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Eating for Two When Over or Under Weight

Weight gain during pregnancy helps your baby grow. Gaining weight at a steady rate within recommended boundaries can also lower your chances of having hemorrhoids, varicose veins, stretch marks, backache, fatigue, indigestion, and shortness of breath during pregnancy.

Why is weight gain important during pregnancy?

Eating for two is essential. The extra weight you gain during pregnancy provides nourishment to your developing baby and is also stored for breastfeeding your baby after delivery.

Eating for Two: Where does all the extra weight go?

Here is an approximate breakdown of your weight gain:

  • Baby: 7-8 pounds
  • Placenta: 1-2 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
  • Uterus: 2 pounds
  • Maternal breast tissue: 2 pounds
  • Maternal blood: 4 pounds
  • Fluids in maternal tissue: 4 pounds
  • Maternal fat and nutrient stores: 7 pounds

How much total weight should I gain?

The amount of weight you should gain depends on your weight and BMI (body mass index) before pregnancy.

You should gain:

  • 25-35 pounds if you were a healthy weight before pregnancy, with a BMI of 18.5-24.9.
  • 28-40 pounds if you were underweight before pregnancy with a BMI of less than 18.5.
  • 15-25 pounds if you were overweight before pregnancy with a BMI of 25-29.9.
  • 11-20 pounds if you were obese before pregnancy with a BMI of over 30.

At what rate should I gain weight during my pregnancy?

How much you should gain depends on your weight before you were pregnant and how far along you are in your pregnancy. For the average woman who starts her pregnancy out at a normal weight, your weight gain will look something like this.

If you start out your pregnancy over or under-weight, you will want to talk with your health care provider about what your weight gain rate should look like.

  • 1-4.5 pounds during the first trimester
  • Approximately 1-2 pounds per week in the second trimester
  • Approximately 1-2 pounds per week in the third trimester

Healthy weight before pregnancy:

Throughout your pregnancy, the goal is to keep weight gain as steady as possible because your baby requires a daily supply of nutrients that comes from what you eat.

It is normal for your weight gain to fluctuate a little from week to week. However, you should contact your health care provider if you suddenly gain or lose weight, especially in your third trimester. This could be a sign of certain complications.

What if I am carrying twins?

If you are pregnant with twins, your weight gain should be monitored by your health care provider. Weight gain should increase significantly, but will not double. If you are in the normal weight and BMI category before pregnancy, your weight gain should be about 37-54 pounds. Overweight women will aim for a weight gain of 31-50 pounds.

Women who begin pregnancy at an obese weight should strive for a 25-42 pound gain. Of course, these may all be altered by your health care provider’s recommendation and your specific situation.

Does being underweight pose any risks to me or my baby?

Due to morning sickness, many women have trouble gaining weight in the first trimester and worry about what effects this has on their baby’s development. Some women lose a little weight at the beginning of their pregnancies. Fortunately, at this time, the baby does not need as many calories and nutrients as later in pregnancy.

It is important to gain weight at a steady pace throughout pregnancy. If a woman does not gain weight throughout pregnancy, complications such as low birth weight or premature delivery could occur. Babies who are born to mothers who do not gain more than 20 pounds are often considered small for gestational age (SGA), meaning they may have been malnourished during pregnancy.

Healthy Eating During Pregnancy:

A sensible meal plan that is rich in vitamins and minerals is essential for a developing baby. You may want to ask your health care provider for food recommendations or seek the help of a nutritionist in your area. Women who are underweight during pregnancy tend to eat low-calorie foods and not enough protein.

The following are ways to get more calories:

  • Eat breakfast every day. Peanut butter or a slice of cheese on toast can give you an extra protein boost.
  • Snack between meals; yogurt and dried fruits can provide protein, calcium, and minerals.
  • Try to eat more foods that are high in good fats such as nuts, fatty fish, avocados, and olive oil.
  • Drink juices made from real fruit that are high in vitamin C or beta carotenes, such as grapefruit juice, orange juice, papaya nectar, apricot nectar, and carrot juice.
  • Avoid junk food. (learn more about foods you should avoid)
  • Consult your health care provider about taking prenatal vitamins and any additional supplements.

Can gaining too much weight be harmful?

The following are potential problems with gaining too much weight:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Backaches
  • Leg pain
  • Increased fatigue
  • Varicose veins
  • Increased risk of cesarean delivery
  • High blood pressure

How does being obese affect my pregnancy?

Many overweight women have healthy pregnancies and deliver without complications. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks that extra weight can have.

Pregnant women who are struggling with obesity may have:

  • An increased risk for gestational diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Difficulty with hearing the heartbeat and measuring the size of the uterus
  • Difficulty with vaginal delivery if the fetus is much larger than average

Fortunately, appropriate medical and self-care can lower the risks of these complications. Your health care provider may suggest that more tests be done during pregnancy. These might include ultrasounds to measure your baby’s size, a glucose tolerance test to screen for gestational diabetes, and other diagnostic tests later in pregnancy to monitor your baby’s development.

The following self-care tips can help you make your pregnancy a healthy one for you and your baby:

  • Avoid pregnancy risks such as alcohol and smoking.
  • Try not to gain too much weight; your health care provider will provide the recommended weight gain.
  • Be selective about your food choices; choose food sources that contain vitamins, minerals, and protein.

More Helpful Articles:

  • Pregnancy Weight Gain
  • Pregnancy and Eating Disorders
  • Pregnancy Nutrition

Compiled using information from the following source:

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, https://www.acog.com

Institute Of Medicine, Report Brief May 2009, Weight Gain during Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guideline

Will you be a statistic in the battle of the bulge? It’s looking pretty grim: In the past two decades, the number of seriously overweight women in their 20s shot up by more than 60 percent, according to government statistics. Nearly half of women in their 30s and more than half of women in their 40s are overweight. While there is no crystal ball that will reveal the fat in your future, this feature can help you assess whether you’re on a fast track to fatness — and help you tip the scales in your favor.

Fat Factors:
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Researchers estimate that genes may be as much as 70 percent responsible for how much you weigh. Each question you answer with a “yes” is a likely clue to the course of your weight over time.

Are your parents overweight?
If one of your parents is heavy, your chances of becoming overweight are higher — higher still if both parents are heavy. But while your genetic makeup may influence your tendency toward fatness or leanness, you don’t inherit an exact weight, but a range of possible weights. Where you fall within that range will vary according to what you eat and how much you exercise, according to Gary Foster, Ph.D., clinical director of the weight and eating disorders program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

While you may physically resemble your heavier parent, the genes for appearance and weight gain are separate, says Michael Rosenbaum, M.D., associate professor of clinical pediatrics and clinical medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. “You can have the facial appearance of your mother, who is heavy, but have the weight-gain genes of your father, who is thin. Or vice versa.” As for body shape: “Apples” beget “apples” and “pears” produce “pears,” but again, the genes for body shape and body fatness are not the same.

Did one or both of your parents become overweight in midlife?
Growth patterns, including girth, seem to be inherited. If either parent was slim and then gained a significant amount at about 50, keep close tabs on your own waistline as you get older.

Did your mother gain weight with pregnancy?
Weight gain and fat distribution during pregnancy probably reflect genetic influences, but how your body responds to any event is influenced by genes from both parents, says Rosenbaum, so your weight fate won’t necessarily match that of your mother.

