What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Unhealthy Food Cravings
Indeed, there is an unspoken rule that while you are pregnant that it’s acceptable to eat a tub of ice cream at midnight, fulfilling your heart and belly’s desire. However, consuming a high-fat or high-sugar diet can be harmful to your overall health and the health of your baby, making the unspoken rule not-so-exciting after all.
Research has shown that the more weight a woman puts on during pregnancy, increases the risk of her child becoming obese.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, results revealed that mothers who eat more unhealthy foods during pregnancy, have children with increased behavioral problems, such as aggression.
While you may feel extra hungry during your pregnancy, it is important that you eat a healthy, well balanced diet. After all, the food you consume becomes your baby’s main source of nutrition.
Luckily for you, there are ways to trade some of your cravings in for healthier alternatives and ways to manage your cravings that will leave you satisfied:
- Craving pizza? That’s okay! Try eating pizza made with a whole-what crust and avoid processed meat. Or if you are feeling adventurous, pizza made with a cauliflower crust, which is a delicious way to cut the carbs and satisfy your craving. Pile on the veggies for extra fiber, which keeps you full longer.
- In the mood for ice cream? Pull out your blender and blend your favorite fruit, such as bananas into a soft, creamy consistency. Greek yogurt is a great option as well. Drop in fresh fruit or coconut chips for a sweet twist.
- Need something salty? Try air-popped popcorn. Popcorn is a great way to satisfy your salty and crunchy cravings without the excessive amount of calories and fat. Add a little olive oil or garlic powder to add flavor to your snack.
While cravings can come and go, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well:
- Plan out healthy snacks. If you are on the-go during your pregnancy, create a go-to snack pack with a mix of protein and carbs to keep you full and happy. Raw nuts and dried fruit is a great, healthy, filling snack option that you can toss in your bag and go.
- Exercise regularly. Staying active is a great way to curb your hunger and keep you from thinking about food. Take a daily walk, inside or outside and keep your mind busy.
- Drink water. The amount of blood increases significantly when you are pregnant, so it is even more important to stay hydrated for your changing body and needs. Keep a reusable water bottle nearby and refill it several times a day. Add fresh lemons, berries and mint for a fresh twist.
- Eat breakfast every day. Starting the day off well-nourished will leave you feeling fuller for longer. This is a good way to prevent those mid-morning snack attacks that have you craving pasta before noon.
- Think small. While this may be difficult with big changes happening in your life, try to portion out some of your junk-food favorites.
For more tips on staying active through your pregnancy, check out these blogs that will change the way you think about exercise during your pregnancy: