One of the beautiful things about pregnancy -- aside from, you know, creating a new life -- is that you get to ease up on watching your weight. But you don't want to go too far and put on more than the recommended 25 to 35 pounds (15 to 25 for overweight women; 28 to 40 for those who were slim to begin with). "Gaining too much during pregnancy can cause increased discomfort and up a woman's risk for dangerous complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes," says Willow Jarosh, R.D., co-owner of C&J Nutrition in New York City.
In general, starting in the second trimester a pregnant woman needs around 300 extra calories a day. Your magic number will depend on the size you were pre-pregnancy, so discuss it with your obstetrician. If he suggests you tap the brakes on weight gain, don't try to crash diet -- your growing baby needs far too many nutrients for you to make drastic food cuts. Instead, tweak your meals so that pregnancy-pound-creep slows to a healthy pace. No need to deny yourself; these simple ways to cut at least 100 calories are 100 percent tasty.
1. Give your mug a makeover. Consider trading the milk or cream in your coffee for nonfat milk. Not a fan? Rethink your add-ins, then. Two pumps of vanilla syrup (the amount in a Starbucks tall) add 40 calories. Instead, flavor your drink with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
2. Slim your cereal bowl. Switch from 2 percent milk to skim and trade half of your cereal for a whole-grain kind that has about 70 calories per cup, such as Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs. Even healthier: Have ? cup with a high-fiber fruit like strawberries.
3. Pour yourself a long, tall one. People tend to down about 20 percent more juice when using a short, wide glass, compared with a tall, slender one, finds research from Cornell University. Take it a step further with one part water or flavored seltzer, one part juice. Refreshing!
4. Downsize your baked goods. Bakery muffins can weigh in at 400 calories (or more) each. Eat half, or try a VitaMuffi n (at a sweet-tooth-satisfying 100 calories). Our recipe for a healthy apple muffin is at americanbaby.com/applemuffins.
5. Jazz up plain yogurt. Most pre-sweetened varieties pack lots of sugar. Instead, buy nonfat plain yogurt and add your own fruit and a pinch of cinnamon.