Nutrition And Fitness During Pregnancy-Part 3
Nutrition And Fitness During Pregnancy-Part 3. This chapter will breakdown the nutrition and exercise depending on each trimester. By now, you should be aware of what foods to consume and you should realize that it helps to stay active during your pregnancy. So, this chapter will be more about taking action and implementing the nutrition information provided earlier. You’ll also be told what exercises to do to help you.
The First Trimester – Nutrition & Exercise Tips
During your first trimester, your calorie intake does not have to significantly increase. However, you must ensure that you’re getting all the right vitamins, minerals, etc. This is especially true for folic acid. You should NOT be dieting or trying to keep your weight down. It is normal to gain some weight during your first trimester. Enjoy the pregnancy process. Do not fight it for vanity reasons.
Your strength and stamina prior to getting pregnant will determine how much exercise you can do during your first trimester. There is a fallacy that pregnant women should not exercise for fear of injuring their baby. This is not true. Pregnancy is not an excuse to become a couch potato. In fact, your pregnancy will be easier if you’re moderately active. The key word here is moderately.
Avoid all high impact training regimens such as HIIT, Crossfit or Tabata during your first trimester.
One of the best forms of exercise that you can do is brisk walking. In fact, just going for a daily 30 minute walk can be highly beneficial. Ask your partner to follow you too so that you have company and there is some bonding time. If you were highly active before your pregnancy, you may miss your cardio sessions.
You may still engage in cardio sessions as long as they are low impact.
A stationary bike is a good way to break a sweat. Swimming is also excellent. It is low impact and yet, very effective. High impact exercises such as kickboxing, skipping, full body workouts, etc. should be avoided. Do not workout to the point where you are breathless and gasping for air. Your goal is to be active… You’re not training for the Olympics. You want to exercise to get your blood circulation and your heart pumping. It’s more about activity than achievement. Avoid strenuous workouts.
The Second Trimester – Nutrition & Exercise Tips
As far as what you’re supposed to eat, the food choices will be the same for all 3 trimesters. The only difference is that the calories will vary.As you go into your second and third trimester you should increase your daily caloric intake by 300 calories. This will help to compensate for the increasing rate of your baby’s growth. If your pre-pregnancy caloric intake was 1800 calories you should consume 2100 calories a day. If it was 1400 calories you should consume 1700 calories, and so on and so forth.
Will you gain weight? Yes, definitely. Is that ok?
You bet it is. Now is not the time to worry about losing weight. In fact, it is healthy to gain some weight during pregnancy. Eat the correct foods and eat more so that there are sufficient calories and nutrients in your body for both you and your baby.
Unlike the first trimester, most women do not experience morning sickness or fatigue. The body has adapted to the pregnancy and usually, that means more energy. You should probably feel like you have more energy in your second trimester. That will mean that you can be more active. Of course, the same rule applies about low impact exercises. However, now you should aim to incorporate strength training exercises in your regimen.
Pay more attention to exercises that tone your back muscles, neck muscles and legs.
Pregnancy will place some strain on all these muscles. You often hear of pregnant women complaining that their backs, necks and legs ache or feel tired. Now you know why.
These are some of the best strength exercises that you can do during your second trimester. If you do not know how to do them, you can always Google them or look them up on YouTube.
- Step ups
- Modified side planks (knees at 90 degrees on ground)
- Bird dog
- Bicep/triceps curls
- Straight Leg calf stretch
- Hip flexor stretch
As far as cardio goes, you may carry on with your walking or stationary bike workouts sessions.
The thing about exercise is that it really depends on the individual. There are women who are extremely sporty before pregnancy and can go running or even play sports during pregnancy.
Is this advisable?
It depends. Only you will know your own capabilities. Ideally, contact sports should be avoided. The best person to speak to, will be your doctor. He/she will be able to advise you on the best types of exercises that are best suited for you. Generally, most women will do just fine walking or doing a stationary bike. There is really no need to overdo it or try and prove that pregnancy is not holding you back.
Also, do not exercise more than you have to just because you’re consuming more calories during your second trimester and you want to burn them off and stay slim.
This is counter-productive and will affect both you and the baby adversely. Enjoy your pregnancy. You will have the happy glow of a pregnant woman. There is no need to worry about looking like a Swimsuit Illustrated model.
The Third Trimester – Nutrition & Exercise Tips
By now, you should have had several appointments with your doctor and he/she should be monitoring your progress. What your calorie requirement should be in the third trimester will be determined by your condition. Your doctor will advise you if you need to eat more or less. Just follow the doctor’s advice.
By now, the baby bump should be showing significantly. It may hinder most of the exercise movements that you’re accustomed too. However, you will still be able to go walking or use the stationary bike. The goal is just to be moving. Don’t focus on sweating or getting your heart pumping. It’s not about intensity. It’s about movement.
