How to Gain Minimal Weight While Pregnant

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How to Gain Only the Recommended Weight During Pregnancy

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Whether this is your first or third pregnancy you may have some questions about how to gain the recommended amount of weight during your pregnancy. You know you need to be gaining weight consistently throughout your pregnancy, but you may wonder how much is right?

This article will cover the amount of weight you should gain during your gestation, how much you should expect to gain in each trimester, and how to gain minimal weight for a “belly only” pregnancy.

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how to gain only the recommended weight during your pregnancy

How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy

The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on how much you weigh prior to conception.

If you are overweight, you would gain less weight for a healthy pregnancy. If you are underweight at the start of your pregnancy, you will be aiming to put on additional weight during gestation.

There are a lot of things adding weight to your body during pregnancy! According to American Pregnancy:

  • Baby will weigh about 7.5 lbs.
  • Your placenta will weight approximately 1 1/2 lbs.
  • 4 pounds can be attributed to additional fluid.
  • 4 lbs is your extra blood volume.
  • The uterus gains an additional 2 lbs.
  • Your boobs gain about 2 lbs
  • The amniotic fluid weights about 2 lbs.
  • 7 lbs can be attributed to maternal fat and protein stores.

This adds up to 30 pounds! Everyone’s body is a little bit different, these weights are not exact. But it is a good estimate as to approximately where your weight will be going during your pregnancy.


Weight Gain During Pregnancy in Lbs

  1. If you begin your pregnancy at an average weight (a BMI of 18.5-24.9) you are recommended to gain between 25-35 pounds during your pregnancy.
  2. If you are underweight when beginning your pregnancy (BMI under 18.5) you are recommended to gain 28-40 pounds during your pregnancy.
  3. If you begin your pregnancy overweight (BMI 25-29.9) it is recommended that you gain 15-25 pounds during your pregnancy.
  4. If you are considered obese at the start of your pregnancy (BMI over 30) it is recommended you gain 10-20 pounds during your gestation.


Weight Gain During Pregnancy in Kg

  1. If you begin your pregnancy at an average weight (a BMI of 18.5-24.9) you are recommended to gain between 11.5-16 kg during your pregnancy.
  2. If you are underweight when beginning your pregnancy (BMI under 18.5) you are recommended to gain 13-18 kg during your pregnancy.
  3. If you begin your pregnancy overweight (BMI 25-29.9) it is recommended that you gain 7-11.5 kg during your pregnancy.
  4. If you are considered obese at the start of your pregnancy (BMI over 30) it is recommended you gain 5-9 kg during your gestation.


How Much Weight Should You Gain in Each Trimester of Pregnancy

During pregnancy, there is a rough idea of how much weight you should gain in each trimester. Look at these numbers more as a guideline than anything else.

Everyone’s body reacts to pregnancy differently. Everyone has a different build. Thus everybody will gain their pregnancy weight a bit differently.

In addition, each pregnancy can be different for the same woman! Your pregnancy symptoms may be entirely different (and probably will be) and your weight gain as well as how your body carries it can be different for each subsequent pregnancy.

For my first 2 pregnancies, I gained exactly 35 lbs each time, very textbook. But when I gained it during the pregnancy definitely was not!

Both times I gained 10 pounds in the first trimester. On average people gain 1-4 pounds in the first trimester. Some people even lose weight due to extreme morning sickness.

The first time around that shocked me! I was afraid I’d gain far beyond the recommended 25-35 lbs going at that rate. But I didn’t. 

My body clearly just likes to put on a little cushion to prepare for all the work it’s about to do growing a person and everything.

RELATED: 7 Things That I was Shocked I Desperately Needed for Pregnancy

As an example of how your subsequent pregnancies can be totally different: I am now pregnant a third time. I will be ending my first trimester in a week and I’ve gained a whopping 1 pound. 

If you eat healthily and remain active during your pregnancy your weight gain timeline may not be textbook, but can still turn out to be a healthy recommended amount in the end.

RELATED: Why You Should be Exercising During Pregnancy and Exactly How to Do It

According to the American Pregnancy Association, on average you should expect to gain 1-4.5 lbs in your first trimester, 1-2 pounds per week in the second trimester, and 1-2 lbs per week in the third trimester. Totaling the 25-35 lbs recommended during pregnancy (if you begin at an average weight).

tricks and tips to have a belly only pregnancy

Why You Should Aim to Gain Minimal Weight During Pregnancy

There are a lot of misnomers about pregnancy nutrition, caloric intake, and weight gain.

