Updated: Sep 6, 2022
It’s normal to experience constant hunger during pregnancy, especially during the second trimester when you get your appetite and energy back. But it can be frustrating at a time when you’re trying to pay especially close attention to your health.
It can be easy to overeat when you’re pregnant, as you can always blame it on the fact that you’re “eating for two.” But we all know how unhealthy this can be, not just for you but for your baby too.
If you are overeating, there are risks involved like -
Can increase your stretch marks
Difficulty to lose weight after childbirth
Rapid weight gain can be due to various issues that need to be diagnosed.
Breathlessness, a lot of strain on your knees, legs, and back.
Why is there an increase in appetite?
Hunger during pregnancy usually increases in the second trimester, but some women experience it as early as in the first trimester. But normally, it happens during the second trimester, as that is the time your morning nausea usually ends and hunger pangs start so you can regain the weight you lost in the first trimester.
Also, during pregnancy, women have higher blood levels, which need calories to maintain themselves This causes intense hunger and food cravings. Many women experience late-night hunger during pregnancy as well. This usually settles down at the end of the second trimester and is very normal.
Key reasons for increased appetite during pregnancy -
The growing fetus requires nutrition to grow and develop properly, causing an increased hunger during the second trimester of pregnancy. Your baby is taking nutrients from your body, and you need to keep refilling the stock.
Your body craves the extra calories to maintain the high blood levels in the body and other processes that are taking place during the gestation period. Usually, after vomiting, you will feel sudden hunger pangs because your stomach has emptied because your body needs the calories you lost when vomiting
Hunger during the third trimester of pregnancy and during the end of the second trimester may also be due to milk production, as your body is getting ready for pregnancy.
How you can manage your appetite in a healthy way?
Check your calorie count. During the first trimester, most mothers don’t need extra calories. As pregnancy progresses, your calorie intake increases. If you feel, you cannot control your calorie intake, consult a nutritionist.
Dehydration. Sometimes, you might confuse dehydration with hunger as your body is working overtime and demanding more fluids during pregnancy. Drink water, and if it suffices, then you are good to go.
Eat wholesome home-cooked food. pair whole grains or fruit with healthy fats (dairy or nut butter) and protein. You can try having meals that require more chewing as it will help you feel fuller. Most of the time when you eat the right meals, your cravings are under control. If you are deprived of some nutrients, your cravings gear up.
Carry portable snacks. In case you are out and are suddenly hit by hunger pangs, carry a packet of nuts or trail mix that you can immediately reach out for instead of falling back on unhealthy junk food. Do not wait till you reach the peak of hunger.
Eat smaller meals. Spread out your meals into mini-meals over three hours instead of eating huge amounts during each sitting. Include variety in your meals, so that variety of nutrients are included in your diet.
Practice healthy habits. When you practice healthy eating on a daily basis, you tend to stick to it. The success rate is higher when you change your lifestyle as a whole and you will reap the benefits of your efforts.
Avoid temptation. It is difficult to control eating junk when a packet of chips is right in front of you. It is better if you do not buy it, it is easier to resist when the junk is not on your kitchen counter.
Your appetite will gradually decrease in your third trimester of pregnancy, but till then, follow the above tips to handle your pregnancy hunger pangs like a pro. Remember to consume high-quality food as you increase your food intake so it does not cause you more problems.
If you have never done it before, pregnancy is definitely the best time to change your lifestyle which includes your eating habits. Habits help you build the discipline that helps you keep up your healthy eating habits.
Here’s How to Manage That Unrelenting Pregnancy Hunger
Increased hunger during pregnancy - causes & solutions