It's midnight, and all you can think about is some sweet or salty treat you must have right that second or that hangry monster inside you is going to bust out again. Been there, done that. Yes, that's called pregnancy cravings—which try as you might, you can't control.
But while your pregnancy cravings are the little devil on one shoulder, telling you that you can eat anything and everything you want because you're pregnant, the little angel on your other shoulder is the scale, reminding you to not go too crazy because you want to have a healthy pregnancy. (If you were a normal weight before getting pregnant, you should only be gaining 15-25 pounds throughout your entire pregnancy; if you were underweight it should be more like 28-40 pounds; if you were overweight, 15-25 pounds; and if you are carrying twins, 35-45 pounds. Check out the Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator to see if you're on track).
So in order to not overdo it, you have to get creative on how to satisfy those extra-strong cravings. That's why Burger King's new menu item, "Satisfries" are extra-exciting. ``The fries—which are said to have 20 percent less fat than BK's regular fries, but the same yummy taste—can majorly help with those salty pregnancy cravings. The crinkle-cut "diet" fries have a secret ingredient that allows them to absorb less oil, cutting the calories of a small fry down from 340 calories to 270 (which they say is actually 40 percent less fat and 30 percent less calories than most of its competitors).
If you're craving something crunchy, like potato chips, check out baked chips rather than fried for fewer calories (but still read the labels, because some baked chips pack in more salt—which can make you bloat, something you really don't need when you're pregnant!).
If sweets are your sweet spot, then consider eating what you want, but controlling the portion size. Want cake? Have a cake pop instead. Want a donut? I did! Eat a donut hole (or two!), and get the same delicious satisfaction with way less fat and calories. Craving apple pie? Cut out the crust—where most of the calories hide—and bake apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon for the same sweet fix.
Remember, you're not actually eating for two (you only need about an extra 200 calories per day in the beginning of your pregnancy, and 400 calories extra towards the end), so as easy as it can be to get carried away, try to keep your cravings in check the best you can. That way you'll not only have a shorter labor with less complications, a healthier baby, who will live longer, and is less likely to be a food addict, but you'll also have less baby weight to lose after your little one comes. It's a win-win!
TELL US: What are your biggest cravings, and how are you satisfying them in a healthy way?
Image of pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock.