Updated: Jul 6
Do you have pregnancy cravings? Here are 8 tips below on ways to beat them:
Ladies, I want to talk about a topic that many of you may have experienced or may have spoken about before, pregnancy cravings.
I'm talking about that feeling of wanting certain foods or flavours known as 'cravings' isn't necessarily something you would eat. Let's title it 'guilty pleasure,' the word cravings can be associated negatively, let's think of foods positive.
I want to encourage you to have a healthy relationship with eating and foods, especially during and post pregnancy.
What are pregnancy cravings?
Just like any other type of cravings - pregnancy cravings are an urge for certain foods and drinks.
One reason why there's so much talk about pregnancy cravings is because there are very common pregnancy cravings and some thought of as very strange!
Why do you get pregnancy cravings?
There's many theories behind why you may get pregnancy cravings, however the true answer is unknown.
Change in hormones levels during pregnancy impact on a woman's sense to taste and smell. This explains why you make love something you use to hate! Due to hormones the urge is stronger than your usual cravings while pregnant.
If you're staying fit during pregnancy and want to maintain healthy eating habits, pregnancy urges can feel like an extra hurdle. Your body needs more energy to support the baby's growth, so you may get cravings for energy-dense foods. Tired, sick, or hungry you reach out for something that is going to give you energy and easily overeat at the same time. In addition, you sometimes reach out for that quick solution (like sweets, chocolate or ice-cream).
As well as, pregnancy is a time of many changes in your body and mood. Feeling tired, sick, rundown can set off your emotional cravings too - so it can be common to want to eat foods that you usually reach for when you are not feeling good.
Weird Pregnancy Cravings
I'm sure you all have friends that have had weird combinations of pregnancy cravings. Whether it foods on there own or a combination - ice-cream and pickles.
Here are a few common pregnancy cravings:
High Carbohydrate Foods (Chips, Pasta, Pizza)
Fruit and Vegetables.
Cravings for salty or sour foods can be very common during pregnancy, as it can help with pregnancy-related nausea.
Ways You Can Beat Pregnancy Cravings
Whether you believe you have common or weird pregnant cravings, there are ways to manage those feelings. Here are a few tips below to help you:
1. Eat Regular Meals and Snacks
As I mentioned above, you might want certain foods because your body needs the energy. Eating regular meals or snacks throughout the day prevents you from feeling really hungry - you can be less likely to eat bad foods.
Eating more often and smaller portions, over less often and larger meals will keep you and your baby nutritionally satisfied.
2. Choose High Fibre Foods
Why eat high fibre foods? High fibre foods keep you fuller for longer, think foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholemeal bread and legumes. These foods also are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, that help sustain your energy levels.
E.g. Reach for a toasted wholemeal pita and hummus, next time you're hungry.
3. Prepare Healthy Snacks Ahead Of Time
Making some healthy snacks ahead of time can make it easier to avoid eating less healthy foods or overeating.
Schedule time on a Sunday afternoon to making some easy healthy snacks to store away for the week. This could bliss balls, oat bars, protein cookies, snap lock fruit bags, air-popped popcorn, a handful of nuts or spread nut butter on an apple.
4. Drink Water
Pregnant or not water is the secret hack to getting fit and healthy. Often, feeling hungry can be due to a lack of water consumption. Staying hydrated is very important throughout any stage of your life, especially during pregnancy.
Water can help to reduce fatigue. You can consume foods high in water weight - lettuce, watermelon, celery, and cucumber ect. Make water enjoyable, influence fruit into your water, use a fun drink bottle, set yourself an amount to drink before mid-day. However, limit how much water you consume before getting into bed so you aren't getting up and down to the toilet throughout the night.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Trying to sleep while pregnant can be a struggle, your body is adjusting to changes and a lack of sleep can actually impact your hunger too. When sleep is broken or deprived it can lead to an increase in ghrelin, which is your hunger hormone.
As well as ghrelin, leptin can increase when sleep deprived, this is a hormone that helps regulate energy, which can then affect hunger levels. So, if your leptin levels are higher you may not feel satisfied after eating and you begin to snack!
Creating good routine and regular bed times can help you create good sleeping patterns. Therefore, help you minimise cravings that maybe out of your conscious control, run by hormones.
6. Try Not To Shop When Your Hungry
Supermarket shopping on an empty stomach can be dangerous! It will be harder to make healthy decisions when ghrelin levels are through the roof. You may be lacking energy, can't be bothered cooking and walk out filling your trolley full of convenience foods.
Be sure to have a healthy snack before shopping, this can help unhealthy impulse buys to a minimum and help you save money!
7. Make Healthy Swaps
Sustaining a healthy lifestyle into and during pregnancy is one of the best ways to ensure you are getting in plenty of nutrients for you and your baby.
Looking at some healthy food swaps (such as 70% dark chocolate), take the time to learn how to satisfy a sweet tooth with healthier snacks.
8. Don’t Deprive Yourself
Remember it's ok to eat something specific! Super strict diets are often not maintainable, they create a bad relationship with food and denying yourself something you want can sometimes lead to binge eating later on. So enjoy a small portion of chocolate or ice cream, now and then, this can be part of a balanced approach to eating!