Coleen Rooney has been pictured having a great time on holiday in St Tropez with husband Wayne Rooney and is showing every sign of maintaining a healthy weight during her pregnancy, with only three months to go. But it’s difficult for many women to be able to negotiate safely between morning sickness and cravings while ensuring they get the right nutrients to their baby. So we asked nutritionist Zoe Harcombe for her advice on how pregnant women can eat healthily for their baby without putting on excess weight.
Don’t eat less, eat better
Eat only real food – meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, salads, vegetables, fruits and whole grains such as brown rice, porridge oats – nothing processed (obviously follow all the extra pregnancy advice about avoiding pate, raw eggs and soft cheese etc). You and baby-to-be will be much better off without trans fats and sugars and you will find real food naturally fills you up, without blood sugar highs and lows and the cravings that go with this roller coaster. Try to limit even the good carbs you eat – insulin resistance develops in all pregnant women (and leads to diabetes in two-to-four per cent of cases) and only carbs cause insulin to be needed/released.
Go for three substantial meals a day, based around meat, fish, eggs and dairy and with large portions of salads and vegetables (limit, or avoid, potatoes, as they’re high carb). If you must snack, go for lower-sugar fruits, such as apples or pears. A key goal during pregnancy should be to keep your blood sugar stable and keep any sweet cravings at bay.
Don't eat more than you need
Many women wrongly believe that they need to eat for two when in reality a woman actually needs no more energy (calories) in the first trimester and barely 300 calories a day more than normal in the final stage of pregnancy. That's not much more than one Mars Bar. The average baby only weighs about 7-8 lbs at birth, and the fluids around it add up to not much more than a stone, so there is no need to put on more than a couple of stone during pregnancy.
Zoe Harcombe is author of Stop Counting Calories, Start Losing Weight: The Harcombe Diet. Visit www.theharcombediet.com for more details.