In a recent government study, only one in five women who were trying to lose weight was doing it the right way: by both cutting calories and increasing exercise. If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, your reducing efforts may be backfiring.

Are you cutting fat, but not calories?
Forty percent of women dieters focus only on cutting fat. Don’t fall for the fat-free trap. A two-ounce bag of fat-free jelly beans contains 210 calories — about the same as a chocolate bar. Your body considers all calories the same, whether they come from carbohydrates, protein or fat.

Are you oblivious to portion sizes?
When your eye gets accustomed to humongous restaurant servings, it’s easy to lose track of what a three-ounce portion of meat, a half cup of rice, or a one-ounce muffin looks like. Measure them out to refresh your memory. You don’t have to carry a set of measuring cups with you. Your palm, fingers, and thumbs can be very handy in guesstimating portions. For example, a serving the size of your palm represents about three ounces of, say, meat or fish; a serving the size of your thumb represents about an ounce of, say, cheese; a serving the size of your thumb tip represents about a teaspoon of, say, butter or mayo; a serving the size of your fingertip represents about a half-teaspoon; your cupped hand carries about 2 tablespoons of liquid; and your fist represents a serving size of about a cup.

Do you go back to your old habits after reaching your weight-loss goal?
If so, be prepared to gain it all back. “If you want to maintain a lower weight, whatever changes you made to lose the weight must be continued well beyond the period of weight loss,” says Rosenbaum.

Is your scale gathering dust?
People who lose weight and manage to keep it off tend to weigh themselves frequently and take action right away when they gain a few pounds.

Only one in three women trying to lose weight exercises for 150 minutes per week, the minimum level of physical activity recommended for all Americans. In order to find out how active you really are, ask yourself these questions:

How many hours a day do you spend sitting? (Include TV time and driving time in your total.)
If you’re like most of us, you drastically underestimate how much time you spend sitting. Now that you know, you can plot ways to get up and get moving.

Do you depend on technology?
The computer, email, the TV remote, and the garage-door opener all save you time, but with each “saving” you burn fewer calories. Do things the old-fashioned way and engineer more activity into your days. There’s a direct relationship between energy expenditure and weight, says William Dietz, M.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How many minutes of activity do you work into each week?
You should shoot for 150 to 200 minutes, says Foster. The newest recommendations suggest 30 minutes of daily activity, in intermittent bouts of 10 to 20 minutes. Walking counts; so do activities such as washing the car or sweeping.

One thing’s for sure: Overeating has never been easier. Food is everywhere. If you have kids, trips to the drive-thru can become a way of life. Your kitchen’s probably chock-full of tempting goodies too. Unless you have a will of iron, grabbing an extra bite here and there is hard to avoid. Be brutally honest — your answers can help uncover the secret source of extra calories and pounds.

Do you eat off your kids’ plates?
If you can’t stand the thought of wasting food, serve your kids smaller portions; they can always ask for seconds.

Do you eat while you cook?
If you nibble at the stove and then follow it up with a full-size meal, your calorie intake may be double your best estimates.

Do you match your husband bite for bite?
On average, men burn 25 percent more calories than women. Unless you’re significantly more active than your spouse, eating the way he does is almost sure to add pounds.

Do you buy snacks for the kids — and end up eating them yourself?
You probably don’t really need that bag of cookies or tortilla chips; your kids probably don’t either.

Do you raid the fridge at the end of the day?
Figure out why you’re so famished. Maybe you need to eat a bigger lunch or have a 3pm snack. At the very least, you can stock your fridge with lighter, more healthful bites, such as precut veggies and fruit or hard-boiled eggs.

Do you eat on the run?
If your “meals” consist of a yogurt here and a handful of crackers there, chances are good that you never feel satisfied and have no idea how much you’ve eaten, two factors that can lead to overeating. Try to set aside time to sit down for a substantial but healthful lunch and dinner to fuel your busy life.

Keeping Track of the Extra Bites
If your answers were heavy on the “yesses,” keep a one-week food diary that tracks everything you put in your mouth; jot down not just what you’re eating but also the time and circumstances. Target the most painless ways to cut calories and implement them one by one.

Eating when you’re frustrated, tired, bored, or in need of a pat on the back can be a major predictor of weight problems, says Beth McKinney, R.D., a nutritionist at the Cornell University Wellness Program in Ithaca, NY. How well do any of the following describe your patterns?

Do you pig out when you’re stressed?
Yes, food is comforting and soothing. It doesn’t judge, criticize, or make demands on you — even when you abuse it. There’s nothing wrong with using food this way occasionally, but if it becomes a habit or you’re always stressed, watch out — you’ll be wearing extra pounds.

Do you eat to improve your mood?
If every tough day at work sends you to the office vending machine or boredom on the home front starts you foraging in the fridge, you’d be better off with a more constructive coping strategy. Nurture yourself with nonfood activities: Exercise, a potent mood-booster and energizer, can be a way to carve out time for yourself. Or call a friend to get you out of a funk. Or tell your kids you need a hug.

Do you eat to reward yourself?
For many women, once the kids are off to bed or a project is done, it’s time for a special treat. Set an easy goal: Instead of having that bottomless dish of ice cream every night, cut back to half a cup (yes, measure it) three times a week, suggests McKinney. You could easily save around 1,800 calories each week. Or you might indulge yourself by buying a good novel (lock yourself in the bathroom so you’ll be undisturbed!).

SMART MOVE: GET TO THE HEART OF YOUR HUNGER!
The key with emotional eating is to recognize not only that you’re doing it, but also how often and to what extent, says McKinney. Sometimes therapy can help you deal with the tougher underlying issues.

Of all the times in a woman’s life, pregnancy is one of the riskiest for permanent weight gain. While the average woman retains just one to five pounds with each pregnancy, 10 to 20 percent of women hold on to 30 or more pounds — and multiple pregnancies may bring further weight increases, says Jennifer C. Lovejoy, Ph.D., chief of women’s nutrition research at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA.

Your risk for added pounds goes up if: You gain weight early in your pregnancy.
Excess weight accumulated during the first trimester contributes minimally to the birth weight of your baby — it just adds to your own body-fat stores. “While it’s never appropriate to diet or try to lose weight while you’re pregnant, don’t view the first trimester of pregnancy as a license to overeat,” says Lovejoy. If you start gaining right from the start of your pregnancy, you need to reassess your eating habits. Forget about “eating for two.” The actual recommended increase in daily caloric intake is only 300 calories per day in the second and third trimesters. That’s not the caloric equivalent of unlimited ice cream; it’s just two glasses of low-fat milk and one piece of fruit.

You gain more than your doctor recommends.
The more you gain during pregnancy, the more you’ll retain afterward. Since weight-gain recommendations vary depending on your prepregnancy weight, make sure you’re clear on the amount of weight you should be gaining.

You’re unable to get back to your prebaby eating habits.
New motherhood may make getting back to your old habits difficult. But, Lovejoy speculates, it’s also possible that for some women, hormonal changes during pregnancy trigger changes in eating patterns that make it harder to control food and calorie intake even after their baby is born. You have several children close together.
“When children are closely spaced , women may not have time to regain their prepregnancy body composition; they have more body fat and less lean tissue. If you have more fat and less lean tissue during your second pregnancy, your metabolic rate may be lower, predisposing you to additional weight gain,” says Lovejoy.

