“If you were overweight to start, is it ok to lose weight during pregnancy? Plus how to combat sugar cravings!”
As we’re talking weight-loss this month, I wanted to talk about weight loss and pregnancy. Primarily I get ask, should I be losing weight while pregnant if I was overweight before I got pregnant?
The short answer is that’s never advised that you start a weight-loss regime per se while you’re pregnant. However now is the time to shift your focus on to how you’re nourishing your body the best way possible with proper nutrition throughout your pregnancy.
It is still important to stay within a healthy weight gain range throughout your pregnancy and not gain above and beyond what is necessarily for growing a healthy baby.
With that being said I have had some clients naturally lose weight, even up to 8lbs, while pursuing a whole foods, low in processed sugar diet which put them back into a healthy weight range to their Dr’s satisfaction. Staying within these healthy ranges can help put you at a lower risk for other complications.
Needless to say cravings can have an impact on unnecessary weight gain and can make it even trickier to stay healthy. Consuming sugar is a hard habit to break as it is!
I’ve definitely had my sugar-craving struggles during my pregnancies. I often thought I was eating better than I really was. Sure I had dessert almost every night after dinner….but it was the HEALTHY kind of sugar!! Like the maple syrup or honey or date syrup and nut based kind of desserts.
And these are the good sugars, right!?
Well I’ve come to learn that’s only partially true.
Yes, some sugars don’t spike your sugar levels and are more natural and raw. But at the end of the day, sugar is sugar.
And our bodies were only made to have small amounts for times when a short-lived energy boost is needed (think back to hunter-gather type scenario).
But now, compared to our ancestors, most of us are fairly sedentary during the day, making the need for sugar even less that it used to be.
What’s the main problem with sugar? Well for one thing it can mess up our hormones and cause cravings and deficiencies in our bodies.
But don’t worry, you can curb your cravings and quit sugar!
First Step: Notice what, when, and how often you have sugar.
When I did this I was surprised!! I didn’t realize just how often I’d reach for another piece of that dark chocolate; “but it’s dark right!? So it’s ok!?” you’d hear me protest.
My first challenge to you is to notice your sugar intake. And not just when you have it, but why. Are you searching for energy from your food? spoiler: energy from sugar is not gonna last! Or do you just really feel the need for a snack after dinner?
Whatever the reason, write it down.
Don’t do anything drastic like try to quit sugar all in one day, but take note and start by avoiding these common places sugar might be hiding in your diet, because eating sugar only increases your craving for sugar!
Hidden Sugars like…
1. Yogurt – If you’re including dairy in your diet, stick with plain yogurts (unflavoured) and add in your own natural, sugar-free sweetners (like Stevia or brown rice syrup). Also goats milk yogurt is a great alternative to cow as it’s a lot easier to digest.
2. Granola Bars + Cereal. They seem like they’re in the health food category, but these are often more like a dessert than a health food.
3. Gluten-Free Baking + Low-Fat foods. A lot of time what you think is healthy because it’s gluten-free is still loaded with sugar and potato flour (which turns into sugar in your body). Gluten-free does not always equal healthy!
4. Spices. I once picked up a bottle of garlic salt to find sugar and “natural flavouring” added – I mean I really just expected “garlic” and “salt” – wouldn’t you?!
5. Coffee – Mmmmm Holiday Spice Flatroast coffee – just spices and coffee and coconut milk (upon request), right? Nope spices, sure, spices with added white sugar. Stick to plain coffees & teas, bring your own Stevia, and keep it simple. If you’re avoiding caffeine altogether during pregnancy than an even better reason to stick to plain flavourful herbal teas.
Eliminating these hidden sugars, can be a great place to start lowering your daily sugar intake and keep your weight in check throughout your pregnancy so you can feel your best!”