How Your Attitude Affects Your Pregnancy Weight Gain
When I found out that I was expecting my fourth baby, I only had one thought on my mind:
I'm going to get so big.
Honestly, I've always maintained the thought that I'm a “big” pregnant woman and that I will always gain a lot of weight. But what if this time around I changed my thinking?
A new study took a look at how a woman's attitude can affect her pregnancy weight gain. Not surprisingly, they found that the women who took the “eating for two” mantra to heart gained more weight than women who didn't change their eating habits.
All in all, women who reported that they were “eating for two” also reported more food cravings, diet changes, and less exercise. It would appear that all of our cliched jokes and good-natured ribbing about pregnant women who love ice cream might actually be harming women if they believe the myths.
The truth is that pregnant women really don't need to consume a whole lot of extra calories or drastically change their eating habits. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend a mere 300 daily calories extra—as much as a glass of milk and a small snack.
And although the study may sound kind of discouraging (no extra ice cream?), the truth is that it gave me hope. It helped me to see that if I expect to get huge and always be hungry during my pregnancies, odds are, I will be. Even if I'm just joking, that kind of negative thinking is sure to impact my body and my eating habits. After all, if I expect myself to get huge, what's to stop me from eating that extra cookie?
But if I go into this pregnancy with the expectation that I will eat healthy and continue to exercise regularly, maybe my weight gain will not get so out of control this time around. Maybe if I convince myself to crave healthy foods (Oh, look. Carrots!), my body will start believing me.
And maybe, just maybe, if I think hard enough about it, strawberry ice cream will start to lose its calories?
OK, so I won't be above the occasional sweet indulgence, but for this pregnant mama, I'm hoping that my positive thoughts this time around will make a difference.
How about you? Did you expect to “eat for two” during your pregnancy?