My Advice to Jessica Simpson on Pregnancy Weight Gain

My Advice to Jessica Simpson on Pregnancy Weight Gain

Hello, my name is Nicole, and I’m a recovering over-indulger. (Everyone say, “Hi Nicole!”) I’m also pregnant with my second child. When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I was overwhelmed with joy. Shamefully, part of that joy was excitement about “eating for two.” As much fun as that was, it came at a price: I gained 60 pounds, had a 9-pound baby and was stuck with an extra 30 pounds of “baby weight” long after delivery. And I’m not alone. Singer, mogul and new mom Jessica Simpson confessed that she over-indulged and gained more than 40 pounds (some speculate that it was actually 50 or 60 pounds) during her first pregnancy. As rumors swirl in cyberspace about her being pregnant again, I wonder if she’ll do things differently the second time around. I certainly did!

Here’s what I learned the hard way from my first pregnancy:

Don’t eat for two—eat for you plus 10 percent
“Eating for two” is one of the biggest pregnancy myths out there, especially since one of you can be weighed in ounces for the bulk of the pregnancy. “Essentially, when you’re pregnant, you only need to eat 10 percent more than the number of calories you ordinarily eat to maintain your weight,” says Mehmet Oz, MD. “The truth is that when you actually follow the science and look at adequate calorie consumption for growing a healthy baby, the more accurate principle that pregnant women should follow is eating for 1.1.”

Know when to indulge
Eating for 1.1 is definitely a balancing act. “It’s important for moms-to-be to find a healthy balance between indulging their cravings and resisting them—and to make sure that, regardless of the foods they’re drawn to, they get plenty of the nutrients that are vital for their health and their baby’s healthy development,” says Dole Nutrition Institute. Or, as the experts at Brigham and Women’s Hospital put it,Eating spinach at 2 a.m. is OK, but eating hot chili regularly or a half-dozen candy bars is not.”

Exercise is a must
I know, easier said than done, especially when a big belly makes you front-heavy. But regular exercise during pregnancy helps keep you in shape for that moment you head into the delivery room (ladies, they don’t call it labor for nothing). “Regular exercise can help mom to have an easier labor, birth and recovery,” says Sharecare expert and nurse midwife Paula Greer. If you weren’t very active before pregnancy, walking or swimming may be your best bet.

I’m taking it one craving at a time. When the temptation hits to eat that second bowl of ice cream, I reach for a piece of fruit or a glass of water. And if that doesn’t work, I repeat my personal mantra: “Eating for 1.1 can be fun, while eating for two leaves 60 pounds on you!”

Medically reviewed in May 2019.

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