You breast-feed for less than six months.
Breast-feeding exclusively for six months or longer may help reduce your fat stores, but breast-feeding for a relatively short period of time (or bottle-feeding as well as nursing) won’t help with postpartum weight loss.

You feel more hassled than happy.
Though motherhood brings many new pleasures and satisfactions, Lovejoy found that, on average, women who had experienced the largest weight gain also reported fewer pleasurable events in their lives. These women weren’t clinically depressed, says Lovejoy. “It’s possible that these moms experienced an overall quality-of-life change,” she says. And they may have used food (an always-accessible pleasure) as a coping mechanism.

YOUR PREGNANCY-POUNDS PREDICTOR
Do these statements sound as if they’re describing you? Then you know where your weight has (or will) come from. If your weight is higher than your doctor thinks it should be six weeks after you’ve given birth, that’s the time to make a commitment to getting the weight off as soon as possible. The last of your pregnancy gains should be gone within a year. (Whether or not you’re breast-feeding, ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian. You can also call the American Dietetic Association at (800) 366-1655, or visit www.eatright.org to get a local referral.)

Your risk for added pounds goes down if: You return to work after giving birth.
This seems to speed postpartum weight loss, perhaps because it makes it easier to return to your prepregnancy eating habits.

You exercise during pregnancy.
If you work out consistently, you’re less likely to retain excess weight afterward, particularly if you stay active after your baby arrives.

“I can’t exercise because I have no time.”
Counterattack:

  • Split up your workout. Weight-train in the morning and do aerobics later on; or do several bouts of aerobics.
  • Work while you work out. Read mail, memos, journals.
  • Time yourself. If you can’t get a good workout in under 45 minutes, you’re wasting time somewhere.

“I can’t exercise because I’m too busy carpooling.”

Counterattack:

  • Twenty-five percent of car trips are less than one mile. Between traffic and finding a place to park, it may actually be faster to walk. Try it. Get your kids in on it too.

“I can’t exercise because It takes time away from my family.”

Counterattack:

  • Play outside with your kids. A game of tag or hopscotch burns five calories per minute. Bike with them and you’ll burn eight calories a minute.

“I can’t exercise because I’m too tired.”

Counterattack:

  • Aim to do half a workout. Once you’ve started, you may find you can keep going.
  • Have a snack. Low blood sugar can make you feel lackluster.

“I can’t exercise because it’s too boring.”

Counterattack:

  • Disguise it. Go window shopping. Walk to an open house. Get cracking on a major yard cleanup.
  • Schedule exercise around a routine task. Treat your dog to a 20-minute neighborhood tour. Out to lunch? Take a 15-minute walk and try a new restaurant.

“I can’t exercise because I’d rather watch TV.”

Counterattack:

  • No need to miss your favorite shows; just lift weights or pedal an exercise bike while you watch.

Jenny’s belly bulge

the fake pregnancy ends

The end of Jenny’s fake pregnancy was now fast approaching, Jenny’s stomach had now bloated and rounded to a significant size and anyone taking anything less than a detailed look would assume she was pregnant. Some of the excess baggage had started settling on Jenny’s bottom and breasts, but Jenny didn’t mind this just added to the effect.
On Jenny’s last day before maternity leave she decided it was time for a weigh in. This would be the last day of her gain and diet and exercise was to come. Jenny stepped onto the scales and closed her eyes, preparing herself for the shock, on one hand hoping that she had reached her goal of 190lbs but on the other dreading how much she would have to loose. She took a deep breath, opened her eyes and looked down, but she couldn’t see! Her protruding belly which now stuck out a considerable distance was blocking her view. She called for Ben who checked, “Hmm…” Ben said. “Did I not make 190lbs?” Jenny said worryingly. “No,” said Ben. “You made 215”. “215!” Jenny exclaimed. “Yep”, Ben chuckled.
Jenny got dressed and found a loose fitting maternity dress, which was one of the only pieces of maternity wear she could find which still fit and went to work.
Jenny’s colleagues had thrown a huge surprise party and laid on a big spread of food and a massive cake! Jenny thanked everyone then even know the thought of her upcoming diet worried her, she tucked in, going up several times for extra cake. One of her colleagues said to her with a cheeky grin, “Be careful Jenny, not all of that extra weight will go with the Baby”, Jenny put her hand down under the table and squeezed her bloated tummy, “Nope”, she thought, oh well.
Jenny got home that evening, excited about a year off work but the prospect of loosing her now prominent tummy was daunting. Ben was waiting and gave her a big hug and a kiss as she walked through the door, pushing up against her soft round belly. “I’ve got a surprise”, he said. “I’ve just booked a last minute two week getaway in the Caribbean for the both of us. Jenny’s face lit up! There was no point in starting the diet until after the vacation.
Jenny and Ben set off on their vacation, checking into a beautiful beach side hotel, which most importantly has a great buffet. The day after they arrive they decide to go diving. Jenny squeezes into a pair of hot pants and a loose fitting top. They arrive at the water sports break and enquire about diving, “I’m afraid you can’t dive in your condition lady” the guide says. “Our insurance doesn’t cover pregnant ladies”, “I’m not pregnant!” Jenny said angrily. The guide is taken aback and looks confused. “I’m just fat” Jenny sighs, “Oh, that’s ok then”. The guide says with embarrassment.
Once they’ve finished diving Jenny complains to Ben about everyone thinking she’s pregnant, bar men refusing to serve her, people offering her seats is starting to wear on her. Then Jenny has a idea, in the market is a T-Shirt printing stall. She returns 10 minutes later wearing a new tight fitting T-Shirt which know it was the largest size, doesn’t quite cover her belly. On the T-Shirt our printed the words, “I’m not pregnant, I’m just fat!”. Ben laughs and wraps his arms around Jenny’s fat belly.
On the last night of their holiday Jenny and Ben, both relaxed and with dark brown tans, enjoy another large meal, both eating far to much then decide to go for a walk on the beach. Even as the sun was starting to set it was still hot and humid. Jenny was wearing nothing but a loose fitting pair of white pull string pants and a bikini top. Her large, tanned, round belly was protruding from between her hips over the top of the white pants. They stopped and Ben stood behind Jenny wrapping his arms around her and stroking her soft, smooth belly. Jenny started to cry, “What’s wrong?” Ben said, “I don’t want to loose the belly”, she said. “I really like feeling it jiggling about and resting on my thighs when I sit down”. Ben looked her in the eyes and said, “I don’t think you’ve ever looked so beautiful and if you want to keep the belly I’d be very happy”, “Are you sure?” Jenny said. “You don’t mind having a girlfriend who has a big fat belly that pokes out making her look pregnant?”, “No” Ben said, “I’ll tell everyone with pride, that’s my girlfriend and yes she’s got a big belly, but I love every bit of her”. Jenny’s face lit up and grasped Ben tightly. They returned to their room to spend their last night of their vacation together.

