let’s get started!
3 Easy Steps To Building A Balanced Meal or Snack During Pregnancy
I have three words for you, Trim Healthy Mama.
Trim Healthy Mama is the best eating plan that I have ever tried. It is the best pregnancy “diet” that I have encountered so far. And now that I’m over 1 year postpartum, I can tell you that I’ve lost all of my baby weight (and more) and kept it off.
It is simple, affordable and sustainable! You will find that you can trim down while filling up.
Eating with a plan is easy with Trim Healthy Mama (THM)! Think of it like Chipotle, you start on one end of the line and build your meal to your liking.
Let’s jump in!
Related Post: Quick, Healthy Breastfeeding Snacks For New Moms (pssst… these ideas are perfect for pregnant moms, too)
Step 1….Do You Want Fats or Carbs?
Do you want a succulent, satisfying meal right now? Wanting more energy? Let that decide what type of meal you will have.
THM S (satisfying) meals celebrate fats. In this meal setting, enjoy fatty meats, nuts, cheeses, oil and, of course- BUTTER.
THM E (energizing) meals focus on carbs. When you have an E meal, load up on gentle grains, beans, oats, and fruit.
The logic is that your body can’t burn through both types of fuels (fats and carbs) at once. So, your body will burn through one and store the other as fat. Yikes!
Once you get the hang of it, it is a no-brainer to eat on plan and maintain a steady weight.
Step 2… Pick Your Protein
Next, depending on what fuel you chose (fats or carbs), pick the protein you’d like to anchor your meal with.
Every snack or meal needs to have protein! Your body, and your baby, need protein to thrive.
For a fats-focused meal, you can enjoy any protein you’d like. These meals are perfect to have steak, bacon, fried eggs, sausage, and other fattier proteins.
Pair lean meats and other lighter protein with your carb-focused meals. Lean chicken breast, tuna, tilapia, egg whites, and greek yogurt are great options to anchor a high carb meal.
Step 3… Fill Up Your Plate With Veggies
Once you have your meal mostly put together, load up your plate with veggies! With a low carb/high fats meal, fill up on non-starchy veggies. Yellow squash, spinach, lettuce, cucumber, spaghetti squash, broccoli, and zucchini are great options.
If you’re having a high carb meal, enjoy veggies that have a higher carb count as well as the non-starchy vegetables listed above. Acorn squash, carrots, corn, butternut squash, and -my personal favorite- sweet potatoes work well in a carb-focused meal.
But Don’t Forget
Don’t forget that you are pregnant! Maintaining a steady weight gain during pregnancy should be your goal- not weight loss. Use this time to nourish your body and adopt a healthier eating style for the sake of total body wellness.
The writers of Trim Healthy Mama encourage pregnant and nursing mothers to combine fats and carbs in meals as needed. In THM language, this is called a crossover (XO). Combining fats and carbs during pregnancy will help you to maintain a steady weight gain.
Tune into your body to determine how many crossovers a day is right for you. Some mamas have one meal a day that is a crossover. Others need more than that to avoid unwanted weight loss.
A Few Ideas For A High Carb Meal… Don’t Be Scared- Carbs are GOOD!
- Chicken burrito bowls: Grilled chicken breast, brown rice, beans, tomatoes, salsa, and corn. Add cilantro and lime for a nice tang!
- Oven baked dinner: baked tilapia, baked sweet potato, with a side salad.
- Oatmeal with dried cranberries; add collagen to your oatmeal for more protein.
A Few Ideas For A Fats Focused Meal That Will Rock Your World
- Pan seared pork chops, buttered broccoli, served with a large side salad.
- Taco salad: ground beef, onion, lettuce, tomato, salsa, cheese, avocado chunks, all topped with a few crushed tortilla chips.
- Scrambled eggs with sausage, spinach, and tomato; add cheese, if you please.
Looking for more tips on eating well during early pregnancy? Head over to The Girlfriend’s Guide to Folate and First Trimester Foods. Grab your free 5-day pregnancy meal plan there!
