Are you concerned about pregnancy weight gain and how many calories you should be eating during and after pregnancy ? As a Pregnancy and Post Natal Exercise Coach I am often asked the following questions ….“How much weight should I gain during pregnancy ?”, “What should my calorie intake be now that I am pregnant ?” and “Can I actually burn calories during pregnancy ?”
Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain
Weight gain is essential during pregnancy for a healthy baby. It is important to stop focusing on the numbers on a scale and also what you consume via calorie counting (more on that below and here is why I personally stopped counting calories). Instead tap into how you feel…are you energised and how are you getting prepared for a healthy pregnancy plus the challenges of birth, recovery and early motherhood ?
These goals are going to set you up for much better long term results during pregnancy and beyond ! Grab my complimentary Core Training Guide to get started.
Essential weight gain during pregnancy
Your weight will fluctuate immensely during and after pregnancy due to big hormonal shifts and the growth rate of your baby (which vary’s with every woman !) If your Doctor weighs you at your pregnancy check-up appointments and it is causing you to stress or you are overthinking about that number on the scale, you can request they only do this if they are concerned if you are underweight or overweight.
Below is the weight gain that is essential during pregnancy for both you and your baby’s health :
1. Your blood volume will increase by 1/3 – up to 2 kg
2. Your body will retain water for many reasons – the amniotic fluid around your baby is 900g, and other essential fluids are up to 2kg
3. The placenta alone weighs 700g and uterus 900g
4. Your body will begin to store essential fats at least 3.6kg in preparation of preparing breastmilk which is made up of 55% fat.
5. Breast tissue will increase by up to 1.8 – 2kg
All that is a minimum of at least 12kg that every woman should gain. And as I already said, this will vary in every woman because of so many factors so please give yourself a contract of no comparison !
Let’s talk Calories
Did you know that calorie counts are just estimates, the actual calories your body receives from food varies. Intensely focusing on calories most-often disconnects people from WHY they are eating (and nearly always results in under-eating or over eating). I also find that when women (or men) go for “low calorie” food which is often marketed as “only 100 calories” – it is really just junk food. Low calorie or 100 calories of junk food is still JUNK FOOD.
A sole focus on calories also means the QUALITY factor of food is ignored. Plenty of high-calorie foods are incredible nutrient dense and absolutely essential to eat to nourish both you and your growing baby. This includes, nuts, salmon, eggs, avocados…..however from a “calorie” perspective many processed foods appear “better” simply because they are labelled or advertised “low calorie”. More importantly, it is not safe to embark on a weightloss program during pregnancy (unless under medical supervision). Learn more – I explain why during my interview with Aaptiv.
In addition my interview with Nutritionist Lily Nichols shows her evidence based studies that prove “real food” and a focus on nutrient dense food is essential for fetal development and effective postpartum recovery – including losing baby weight.
Change your mindset. Forget about the numbers …(and that includes weighing yourself on a scale). It only causes stress, overwhelm and negative effects on your mental and long-term health ! Start to think nutrients not calories, you body will look and feel better because of it. Plus your baby both during and after pregnancy will be better nourished – for life.