Tis the season to get FAT(Model Weight Gain Story)

Alicia had almost everything that she wanted in her life at 24. She had a decent paying modeling job, a perfect body a hot boyfriend, and even some friends to hang out with. She was 5’9, white, had beautiful, long blonde hair, baby blue eyes, a thin face, her collar bones and rib cages were also always visible, a cup breasts, petite and small hands, a flat stomach, and even small butt and thighs. There was just one that she really wanted, that was food. Specifically, what she wanted was greasy, fattening, or even sweet foods. It just that everything in her life revolved around being skinny and hot.
Alicia was a model who really just wanted to have a month or so where she could eat whatever she wanted and not exercise at all. This is all she wanted, but she knew from past experiences this could not happen. Every time that she eased up on her diet or daily hour at the gym, she put on weight. Sure, to a regular person it would be hard to see due to her being 5’9. but in the modeling industry every pound mattered. This is why she worked so hard to maintain her very thin figure of only 120 pounds. This was very ideal weight according to the industry even though it was technically considered underweight for her height.
“Morning Alicia, you look very good today, did you do something with you hair?”
Claudia, another model who usually worked with her asked. Claudia was everything, a model should be. She was Latina and she was even more perfect than Alicia. She stood at 5’10 and weighed in at around 125 pounds or so. She had dark, black hair, beautiful brown eyes, and a very slim body. The only area that seemed to have a little fat was her butt, but that mostly due to Claudia working out her rear.
“Yes! I straightened it more today. I love the makeup you have on, it really makes your lips look full.”
Claudia silently gasped as Alicia had walked away to get to the shoot. Alicia was always really mean to her, even though they were both super skinny. Claudia wondered why Alicia was always so bitter and mean. She quickly put these thoughts away as they called her in for some pictures.
“Yo, Alicia slow down on the booze. You already look drunk. We don’t want you looking too sloppy.”
“Shut the, hic, fuck up Logan.”
Alicia was with her boyfriend at a bar to celebrate the first day of their 3 weeks break from work. He seemed to be the perfect man if the only thing that mattered was looks. His blonde hair was perfectly cut and combed, his blue eyes were dreamy to say the least, he was decently muscular around his body, and even had good paying desk job. He stood at around 6’0 and was around 170 pounds, most of which were lean muscles and of course a six pack. He dressed nicely in a long sleeve shirt and pants. He looked calm and presentable having only had 2 beers tonight.
On the other hand, Alicia already looked sloppy. She was wearing a tight dress that showed off her slim figure, but she was very intoxicated, mostly due to the fact that she had hardly eaten that dat and was quite the light weight. With only 3 shots of vodka and red-bull and 1 beer, she was wasted. She was constantly moving and couldn’t stop from smiling at every guy she saw. This made Logan quite jealous, so he decided to dance with her, they had a good time until she had a few more drinks and passed out.
“Where am I?”
Alicia said lying on her bed still wearing her dress and noticing that it was 11:00 am.
She slowly walked downstairs from her apartment and saw that Logan had texted her that he was going to the gym and she could join if she wanted, she decided not to as her head was hurting massively. She decided to make a big breakfast to hopefully destroy her hangover. She cooked and consumed 2 scrambled eggs, a piece of toast, and even a banana. It was quite hard to get down as she was slightly nauseous, but she already felt much better. She decided to simply text some friends and look at social media until Logan came back.
“Surprise, I know you are really hungover and usually really strict about your diet. But I got your favorite cheesecake factory pasta and even a slice for use to share later.”
“Oh my god! Logan, thank you so much. Let’s dig right in, I just woke up and didn’t even eat breakfast, I am starving!”
“God, I am so stuffed, look I actually have a belly for once.”
Alicia said touching her slightly bloated belly, it was true there was some fat but it was probably just the near 2000 calories she had consumed in pasta and cheesecake plus the eggs and bacon.
“Yeah, let’s not make this is a habit. We wouldn’t want you to lose your job.”
“Urp, don’t worry Logan. This is will my monthly cheat day. It’s December 12, so don’t worry babe. I am going to nap for now. I feel really sleepy.”
“Yeah, I am going to buy us a tree, I’ll see you later tonight. Take it easy Babe.”
He never managed to see her that night as she went out with her two model friends Monica and Claudia. Monica was also a tall, skinny, white blonde like Alicia. The main difference between her and Alicia was the fact that she was super nice to everyone, which was rare for a model. The girls hung out and hit a few bars until they got super drunk. Alicia had a much bigger tolerance today which lead to her drinking more, this lead to her getting the smallest amount of fat in her belly. Claudia noticed this, and continued to give Alicia drinks, in order for her belly to grew. It actually did until, she had around 5 shots and 3 beers and seemed to have passed out.
“Claudia, try not to offer Alicia that many drinks the next time we hang out. We don’t want her passing out like this.”
“Sure thing girl. How about tomorrow at my place. I’ll make us a surprise and don’t worry. Alicia can stay with me tonight, I don’t think Logan would want to see her like this again. You saw her snaps last night too!”
“Good idea Claudia. Tomorrow it is, I’ll come after the gym so around 12:00 pm, I’m pretty sure Alicia will up by then.”
The girls smiled as they helped their friend into their Uber.
“What happened last night?”
Alicia said as she woke up, noticing she was on a couch at Claudia’s apartment. She noticed that Claudia was standing nearby in the kitchen wearing a simply t-shirt and jeans. Meanwhile, she was still in her red dress from last night.
“Oh, you drank too much Alicia. So, I let you spent the night after you told us that Logan didn’t like it when you got so drunk, I even made you some breakfast for your hangover. Pancakes.”
Alicia belly growled at the thought of food, boy she was hungry.
Alicia managed to eat 3 buttery pancakes loaded with maple syrup and even some orange juice. She felt really bloated, but Claudia told that she needed to food to get hid of her hangover and she didn’t want to waste what she made. Claudia smiled at the even bigger amount of flesh that seemed to be around her stomach after the breakfast. It was definitely noticeable, especially as she was sitting down and texting. Alicia excused herself to the bathroom and asked if she could wear some of Claudia’s clothes, Claudia agreed and told her to be ready in a hour for some fun.
Alicia decided to wear a cute shorts that size 2, it surprisingly fit well which was weird as she was usually a zero. She put on one of Claudia’s t-shirts and went downstairs to the scent of brownies, weed brownies.
“I made 3 of all of us, I know we don’t usually eat edibles so this should be fun.”
Claudia said as Monica stared into the treats.
“Geez, I don’t know. I thought we were just going to smoke, like we do once a month! I have never had an edible before.”
“Don’t worry Monica girl, trust me you will have a fun time!”
Alicia said appearing from the passageway and grabbing a hot brownie and eagerly consuming it. The other girls ate the treats and proceeded to have a fun day. The girls simply watched their favorite romantic comedies on Netflix and ate countless amounts of food. The girls did not even seem like models with their causal attire and even bloated stomachs. The girls had managed to consume an entire large stuffed crust pizza, an order of garlic bread, countless bowls of popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, cookies, chips, and even an entire bottle of wine. This even more food than they usually ate in their monthly weed binge. They usually only split a pizza which was more than a binge for the usually healthy eating trio. This might be due to added strength and duration of an edible as opposed to simply smoking the weed. Alicia seemed to eat and drink the most of the three. Her now third day of indulgence was visible in her now proper food belly that was barely hidden by her shirt. They all truly felt bloated due to their day of stuffing.
“Oh my god, look at this. urp. belly guys, I think I ate too much today.”
Alicia said while removing her shirt and observing the round spherical ball that was currently her stomach. She was now pretty drunk with wine and food.
“We, seriously can’t make this a habit or we would lose our jobs, imagine if anyone from the modeling company saw us like this? I bet we all must have gained at least 2 pounds from this binge.”
Monica states, while noticing their gluttony had given them all bellies for the first time in years.
“Guys, calm down. Look, we literally have an entire month of modeling, we should enjoy our time off. We can always lose the small weight later. Let’s enjoy our break. Let me get some more wine.”
Claudia stated as slowly went to her pantry to get some wine. It seemed as Alicia was definitely down to drink some more, but Monica refused as she claimed to be tired.
“I’ll see you guys in a few weeks, stay safe. Don’t drink too much Alicia.”
“Please, when do I ever hic,”
