All women have one thing in common – chocolate! While some love it more than others, we all have a deep love for the sweet delicacy. This can be at any time of the month, but for certain times like our periods or even during pregnancy when life isn’t going to go as smoothly as other days.
It’s kind of like being constantly hungry and all you want to do is eat, but you can’t find anything around.
Do you ever feel like some days you’ll just give into cravings no matter how strong-willed you try to be in the face of temptation?
This is a struggle very few ladies who are aware they’re pregnant will go through. And that’s something we need to change! Because, the less nutrition and nourishment we have, the more problems occur during pregnancy. We have, as we all know it now – what happens when you don’t eat enough (or properly when you are expecting) is that your baby suffers from malnutrition which ends up being detrimental for both you and your child.
The Hidden Warnings
1)Nutrient Deficiency If your body isn’t receiving the right kind of nutrition it can leave you incredibly hungry, which is why eating lots of smaller meals throughout the day instead of just a few larger ones (ie. breakfast and lunch, or two dinners a day) can help stave off those rumbling stomachs between meals!
2) Hormone imbalance Diet plays a big part in weight gain during pregnancy. Pregnant women have low levels of the hormone leptin and also high levels of ghrelin – which makes them feel hungry; especially towards the end of their pregnancy. Deep sleep, or REM (Rapid Eye Movement) helps to regulate your hormones and hence proper sleep is vital to control your appetite accordingly decline in weight gain. On average pregnant women need around 8 hours of quality sleep every night to maintain healthy BMI percentages throughout their 7+ months of pregnancy, but some experts go as far as recommending 10.5 hours!
Chocolate cravings during pregnancy
When you experience intense cravings for chocolate during pregnancy or otherwise, it’s a sign that your body is in dire need of magnesium and iron. Magnesium helps with the development of your body tissues so is useful for producing bone and proteins as well as fatty acids. It also relaxes your muscles and helps aid blood clotting, (which can be useful if you suffer from leg cramps). Magnesium supplementation during pregnant can also prevent premature contractions and reduces the risk of low birthweight and premature babies.
Magnesium is essential to the body. Foods include pumpkin, squash, halibut, cooked spinach and black beans. But if one is deficient, supplement with 200mg of magnesium per day in tablet form.
Iron is a vital part of our diet since it’s required for the production of red blood cells and to transport oxygen around the body. If we are deficient in iron then we would experience fatigue due to a lack of oxygen.
Pregnant women are commonly tested for anemia, so you should not supplement your pregnancy diet with iron unless prescribed by your doctor. It is recommended not to take too much as it can be toxic.
Cravings sweet things or alcohol during pregnancy
Some people wonder if their taste in food changes during pregnancy – our personal opinion is that there’s nothing wrong with being a little extra picky for that matter. For example, there can be cravings for certain kinds of sweets or alcohol, but it doesn’t mean you’re addicted to them!
Alcohol is made entirely of sugar. To put things in perspective, an average 375ml of wine that contains 12% alcohol has as much sugar as a can of Coca-Cola! That’s just one glass. It contains more sugar than double chocolate cheesecake and even three milk chocolate bars! If you are consuming desserts with high amounts of sugar on a regular basis (because they taste good) then your brain may crave something entirely different when an opportunity presents itself with alcohol to accompany it.
What it means…
1)You might have a sugar addiction and need to kick the habit. In an attempt to reprogram your tastes, you should try switching over to a very clean diet for at least 30 days that is devoid of processed sugars in any form or processing!
2)If you already eat a clean food diet – but you have no idea what foods work best for you and your baby-to-be – help is right around the corner: Visit our latest guide to Metabolic Typing, where we help you determine exactly what to eat for your individual body chemistry during pregnancy.
3)You need sleep. Your body knows when it’s time for a break and will tell you by making you feel exhausted if you haven’t gotten enough rest. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep is the perfect recipe to let your mind, body and spirit rejuvenate itself! If that’s not possible, try at least getting some shut eye during the day so your body can recover in some way.
What You Should Do Next
The only way to be sure of what is going on with your body is to make sure you’re looking for a pattern in specific behaviors. So start a food, sleep and activity journal and watch closely to see if there are commonalities when it comes down to your daily activities. Also pay attention to unexpected developments or unusual behavior that can be a sign something might be off track.
If you keep a diary for just 7 days, your body will start to reveal one of its most important secrets! We’re talking about what you’ve been eating and how often. Once the picture is in focus, implementing small changes that your body badly needs will effectively shift those extra pounds if this is an area where you need help.