If you’ve ever been around a pregnant woman, you must have observed that all of them have different kinds of food cravings. But unfortunately, there’s a negligible chance that pregnant women are going to crave for something healthy. Most of the time, they drool over processed and sugary foods, which is not really healthy for both the mother and the child.
During pregnancy, a woman needs the maximum amount of nutrients, as she’s reproducing an entire human being. It is seen that in the first trimester, there are major cravings for junk food that hampers the nutritional balance of the body. It also triggers weight gain!
In the second trimester, these cravings increase even more.
But why do pregnant women crave for food during their pregnancy?
Well, there are a couple of reasons that are responsible for this, but the foremost one is the shift in hormones. During pregnancy, there is a sudden rush of pregnancy hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These hormones make pregnant women believe that they need more food, and this leads to cravings, especially for sour, sugary, and fried food.
“Sadly, a pregnant woman has to deal with these cravings, because it’s going to happen no matter what. Some other reasons why pregnant women crave junk food is their altered smell and taste, and at times, due to nutritional deficiencies as well,” says Dr Ranajana Becon, gynecologist at Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad.
She also informs that the problem becomes severe, if the pregnant woman is dealing with gestational diabetes. Sodas, colas, and junk food are loaded with sugar and empty calories, which is not going to benefit the mother and the child in any way.
Thankfully, Dr Becon has some useful tips to keep these cravings at bay during pregnancy
1. Eat a balanced diet
Most of the time our body craves unhealthy food, because it lacks nutrition. If you eat a healthy diet and maintain the nutritional balance of your body, then you won’t crave junk food as much.
2. Eat at regular intervals
When we don’t eat at regular intervals, then our blood sugar tends to drop, and that triggers cravings. Therefore, eat after every two hours. Consume small meals, so that you don’t feel overstuffed.
3. Look for healthy and low-calorie alternatives
“Have a glass of fruit juice, a bowl of fruit-based yogurt, roasted nuts, sorbets, homemade sharbats, etc, instead of colas and soda. This way you can maintain your calorie count, and can also satisfy your craving for sweet or salty food,” recommends Dr Becon.
4. Regular exercises
Low-intensity exercises like brisk walking, yoga, meditation, etc. are a must. This will keep you active and also distract you from thinking just about food and hunger. Consult your doctor to understand the kind of exercises you can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy.
Having said all of the above, there is absolutely no harm in noshing on some junk food, once in a while. Just ensure that you don’t overdo it, because dealing with postpartum weight gain can really give you a hard time.