Q: I started my pregnancy at a healthy weight and know it’s OK to gain 25–35 pounds. But is there anything I can do now to help ensure I’ll get the weight off after I have my baby?
A: Our bodies naturally store extra fat to support a pregnancy, but it’s important not to add to it by eating high-calorie fatty or sugary foods. Try to get in the habit of eating small meals and snacks throughout the day, focusing on lean proteins and high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as these will help keep you feeling full. Above all, don’t overeat: Extra weight will be hard to get off later.
If you were already working out before your pregnancy, you should continue but perhaps at a less intense level, depending on your routine. If you were sedentary, start walking or doing some other form of light cardio exercise for at least 30 minutes three to four times a week. In either case, consult your doctor first. Eating and exercising sensibly will not only keep you in shape during pregnancy, it will prevent excessive weight gain and help you get your body back faster after delivery.