For the Expecting Athlete: How to Avoid Excessive Weight Gain

Congrats mama! If you’ve stumbled upon this post, you’re like every expecting fit mom: so excited and getting adjusted to a new 9 month journey! Like most female athletes that enter into motherhood, you’re planning down to everything but not really know what to expect plan for: including weight gain. Since rounding my last stage of pregnancy at 37 weeks pregnant, I’ve done my fair share of research, trial and error, and can testify how amazing becoming a mom can be! So don’t stress moms! I’ve broken down how to carry your bun in the oven and not look like you ate the entire bread factory!

What should you expect?

Every pregnancy women gains weight and every pregnancy is different; if you haven’t heard this yet, you will- a million times. Personally, I was very sick my first trimester and lost 20 pounds, so I had to very consciously and carefully catch up in my other two trimesters to grow this “Spartan” baby.

Photo by Mike Larremore

Photo by Mike Larremore 

On average, a healthy pregnancy weight gain is expected to be around 25-35 pounds. If you begin your pregnancy under or overweight, this can differ.

The “eating for two” thing

So one of my biggest peeves during my pregnancy is that everyone around you is always saying “you’re eating for two though” and eating is not only encouraged, it can sometimes feel like pressure when your family is trying to through two servings of lasagna in your face. A good rule of thumb during your first trimester, is to eat an extra 150-175 calories a day. 300 extra calories should follow in your 2nd and 3rd trimester. Yes, you’re creating a human, but they’re a fraction of a size compared to an adult and as easy as it is to get into the “pregnancy card” remember: what you put on will be there after 9 months. Small meals, high in fiber will help ease hunger strikes and give you great energy! But don’t forget that you can treat yourself from time to time!

Reach for the alternative

You’re pregnant, you’re going to crave things! So make the most of the opportunity to nourish your body and baby by selecting healthy alternatives when you have cravings. For example: when I crave ice cream, I whip together a fruit smoothie. If I’m dying for fast food, I’ll grill some sweet potatoes and a turkey burger. 2015-05-25 17.49.01 Protein has been hard to stomach during my pregnancy, like a lot of expectant moms, so I have tricked myself by sneaking extra protein in sandwiches, egg whites in my smoothies, and supplementing Axis Labs protein shakes in between my meals.

You’re an athlete; training for two

Training has been my biggest struggle mentally since becoming pregnant! I went from 6 days a week to barely being able to get out of bed on some days and mentally I felt like I was failing, but it’s crucial to not beat yourself up! Growing a baby is hard first off and for the first time ever, you may not be able to “push” yourself and you shouldn’t. Staying fit and healthy is as simple as staying active during pregnancy! Daily walking has huge benefits for your baby, body, preparing you for labor, and helping the excess numbers on the scale. A good goal to shoot for in my opinion of pregnancy is light training 3-4’s a week or walking daily. Also, adding new disciplines such as yoga, has amazing benefits, especially later in pregnancy with easing discomfort.

The biggest tip: keep track and keep positive

The first thing you’ll learn as a new mom is that planning, well it’s not always your plan. Some days you can’t eat, can’t train, and putting pants on deserves a medal; so rather than loose positivity find some solace and some organization by tracking. I’m an avid flex dieter, so tracking my nutrition has always been a part of my day and it gave me so much comfort during my pregnancy! I didn’t track to beat myself up or be restricted, I tracked my food to keep protein on my mind and when reaching for an extra piece of cake, I was less likely to over indulge because I knew where my calories stood that day. Tracking workouts, although mild in attempt to my previous days, gave me something to look forward too and hopefully will give me tons of motivation post pregnancy. The bottom line is a girl can get lost in the mix of 9 months of planning for baby and I truly feel that yes, your body will change during pregnancy; it’s not ruined, it’s actually doing the most impressive thing yet! Gaining weight, stretch marks, whatever it is; they are temporary, but they’re permanent badges of honor to remind yourself of awesome it is to be a mom!


Article Contributed by: Alysha White, Axis Labs Sponsored Athlete and Master Trainer