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?

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Image via j&j brusie photography

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.  

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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. 

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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? 

What do you think?

How Your Attitude Affects Your Pregnancy Weight Gain

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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  1. Profile photo of Melissa Melissa says:

    I agree. I started overweight and went into my pregnancy wanting to make sure I am as heathy as possible for delivery.

    I have had cravings here and there but mostly for fruits and veggies. Sugar cravings leave me feeling sick so I defiantly limit them.
    At 18 weeks, I have gained 4 lbs. I am excited to meet my little girl in October.

  2. Profile photo of Michelle Michelle says:

    I have found alot of people giving me the excuse that I should be eating for two. Thier mentality is that My baby needs as much food as I do, but I feel otherwise. I have not changed how I eat much, I just pack some more healthy snacks in my lunch for work and it works great. At 20 weeks, i have been giving most of my foods nutrition to my growing bundle of joy and can say with happiness that i have only gained about 3 kg. 🙂 I also started my pregnancy a bit over weight, and from the start i was determined to not gain more weight than was necessary. Loving every moment!

  3. Profile photo of Amanda Amanda says:

    i started out overweight before getting pregnant with my daughter. I did have a few cravings but mostly for healthy foods. I enjoyed sweets but it just felt empty. Almost as soon as I had the sugar I was hungry again. I thought why am I going to eat this if I end up being hungry again? I think that was the main reason I only gained 10lbs.

  4. Profile photo of Christina Christina says:

    This whole time (20 weeks) I have actively not eaten for two and I have been great about my weight gain. I am a little below the expected mark for this time but only by about a pound so I guess I should be more sure to get those extra 300 calories but honestly I am not worried. I totally agree that attitude it what matters. Keep thinking positive and I am sure we can make it so getting back to our pre-pregnancy selves is realistic, and we stay healthy the whole pregnancy.


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