Alicia said as she chugged a bottle of wine at a super pace,
“Drink too much? Just be careful Monica, don’t let yourself get fat over your vacation in Hawaii. I’m worried about you girl, you are looking really bloated at the moment”
Monica sighed as she said goodnight and gave a hug to both of her best friends. She could believe how squishy and soft both of them were especially Alicia. She noticed that both of the girls continued to drink even as she leaving, if anything they were the ones who needed to be careful.
“What do you mean ten days in New York Logan? Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”
Alicia was in call with Logan, she apparently had spend another night at Claudia’s place and it was now 1:00 pm on Dec 14. Logan apparently had to work an entire 10 days at New York for a company emergency, and he was already at the airport.
“I did babe. You were just getting too high with your friends. Look I’ll be back for Christmas Eve and we can go to my company’s party it will be so fun. Also, you get to spend some time with Claudia so you don’t have to be lonely. I love you babe, we will talk everyday.”
Alicia audibly sighed and replied,
“Well, OK. Have a safe flight honey. I guess I can stay over with Claudia. She is a really good chef, no wonder she’s been gaining a little weight.”
“Alright my flight is boarding, trust me babe the 10 days will be over before you know it.”
Logan was right the ten days really did fly for Alicia and Monica. It seemed that all they did was cook (only Claudia cooked), watch TV, text, use social media, eat, drink, and smoke copious amounts of weed. After smoking weed, the tended to get even more hungry which made them both eat way too much every single day. Their new habits of daily wine drinking, also made them even hungrier and less conscious on how much they were really eating. Due to both of them, constantly starving themselves. The weight piled on super fast, it was finally evident to Alicia on her 10th day with Monica, as she was trying on her favorite blue dress for the Christmas Eve party, it just would not zip over her fattened body. She even tried on a few size 2 dresses that Claudia had and they didn’t fit too, which lead her to a shocking conclusion, had she gained weight?
She ran to the bathroom with a half-zipped up size four dress and frantically ran to the scale in Claudia’s bathroom. She basically removed her dress in record pace and saw the numbers,
141.4 pounds
had she really gained 21 pounds in just 13 days of indulging? She observed herself thoroughly and decided that she truly had gained that much. Her butt and thighs actually had swelled up from sticks to a fairly normal size for her 5’9 figure. She even saw the faintest of hints of cellulite and stretch marks around her rear. Her belly was also not flat, it was slightly squishy, especially the fact that she had the start of love handles. Her breasts also seemed to be struggling in a cup breasts, they definitely needed to move up a cup size. Also, her collar bones and rib cage were no longer visible.Her face and arms will still the same, but she couldn’t believe how much weight she had put on! It was all the liquor and weed that made her unaware of her gain, she did somehow notice that Claudia looked bigger too.
She decided to simply wear a new size 4 pair of leggings that Claudia had in her closet and a somewhat loose sweater. She wanted to yell at Claudia about her getting fat, but decided against it. She could easily lose the 19 pounds in 2 weeks, it was Claudia who would struggle to lose her added weight. She walked out to see Claudia dressed up in a dress and drinking a glass of wine. It was obvious that she gained too, especially in her arms, butt, and thighs.
“Borrowing my clothes again. Let’s drink and go this party.”
“I don’t think that I should be drinking. Logan hates it when I am drunk and I already feel self-conscious.”
“The drinks will make you feel better trust me. Just have a glass of wine, this white wine is superb!”
“OK, maybe just a cup wouldn’t do any harm.”
The cup turned into 3. After 3 cups of wine, the girls each decided to drink some tequila as it would still be a hour until the party. This obviously lead them to both becoming quite intoxicated and bloated. They had unknowingly been snacking on chips with guacamole while drinking a significant amount of alcohol due to their tolerance being so high from getting drunk every single night. This lead to them to both having significant food bellies before they left their place to go the party via Uber.
“Oh my god, Logan it is sooooooo nice to see you again. I missed you soo much!”
Alicia said as she ran up to him in his suit and gave him a huge hug. Logan felt quite repulsed by his girlfriend for multiple reasons. The fact that she was drunk made him mad. The fact that she had obviously gained weight, a lot of weight repulsed him. The final fact was that she legitimately had a belly. Like not even a sweater could hide the girth of her bloated stomach. He sighed and decided to pull her aside. Truthfully, he had been cheating on her during his trip to New York with some other model. He decided that he was done with Alicia. She was mean and now she wasn’t even attractive.
“Alicia, I am so sorry to tell you this. Actually no, I am not. Look at yourself. You are supposed to be a model. That means one thing, you have to stay skinny. Look at yourself, you are fucking fat. I can see your huge belly even though you have a sweater on. How much did you have to eat to get such thick thighs in such a short time, you pig? Like they seriously look like they are touching each other. I know that I can do better than you fat cow. Since, all your stuff is at Claudia’s, don’t even bother coming back to our place. I don’t want to see your lazy, drunk ass again. Get out of this party with your fat friend and leave my life. Seriously go to McDonald and eat until literally blow up, you fucking blimp.”
Alicia couldn’t stop crying. She felt as if she had lost one of the few things that mattered in her life. It also didn’t help that they went to a buffet after leaving. Claudia said food is best cure for a broken heart. She was somewhat right, as Alicia did eat so much food at the Chinese buffet that she basically numbed her emotions away. She was stuffed to brim after eating 5 plates of orange chicken, fried rice, fried noddles, Mongolian beef, and even fried shrimp with prawns. She was felt like a total pig, she needed to diet or she would lose her job, but food was now the only comfort in her sorry excuse of a life. Maybe, she could just work out and still eat decently, yeah that would do….
A week passed and the girls were scheduled to go a New Year’s party with Monica as she had just come back from her trip. She heard about Logan breaking up with Alicia, but didn’t really now the reason. The only thing that she knew was that she probably enjoyed herself too much over at Hawaii. The truth was she had put on 10 pounds, all of which had gone to her previously flat stomach. She now had a noticeable potbelly that she was determined to lose before the modeling season started in 2 weeks. She hoped her friends wouldn’t judge her so hard, but she was nervous. It was 5:00 pm and she was wearing a jacket and leggings as Claudia said that they had clothes at her place and they should catch up. She knocked on the door and preyed they wouldn’t make fun of her, but what she saw shocked her.
Both Alicia and Claudia had actually gotten chubby. They somehow went from looking like skinny models to out of shape office workers. They didn’t even hide their gains well at all. She noticed that both of them gained a large amount of weight in their thighs and butt, as they were both wearing a tight pair of shorts. It also seemed like Alicia had a belly that was even bigger then her own. Claudia on the other hand, had much larger breasts and arms. They had both seriously gotten way too fat for modeling, she did not want to break their hearts, but there was simply no way that they could lose their probably over 30 pounds of fat in just 2 weeks. They were doomed. What was worst was the fact that they currently was a pizza box open that had half the slices eaten. She also noted the amount of beer, wine, and even a few vodka bottles that were scattered around the somewhat clean apartment. The girls did not make fun of her gain in the slightest, and offered her a drink or pizza,
“No thanks, I put on way too much weight over the break, and need to lose this belly.”
She said as removed her top showcasing her stomach to the two ladies who basically laughed,
“All three of us, urp, do, Claudia remove your shirt, let’s compare bellies.”
Claudia smiled and obliged, it was obvious that they two of them were already drunk at only 5:00 pm. It was no wonder that they had gotten so fat in such a short amount of time. Monica felt somewhat disgusted in seeing both of their bellies, they seriously we were huge. They even had love handles and a few red stretch marks. It was obvious that Alicia had the largest belly and even quite a bit of fat on her love handles. Claudia was second somehow, even though she had the biggest breasts and butt by far. Monica was still somewhat in shape, as her belly was the only thing that was bloated and it looked hard compared to the other two who definitely had soft bellies. Monica eventually decided that she could lead loose and have a drink or two, it was New Year’s eve after all. One or two drinks lead to weed which lead to ice cream cake which lead to wine which lead to even more ice cream cake. Monica was stuffed to the brim at around 9:00 pm, she remember that they needed to get ready for a party. The question was how could any of them fit into anything? Both Claudia and Alicia had unbuttoned their shorts to make room for their now even bigger bellies.
