‘Go ahead, indulge! You’re eating for two!’ pregnant women are often told. But too much food (especially sweets) can pack on unwanted and unneeded pounds, and increase your risk for gestational diabetes and other labor complications.
Even on a good day, It’s hard to say no to a slice of chocolate cake. But it gets near-impossible during Thanksgiving and Christmas season. when food overflows. Here are tips for controlling your sugar intake in pregnancy during the holiday season.
Effect of sugar intake on your pregnancy
Too much sugar increases your risk for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus or GDM. This is glucose intolerance that manifests only during pregnancy. One out of 250 people develop this, or suffer from the problems associated with it.
Even if you don’t develop gestational diabetes, you have to remember: your child eats what you eat. Sugars, fats and preservatives, found in most desserts, fill your body with empty calories instead of the proper pregnancy nutrition your needs for proper brain and body development.
Holiday eating tip # 1: Cut it back by 25%.
Reduce the sugar and fat (margarine or oil) content in dessert recipes by one-quarter. For example, use applesauce or baby prunes as a fat-free substitute for margarine, butter or oil in baked goods such as cranberry bread or pumpkin muffins. Instead of coating pans with butter, use vegetable cooking spray. Lightly dust cakes with confectioner’s sugar rather than cover with gooey sweet frosting. Or, substitute a traditional pie crust with reduced fat graham cracker crusts.
Holiday eating tip # 2: Take smaller slices.
Totally depriving yourself (and feeling miserable about it) sets you up for an emotionally charged binging. Besides, you don’t want to flood your body (and your baby) with stress hormones!
So grant yourself your little pleasures…just keep them little. Get a smaller slice of cake, or take just a few bites of the pie. Then, focus on enjoying every bite. Chew slowly. Enjoy the texture of the food.
3. Holiday eating tip # 3: Don’t wait until you’re starving.
You’re less likely to scarf down an entire box of cookies if you already feel full. Eat smaller but more frequent meals, so you can sincerely walk away from the chocolate fountain and say, ‘I’ve had enough.’ Plus you maintain a constant level glucose level, so you don’t get a sugar high and sugar crash.
4. Holiday eating tip # 4: Skip the juices.
Even a healthy glass of mango juice has plenty of sugar! If you know you’re going to indulge in a dessert, then at least quench your thirst with water or non-fat milk. That way, you won’t have to eat sugar and drink sugar too.
5. Holiday eating tip # 5: Focus on non-food holiday fun.
Walk away from the buffet table and keep yourself busy at the party. Talk to friends, catch up with relatives, watch those feel-good holiday movies. Instead of thinking about all the food you’re missing, you’re ‘feasting’ on all the other things that truly make this the ‘most wonderful time of the year.’
Photo from miemo.net