The truth about ‘eating for two’

Eating for two is not the way, here’s what you need to know about eating in pregnancy

Eating for two is a myth, here’s what you need to know

The reasons explained why eating for two is not the way to go

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Don’t eat for two

If you’ve been eating sensibly for years, when you get pregnant it’s tempting to reach for the biscuit tin and gorge the whole gorgeous lot. But the truth is ‘eating for two’ in pregnancy is a myth and you don’t need many extra calories. The best thing for you and you baby is eating a healthy, varied pregnancy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. And with obesity in pregnancy a fast-growing problem, it’s best to go easy on foods that are high in fat and sugar.

Healthy weight gain

The NHS quotes average weight gain in pregnancy is between 10kg–12.5kg, although there are no official guidelines and the amount of weight gained will depend on how much you weighed before you became pregnant.

What you need

You don’t need any extra calories right up until the third trimester, when you start needing an extra 200 calories a day. That isn't much - about the same as two slices of wholegrain toast with margarine.

Healthy snacks

If you feel hungry, you do need to eat! Just avoid fatty, sugary foods and opt for nutritious, satisfying snacks like fruit, low fat yoghurt or a glass of milk.

Tackling excess weight gain

Unfortunately, obesity in pregnancy is a fast-growing problem with 20–40% of women in Europe and the US, gaining more than they need to. Obesity can cause serious problems for mums-to-be, and may increase the chances of your baby becoming obese in later life too. Keeping physically active during your pregnancy along with a healthy, balanced diet can help to minimise excess weight gain. If you’re concerned, chat to a dietician who can develop a safe weight management programme. 

The truth about ‘eating for two’