Top 8 Ways To Deal With Food Cravings During Pregnancy

7 min read

Food Cravings During Pregnancy

Pregnancy gives rise to multiple hormonal changes in a woman’s body. These hormonal changes lead to various changes and symptoms, the most common among them being food cravings during pregnancy. You will see women have foods which they never tried before or hardly will try later, after giving birth.

Some women even start to dislike food items, which they once used to enjoy a lot. Food cravings during pregnancy are subject to change during different stages. While craving healthy foods can be a good thing, cravings for junk and unhealthy foods can pose problems. So how can you deal with food cravings when you are pregnant? We explain.

In This Article

What Are Food Cravings?

Pregnancy cravings are food cravings, an urge to consume any particular drink or food when you have a baby inside you.  While some pregnant women develop a craving for healthy foods, others show an urge to eat high-starch junk foods. Some of these cravings are quite common, and then you have others, which are thought to be simply weird.

Top 8 Ways to Deal With Food Cravings During Pregnancy

There are 8 different ways that will take complete care of your food cravings during pregnancy. Make sure to keep a note on all these points and list them down when you first hear the good news.

1. Physical Activities to Follow

Physical activities for pregnancy cravings

Some of the normal physical activities like regular exercises or going down for a walk will always help you to control your unwanted cravings. Whenever you feel tired, drink plenty of water. It will delay your cravings even more.

2. Distraction is The Key

Listening to music

Always try to distract yourself with new hobbies such as listening to music whenever the cravings hit you. Move the food items from their places and store them somewhere that you can’t reach easily with a heavy pregnant body. Watching a movie or reading a book can always help.

3. Get Emotional Support

Pregnant woman meditating

Another important aspect that can trigger cravings is mood swings or emotional state of mind. An unstable emotional mind will always try to find comfort through eating. So, emotional support from a loved one during this stage is always a clever decision to consider.

You can also switch to meditation, mindfulness, or yoga to deal with mood swings and related binge-eating.

4. Opt For a Balanced Diet Plan

pregnant women holding salad bowl

You must have a balanced diet, which is rich in vegetables, nuts, fruits, and other dairy items. It will help your body get the proper nutrients it needs to grow a baby inside. Once you have had a nutrient-rich meal, you can accommodate a small portion of food/snack/dessert you are craving. This will create a proper balance between nutrition and cravings.

5. Portion Control

Pregnant woman portion control

If you badly want a food item that can be replaced, then avoid torturing yourself by not having it. Just have it, but only in a small portion. Moreover, even if you crave that food every day, try to have it once in a while.

6. Alternative Cravings in a Healthy Way

Healthy substitutes for cravings
You can substitute the high-calorie cravings with a low-calorie substitute. This is one way to avoid unwanted food cravings during pregnancy. For example, you can satisfy your dessert cravings by having a fruit bowl or yogurt.

7. Eat at regular times

Pregnant woman having breakfast
Never ever skip your breakfast. A healthy breakfast will keep the midday cravings away. A blood sugar level dip might trigger sweet cravings, which you want to avoid.

[Read : How To Handle Sweet Food Cravings During Pregnancy?]

8. Understand the Craving Reasons

Consulting a doctor

Cravings are signs of mineral or vitamin deficiency in your body. For example, you might feel the urge to have dairy products if your body needs more calcium. So, find the reason behind your craving as that helps to control it. You can take the help of your gynaecologist and dietitian to overcome certain cravings.

Why Do Pregnancy Cravings Develop?

Why Pregnancy Cravings

The exact reason behind pregnancy cravings is still unknown. Hormonal changes in your body which can have a huge impact on smell and taste are thought to be majorly responsible for these cravings. This can easily explain why some people just hate the food items, which they absolutely loved before.

Here are a few pointers about pregnancy cravings.

  • Pregnancy cravings are mainly due to hormonal changes and for this reason, they are stronger than regular food cravings.
  • However, if you are trying to stay fit while you are pregnant, then these cravings will feel like one extra hurdle.
  • As your body needs more energy to take care of your unborn child, you might crave energy-rich food items, which in turn, can be overeaten accidentally.
  • It is important to exercise moderation even with healthy foods when you are pregnant. Too much of anything can be too bad during pregnancy.

