Everyone focuses on “losing the baby weight” and how they have to eat and working out once the baby arrives but not as many think about how what they do while pregnant affects that. That’s exactly what I focused on and what I’m sharing in this post. The reason I prioritized this is because it made everything postpartum much easier and lead to a healthy, enjoyable pregnancy.
I am a healthy and active individual just as I’m sure you are if you’re here reading this post. I feel my best when I’m taking care of my body through regular workouts and eating things that are healthy (for the majority of the time).
There is 1 “food rule” that I followed while pregnant and I believe it really helped me maintain a healthy weight/weight gain while pregnant and allowed me to lose the baby weight quickly.
I guess I never shared my “numbers” when pregnant because I didn’t want others or myself to focus on it but for the sake of being totally transparent here, I will! I gained 26 or 27 pounds – I cannot recall exactly now that I’m thinking about it. And, I lost all of that within the first 2 weeks postpartum (without trying), which made me realize it was more about what I did in the 9 months leading up to it.
Side note – just because I lose the “baby weight” that quickly does NOT mean my body looked the same. My body composition was much different (more fat, less muscle) so I definitely had my work cut out for me with fitness in the coming months.
You can read my postpartum fitness journey here
THE 1 FOOD RULE I FOLLOWED
So what is this “rule” that I followed while pregnant? MEALS. I tried to stick to eating solid meals as often as I could while pregnant.
If you’re not currently pregnant or never have been, you may be thinking, “is that really a rule? don’t I do that every day?!”
BUT, if you’re pregnant right now or can think back to that time, you know that for many of us the temptation was/is snacks snack snacks. Nibbling here and there. Treats! Lots of treats! Or thinking, “what the heck, I’m pregnant I’ll have dessert. And seconds. Every night.” hehe.
When I was pregnant, I allowed for more flexibility in my food. I had more treats than usual and my portions were quite often larger than what I normally aim for.
BUT, for me, pregnancy was not an excuse to eat completely unhealthy – that wasn’t a wise decision for me or my baby. To be perfectly honest, when I learned about Leo’s leg, I was reminded about how important overall health was for the both of us.
While the title of this post is about losing the baby weight, let’s be very clear… the overall health of mom and baby is the absolute priority. The nutrients we ingest and what we eat has a direct impact on the growing life in our belly. That should be a strong motivation to eat nutritiously throughout these 9 months!
Still, eating well is not always easy. There can be nausea, fatigue, emotions, etc. That’s why I just focused on meals.
I focused on eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I got 3 healthy and nutritious meals in each day, I felt good (and certainly much better than if I had eaten snack and junk food all day long).
In between those meals, I listened to my body, which I’ll break down more a bit in the next section.
I didn’t stress about having more treats or giving into cravings but again, I remained health-conscious and focused on eating at least 3 healthy meals per day.
1ST TRIMESTER EATING
During the first trimester, my only challenging symptoms were fatigue, food aversions and increased appetite. I don’t know if I was actually hungrier or if it was all in my head. Either way, I found myself on the couch more than usual and eating more than usual haha.
Of all the stages of pregnancy, this time was the most challenging to stick to my healthy eating routine. I know a lot of women experience morning sickness/nausea during this trimester so I think it’s about doing the best you can.
2ND TRIMESTER EATING
During the second trimester, I felt the most like myself. In fact, I felt better than my normal self. A lot of women enjoy the second trimester which they call the “blissful trimester.” During these months, it was “easier” for me to eat nutritiously.
I personally believe it’s important to prioritize healthy meals in the second trimester (especially if you’re feeling well) because it becomes habit! Whatever you decide to do and however you decide to eat in this stage will become part of your routine. If you get used to eating desserts chances are you’ll continue that through the 3rd trimester and beyond. If you do some meal prep and eat nutritious meals, you may be more likely to keep that up the next several months.
3RD TRIMESTER EATING
I was actually surprised by my 3rd trimester eating, especially at the end; I was actually less hungry and got full faster. The growing baby equates to less space and pressure on all your organs. I just wasn’t as hungry and didn’t have as many cravings. I also think this had to do with how I ate in the 2nd trimester.
Another tip I have for this trimester, start collecting recipes you can quickly and easily make after the baby arrives. Maybe test them out for dinner to see how everyone likes them. Perhaps print off a few and share them with you mom/sister/friends – a little hint hint for meals they can bring over haha. A little preparation here goes a long way! I’ll have many recipes for you to enjoy in my MOM cookbook coming soon.
I hope this one “food rule” helps you both enjoy extra treats while pregnant while staying health conscious for both you and your baby!