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Do you feel like you just had breakfast and you're already hungry for lunch? You're not alone. It's not uncommon to feel hungry all the time in pregnancy.
The first trimester is an odd combination of feeling ravenous and nauseated, all at the same time (what fun!). The second trimester usually brings welcome relief from morning sickness, but it can also be a time of insatiable hunger. You have a growing life inside you that needs nutrients to create bone, muscle, and other tissues.
The challenge is to satisfy yourself, provide optimal nutrients for your developing baby, and only add a limited number of extra calories a day (in your second and third trimesters) to your diet. No small task!
Here are some easy ways to meet the challenge. Make nutrient-dense foods with multiple benefits a part of your diet. Some of my favorites include avocados (good fats and potassium), mangos (vitamins A and C), walnuts (omega-3s and protein), and quinoa (protein and fiber):
- Use ripe avocado as a spread on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise and on bagels instead of cream cheese.
- Mangos make an excellent sweet snack on their own, and also are delicious diced with yogurt or on top of a green salad.
- Combine walnuts with tart dried cherries for an on-the-go snack. Chopped walnuts make an excellent topper for salads and ice cream, too.
- Make extra quinoa and use it as a side dish, hot cereal, and even add it to muffins and quiches.
To keep hunger at bay, it's smart to include protein, fiber, and some healthy fat in all meals and snacks. A few foods that fit the bill include:
- an apple with two tablespoons of peanut butter
- an English muffin with a scrambled egg and spinach
- a fruit and nut bar (like the ones from KIND, which are high in protein and fiber but low in unnecessary sugar and calories)
- a bowl of multigrain pasta with extra protein (such as Barilla Plus) and tomato sauce
- a Greek yogurt with an ounce of nuts (about the amount that will fit in your palm)
Eating a healthy snack every three hours or so should help you avoid overdoing it at mealtimes, and it will also help keep your blood sugar on an even keel. Drinking enough water and eating high-fiber, high-water-content fruit such as apples, oranges, berries, pears, and plums will also help you feel full.