How To Combat Major Food Cravings During Pregnancy
For all of you healthy mommas-to-be out there, fighting the urge to down a whole pint of ice cream may be much harder than it used to be pre-pregnancy. Although you definitely deserve an indulgence once in a while, it can sometimes seem like you are at the mercy of those pesky food cravings during pregnancy. But FitBump nutrition expert Stephanie Middleberg has some news for you--there are healthy ways to combat cravings! Here are six tips for keeping cravings under control for a fit and happy pregnancy.
Rethink your diet
Don’t cut out fat.
Fat gets a bad rap. But here’s the truth: It doesn’t make you fat. Instead it actually helps with cravings. Many people think they are being “good” by banishing fat from their diets. But when you remove it, you end up reaching for more sugar—because fat fuels metabolism and satiety. Aim for one to two healthy fats, like avocado, nuts, cold-pressed oil, coconut oil, and fish oil, with every meal and choose 2% or whole-milk dairy products over fat-free versions.
Time it right.
Eat every three to five hours. Going too long without eating can lead to increased sugar cravings. And when you’re starving, you don’t want veggies. Your body is screaming for carbs and that’s when you’re going to give in and eat half the bread basket.
Eat real food, not food products.
Get real protein from fish, chicken, eggs, beans, and seeds. Every single one of those foods is better than the best “high protein bar.” And always choose a piece of fruit over a fruit-flavored snack.
Upgrade your breakfast.
You may wake up craving comforting carbs, but protein is the powerhouse that will get you through the morning without reaching for that bottom-desk-drawer candy stash. Scramble a couple eggs, blend hemp hearts and avocado into a smoothie or make a yogurt parfait. If you’re dealing with some morning sickness, try spreading natural nut butter onto toast with a sprinkle of hemp hearts and top it with sliced banana.
Watch your salt.
Salt intake leads to sweet cravings—so when you’re noshing on veggie sushi, be sure to go light with your soy sauce.
Nix artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and aspartame.
They’re already on the "skip list" for moms-to-be, but fake sugar isn’t just bad for the baby. It also increases cravings—especially for carbs—and studies show it can actually boost your fat storage and make you gain weight. Yup, that’s definitely a reason to skip.
Want more great tips for combating cravings during pregnancy and beyond? Join FitBump and Middleberg Nutrition on Wednesday, September 25th, for a prenatal and postnatal workout and lecture at Playgarden.
By FitBump nutrition expert Stephanie Middleberg
Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN, takes a pragmatic approach to eating healthy in a busy world. Her nutrition counseling business has quickly propelled her to a spot as one of the city’s most sought experts, and she consults with private clients, businesses, and the media. Stephanie has provided expert health and nutrition advice for Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Women's Day, MSNBC.com, FitnessMagazine.com, MSN, Crain's New York Business, Business Week, AOL Health, the New York Daily News, Life & Style, and The Big New York Sandwich Book to name a few. She's a member of Cosmopolitan's Health Advisory Board and also serves as the magazine's nutritional expert.
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