Pregnancy is a time of weight gain and weird food cravings—but just because you pack on a few extra pounds and feel like eating broccoli with peanut butter doesn't mean it's time for a free-for-all, anything-goes diet. Now that you're "eating for two," your primary concern should be maintaining a nutritious meal plan that benefits both you and your baby.
How Much is Too Much?
You may be wondering, now that you're pregnant, if you should literally eat enough for two. To be brief, the answer is no. Kristen Burris, owner and medical director of the American Acupuncture Center, Inc. in San Diego, California, believes "this is one of the most dangerous misconceptions during pregnancy."
Eating unhealthily and gaining too much weight are prime causes of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, not to mention bloating! So while you must certainly be more cautious of what you are putting into your body, there is no need to double your food intake.
"For a normal pregnancy with moderate exercise three to five times a week, a woman only needs about 300 extra calories a day," says Burris. However, Raul Artal, MD, chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at St. Louis University School of Medicine, says that with 60 percent of the population being overweight or obese, caloric increases may need to be modified. Gaining between 20 and 35 pounds is usually a safe range during pregnancy, yet this greatly depends on your prepregnancy weight. Discuss the appropriate weight gain range for you with your doctor.