“Monica, we should get ready about now. What size are you again girl?”
“Oh, I am still wear a two for dresses, but I might need a four after all that food I ate.”
Claudia laughed loudly at this with Alicia,
“I have a few 4’s that you can choose from and some 6’s for me and Alicia.
Alicia was busy eating her 4th slice of cake, as Claudia said this, was she really a 6? She looked down at her large belly and even her chubby thighs. She really was getting fat, she needed to lose all this weight. She decided that would be her new year’s resolution, so she could indulge today. She continued to eat the last slice of the ice cream as Claudia and Monica changed. God, it was delicious. She loved how rich the chocolate and the ice cream were. She couldn’t believe that they had managed to finish all ten evenly distributed slices in only a few hours. She tried to tally the slices and somehow believed that Monica and Claudia ate 4 each and she ate two. That’s wasn’t even too bad right? Even though, her belly was stuffed. She decided to go the room to see her two friends changing as she needed to get ready.
“Uh, I’m sorry Claudia but this 6 does not fit your butt.”
“How is that possible, I fit into it just last week when we went out for the buffet.”
Alicia laughed loudly,
“Looks like someone is getting quite the fat ass. No worries, darling. I think you can still wear a pair of leggings. No let me try that on.”
Monica sighed, in her size four red dress. It was quite tight on her especially in the belly area. How could only 2 sizes larger fit a girl with a belly probably double the size of her own? Well, it somehow fit. Alicia sucked in her stomach to the max and it somehow fit. It looked like she about to burst with how tight it was. She somehow managed to walk all the way to living room to get a drink. Once she took a sip, the girls in the room heard a loud noise.
It looked like the sheer size of Alicia’s tummy had ripped a hole in the dress. She was crying loudly. The girls tried to comfort her, but she kept on crying. Claudia said that she knew exactly what would cheer her friend up. She smiled after talking on the phone. She couldn’t believe how fat Alicia was. She was so fat that even a dress couldn’t contain the sheer size of her stomach. She so happy that she forgot that she did not even fit into a dress due to her massive weight gain. 30 minutes later, the girls heard a knock on the door. Claudia talked to the man and received what she ordered another ice cream cake.
The girls all were in a drunk and sad state. They decided one slice or so couldn’t hurt. It was New Year’s anyways. So they continued to stuff themselves and drink even more alcohol. The girls were so intoxicated and bloated that they removed all of their clothing except for their tight bras and underwear. This didn’t stop the greedy pigs from eating. Monica passed out after eating 1 slice of the cake and drinking 4 more beers. Claudia manged to eat 3 slices of cake and even 3 beers. Her brown belly looked stuffed beyond the limit after she had passed out. Alicia actually ate the other 6 slices and even had a beer or two. She was literally could not put the spoon down to even talk. She needed to eat to forget out her problems. The funny thing was the biggest problem of hers was only getting bigger with every bite. After finishing her 5th slice of cake, her belly probably stretched a foot past her body. She felt as if she was going to explode, but she still wanted to eat more of the cake. She eventually decided that one more slice would be fine, she somehow managed to stuff the delicious cake into her overstuffed body and proceeded to pass out in a drunk and stuffed state…
“I wonder how much weight the two of them lost in the two weeks. They must have been starving themselves like me.”
Two weeks had passed since their massive binge at New Year’s and today was the day for the, to return to their jobs as models. Monica decided to stop by to see her two friends before going to the studio. Monica had tried her hardest to lose weight, but was honestly too afraid to step on a scale after she saw that she gained around 15 pounds over her break. She rang to the doorbell and was somehow not surprised to see her friends not lose any weight.
“Hi Monica, you look great, still got a little fat on your belly, I see.”
Alicia said starting the conversation. It looked as if her belly had slimmed down, but the rest of her was even bigger than before. Her breasts look as if they had grown from b cups to dd cups, her arms looked like they were full of fat. Her face was still somewhat thin except for her apparent double-chin, and even her butt and thighs looked very thick. The same thing surprisingly happened to Claudia. Big everything except for the belly. They were currently wearing loose t-shirts and tight leggings. What was weird was the fact that they were both eating a large stack of pancakes that were drenched in maple syrup, did not even care about their jobs.
“Monica, I made some pancakes for you, do you want some? They are amazing today.”
“No thank, I am dieting right now. Um… We should get going to the studio.”
“Let us just finish a few more pancakes, they are to die for.”
“What the fuck did you girls do to yourself? All of you naked and on the scales right now. At least your bellies are super fat.”
Their manager was angry. They could see his face had turned red and this was the first thing that he said to them. What shocked Monica, was it looked as if Alicia and Claudia were wearing shape-wear. They literally were so fat that they had to resort to wearing clothes to hide their newly formed fat.
“I have no words for you pigs, Claudia you go first.”
Claudia looked massive naked. Her belly was around the size of women about to give birth. What was even worst was she had massive love handles and even a double layer of fat on her belly. She looked as if she was passed the point of chubby and went to obese. Her thighs were as thick as tree trunk and were covered in cellulite. Her ass was her biggest part, as it stretched over 2 feet passed her now obese body. She stepped on the scale and had to push her e cups breasts away and suck in her stomach to see the number. The managers jaw dropped,
201 pounds,
“So you are telling me that you managed to gain 75 pounds in not even two months? That must be a world record or something, you fucking pig. Let the second fat cow weigh herself, I wonder which one of you disgusting creatures is fatter now?”
Claudia looked upset, her plan was to fatten Alicia but it looked like it backfired, she had gotten massive too.
Alicia looked even bigger than Claudia naked. It seemed as if the only thing that was smaller of her was her breasts which were still dd cups. Everything else was massive. Her belly especially looked beyond huge! It almost stretched out 2 feet past her body. It also had 3 folds of the fat around it. Not only that but red stretch marks found their to her stomach. Her thighs were also massively soft too. They were covered in cellulite and jiggled like jello with every step she took. Her butt looked as big as Claudia’s too. She couldn’t even see the number in her scale if she sucked in her massive stomach, which lead to even more embarrassment to her.
“Wow, would look at that 212 pounds of pure fat. You can’t even see the scale because you got so fat. How on earth is even possible that both of you managed to put on this much weight. Do you ladies have no self control? Both of you are disgusting obese pigs, you two are honestly to fat to even consider being plus sized models. Nobody would find your massive tummies even remotely attractive please get out of my fucking face. Don’t ever come back, you pigs are destined for nothing.”
Alicia looked as if she was going to cry, she hadn’t been checking her weight, but had she really managed to go from a skinny 125 to 212 in such little time.
“Leave now you piggies. Also Monica, you are gonna be put on a diet. I see that tubby stomach of yours. Luckily, you can probably lose the 10 or so pounds you gained, unlike these monstrous blobs, God you guys are disgusting. Go eat all problems away and get even fatter, so gross.”
Alicia and Claudia both left the studio crying and arguing in their tight outfits, but not their shape-wear.
“You did this to me, you bitch! You kept making me drink and smoke and now look at me!”
“Me, you are the one who could not control yourself. You have literally no willpower, you eat 24/7 and do not even get up from the couch. That is not my fault you bitch.”
“God damn, our lives are ruined Claudia, what can we do?”
Claudia face suddenly lit up,
“We honestly don’t need jobs anyway, we are super rich from 5+ years of modeling, Let those skinny hoes suffer by starving themselves everyday! Let us enjoy, I mean we can’t really get skinny again!”
“Well, I guess you are right. But I am still mad at you for making me a fat pig! God, it’s even hard for me to get this belly in the car.”
Claudia smiled at Alicia
“Let’s get some McDonald’s and forget out this. It’s on me today!”
Alicia actually smiled back for once,
“Good because I am starving, I can’t wait to eat a big mac, oh and some fries. A chocolate milkshake, some chicken nuggets, and some soda too!”
“Don’t forget the McChicken either.”
“Oh my stop, you are making my mouth water, you fat slut!”
The girls lived happily and grew bigger and bigger as time went on. They soon got so big that they need assistants to help them move around. All they did was eat, sleep, smoke, drink, and eat some more.
Merry Christmas Guys
from BOB

