Pregnancy Fitness and Food: You Don’t Need to Eat for Two | Kaiser Permanente

Are you wondering what you
should eat to help you have a
healthy pregnancy? “In the very beginning I had a lot of food questions.” Or what kind of exercise you
should do? “I do a lot of walking. I have a pre-natal yoga video, but I haven’t opened it yet.” And what about weight gain? “I’m not sure about how much is the proper weight gain.” This video will help to answer
those questions. “ Hi Adriana, good to see you guys.” Adriana Zuniga-Hall is due to
deliver her second baby this
week. She was already carrying extra
weight when she got pregnant,
and like many women, she’s
gained more than the recommended
amount. “Twenty-seven pound weight gain so far this pregnancy.” So how much weight should you
gain during your pregnancy? It
depends on where you start. First, you need to know your
body mass index or B-M-I. You can get this number yourself
by entering your height and
weight into a BMI calculator on
the internet, or you can ask
your provider for help. “Is it ok if we look at your weight gain graph then?” “Starting with the very first pre-natal visit you should talk to your provider about what your recommended weight gain is during your pregnancy.” The guidelines suggest that if
you are obese – wiht a BMI of 30
or above – you should gain
beween 11 and 20 pounds during
your pregnancy. If you’re overweight, with a BMI
between 25 and 30, you should
gain between 15 and 25 pounds. If you are normal weight, with a
BMI of 18.5 to 25, you should
gain between 25 and 35 pounds.
And if you’re underweight, with
a BMI below 18.5, the guidelines
suggest you gain between 28 and
40 pounds. It’s important to stay within
these guidelines because gaining
too much weight during pregnancy
can lead to complications for ou
and your baby. “For the mother the risks of
gaining too much weight during
pregnancy include having a large
baby which may make her delivery more
difficult or increase her risk
of needing a C-section. It can also make it more difficult for her to take weight off and get back to her pre-pregnancy weight. For her baby gaining too much weight may increase her baby’s risk of becoming an overweight or obese child.” To help you track your progress, as your provider to review your weight gain during each pre-natal visit. “I like it when she goes over it, cuz she can explain it a little better versus me just looking at the chart.” “Last time I was pregnant I think I gained almost 50 pounds. I’m in her tummy. When he was in there. So, this time I was trying to be more careful.” And you don’t need to eat for two. In fact, you don’t need any extra calories during the first trimester, And during the second and third trimesters, you only need two to three hundred more calories per day. “It can be this little amount like a banana with two tablespoons of peanut butter, or a little carton of yogurt with some granola and fruit or maybe a half cup of hummus with some veggie sticks and olives.” “Protein, fiber and fats are all going to be more filling foods. It’s a good idea if you can include some of those foods in every meal and every snack too. So the protein rich foods are nuts, seeds, beans, eggs and dairy rich products like cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt and then fish, meat, sea foods. The fiber rich foods are all your plant foods so those are going to beans, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables and whole grains too. And then fats, we are going to find those in oils, avocados, butter, mayonnaise, and then some of those other foods like nuts, seeds and even dark chocolate.” The best way to get all the nutrients you need is to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit. Include plenty of leafy greens and a variety of colors. Fill a quarter of yor plate with a protein rich food like salmon, and another quarter with a starch like corn on the cob. Another option for a healthy meal might be chicken, with brown rice, and broccoli. For a vegetarian option try a stir fry, with tofu, lots of veggies, and rice or noodles. If you’re eating out, choose a restaurant where you can order lots of vegetables, a protein, and whole grains, and watch portion size. Many restaurants serve enough food for two meals. “I’m not calorie counting, I’m just trying to make sure to eat every few hours.” If you do find that you’re gaining too much weight, start writing down what you eat. A Kaiser Permanente study finds that food diaries help people manage their weight more successfully. “Also think about avoiding extras from sweetened drinks like juice, soda, coffee drinks, fried foods and desserts. Think about staying hydrated: water, decaffeinated tea and decaffeinated coffee all work.” And be mindful about what you eat. It’s best to sit down at the table and to avoid distractions like t-v and computers. And start each day with breakfast. Some healthy options include old-fashiond oatmeal with fruit and nuts, or scambled eggs with spinach and whole grain toast. And while eating healthy is important during pregnancy, it’s also important to exercise. “The recommendations for exercise during pregnancy are the same as for women who aren’t pregnant, which means you should exercise for 30 minutes a day most days of the week. Some good examples of exercise during pregnancy are walking, swimming and riding a stationary bike. You should try to avoid exercises with a high risk of falling or trauma.” During her pregnancy, Adriana had a hard time exercising. “I have sciatica that comes when I get pregnant so it’s hard to walk for a long period of time, so walking at certain times can be painful.” Now that her son is a few weeks old, the pain has subsided and Adriana is back to her routine of walking, trying to lose the extra weight she gained during her pregnancy. We hope this video has answered many of your questions about having a healthy prenancy, but be sure to ask your provider about how this advice might apply to you.


  1. A well done advice article!  I didn't get such good advice when I was pregnant, but appreciate that this is so important now that so many Americans have become overweight.  For women especially, pregnancy can lead them over the edge to health problems.  "Eating for Two" as an excuse to eat LESS healthy foods. . . when MORE healthy is MORE important than ever!

  2. Great video! I learned so much just from this video than all my monthly visits combined with my KP provider Dr. Wish my provider wasn’t as lazy or trying to rush us out every visit.  btw, we never knew there’s a weight gain chart as mentioned from the video.

  3. Good content!

  4. Good advice to a new mother.Thank you very much.

  5. This is such a good video 🙂

  6. Wow. No extra calories in the first semester and only 300 a day after? I don’t think most people realize that.

  7. You can eat protein without meat. But this is helpful

  8. Omg that’s my doctor

  9. This helps alot especially for those that are not mothers and want to become one soon

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