My nutritional goals are constantly evolving. I’m trying to carefully balance not gaining too much weight, but nourishing my body and a growing baby. This becomes even more complicated as the nutritional status of our food is definitely not what it use to be, but we are fortunate enough to have nutritional supplements when access to highly nourishing food isn’t as readily available.
I started this pregnancy about 30lbs over what I consider a good weight *for me* and since there is no time like the present to pursue better health I made a plan to carefully *not* gain weight this pregnancy, but here is the rub – I hate counting calories, so I don’t. But guess what? I still have a fairly good idea of how many calories I am eating because for a short amount of time I *did* count my calories. I used tools like myfitnesspal, or my current favorite Cronometer, to see just how many calories I was consuming on a “normal” day. Then for this pregnancy I played around with different meal and food combinations for a given day and discovered what foods and nutrients I could squeeze in my day without going over my calorie budget. This way I have a fairly good idea of how much I can eat and not gain weight, yet still hit all my nutrient goals for a day.
To know how many calories you need to eat to simply maintain your weight, use any of the helpful online tools out there. I like this one at MayoClinic.org. According to this (not counting pregnancy needs and taking into account my physical activity) I need 2250 calories to simply maintain my current weight. If you add 300 calories on top of that for pregnancy that brings my grand total up to 2550 a day to only gain pregnancy weight. Since my goal is to very carefully “lose” weight while safely nourish my growing baby (more or less trying to keep the number on the scale from moving) I need to have a calorie deficit of approximately 300 calories day. I did a lot of complicated math to come up with that number 😀 which I will happily explain if you’d like, but until then….
So every day I shoot for about 2200-2300 calories a day and when I do that my weight stays consistent from day to day. When I eat more than that of course the scale reflects that. I weight myself first thing in the morning every few days to help keep tabs on my calorie intake. If the scale starts to creep up, I try to eat a little less in the high calorie food department (read: curbing my peanut butter addiction). I also have a list of foods I try to eat each day to help meet nutritional goals I have, but that will have to be covered more in depth in another post. I need each and every calorie I have available to me to get in all the nutrients I need, so if I want to splurge it will be reflected on the scale, and I’m ok with that 🙂 It does makes splurging less tempting though.
At 30 weeks pregnant I’ve gained 9lbs so far (5 of which happened the week of Christmas & New Years, yikes!). I’m praying my motivation stays strong enough to keep up with eating well so I can finish out this pregnancy in a healthy way. So how about you? Do you have a story of minimal pregnancy weight gain? I’d love to hear it!