First off, unfortunately, you are not eating for two.

That statement would lead a mother to believe she should be doubling her calories now that she is pregnant. When in reality pregnancy requires only about 300 extra calories per day.

Your caloric needs are barely increased during pregnancy, however, your nutritional needs increase immensely! So be sure you are including the most important nutrient-dense foods required to grow a healthy baby.

Have you heard, you can eat whatever you want now that you’re pregnant?

You really shouldn’t. True you’re about to have a ton of cravings and aversions. In fact, this is the time to be the most cognizant of what you put into your body.

Through the study of epigenetics, we now know that what you eat during pregnancy can directly affect your child’s health throughout their entire lifetime!

  • Instead of giving into all your cravings (and yes there are a ton and sometimes you just have to have that thing… I’m looking at you ice cream… and that is ok!), be selective by mostly replacing those cravings with healthier options.
  • Eat nutritionally dense foods as often as possible.
  • Be gentle with dealing with yourself during morning sickness (If all you can stomach is potatoes and cheese right now, by all means, EAT THAT!).
  • If you have been craving that piece of chocolate cake for days, have it and fully enjoy it. Then make healthy choices the rest of the night.

There are 5 top foods that you should avoid while you are pregnant that your doctor won’t even mention! Sure you’ve heard to avoid fish high in mercury and runny eggs. But there are some important foods to replace in your diet now that you really need to be aware of.

There are a lot of reasons that gaining minimal weight while pregnant can be beneficial:

  • Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can cause Gestational Diabetes.
  • Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can cause your baby to gain too much weight. Making birth a lot more difficult.
  • Putting on too much weight during your gestation can make pregnancy pains exponentially worse. You will probably already have an aching back and hips from all the weight you are carrying from baby and all those extra fluids alone, excess weight gain can exacerbate those pains.
  • Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can make postpartum recovery and losing the baby weight that much harder.
  • Chance of pregnancy complications increases if you gain too much weight during pregnancy, due to the fact that excessive weight gain for mama usually means extra weight gain for baby too.


How to Gain Minimal Weight While Pregnant

There are lots of steps you can take throughout your pregnancy to be sure that you only gain the recommended amount of pregnancy weight. Use these six secret weapons to have bump only pregnancy!

how to have a bump only pregnancy

1. Eat Clean During Your Pregnancy

Eating whole food that is prepared at home and not processed (or is minimally processed) is very important. What you put into your body during pregnancy can affect your baby’s growth, development, and cognitive function.

Try your best to have healthy whole foods on hand at all times!

It’s really easy if you follow a perfectly laid out prenatal nutrition course like The Perfect Pregnancy [Nutrition] Plan. It’s the most extensive and revolutionary prenatal nutrition program on the market.

There are lots of healthy snacks and desserts that are sugar-free that you can keep on hand at all times for when those cravings hit. For healthy homemade desserts try:

  1. Death by Chocolate Energy Balls
  2. Peppermint Patty Cheesecake Fat Bombs
  3. 5 Minute Peanut Butter Cup Fat Bombs

You can find these and tons more healthy dessert recipes in The Perfect Pregnancy Plan. Learning how to eat the PPP way grows a more healthy baby, and keeps you feeling totally satisfied with dessert every day and a fit bump only pregnancy anyways.

A diet rich in meats, dairy, vegetables, and fruits is ideal during pregnancy to grow a healthy baby and gain the recommended amount of weight.


2. Try a Prenatal Fitness Plan

There’s an absolutely amazing program that guides you through exercises and nutrition during your pregnancy to gain just the right amount of weight!

If you don’t know where to start with safe pregnancy workouts, are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, and really want some professional guidance anyone can afford, try out the Perfect Pregnancy [Fitness] Plan!

Where you will find everything you ever wanted to know about prenatal exercise for each trimester, specially crafted workouts by trimester, and a workout plan designed to address a mom-to-be’s physical needs before they begin bothering her.

The Perfect Pregnancy [Fitness] Plan will help you gain the right amount of pregnancy weight, but also will help you stay more comfortable, experience less pregnancy aches and pains, directly benefit your child’s genetic, and focus on strengthening exactly what you need like pelvic floor and back strength.

the perfect pregnancy plan

3. Drink lots of water every day during pregnancy.

When you are starving all the time during your pregnancy, it can be hard to remember to drink enough. But your fluid needs are even higher during pregnancy!