You can follow the same strength training exercises mentioned during the second trimester.
Alternatively, you may wish to go for a few classes of yoga specifically designed for pregnant women. These classes often focus on stretching and also relieving the tension in the back, legs and neck area. In the last trimester, every movement might be an effort. If you feel like you’re not in the mood to exercise or it’s just too much effort, you may take a break.
Being happy also matters because if you’re happy, the baby will be happy too. You may also wish to meditate and relax to clear your mind and de-stress. There is immense power in mediation.
The Baby has arrived! What now?
This is the part where you cuddle your baby and make cooing noises. It’s also the part where you order your partner to do your every bidding because you’re recovering.
After childbirth, you may slowly reduce your calorie consumption.
Carry on with your clean eating and eat sufficient quantities of nutritious food.
You will be lactating and will need to breastfeed your child. Once again, the best person to speak to, will be your doctor. Generally, there are a few breastfeeding tips you should be aware of. It will hurt initially Moisturize your nipples with olive oil Use comfortable bras Drink lots of water and stay hydrated at all times Eat well and consume sufficient calories.
There will be many other things to do as a new mommy. You can learn all these from a guide for new mothers. Those are beyond the scope of this book which is focused more on nutrition and fitness.
Which brings us to the next point getting your body back in shape after childbirth.
2 or 3 weeks after you have given birth; you will be ready to start on your exercise program. Now and only NOW do you start focusing on attaining your dream body. Of course, before you can get there, you will need to shed the weight. Once again you will check your daily caloric requirement. Once you have a number, you will aim for a 500 calorie deficit daily. This is a safe number to aim for. Don’t aim to cut your calories too low. This does not speed up your results. It will just plateau your body and impede any further progress.
Now that you’ve given birth, you can exercise often.
However there are a few things you must be aware of. It takes six weeks to three months for your body to heal after pregnancy. What that means is that your training program should still be low impact.
Forget HIIT training or sprinting.
Low impact training is your mantra. Don’t worry. You will still lose weight at a steady rate. As long as your body is at a caloric deficit, it is inevitable that you lose weight. If you went walking twice a day with each session lasting 30 to 45 minutes, you will be amazed at how much weight you will lose.
- Want to challenge yourself?
- Walk uphill.
- Want more challenge?
Add ankle weights and walk.
That’s how you do it. As long as your diet is clean and healthy and you’re at a daily caloric deficit… you will lose the weight. Many women get impatient and want fast results. Weight loss is not a fast process. It doesn’t matter if you’re pregnant or not… Losing weight is an uphill task that takes time. Never give up on it just because you think it will take you 8 months to lose all the weight you’ve gained.
The time is going to pass anyway.
8 months later, you will still be where you are if you don’t make an active effort to change. So, keep at it slowly but surely. Take a photo on day one and take a photo 6 months later. You will be blown away by the results. Most women are able to return to their pre-pregnancy body shape within six months, just by doing low impact cardio daily and maintaining a caloric deficit. If they can do it, so can you.
Taking Your Fitness to the Next Level
After 6 months, see your doctor and check if you’re able to increase the intensity of your training program. Once you get the green light, it’s time to pull out all the stops. Start training with weights and combine your resistance training with cardio sessions. Keep your cardio sessions short but at a high-intensity. This will put your body in fat burning mode for hours. The principles are the same. A caloric deficit and training.
To go from moderately fit to super fit is just a matter of intensity and time.
The more intensely you train the better your results will be. Train intensely for 3 months and that will be good… but spend a year training and your body will be fantastic. The longer the duration, the better your body. Mindset is also important. The birth of a child does not doom you to living life with an outof-shape body. It’s not a lifelong curse of being fat.
In fact, there is nothing stopping you from getting the body that you want.
The only thing stopping you, is you. Now you are a mother and you have every reason to be a living example for your child. Set a fitness goal for yourself. Strive towards it. Stay focused and set small, measurable goals.
Be happy with the little achievements and celebrate them.
The end goal is a result of all the milestones you reached along the way. Time flies, and before you know it, you will have the body your heart desires. You will be the envy of the other women. They’ll probably think you have good genetics or that you did liposuction. People often put others down to lift themselves up. It helps them see past their own failings.
You, however, will know better. You will know that it took effort, discipline and determination.
Aren’t these the qualities you want your child to have? Of course you do. They will learn more by watching what you do rather than by listening to what you say. Be an example for them. They’ll be proud of you… and more importantly, you’ll be a proud mommy and proud of mommy too.
That is truly priceless.
“Feeling fat lasts nine months, but the joy of being a mom lasts forever.”