CHAPTER ONE
“Callie! Honey! We’re leaving to drop you off to the airport for Colorado in twenty minutes. You better have everything in the car before we leave!”
“I have everything, don’t worry Mom!” I called back to her.
I put my things into the car. I had three, full suitcases I was bringing with me to Grandma’s. I was going to be there until a week before school started back up again, after all.
And Grandma was very nice. I sometimes wished I lived with her. She bought me everything I ever wanted while at her house. Then, I could also get away from my brat sister, Christine. I had everything set for the summer. Everything was going to be perfect!
Twenty minutes later, I was at the airport. My things were on bored and I was giving everybody hugs and kisses before I left. As soon as I was done, I climbed on board. I sat right by the window on the left side of the plane. There was an old man who sat right next to me, and a teenage boy sat on the other side of the old man. The ride wasn’t actually too long this time. It felt faster than it had ever before.
Then, we landed at the Colorado Springs airport. I grabbed my three suitcases and walked to Stop Number 7, where Grandma told me she’d be. And, of course, there she was in her white van. I was relieved she actually came on time.
I put my suitcases in the back and climbed to my ‘shot gun’ position. Then, we drove to Grandma’s house. It was just the same as it’d been.
Grandma decided to help me unload my suitcases. I took two of them, and she took the other. As we walked up the driveway, I saw one of the little barnyard kittens from last year. It was Sophie. I recognized her immediately – she was the little calico. Only, she wasn’t little anymore. She wasn’t fat, but she had become a little chubbier than your average cat.
Grandma unlocked the house, and we walked in. I took the bedroom on the right side of the hallway upstairs. I unloaded a few things. It’d been a long day. I was planning on going to bed, but Grandma called for me to come to supper.
I stood up and immediately smelled delicious macaroni and cheese, some mashed potatoes, and some sweet crescent rolls. I knew it – Grandma was making me a ‘welcome to my house’ dinner. I always enjoyed Grandma’s meals. I walked into the kitchen and took my seat across from Grandma.
There were two huge plates in front of me. Filled with macaroni, mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, green beans, cooked carrots, and some meat.
“Grandma, I don’t know if I can eat all this,” I said, worridly.
“Nonesense, sweetheart. You’re as skinny as a stick! I don’t want to see you starve to death. At least eat one plate, please.”
“Okay, thanks Grandma!”
I dug in. I was going to try to eat both plates to show Grandma I wasn’t trying to starve myself. By time the first plate was finished, I was pretty much full. But I just started forking in food as fast as I could, trying not to feel full as fast. I finished the plate and was going to excuse myself when Grandma brought me dessert. Strawberry cake with white icing – my favorite. I discreetly checked to see if my stomach was as bloated as it felt. It wasn’t – yet, thankfully. So I ate two pieces of the cake. It was so delicious! I thanked Grandma for the delicous meal, and went upstairs to my room.
I unbuttoned my denim shorts that were pinching the crap out of my stomach and sides. My belly nearly flew out of them. I changed into my pajama pants and a tank top. Then, my stomach started to hurt. So I told myself that if I went to sleep, it would go away. So I went to sleep for the night.
CHAPTER TWO
I woke up at nine A.M. the next morning. I got some stuff ready so I could take a shower. As I was undressing, I looked at my belly. Still a little swollen from last night’s dinner. So I jumped into the shower. As I cleaned myself with some body wash, I noticed that my belly was not going down at all. Oh well, I thought. I’ll just go and run today sometime. As soon as I got changed into a different tanktop and different pair of denim shorts, and had my hair dried, I put my things back into the suitcases. I noticed that my shorts were a tad tighter..
I walked out to see if Grandma was up. I walked into the kitchen, and sure enough, there she was, sitting at the table. Where I was to sit were two plates. One plate had five waffles on it, drenched in syrup. The other had a stack of five slices of toast and a few pieces of bacon on the side of that.
“Thanks Grandma,” I said, worried that I was going to actually finish it all.
I started eating. I got on my fourth waffle, and my stomach started aching. But I forked down the other waffle. Next, I ate the toast. Everything was so delicious! I just couldn’t stop myself. Before I knew it, I had eaten all of the slices of toast! I couldn’t believe myself – what a piggy I was becoming! But I ate the bacon anyway.
“Grandma, thanks so much! That was SO good!”
“No problem sweetheart! You just ask anytime if you ever want seconds.”
“Sure thing!” but I doubted I’d ever be doing that.
I walked upstairs to the bathroom. Each step was agonizing for my stomach. The shorts pinched and dug into my sides and my chubby little tummy. I got to my room. I locked the door. Then, I sat down and I nearly screamed. My shorts were so tight, trying their best to hold in my puffy, taught belly. I unbuttoned them, and my belly pushed through, falling forward. I began rubbing my stuffed tummy. My breaths were so shallow, I was so stuffed full of fattening goodness!
I changed into my Softe shorts. Those had even become a little too tight. I sighed. I am going to HAVE to run. So I went outside. I started to jog, but my tummy went up and down and made me feel sick to my stomach. A walk will be fine, I thought. It was odd though. I was becoming out of breath, and I was only speed walking. So I slowed down a bit more. It was only a little chilly out today, in Colorado. But I was getting pretty sweaty, trying to manage my shallow breaths so I could burn a few calories.
I walked in and plopped down on the couch in the living room. I grabbed the remote and turned on the TV. Nothing good was on, so I walked to my room and got my phone. My phone had internet so I got on facebook. I updated my status with, “Grandma’s meals are the best!”
That walk had made me a bit tired, so I got my iPod touch and started listening to some music. Next thing I knew, I was half asleep. I woke up an hour later. 11:00 A.M. I walked to the bathroom. I looked around to see if Grandma had a scale. It was only in the closet with toilet paper and such where I found a scale. It was a high techy looking one. I looked at when it was made to see if it’d be very accurate. Copyright 2004. Good enough. I stepped on. 106. A pound more than when I had left home. Oh well. I’ll get rid of it soon, I thought to myself, although now, I wasn’t too sure about that.
CHAPTER THREE
I looked at my phone. It was already noon! I went downstairs to see what we were having for lunch. I stopped myself. Woah, woah, woah! I was actually looking forward to eating?
I shrugged it off and marched downstairs.
“Oh, sweetheart! I thought you’d never come!”
“Well, I’m here! What are we having for lunch?”
“I ordered some cheese sticks from Pizza Hut. Your mom told me that they’re your favorite.”
My mouth started to water. “Uh, yes they are.”
“Well, I have a choropractor visit in thirty minutes. Cheese sticks are on the counter. Have as much as you’d like. I don’t like them, so don’t worry about me. They are all specially for you.”
“Well, thanks Grandma!”
“No problem honey! I’ll be home around three-ish. I’ve got to go. Bye, sweetheart!”
“Love you Grandma! Be careful!”
As Grandma left, I looked at my stomach. The swelling had gone down some. Thank God! And I was hungry for once! So I started pigging out…
I looked at my stomach. I had scarfed down 22 slices. Nearly 3/4 of the cheese sticks were in my belly.
I couldn’t believe how huge my stomach was! I went upstairs. My Softe shorts were pinching a little now, too. I lifted up my tanktop that accented every little angle on my fat, little belly. I could’t believe it! Since I’d been at Grandma’s, I’d probably gained three pounds!! That was a LOT.
I rubbed my belly and moaned a little at how much it hurt. In a way, it was ironic. I almost liked eating at Grandma’s! I was becoming such a fat little piggy! I started to tease myself.
“You are just the biggest, little piggy, Callie! Naughty, little girl! Or should I say naughty, piggy?!”
So I sat down to rest. When I woke up, it was five. Grandma was surely home. I walked downstairs to check on her.
“Oh, Callie! Sweetheart, wouldn’t you love to join me for supper?”
TO BE CONTINUED……

