The most accurate way of telling whether or not your weight is in the healthy range is by calculating the body mass index or BMI. Your BMI measures your weight in relation to your height. The amount of weight that you should put on in pregnancy depends on what your BMI was before you were pregnant.
A woman is considered to have normal weight if her BMI before pregnancy is 18.5 to 24.9, underweight if BMI is less than 18.5, overweight if BMI is between 25 to 29.9 and obese if her BMI is 30 or more.
All women are recommended to have about 2,000 calories a day. So eating a healthy and balanced diet is important. Given below is an ideal diet chart for a pregnant woman.
1 slice whole wheat toast with margarine
1-2 cubes of cheese or 1 egg
1 cup low-fat milk
Any kind of fresh fruits, washed, peeled and sliced.
Bowl of salad garnished with grated cheese and/or a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Bowl of soup or a small helping of rice
Preparation of lean meat like chicken
A fruit salad mixed with dry fruits.
2 Whole wheat roti and a bowl of vegetables or lean meat or egg preparation
Avoid fast foods like fries, chips and hamburgers as they can be fattening and bad for your health. Instead, opt for your favourite fresh fruits to satisfy sudden hunger pangs. Eating dried fruits like dates, almonds and walnuts is also a healthy option. Have fresh juices and lots of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Overweight pregnant women should not only have a diet plan but also suitable workout schedule. They should include nutrient rich and low-calorie foods in their diet. Following a pregnancy diet plan will need some sacrifice by the overweight women for the sake of the baby. Swapping unhealthy foods for healthier alternatives, like instead of biscuits, cakes, sweets and ice cream, which are high in saturated fat and sugar, choosing fresh fruits, whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese, yogurt or a handful of dried fruits will really make a difference.
Underweight pregnant women tend to eat low-calorie foods and not enough protein. To get more calories they should eat peanut butter or cheese to give them an extra protein boost. Eating more foods that are high in good fats such as nuts, fatty fish will help her to get the calories that her body needs during pregnancy. Snacks between meals can provide protein, calcium and minerals.
Cravings normally set in when the meals are not balanced. Once you start eating healthy, they will decrease. An Indian thali is very well-balanced as it has different flavours like salty, sweet, spicy, pungent, etc. When all the different taste buds are satisfied, the cravings decline.