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Hunger Pangs During Pregnancy And 9 Ways You Can Deal With It

Hunger Pangs During Pregnancy And 9 Ways You Can Deal With It

Do you feel as if you are never really full? Well, hunger pangs during pregnancy are common and are primarily caused by hormonal changes. Many expecting mums feel hungry at odd hours or in just a couple of hours after having a meal. In fact, hormonal changes aren’t the only factor contributing to increased appetite. Mums can also experience hunger pangs due to increased energy needs to support the growth of the baby. 

If you are pregnant and experiencing hunger pangs, knowing the appropriate ways to deal with them can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent unwanted weight gain. Keep reading to know effective ways to deal with hunger pangs or increased appetite during pregnancy.

When Does Appetite Increase During Pregnancy?

Hunger pangs during pregnancy are more prevalent in the second and third trimesters

Some women notice a change in their appetite as soon as the first trimester begins. But for others, this change may occur during the second trimester when morning sickness becomes bearable and food cravings increase. Although you might experience hunger pangs anytime during the day, it’s typically experienced more at midnight or early morning, as during that time your blood sugar level tends to drop due to a long gap between meals.

Is It Normal To Feel Constantly Hungry During Pregnancy?

Yes, it is quite normal to feel constantly hungry during pregnancy. In the first trimester, the increased appetite could be due to morning sickness, as you throw up often and your stomach gets empty easily. 

However, from the second trimester, your growing fetus will require extra nutrients, which might increase the body’s need for nutrition, and make you feel hungry frequently. Also, you will need 200-400 extra calories to meet foetal growth and nutritional needs during the second and third trimesters. 

9 Ways To Deal With Hunger Pangs During Pregnancy

Overeating or binge-eating every time you feel hungry can lead to unwanted weight gain during pregnancy. You can try to avoid that by eating right and managing your hunger pangs. Here are nine measures that you can rely on to deal with an increased appetite during pregnancy.

Stay Hydrated

Make sure to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day. Staying hydrated not only beats hunger but also keeps you satiated through the day. You can either stick to plain water or try hydrating alternatives like fresh fruit or veggie juices, lemon water, and ginger ale. Just remember to avoid caffeinated drinks and ones that contain excess sugars and calories.

Include Homemade Soups And Salads In Your Meals

Include homemade soups and salads along with your regular meals to increase your calorie intake

Start including a side of homemade soups and salads along with your meals. They are more nutritious and contain much less sugar and saturated fats. Prepare soups with fresh veggies like spinach, broccoli, beetroot, and tomatoes. Also, consider adding fruits like strawberries, apples, bananas, and avocados to your salads. 

Choose healthy salad dressings such as apple cider vinegar and virgin olive oil. Another added benefit of including soups and salads in your meal is that they will help level up your calorie intake in the healthiest possible way.

Create A Well-balanced Diet Plan

Make a well-balanced diet chart that contains fibre-rich foods like brown rice and whole-grain bread. Consuming fibre-rich foods will prevent indigestion and help manage constipation. They are also quite filling and might reduce your hunger pangs. If you are craving a midnight snack, always choose foods that are easy to digest. Try a toast with peanut butter or a bowl of cereal with milk. You can also consult your doctor to help chart a suitable diet plan for you. 

Create A Healthy Snack Box For Yourself

You cannot control your hunger during pregnancy. But what you can control is the type of food you choose to munch on when hungry. Create a healthy snack box for yourself and fill it with dry fruits, trail mix, biscuits, and fruits. Carry it in your bag when you are away from home. This will prevent you from purchasing outside food that is usually unhealthy and has high calories.

Moreover, in addition to reducing hunger pangs, dry fruits and dates can reduce symptoms of morning sickness such as nausea. So make sure to have some dry fruits and a date or two to feel better.

Eat Slowly

Make sure to eat slowly and chew properly. This will prevent you from overeating and make you feel full after you’ve had a sufficient amount of food. It will also prevent indigestion, heartburn, and other discomforts.

Do Not Skip Fats

You do have to keep a watch on your weight, but that doesn’t mean you eliminate fats from your diet completely. Instead, choose the right type of fats to satiate your hunger pangs. Avoid hydrogenated and saturated fats found in packaged foods such as chips. Rather include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as omega-3s. Some healthy options include avocados, olive, salmon, sardines, sunflower oil, flaxseed oil, and soya oil.

Eat Frequently

Although you are advised to eat frequently, make sure to split the meals into several smaller meals, instead of three large ones. This is because the appearance of a full plate can make you feel hungrier than you are, and cause you to overeat. As a trick, serve food on smaller plates and cut down the duration between each meal.

Consume Foods That Make You Feel Full Easily

Foods that are rich in unsaturated fats, such as groundnuts and oats can keep you full for long hours. This will prevent you from binge-eating and also help keep a check on your weight.

Eat Foods That Regulate Sleep

Foods such as oatmeal contain tryptophan which helps regulate your sleep cycle

Uninterrupted sleep is essential during pregnancy. But feeling hungry can disturb your sleep and keep you up overnight. To avoid that you can eat tryptophan-rich foods to regulate your sleep cycle. These foods stimulate the melatonin and serotonin levels in the body, thereby, regulating your sleep and wake cycle. Examples of these foods include almonds, bananas, oatmeal, and whole-wheat bread.

Despite feeling hungry frequently, do not be concerned, as it is just a side effect of pregnancy, and doesn’t require medical intervention. To satiate your hunger pangs, you need to ensure the consumption of nutritional-rich foods that keep you healthy and up your calorie intake. 

10 May 2022

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