This week Katie Couric debuted her new show Katie which featured Jessica Simpson and her struggle with gaining excessive weight during pregnancy.
Why is excessive weight gain so common during pregnancy? Why are the media so shocked when celebrities gain weight as well?
Since pregnancy is a state of what we call insulin resistance, woman who already struggle with weight have compounded weight issues. Insulin resistance is when the insulin the pancreas produces becomes more sleepy or sluggish, which increases carbohydrate cravings, weight gain and fatigue. Pregnancy hormones cause it and depending on your genetics it can lead to anything from weight gain to gestational diabetes.
What can you do if you are gaining weight during your pregnancy besides seeking help of a qualified professional?
1. Consume protein at every meal (grass-fed/lean beef, chicken/turkey, fish, eggs, nuts/seeds, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, European/grass-fed cheese, natural peanut butter, etc.
2. Choose natural carbohydrates that are not man-made – fruits, vegetables, and small amounts of quinoa, brown rice, yams, etc.
3. Include healthy fats in every meal – nuts/seeds, avocado, olive oil, etc.
4. Include exercise or activity every day – half hour walk or 10 minutes after every meal – which lowers insulin resistance and helps your body process your food without storing it as fat
5. Keep your beverages to water, sparkling water, milk and tea
5. Get adequate rest. Lack of sleep increases insulin resistance and carbohydrate cravings
6. Have some fun! Enjoying your life and including daily activities that make you happy go a long way towards helping your system and your metabolism!
Although insulin resistance is at play, following the above guidelines can keep weight to a minimum so after you deliver you can focus on your healthy baby.