Is it Normal Not to Have Food Cravings in Pregnancy?

Even though the majority of women might face that pregnancy craving, it is also quite normal not to have any kind of craving at all. Just because you aren’t facing any kind of craving, which doesn’t make any difference. On the other hand, if you are not craving sugary or fatty foods, it means you are moving forward with some more healthy food choices out there which will be quite beneficial for your pregnancy.

When Does Food Craving Start During Pregnancy?

Most women will start their food cravings right during the end of the first trimester and continue to have it till delivery. For some women, cravings may be the first sign that they are pregnant. And not every woman is going to get cravings either. Some women might not get any kind of cravings during the first time but might feel some while carrying their second child! So, it is completely normal, both ways. It really differs from one pregnant woman to the other and one pregnancy to the next.

Which Are the Most Common Food Cravings?

Common Pregnancy Cravings

There are no set rules when it comes to the most common food cravings as they differ from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy. Still, there are some commonly craved pregnancy foods which we list here.

  • Cereals
  • Pickles
  • Chocolate
  • Starchy or high carbohydrate related food items
  • Ice Cream
  • Spicy foods
  • Milk
  • Chips
  • Sour foods

It is pretty common to crave sweet or salty foods, especially if you are experiencing morning sickness.

Healthy Food Options For Pregnancy Cravings

There are so many healthy food options available that will fulfil your pregnancy cravings but won’t hamper your pregnancy health. Here are some healthy alternatives to satisfy your cravings.

  • If you are craving ice cream or sour cream, try to have homemade yoghurt, sugar-free sorbets or fresh fruits.
  • Instead of salty foods, try adding herbs to your foods. They add an element of flavour and health as well
  • You can avoid the packed juices and soft drinks and substitute them with fresh fruit juices and tender coconut water.
  • Avoid having packed pickles and try to add homemade low salt and low-fat pickles instead.

Know About Pregnancy Food Aversions and What to do About Them

pregnant women saying no to cake

It is pretty normal to experience a complete loss of appetite or change in food preferences when you are pregnant. Food aversion can play a major role in how much weight will change during pregnancy. Some research shows that around 6 out of 10 women will experience food aversion during this stage.

So, what can you do to cope with pregnancy food aversions? Here are a few tips to help you.

  • When dealing with appetite loss due to vomiting and nausea, you must avoid spicy or fatty food items.
    Staying hydrated and having small and frequent meals can be majorly helpful in reducing aversions and dealing with unnecessary weight loss.
  • You can easily tolerate salty and dry snacks like crackers and pretzels even when having aversions.
  • Bland food items like baked chicken breast which is a good source of protein can also be had.

What Food Cravings Should be Avoided During Pregnancy?

It really does not matter how intense your pregnancy cravings get, but there are some food items that you must not try to consume when you are carrying a baby.

Here are some food items you must avoid despite craving for them.

  1. Avoid eating eggs, fish, and meats, which are not cooked properly.
  2. Do not opt for non-food items like soaps, mud, dirt, and more.
  3. There should not be drugs and cigarettes on your list.
  4. On the other hand, you must avoid alcohol consumption as well when you are pregnant.

[Read : Pica During Pregnancy]

 

Food cravings during pregnancy are normal. While craving healthy foods is good for you, you will need to find a way to deal with unhealthy and unsafe cravings. Remember that even if you are craving junk or desserts, you can have them once in a while and in moderation.

[Read : 10 Ways Junk Food Can Be Unsafe During Pregnancy]

FAQ’s

1. How Early Can You Get Pregnancy Cravings?

Most of the time, you can feel the pregnancy cravings kick in by or the first trimester or as early as 5 weeks into pregnancy.

2. What Food Do You Crave if You Are Having a Boy?

It is believed that if you carry a boy, you will find yourself attracted more towards savoury and salty food items like chips and pickles. There is no scientific evidence behind this, this is just a belief.

3. Do Pregnancy Cravings Mean Anything?

These are routine and typical side effects faced by a pregnant woman, which can sometimes continue throughout the pregnancy. Cravings are the result of hormonal changes and a heightened sense of smell and taste.

Read Also: 10 Foods To Definitely Avoid During Pregnancy

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