Food is fuel, and active women need more fuel than sedentary women. If you exercised vigorously before pregnancy and continue to do so now, stick to eating about the same number of calories in the 1st trimester and then add 300 calories a day during the 2nd trimester. The same is true if you did not exercise vigorously before pregnancy and continue not to during pregnancy.
However, if you were active before pregnancy and are slowing down during your 1st trimester, you will probably need to eat less to avoid gaining excess weight. If you didn't exercise before but are starting a walking regimen now, you can eat a few more calories -- but not much more. A 150-pound woman burns about 100 calories per mile, so don't mislead yourself into thinking that a 20-minute walk entitles you to a huge slice of apple pie. If you think you need extra calories to fuel your revved-up workouts, add something nutritious, such as a piece of fruit.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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