Let us try to make one thing clear “food cravings are not just pregnancy related”. On a ‘day to day’ basis we fight our food cravings to keep our body healthy, fit and in shape. Imagine all those cravings doubled when you’re eating for two and your hormones are being tough on you. The pregnancy cravings can be divided broadly into these types-
Savory and Salty
E.g.:Some mums love their tuna pasta; some go for their hot and spicy wings. They can go weeks craving the same things again and again.
E.g.: From butterscotch to chocolate and Oreos to oranges; all are game.
Cold and Crunchy
E.g.: You can start from ice cubes to cold salads. This one is probably one of the healthier cravings.
All That You Can Drink
E.g.: Chilled milk, tomato juice and fizzy drinks, any drink can get you hooked when you’re pregnant. The problem starts when it’s alcohol that you’re craving and you can’t have it because you’re pregnant.
E.g.: Sand, gravel, toothbrush and mud. All the unimaginable things you crave for when pregnant!
After categorizing these cravings now we have to learn how to ration, modify and block them. Self-control plays an important role in governing the outcome.
10 Steps in reducing your cravings when pregnant
1 Balanced Diet
A balanced diet goes a long way. When your plate comprises of the correct amount of carbs, proteins, vitamins and minerals you will feel full. A full tummy fights cravings. This will also provide your baby with the nutrients it needs. There will be less for you to feel guilty about even if you consume a couple of unhealthy treats after.
It is the most important meal of the day after the whole night of not consuming anything. Never skip breakfast when you’re pregnant. A full and healthy breakfast curbs your desire to have junk food later.
One cannot press enough as to how important it is to have an active lifestyle when you’re pregnant. It not only fulfills your body’s needs but also keeps your mind healthy and motivated.
Never leave too long a period between two meals as it’s like calling for food cravings. Low blood sugar levels invite craving for food all the time. Divide your meals into 4-6 small meals rather than 2-3 large meals. Dividing meals can also lower weight gain.
5Keep Yourself Occupied
When you’re just sitting at home doing nothing you will resort to eating out of boredom. Try to keep yourself busy starting from going for walks or grocery shopping to catching up with a friend.
6 Healthy Replacements
There is a healthier version of every meal. E.g. sweet potato fries to normal potato fries, pita bread for burger bun, frozen yogurt to ice creams, etc. We know it is not the same but at least it’s not hurting your body and your child’s.
7 Junk-free Kitchen
Throw out all those crisps and sweets stocked up in your cupboard and you won’t have an option to munch on them whenever you need. If you crave them that bad, that you’re actually ready to walk up to the next convenience store to grab them then at least you’re getting some walk and fresh air in the process.
8Limit the portions
When you’re having your well-deserved bag of crisps try to pick the smallest size. Do not try to pick a king size bar when you’re allowed to treat on chocolates. Just by cutting down the portion you’re limiting your fat content by folds.
There are so many healthy substitute recipes out there on the internet for you to access. You just have to call onto your deep down inner chef (even if it is very deep down) to experiment. You never know you might come to discover a few recipes that taste great and are nutritious as well. We call it a win-win.
Keep a track of what you have eaten along with its nutritional value. This way you will be able to put a curb on your callous food choices. Along with a diary of food you have consumed, having planned meals helps as well. Planning your meal for the next day keeps you in check and motivated.
Even after all of these advices it is not an easy task to keep the cravings at bay especially when you’re pregnant. Never try to be too severe or strict with yourself because there is nothing worse than relapse. The cravings come back tenfold when you relapse and fighting them is even tougher. You can enjoy your treats from here and there as long as you’re not giving into your cravings completely and keeping your child from the nutritious diet she deserves.