How to Curb Pregnancy Cravings

Pregnant woman making fruit juice with food processor

How to Curb Pregnancy Cravings

For many women, the first trimester of pregnancy is rough. Nausea, vomiting, food aversions, and exhaustion (to name a few) can really put a damper on the excitement of the precious little one growing in your belly. I was positive that as a Dietitian I would not let any of those pesky pregnancy problems get in the way of my healthy eating. After all, everything I was putting into my body was now going to affect not only me, but my child, too!

Several weeks into my first trimester I was in for a big surprise: the nausea and exhaustion were real. When I got home from work I was so tired that I couldn’t even think about cooking. When I did try to cook, especially fresh meats, incredible nausea would start and thinking about eating made it worse. As awful as that was, I started developing aversions to almost everything healthy accompanied by cravings for everything fried, salty, and sweet! I would try to eat a salad with grilled chicken, but NOPE, the nausea would hit and I just could not eat the good stuff. But, put a fried chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and a chocolate shake in front of me and I could scarf it down in no time. I ended up gaining about 35 pounds during my first pregnancy and struggled to lose the weight after my son was born. My eating habits were completely off track during most of this first pregnancy. My body and mind became used to living off junk food. It was extremely difficult to discipline and retrain my brain to crave healthy food. Soon I discovered that breastfeeding produced an even greater desire to eat unhealthy foods.

Flash forward two years, I am pregnant again! I feel more prepared this pregnancy and now that I know what to expect, I have taken measures to avoid getting into the junk food rut. I am entering into the second trimester of this pregnancy and I feel really good. I have managed to discipline myself to eat healthy by getting myself in the right mindset and by being prepared for all of the fun pregnancy symptoms throughout the first 13 weeks. Here are some tips for eating healthy during your first trimester and beyond.

baby chick, curbing pregnancy cravings, small meals, yogurt and granola, Amanda Davies

1. Eat Small, Frequent Meals and Snacks

By preventing myself from getting overly hungry, my nausea has been decreased and my energy level has increased. The strategy is to eat healthy and eat often. I focus on:

  1. Eating within the first hour of waking up and about every 3-4 hours throughout the day.
  2. Consuming 2-3 healthy snacks a day and trying to include a protein and carbohydrate.

Examples: Hummus with veggies, cottage cheese with fruit, plain Greek yogurt with nuts or granola, whole wheat bread with almond butter, apples and peanut butter

2. Prepare Meals Ahead of Time

Studies show that up to 85% of women experience food aversions during pregnancy. The most common food aversion is protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, pork, fish, and eggs. I discovered that if I actually see, handle or cook raw meat shortly before eating, my nausea kicks in and my mind and body just won’t let me eat. With a two-year-old at home I have had no choice but to figure out how to cook without making myself sick! My saving grace has been my crockpot. I found that if I prep meals in the morning, stick it in a crockpot and let it cook itself, I have no problem eating! This has been an absolute lifesaver! Here are some links to my favorite crockpot meals from allrecipes.com: Slow Cooker Pot Roast, Pulled Pork, Whole Chicken, and Meatballs.

baby chick, smoothie, amanda davies, curbing pregnancy cravings

3. Find Healthy Substitutes for Cravings

As far as cravings go, if you plan out healthy meals and snacks and don’t let yourself get overly hungry, you should find it easier to control cravings. My major cravings are sweets and salty stuff. My strategy to curb these cravings has been to avoid keeping these items in the house and simply find healthy substitutes.

  • Salty
    • Nuts– Instead of snacking on salted nuts look for nuts and seeds that are roasted and unsalted. If need be, add a small amount of sea salt to your snack.
    • Chips– Avoid potato chips, which are full of salt and empty calories. Substitute plain popcorn with a small amount of your own butter or sea salt. Better yet, try making your own chips using fruits and vegetables such as apple, carrot or kale chips.
  • Sweets
    • Dark Chocolate– When I do eat chocolate I indulge in dark chocolate. The higher the percentage of cocoa content, the more antioxidants. Look for 70% dark chocolate or higher. Studies have shown that small quantities of dark chocolate can reduce blood pressure and lower risk for heart disease. The problem is, all dark chocolate is not created equal. Look for dark chocolate that doesn’t have any sweet stuff added to it (caramel, dried fruits, mint, etc.) and remember that moderation is key, limit yourself to 1-2 squares a day.
    • Ice cream– My thoughts on ice cream are that it is high in sugar and high in calories but it does contain some nutrients such as Vitamins A, D, E, K, and calcium. If you want to indulge in ice cream, don’t make it a daily habit and watch your portion size! If ice cream once a week just isn’t going to do it for you, think about some healthy alternatives. My favorite ice cream alternative is making my own smoothie. I blend ½ banana, ¼ cup frozen berries, ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt, a splash of orange juice, a handful of fresh spinach or kale, and some ice. It is delicious and you can’t even taste the green stuff . . . toddler and husband approved!

baby chick, pregnancy cravings, smoothie, toddler, Amanda Davies

About the Author /

Amanda Davies MS, RD, CSR, LD is a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition. She has experience as a Clinical Dietitian working with cardiovascular, cancer, geriatric, bariatric and ICU patients in the hospital setting. Amanda specializes in renal (kidney) nutrition and has worked at a dialysis center as a Renal Dietitian and currently works as a Community Health Dietitian at a healthcare clinic where she counsels diabetic, overweight and obese adults and adolescents.

