One of the happiest days of my pregnancy was on the first day of my second trimester when my app told me that I could eat an extra 1400 kilojoules per day (334 calories). I screenshot that and sent it to AJ immediately and told him to go shopping! 🙂
But it turns out that this whole eating for two thing is a total myth. Damn it!
There is so much conflicting information about how much you should eat while pregnant. A lot of the information I read said that you didn’t need to increase your calorie intake for the first and even second trimester, especially if you are already overweight. OK, that’s fine, but what if I don’t know what a normal calorie intake should be?
I’ve spent about the last 30 years of my life on a diet and I don’t know what a normal healthy food intake is anymore. For the past 8 or 9 years since I have had a lap band I have aimed for 1000-1200 calories per day to lose weight. Because let’s face it, I was always trying to lose weight. I knew that absolutely wouldn’t be enough for me and bubs though!
Since I got pregnant I have been ravenously hungry all of the time. Even when I have been sick, I wanted food (carbs) to help ease the nausea. When I was trying to get pregnant I had all sorts of virtuous plans to eat super healthy and be careful with my weight gain if I did manage to get pregnant. That went out the window as soon as morning (all day) sickness hit and I just needed to eat sandwiches at all hours of the day and night to get me through.
I realised quickly that I just needed to eat as much as my body told me I needed to eat to stay energized and help baby grow. I have tried to make good choices as much as possible, but I have also been kind to myself when I gave into the potato cakes and the donuts. I am far from perfect!
As the second trimester hit and I felt better, I have been able to make healthier choices for me and bubs. In fact, I’d say that being pregnant has been amazing for my disordered eating issues because for once in my life I am not trying to lose weight. I don’t feel guilty for eating when I am hungry because I know that I need to eat for me and bubs. I also know that I have to fuel my body so that means feeding it healthy foods.
To be honest, I could probably quite happily live off cheese on toast and 2 minute noodles, but I know that isn’t going to be good for either me or bubs. Plus there is the fun issue of pregnancy heartburn and constipation… sorry for TMI. Let’s just say that when I look at food now, I first consider how it’ll affect those lovely issues, before I really worry about taste! The joys of pregnancy.
So this is a typical day for me when trying to make good choices with my eating. I have no idea how many calories it is, but it keeps me satisfied most of the time. It does vary depending on where I am and how much access I have to a kitchen right now while I am homeless and crashing with family. It also depends on my proximity to donuts and potato cakes, but we all have our good days and bad days!
Did anyone else struggle with knowing what and how much to eat during pregnancy?
Greek yoghurt and muesli
Cup of brown rice (those microwave pods)
Tin of tuna in oil
Fruit or Muesli bar or nuts (or all three if I am hungry!)
Microwave meal/sandwich/soup… whatever I can pull together without access to a kitchen
A few (or more)squares of dark chocolate or a skinny cow ice cream sandwich