Pregnancy cravings are like a rite of passage for most mothers-to-be. The most common sweet foods that most pregnant women crave for include candy, juice, ice cream, and chocolate. Starchy foods that are also ranked high include fast foods, pizza, and bread. Sadly, they can result in an unnecessary weight gain during pregnancy, which may influence adverse outcomes for the mother and the baby.
Fortunately, you can manage to satisfy your pregnancy cravings without going overboard—even though you may indulge occasionally, you must watch your overall calorie intake.
Here are some strategies you can embrace to control your cravings without being deprived:
Eat Breakfast Daily
You are unlikely to be susceptible to mid-morning snack cravings if you begin your day well nourished. Various combinations have been suggested. One of the popular ones would be a glass of milk with a hard-cooked egg, half a whole grain English muffin, and an orange.
You should stay active as it is one of the most effective ways of curbing hunger and distracting yourself from pregnancy cravings. As simple exercise as a daily walk will keep you fit throughout your pregnancy. Research from the journal PLOS ONE discovered that when you hit the treadmill for only 15 minutes, you increase your odds of resisting sugary snacks—regular exercise helps you regulate your food intake.
Outsmart the Snack Attack
Buy healthy snacks and ensure that you have prepared them—let them be ready for consumption when hunger strikes. This will help you avert the unhealthy cravings since they will be the go-to snacks when you feel hungry with no idea of what to eat.
Get Emotional Support
If you have gone through this experience, you can agree with me that the hormonal roller coaster of pregnancy may at times (or most of the times) make you vulnerable to mood swings. Fortunately, turning to food is a not a safer choice of curbing mood swings. So, you should talk to someone, especially a friend, or take a walk to ease frustration.
You may even stop by your coworker’s desk for a gossip session, finish an email, wash dishes, call your friend. This keeps you occupied and averts cravings.
Have the Right Mindset
Train yourself to moderate what you eat. You should think of eating a scoop of ice cream instead of a whole bowl. Instead of eating the entire bar of chocolate, go for a square or two.
Use Healthy Substitutes
Look for healthier stand-ins for your cravings. This will help you and your baby get the appropriate nutrients. Nicole Silber, R.D., C.S.P, an expert at Middleberg Nutrition in New York City has determined that a glass of water flavored with cucumber, mint, and basil can satisfy your cravings without calories. Always avoid artificially sweetened beverages. Below are some substitutes you may take:
- Low-fat ice cream, sorbet, or Low-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream
- A squeeze of lime instead of soda
- Whole wheat pitas for crust topped with roasted vegetables, tomato slices, and a little grated parmesan instead of pizza
- Whole grain cinnamon raisin toast instead of doughnut or pastry
- Zucchini bread topped with strawberries instead of a slice of cake
- Popcorn, baked potato or tortilla chips instead of potato chips.
You may also distract yourself by doing other activities such as playing a game, reading, or going out to visit attractions such as trade shows that may be in your area. Each of these activities is a good way to curb cravings.