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Remember what it was like when you were home with Remember what it was like when you were home with a newborn? Remember how you felt? Tired. Sore. Swollen. Engorged. So happy to finally meet your baby but also completely exhausted. You wished you had more help. You wished you could take a break. You wished you could only focus on staring at your baby and snuggling them and not have to worry about preparing food, chores, etc.⁠
Even though things may be more difficult now to offer help, still try to be the friend you wished you had when your babies were newborns to your friends and loved ones. ❤️ Things you can do:⁠
- Drop off a meal at their door⁠
- Drop off some of your favorite postpartum recovery items or breastfeeding products you loved⁠
- Go grocery shopping for them and leave it at the door⁠
- Send them a meal delivery service gift card⁠
- Bake her some lactation cookies (if she is breastfeeding)⁠
- Drop off any hand-me-downs from your kids⁠
- Pay a housekeeping service to come over and clean her house⁠
- Set up a meal train with her friends⁠
- Drop off diapers and wipes⁠
- Self-quarantine for 2 weeks and come over to help with the house and baby so she can take a nap or a shower⁠
- Pay for a few hours for a postpartum doula or a night nanny to help her out⁠
There is so much you can do! And every little bit helps. What else would you add to the list? 💕
Any mamas feel me? Pass the coffee. 😑☕☕☕⁠
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This is so accurate. And happens pretty much anywh This is so accurate. And happens pretty much anywhere we go if we leave the house. 🤦‍♀️😂⁠
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⁠📷: @matfelipe
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Words & 📷: @thebuonamama
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Yes, Yes, YES!!! ❤️ Yes, Yes, YES!!! ❤️
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📷: @jhonnycurran
First of all, we think all moms are incredible. 💕 Today’s shoutout goes to the career moms. We know the struggles because we are you. May this weekend bring you all rest, peace, and joy. 🥰 Sending out all of the love and respect! 🙇‍♀️
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"Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." The same rule applies.⁠
We want our kids to be strong, independent, self-reliant, and successful. They learn quickly what they can get away with. Teaching them kindness and a good work ethic from the beginning goes a long way. ❤️⁠ Put the hard work in now and watch them bloom into a strong and independent adult later. 💪
(Quote via @relaxingmommy)
However you choose to feed your baby, your baby an However you choose to feed your baby, your baby and your opinion are all that matter. If you choose and are able to breastfeed, feed your baby anywhere and everywhere HOWEVER you want to . . . with or without a cover. You have rights, mama. No need to explain or cover yourself for anybody if you don't want to. 💕⁠
📷: @phoenixandtheocean
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You're the reason that I breathe but also the reas You're the reason that I breathe but also the reason that I am out of breath. 😉🤪😂 #momlife
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If you are there now or about to enter this stage, it’s a yummy, delicious, snuggly stage. But for me, it has always been one of the harder ones, every time I go through it. So I see and feel you, mama! It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. Hold tight, though, because it doesn’t last forever.⁠
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Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠ by @chroni Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠
by @chroniclesofdaddy⁠
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I've been asked so many questions by men about fatherhood. So I figured I'd drop some knowledge on my fellow Dads and soon-to-be-Dads. Here's what it looks like for the first few weeks or months after your child is born. Yup. If mom breastfeeds they pretty much are tucked like this and at times you'll wonder "what is there for me to do?" Here are my top 5 tips for any Dad after your child is born.⁠
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1️⃣ For night feedings. When mom wakes up in the middle of the night, you get up and ask if she needs any help or water. The truth is most of the time she will say no but just the fact that you offered will go far.⁠
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2️⃣ Ask mom if she can pump and then pick 1 feeding that you will always do. Mom will take on almost everything and will burn herself out if you let her. At times you may have to force her to rest without worrying about the baby. This is an easy way to do that without a fight.⁠
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3️⃣ Don't put a time limit on how long mom breastfeeds the baby. It's not just about feeding your child it's about them bonding as well. I know everyone has a different length of time they will breastfeed and as a Dad, it's hard to fully understand. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and rush this process. It's not our place and it's not safe. You will open yourself up to a fight you can't win.⁠
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4️⃣ Be patient. I know as a Dad the first few weeks we are equally excited and yet not as important. Your time will come faster than you know. Babies grow fast and the stronger and bigger they get the more Daddy Time will be coming your way.⁠
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5️⃣ Paternity leave! If you have it TAKE IT. The early stages of a child's life are not just for moms to enjoy. I know as men making the money especially after having a baby it's hard, but trust me. You can always make money but there are no instant replays in life. It doesn't make you more of a man to not take the leave. It's equally as important that you as a Dad get to be a part of the early development of your child. ⁠
If someone needs this info tag them ❤️⁠
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Absolutely love these tips from @chroniclesofdaddy. 🙌
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The postpartum period, or period of recovery that takes place after a mother gives birth, is an important time for mothers to take care of themselves. 🥰 Typically, if you’re less than 6 weeks postpartum you don’t want to put any pressure on your core muscles. Also, your body’s levels of relaxin, the hormone that loosens joints to prepare for childbirth, is elevated for 3-6 months after childbirth, and longer if you are breastfeeding. All this means is: take these postpartum yoga poses slowly and stretch yourself gently. No gymnastics here or pushing beyond what is comfortable.⁠
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Remember, every mama’s body is different, so listen to how you feel and seek advice from a medical professional if you have questions about how and when to begin your personal exercise plan. Note: Try to do the following yoga poses in the order they are listed. {Click 🔗 in bio to see the 7 yoga poses to strengthen your body after baby!⁠}⁠
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Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷 taken by: @allisonermon_photography
It's been one of those days. 😑⁠ 📷: @kristy It's been one of those days. 😑⁠
📷: @kristyndingman
🙋‍♀️😂😂😂⁠ 🚜 What are some st 🙋‍♀️😂😂😂⁠ 🚜
What are some strange things you do as a #boymom or #girlmom?
It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's mag It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's magic.⁠ ✨🤩
📷: @realtoughdad