Many pregnant women relish the opportunity to indulge their sweet tooth or indulge in high-calorie comfort foods. Some pregnant women feel that they must eat for two during their pregnancy. Of course, some weight gain is to be expected during pregnancy. Oh no! I am gaining weight! Even so, some pregnant women appear to overeat, which might lead to health problems such as diabetes and heart complications. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy makes it much more difficult to lose weight after birth, increasing the risk of obesity at the start of the next pregnancy. The Risks You May Face The risks of being overweight during pregnancy: \tPremature birth \tStillbirth \tCesarean delivery \tHeart defects in baby \tGestational diabetes in mother (and type 2 diabetes later in life) \tHigh blood pressure in mother \tPreeclampsia \tApnea (sleep deprivation) \tClots in the blood \tInfections in mother What Is A Healthy Pregnancy Weight? Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases' pregnancy weight gain guidelines, which are focused on your pre-pregnancy weight: \tObese (BMI 30 or higher): weight gain of 11 to 20 pounds \tBMI of 25 to 29.9: 15 to 25 pounds \tStandard weight (18.5 to 24.9 BMI): gain of 25 to 35 pounds At the start of my pregnancy, I had no idea what to expect or how much I might change my eating habits. But one thing I knew was that I did not want to gain a lot of extra kilograms, which I would have to work very hard to lose after birth. We just want to feel good about ourselves, right? And, to be frank, I believe that almost every pregnant lady is concerned about gaining weight during her pregnancy, especially when she experiences odd and unusual cravings and has a voracious appetite! Throughout my pregnancy, I made a promise to myself to eat as healthily as possible, not just for my own sake, but also for the health of my unborn child. After all, there was a little baby growing inside of me, so I wanted to make sure I had all the necessary nutrients. To be honest, I was relieved that I had not gained a lot of extra body fat! Some of my friends had asked, What is the secret? There are some key strategies you can adopt to minimise the gain of excess body fat during pregnancy, and save yourself a lot of time and effort trying to lose the baby weight! Tips And Advice For Pregnant Mums On Maintaining An Ideal Weight! Before I share my tips, I would like to emphasise that these are all personal preferences that have worked wonders for me. 1) Eat Smaller Portions, But Frequent Photo Credit: Adobe Stock You do not need that many extra calories a day to help your growing baby. If you start your pregnancy at a healthy weight, the regular recommendations call for 340 extra calories per day in your second trimester and 450 extra calories per day in your third trimester. These figures can vary depending on whether you are underweight or overweight. Smaller, more frequent meals can help manage appetite, sustain energy levels and stabilise blood sugar levels. 2) Increase The Amount Of Fiber And Protein In Your Diet Photo Credit: Adobe Stock This is incredibly IMPORTANT! The combination of protein and fiber helps to control blood sugar and can also manage hunger levels, because fibers and protein both make you feel full for longer periods of time. Everyone understands that constipation is unpleasant, especially if you are pregnant. Trust me, there really is a lot going on down there. So make sure you get enough fiber, aim for 25-35 gram a day! 3) Drink Plenty Of Water And Eat Less Sugar Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Another strategy I recommend for keeping fit and healthy during pregnancy is to drink plenty of water. You must keep consuming H2O! During my pregnancy, I drank about 12 to 14 glasses of water a day, and even more on days when I exercised. I carried a 750 ml bottle with me during the day and kept refilling it! Drinking sugary drinks during pregnancy often has a negative impact on the baby's body fat. 4) Workout To Keep Fit Photo Credit: Adobe Stock To give you an idea of my schedule, during the second and third trimesters, I set a target of working out three days per week. Do not worry, it does not take long! However, stay away from a routine that is too strenuous. I would start with a light warm-up, then move on to yoga and squats! This will definitely help you maintain a stable and optimal weight. It will even help you with your back pain! Here I Come, Ideal Weight! All in all, practising these tips will help you keep your weight under control, helping you to spend more time enjoying your baby and less time stressing about how you're going to lose the extra baby weight. Always seek your doctor's advice and recommendations when it comes to your pregnancy weight and diet. At the end of the day, try not to be too hard on yourself, enjoy your pregnancy journey and an extra chocolate bar if you really want one.