Pregnancy does some truly crazy things to your body. Forget for a moment all of the hormonal changes. Forget, for a moment only, the fluttery feelings you get when your growing baby decides to take a swim around your uterus. Pregnancy can even hit you right square in the mouth – in the form of food cravings.
While the stereotypes about ice cream and pickle runs at 3 AM are exaggerated, the fact is that many women find themselves craving odd sorts of foods or odd food combinations during pregnancy. In some cases, a craving during pregnancy is your body trying to get a certain nutrient. In other cases, it can be a result of hormonal changes or even a psychologically-triggered craving.
Here are a few ways to deal with those pregnancy cravings:
- Eat a balanced diet. Make sure you have lean proteins, whole grain foods, low-fat or reduced-fat dairy products, plenty of fruits and veggies and some legumes. This will reduce cravings based on your body’s needs, and it will help counteract any pregnancy binge you might fall into.
- Eat several smaller meals rather than three big ones. This will help to avoid a drop in blood sugar, which can cause food cravings. If you can be disciplined about it and not overeat, you can eat as many as five or six smaller yet satisfying meals, spaced out more evenly throughout the day.
- Exercise. There are plenty of exercises that are safe to do during pregnancy, and exercise will help to reduce your overall appetite as well. The endorphins that the brain releases are also thought to be good for your baby, and it will help get your body ready for the labor process.
- Try low-cal solutions. If you’re craving ice cream, go for some low fat ice cream. If you are craving chocolate, try a “fun size” chocolate bar instead of a king size one. There are plenty of other substitutions like this that you can make, such as making a fruit smoothie rather than running out for a chocolate shake.