Pregnancy cravings and aversions are both fascinating and hilarious to me. I remember a few cravings I had during my pregnancy: s’mores, Chipotle, Arby’s roast beef sandwiches, Oreos and jalapenos. While I didn’t have morning sickness—gagging a few times doesn’t count, or so my hubby tells me—I did have an aversion to vegetables, and the thought of a salad grossed me out until really late in my pregnancy.
Today, fit pro mom of three Lindsay Brin (you may remember her from this workout DVD) discusses pregnancy cravings in this excerpt from her book How to Exercise When You’re Expecting. You can indulge sanely and healthily with these tips!
The 411 on Pregnancy Cravings
I’m not going to tell you not to give into cravings. Or that you shouldn’t see a spike in your hunger until around 13 weeks. Every pregnancy is different, so I am going to help you with your pregnancy. Sure you can have your cheeseburger, milkshake and fries, but I will teach you how to balance that out so that you stay on track in your weight gain. And maybe sometimes you should eliminate the milkshake for some good old-fashioned water.
Low-Calorie Comfort Foods for Pregnancy Cravings
• Homemade mashed potatoes made with chicken broth instead of butter or cream
• Angel food cake
• Homemade hot chocolate
• 150 calorie chocolate cake by Warm Delights
• Chicken noodle soup
• Grilled cheese made with 1 teaspoon olive oil and low fat cheese, served with tomato soup
or 1 cup soup from your favorite restaurant
• Sliced apples drizzled with cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of butter, zapped in microwave for 60 seconds
• Crock-Pot beef stew
• Crock-Pot spicy turkey lasagna
No matter what you’re craving, you need to remember balance, variety and moderation. And don’t forget about all the nutrients and vitamins you need to pack into your day. I get full thinking of that alone!
Balance: If you find that you are craving certain foods, try to incorporate another food group to add balance to your meal or snack. For example, if you crave ice cream, add sliced strawberries or bananas to it to add a fruit serving.
Variety: Sometimes you may find yourself craving something sweet or salty. This is when you should focus on variety in your cravings. If you crave something sweet, don’t always reach for candy, try fresh fruit to satisfy your cravings. If you crave foods that are salty, avoid the chips and reach for a handful of nuts or pretzels. Another example would be if you crave chocolate, reach for a refreshing glass of chocolate milk.
Moderation: Think small with your higher-calorie cravings. It is okay to have a piece of chocolate, but you do not need the whole candy bar or the entire bag of sweets. By keeping just a few bite-sized pieces of candy in your desk or purse, you will be more likely to keep your portions in control.
And when it comes to losing the baby weight, the cravings don’t always subside—although at least half of your cravings should go with the pregnancy. So I have two pieces of advice when it comes to cravings and losing the post-baby weight:
1) Use the 5 minute rule—wait 5 minutes to see if it’s hunger or just a craving.
2) Sustain three days without any “junk food,” and your body will start craving the good stuff like fruit!
Lindsay is not only a wealth of knowledge about all things pregnancy health and fitness, but she’s also open and honest about getting her body back after baby No. 3 over on her website. What were your healthy (or not-so-healthy) pregnancy cravings? —Erin