Leave the Hospital Wearing Your Pre-baby Jean Size

Reviewed by James Brann, MD
Ever wonder how some women flow through pregnancy as if it were a breeze, leaving the hospital wearing the same size jeans they wore before they got pregnant? Then others seem to struggle, gaining forty, fifty or sixty extra pounds and spend years trying to get back down to their “normal” pre-baby body size? What is the trick, are these women just blessed with a fast metabolism or what?
Maybe a little bit, but not every woman who leaves the hospital wearing her pre-baby sizes is genetically gifted. There is actually a secret to it, one that other women can adopt. Would you like to hear this secret?

The Secret is = “STOP EATING FOR TWO!”

While it is true you might have extra hunger during pregnancy, the truth is, many women use their pregnancy as an excuse to overeat. In fact, the average mother-to-be only needs an extra 300 “healthy” calories more each day than prior to her pregnancy.
Unfortunately, many women feel the need to eat more and use their pregnancy as an excuse to overeat. As they drown their plates with supersize helpings or go back for seconds, or have an extra slice of cheesecake just before bedtime, they might mentally use the excuse, “It’s okay because I’m eating for two.” They feel like they are feeding the baby, but really they are just harming their own wellbeing and making it likely to become overweight or even develop gestational diabetes, which is a condition that a pregnant woman is more likely to acquire if she is overweight and not eating properly.
In the earliest part of your pregnancy, you may not feel like eating at all if you have morning sickness and feel nauseous. After you make it past this stage, you might feel even hungrier to make up for all of those lost calories and lost meals. You do not need to recover these lost meals. Just go back to eating normally, preferably healthier than before you found out you were pregnant. What does an extra 300 calories look like?

• A bowl of oatmeal with ½ cup of fruit and a banana • One bowl of soap • A chicken salad with 1 cup of whole grain crackers You can look up many other 300 calorie examples online. Your doctor may tell you this, but a woman of average weight before her pregnancy should only gain 25 – 35 lbs. during the pregnancy. Anything over that is too much and will be difficult to lose. The baby may weigh anywhere between 5 – 10 lbs., and then another 5 – 10 lbs. may be lost in the amniotic fluid. So, if you have held a range between this “healthy weight” of only gaining 25 – 35 lbs. during the pregnancy, then you will most likely fit into the same sizes that you were wearing before pregnancy. Sure, you might have a few weeks of getting adjusted, but if you are breastfeeding, the few extra pounds will come off easily.

In contrast, the women who adopted the “eating for two” mentality will go outside of this range, and it can take a very long time after the baby is born to recoup a normal size if you have adopted this mentality. It really is a mental thing. So if you think you are feeling hungry because of the baby, go ahead and grab something like an apple, a big bowl of broccoli, or a bowl of oatmeal. Don’t gorge on two or three helpings at the dinner table, or eat extra sweets because this will set you back tremendously.


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