As your tummy grows bigger, making space for your little one to grow, your hunger also increases. With the requirement of extra calories going up with the baby’s growth, pregnant women experience hunger pangs. And, most of the time, they end up consuming more calories than they actually need.
The ravenous hunger pangs start striking when you are about 17 weeks pregnant. In simple words, the baby is sending out the message that it is growing up and it needs more nourishment. While you do have to listen to the cues your body gives you, it is advisable to eat sensibly to enjoy a healthy pregnancy.
Studies suggest that moms-to-be need somewhere around 350 – 500 calories extra during the second and third trimester. Following a healthy food routine would help in keeping the hunger pangs under check.
11 Simple Tips That Could Help You Manage The Hunger Pangs In A Healthy Way
1. Keep Yourself Hydrated!
You might be confusing our thirst with hunger. Studies suggest that dehydration works similar to hunger, creating a notion that you are hunger. Drink at least 2 liters of water. You could also include fresh fruit and vegetable juices in your diet to meet your increasing liquid requirements.
2. Eat Healthily!
Fillers will not do the job. So make sure that you are eating real meals packed with whole carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Chuck out your finger foods and pizzas. Instead opt for a whole grain bun stuffed with baked patties and a good deal of veggies to keep you satisfied longer than a large double chocolate muffin. Include foods that you need to chew more and take longer time to eat as it will be digested slowly, keeping you fuller for a longer time.
3. Have A Soup!
Have a bowl of veggie soup, and not the fat-laden or creamy soups. Choose the ones that are rich in fiber like the bean-infused ones. Vegetable minestrone soup is yet another great choice to calm down that soaring appetite.
4. Eat Salad!
A big salad rich in dark, leafy greens and other fiber-rich vegetables and sprouts before your meals will prevent you from overindulging. This will also help in ensuring that you do not experience the cravings pretty soon as they are digested slowly, preventing sudden surge in sugar levels. However, make sure that you are not coating your salad with a fatty dressing. Choose a low fat dressing or a fat-free one.
5. Stock Your Refrigerator With Fruits
Stock up your refrigerator with healthy munchies like cantaloupes and grapes. You could always choose dried or fresh fruits to meet your vitamin C and A requirements. The fiber will also ensure that your appetite is under control.
6. Eat Frequently!
As with other cases, it is advisable to eat small meals more frequently to ensure that you are not stuffing yourself. It also helps in preventing bloating, heartburn, and gastrointestinal upsets experienced during pregnancy due to over-stuffing. You will feel lighter and fuller without experiencing unwanted cravings.
[ Read: How Does Six Meal Diet Help In Pregnancy ]
7. Eat A Grapefruit Or An Orange Everyday!
Studies suggest that these fruits contain soluble fiber that make you feel fuller quicker while ensuring that blood sugar levels do not fluctuate. This means that your appetite will be under control.
8. Keep Snacks Handy!
If you are working or travelling, ensure that you carry nutritious snacks handy. A bag of raisins and almonds or a homemade granola would be a healthier munch than a muffin when hunger hits.
9. Include Dairy Foods In Your Diet!
Inclusion of dairy foods like milk and unsweetened, unflavored yogurt in your diet helps you in getting casein and whey proteins. These two proteins are powerful appetite suppressants that prevent you from overdoing when hungry. A glass of milk can be easily included in your diet to reap the necessary calcium and keep away the hunger pangs.
10. Eat Slowly And Mindfully!
Watch out if you are eating too fast. It happens quite often when you are pregnant, especially when that ravenous hunger attacks you. So, eat slowly and mindfully!
11. It Is Okay To Have Cravings!
Yield into your cravings once in a while. This will prevent you from falling prey to temptation, in turn ensuring that you are not a victim of the hunger pangs. But make sure that you are not overindulging in your craving as it could affect your health.
12. Take Rest!
Many a time, pregnant women tend to eat in an attempt to ward off the sleep. Never do that. Sleep whenever you body says you to.
[ Read: How To Sleep During Pregnancy ]
How did you manage your hunger pangs while pregnant? Share with us in the comments below!