While pregnant (4 months), is it ok to "be careful"? Is it ok to avoid eating too much and bear hungry feelings some days?
Many women think that being pregnant is an excuse to eat everything is sight, however the average pregnant woman only needs 200-300 calories more per day, and that's at the late stage of pregnancy. However, your need for certain vitamins and minerals goes up dramatically, and sometimes cravings are your body's way of telling you you are short of something. You need more iron, calcium, folic acid, and other things is quantity. So if you have a specific craving it's best to fill it.
Dieting while pregnant is not a good idea, eat a healthy diet and don't go short on anything.
If you want to cut back on anything, cut back on empty calorie items, such as sugar-filled cakes, cookies, etc. Cake and cookies contain no nutritional content while at the same time delivering plenty of calories. You're best off eating healthy and rich foods that have proteins, vitamins and minerals. There is some advice for exactly what to eat here, to sum:
You need your minerals:
- Folic acid: Good natural sources of folic acid are barley beans, fruit, green vegetables, orange juice, lentils, peas and rice.
- Iron: Good sources of iron are green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, strawberries, muesli and wholemeal bread. Iron is more easily absorbed if it is taken in conjunction with vitamin C - either as a supplement or in citrus fruit or juice.
In addition, be sure to eat some of everything: do not eat less than the recommended daily allowances of fats: fats contain essential nutrients!
- 10 per cent of calories should come from protein. Protein is mainly found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and beans.
- 35 per cent of calories should come from fat, which is mainly found in butter, oils, margarine, dairy products and nuts.
- 55 per cent of calories should come from carbohydrates, which are found in bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, corn and other grain products.
Absolutely, as long as you start at a healthy weight, or are overweight (which applies to the majority of the developed world) - the core element that doctors stress is just "to get a balanced input" so you aren't missing out on essential vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.
Of course, if you are underweight, then you may not want to go down this route, as a malnourished mother will have an effect not only on the child, but on her own health as her body does its best to provide nutrients for the unborn baby.
If there was ever a time in your life to throw a diet out of the window, it is during pregnancy.
By all means avoid fizzy drinks and confectionery, but other than that - open up and consume!
Of course, eat healthily, restricting your intake to that which is wholesome and nutritious, but do not restrict your intake due to weight-gain fears.
And one thing I must stress: Whatever your cravings - GIVE IN TO THEM.