What “Eating for Two” Really Means
You’re pregnant! Hooray! And even better, you’ve gotten through the first trimester’s dreaded morning sickness period. Hopefully by now, your stomach is taking it easier on you and you’re starting to eat more normally, or even getting some cravings. Either way, I know you’ve heard the phrase “Eating for two.” It’s often misinterpreted as the ability to each twice as much during pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong – you DO need more calories every day through pregnancy. Roughly 300-500 calories per day depending on your pregnancy weight management. What I don’t like about this term is when it is stereotypically used, or as a joke because of pregnancy weight gain.
There can be a lot of feelings of guilt and shame for moms-to-be, especially plus size mamas. Whatever your body shape, I don’t want you to ever feel bad for eating. You need to eat for your well-being. So, let’s change the meaning behind “eating for two.”
What Eating for Two Means to Me
The phrase traditionally refers to the portion size aka amount of food. To me, eating for two means nourishing yourself and your baby. But, not in the manner of eating double the portions. Instead, you’re eating the nutrients and delicious meals you need to effectively create the building blocks of your baby’s life and support your own well-being. What you eat is also what your baby’s eating. I want you both to have the best of what you need. Quality over quantity.
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Look, you don’t have to constantly eat a salad. That’s not what I’m saying here. It’s totally okay to enjoy that slice of pizza or some ice cream. You don’t need to deny yourself pleasures as long as they fit within the parameters of your pregnancy and your care provider hasn’t restricted your diet. But, the goal before occasionally indulging is to get the other foods you need for a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy.
What Do You Need to Eat for a Healthy Pregnancy?
Let’s break it down. First and foremost, you need protein, and there are lots of ways to get it even if you’re a vegetarian or are vegan. You need healthy, complex carbs from whole grains and multigrains. Simple carbs like white bread and those in a lot of products in the snack aisle are going to break down into extra sugar, while complex carbs will provide some protein, fiber, iron, and more! You need healthy fats, omega-3s and omega-6s, as well as more fiber (for that pregnancy constipation).
When you can get all these essential nutrients into your diet, you and your baby will feel nourished and supported.
Learn more about having a healthy pregnancy here.