Your blood volume doubles, and then your body proceeds to pump 1/4 of your blood through the placenta and to baby. (Our bodies are amazing aren’t they?) In addition, your fluids overall in your body will increase and your fluid needs are high!

Picking up a glass BPA free water bottle with measurements on the side really help keep you aware of how much you’re drinking so that you can stay on track. Or check out these super cutes ones that say “drink your ‘effin water” with measurements to keep you on track or one with awesome motivational phrases.

When you have a cute water bottle that reminds you how much you need to drink in a day, you’re a lot more apt to reach your water intake goals.


4. Exercise regularly to gain the recommended amount of pregnancy weight.

During pregnancy, it is recommended that you exercise up to 150 minutes per week. Aiming for 20 minutes of exercise or activity on most days is a great goal!

If you like to chunk your exercise into big blocks 3 45 minute workouts a week would be great too! Do whatever works best for you, just remember to actually do it!

Learn all the benefits of exercise during pregnancy and exactly how to do it safely from a certified personal fitness trainer. If you want clearly laid out prenatal workouts, the PPP Fitness is the way to go.


pregnancy diet and prenatal workout


5. Add a pregnancy-safe nutrient-dense protein powder into your diet.

A great way to load up on tons of nutrients easily during pregnancy is including a delicious protein powder like Shakeology into your daily routine.

One of my secrets to gaining only the recommended amount of pounds during pregnancy and to losing the baby weight quickly postpartum is healthy nutritious protein powders.

Shakeology is my top recommendation for the best protein powder for pregnancy. You really need to be careful about which protein powders you use during pregnancy. Many protein powders contain tons of artificial ingredients, sugar or unhealthy sugar substitutes, and are unsafe for mom and baby.

You can learn exactly what the best protein powders for pregnancy are and what benefits they hold, which nutrients they have that enhance baby’s growth and development, their prices, and lots more here.

Shakeology is low calorie, high in protein (protein needs are greatly increased during pregnancy), and absolutely loaded with nutrients like:

  • prebiotics
  • probiotics
  • digestive enzymes
  • greens
  • axtioxidants
  • incomparable amounts of nutrition that benefit your baby’s mental and physical growth and development!

I highly recommend adding Shakeology or another high quality protein and superfood powder into your pregnancy diet.


6. Replace your pregnancy cravings with more healthy options.

You will have food cravings (and aversions) a lot during your pregnancy. Your mind and body will be telling you it wants things like ice cream, cake, sugar cookies, chips, chocolate, pickles, and french fries.

Everyone’s cravings are different. Sometimes they are indicative of nutrients that your body needs more of at the time. Maybe you are not necessarily deficient in them, but your cravings could point toward needing extra nutrients.

  • If you are craving sugar: you may need calcium, magnesium, chromium, or zinc. Try snacking on some almonds, chia pudding, dark chocolate, or avocado slices and see if that helps.
  • If you are craving chocolate: you may need to add more magnesium into your diet. Try almonds, cashews, DARK chocolate, or these dark chocolate peanut energy bites.
  • If you are craving something salty: you may need more electrolytes including sodium, potassium, and calcium. The right kinds of salt are not bad for you, salt some food with sea salt or pink Himalayan salt instead of table salt. Sip some coconut water to replenish your electrolytes. 

It’s also a great trick to replace those constant cravings with healthier alternatives.

  1. Instead of french fries, try a baked potato with some full-fat sour cream, cheese, and sea salt on top.
  2. Instead of ice cream, try freezing your favorite greek yogurt or yogurt alternative for a sweet cold treat.
  3. If you are craving cake or cookies try keto alternatives! Lower carbohydrate food keeps your blood sugar more stable and you actually need a lot of healthy fat during pregnancy. A lot of the low carb alternative recipes are much more nutrient dense than what they are replacing. Perfect for pregnancy! Some great options are chocolate or vanilla mug cakes and keto cheesecake.


Wrapping Up Gaining Only the Recommended Weight During Pregnancy

With these 6 tips in mind, you are well on your way to having a healthy belly-only pregnancy with just the right amount of weight gain. Remember, gaining the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy benefits both mom and baby.


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How to Gain Only the Recommended Weight During Pregnancy

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