What You Need To Know About Pregnancy Diets: All Of Your Questions Answered
What is a good pregnancy diet?
A good pregnancy diet is a well-rounded diet.
Some diets are dangerous for pregnant women because they cut out one or more main food groups. Our bodies need carbs, our bodies need fats, and our bodies desperately need protein when we are pregnant.
Trim Healthy Mama is an eating plan that includes all of the food groups and celebrates balance in the pairing of different food groups. This eating plan is mostly shared as a weight-loss program but I found it to be the most nourishing way to eat during pregnancy.
THM has given me guidelines on how to eat in a nourishing way. The “template” for THM meals helps me to make sure that I am having well-balanced meals and snacks!
What should be the diet in the first month of pregnancy?
During the first month of pregnancy, start nourishing your body with nutrient-dense foods. Focus on your protein intake, healthy fats, and low glycemic carbs.
But really, during the first trimester, just focus on getting food in. You may be feeling really sick and the only thing that sounds good might be ice cream… just eat the dang ice cream!
Having a well-balanced diet is a great priority to have but any kind of food that your body will accept while you are sick is the food that you need to be eating.
How can I not gain weight during pregnancy?
I get it. You don’t want to end your pregnancy looking like a beached whale. No one does!
While you may want to lose weight, it shouldn’t be a priority during pregnancy. Some women who begin pregnancy overweight can end up remaining the same at the end of pregnancy- but that shouldn’t be your goal.
The rule of thumb during pregnancy is to nourish your body to then nourish your baby. Do make healthy choices. Don’t burden yourself during this season of life with weight loss.
If you are still concerned after that pep talk, Trim Healthy Mama is a very gentle approach to trimming down while eating for two.
I know many women that have successfully lost weight or even stayed the same weight during pregnancy due to Trim Healthy Mama. (That is if they started pregnancy overweight.) You should not be losing weight or staying the same weight if you started pregnancy at a healthy weight.
(Have I said the word ‘weight’ enough?)
It is okay for you to get heavier and weigh more during pregnancy… you are growing a baby, and boobs, and a ginormous uterus! Even just the fluid that your body retains during pregnancy is enough to make your eyes bulge when looking at the scale.
Mama- it. is. okay.
How should I take care of myself during pregnancy?
Eating balanced meals and nourishing your body is a great way to take care of yourself during pregnancy.
Fuel your body in a way that honors your body and your baby. Eating well is a form of self-care.
If you’re looking for practical tips for pain relief and self-care during pregnancy, read this post.
How much more should a pregnant woman eat?
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, women don’t need to have any extra calories during the first trimester. Eat about 350 extra calories during the second trimester. Finally, have 450 extra calories towards the end of pregnancy.
It has been proven again and again that it is a myth that women need to “eat for two “. Some studies have shown that it is actually harmful to eat in excess during pregnancy, especially if you start pregnancy overweight.
According to Trim Healthy Mama guidelines, pregnant women should eat a meal/snack every 2 to 3 hours.
A Note About Late Night Snacks
If you’re hungry, eat! Growing a baby takes a lot of energy. Your body might need a snack right before you go to bed to make it until breakfast.
I always had to eat right before bed so that I wouldn’t feel sick in the morning. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I would wake up famished in the middle of the night… so, I would eat!
Mamas, your baby needs you to eat when they urge you.
A favorite snack of mine for the late evening has been a piece of sprouted grain toast with peanut butter and jelly on it. The peanut butter and jelly gets gooey and warm. The toast has a little crunch. YUM. I love to sip on chamomile tea while I eat to help me settle into sleep after snacking.
The Last Thing You Need To Know About The Perfect Pregnancy Diet
So you wanted to know the best pregnancy diet? Now you know! I’ve given you my 3 step guide to building a life-giving meal or snack.
You can give your baby everything that he/she needs right now by choosing healthier eating- and that is pretty awesome.