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Pregnancy Food Swaps – Get What You Want the Healthy Way

Pregnancy Food Swaps – Get What You Want the Healthy Way

Cravings are a major part of most pregnancies, but most people don’t often want the healthiest foods, and yet there are ways to get what you want while avoiding the “junk.” Soda, chips, cold cuts, sweets… these are the things we often call “junk food” because they are full of fat, salt, and sugar but offer little to no nutrition. However, most people develop a taste for such foods and will usually snack on them from time to time, or even more frequently than that. This can lead to weight gain and even some health problems including dental problems from sugar, high blood pressure from salt, and heart disease from trans fats.

When you are pregnant, you absolutely must avoid such problematic foods, but it can be a time when you crave them even more than ever. Though the occasional “cheat” won’t do any harm (with the exception of risky foods such as raw fish, alcohol, and caffeine), you have to find some better alternatives. We are going to consider some of the best ways to satisfy your junk food cravings without compromising yours or your baby’s health.

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A List of Easy Swaps

It is not uncommon for pregnant women to go to bed and wake up thinking about certain foods. The demands placed on the body by pregnancy tend to increase hunger and allow a pregnant woman to become fixated on food from time to time. This is something that can make them want to grab a simple or “fast” food to satisfy their cravings. Thus, many women find themselves eating candies, bags of chips, canned fruit soaking in sugary syrup, cookies, and more.
How can you possibly swap out healthy foods for these unhealthy choices? The following tips will help:

1. Dedicate time to making “fast” foods before hunger strikes. Wash and chop fruits and vegetables to have as ready to eat snacks sitting in the fridge. Always carry prepared snacks when out and about too.

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2. Choose a time for snacking. When you know that you can eat a snack at a specific time of day, it can help you to overcome hunger pangs created by fatigue, boredom, or because you have just spotted an amazingly tempting food. Instead, you can simply say to yourself, “Nope… you can eat your healthy snack in ten minutes.”

3. Choose to eat five or six small meals. As your pregnancy progresses, you are less likely to feel comfortable eating bigger meals. Before that time arrives, try to regulate your blood sugar and control cravings by getting used to five or six small meals each day.

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4. Decide on portions. When you know that a certain food is a weak point and that you will indulge in it, mentally decide your maximum serving size for that snack. As an example, a measuring cup of ice cream instead of a large bowl is a good way to train your brain to avoid overeating snack foods.

In addition to using these tips, also consider the following food swap options:

• Ice cream. This one is okay from time to time, but if you crave it every day you will want to cut the fat and sugar by eating nonfat frozen yogurt or even a sugar-free sorbet.

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• Cake. Again, a slice now and then will harm no one, but if you want to eat cake a few times each week, swap it out with some sugarless angel food cake, a whole wheat banana bread, or a dense green tomato or zucchini bread.

• Chips These are not such a great snack at any time because of the high salt, fat, and carbohydrate content. Get them out of the diet and choose unsalted tortilla chips, plain popcorn, a baked potato, or “oven chips” made by slicing potatoes thinly and baking until crisp.

• Soda. Worst of the worst, and can be swapped out for a bubbly mineral water with some fresh fruit juices added.

You don’t have to succumb to unhealthy food and diet choices when you prepare and make a few good swaps.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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