Intro

(Image credit: stock.xchng)

There is, arguably, more superstition surrounding pregnancy than any other so-called “medical condition.” To separate fact from fiction, we examined the science behind the hearsay.

Pregnancy lasts nine months.

(Image credit: Karen Roach | Dreamstime)

To make matters more confusing, doctors typically measure pregnancy’s length as 40 weeks, counting from a woman’s last period. Women usually become fertile 10 to 16 days after their period starts, so from this method of counting, the first two weeks of every pregnancy take place before a woman has conceived.

When you have sex determines the gender of your baby.

Dads-to-be have two types of sperm: those that make baby boys and those that make baby girls. Some say that the body of a mom-to-be is more hospitable to boy sperm or girl sperm during certain times in her cycle. And so, the theories go, when a couple has sex can determine whether they conceive a Junior or a Bubette.

While a few small studies have supported timing methods for sex selection, larger, more recent studies have failed to find any correlation between the day within the fertile window a couple has sex and the gender of the baby, explained Dr. Rachel Vreeman, co-author of “Don’t Swallow Your Gum! Myths, Half-Truths, and Outright Lies about Your Body and Health” (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2009).

The only way you can reliably choose the sex of your baby is with the help of technology.

You can predict the sex of your baby without technology.

(Image credit: Cheryl Davis | Dreamstime)

Time to break it to grandma: Basketball-shaped bellies do not forecast boys. In a study of 104 women, published in the journal Birth in 1999, no correlations were found between a pregnant belly’s size or shape and the baby’s gender.

Similarly, predictions using the Chinese lunar calendar, the fetal heart rate and the Drano test (where the woman’s urine is mixed with the de-clogging liquid and the resulting color allegedly reveals the baby’s gender) were examined by physicians in Vancouver in 1999. None of them were reliable.

Neither is women’s intuition dependably accurate, according to a 1996 article in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. Of 110 women who professed having a strong sense of the baby’s gender, roughly half were right the same number expected to be right if they were just guessing.

In all, scientists have found most folklore-based methods of predicting a baby’s sex have the same odds as flipping a coin. “And 50/50 odds are not that bad,” Vreeman said.

There may be a case for the predictive value of extreme morning sickness. Excessive, unrelenting morning sickness also known as hyperemesis gravidarum is slightly more correlated with having girls, Vreeman said.

Twins skip a generation.

(Image credit: resident_a | sxc.hu)

Fraternal twins do run in families, due to a gene that can make a woman more likely to release multiple eggs during ovulation. But the hyper-ovulation gene doesn’t leapfrog over certain generations. It is passed on from parent to child just like all genes are.

Evidence shows that identical twins, however, occur at random, rather than running in families. If there are many sets of carbon-copies in your family line, “it is probably just a coincidence,” Vreeman told MyHealthNewsDaily.

Breastfeeding makes your breasts sag.

(Image credit: Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime)

While infants certainly drain a lactating breast, their hunger doesn’t cause long-term changes in breast firmness. Scientists have confirmed breastfeeding does not contribute to breast ptosis (the scientific name for saggy breasts).

However, multiple pregnancies, smoking and simply getting older have been correlated with droopier cleavage, according to a study of 132 women published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery in May.

The mom-to-be is the only one going through hormonal changes.

(Image credit: Nyul | Dreamstime)

She’s not alone: Dad’s dealing with hormone shifts, too.

A study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior in 2000 found that over the course of his mate’s pregnancy, an expectant father’s testosterone levels go down and his prolactin levels go up. Researchers think this adjustment may help prime dudes to play daddy.

Your body shape will never be the same again.

(Image credit: Dreamstime)

“With exercise and diet, it certainly is possible to get back in the shape you were in before getting pregnant,” Stone said, adding that this is easiest for people who were quite fit before conceiving.

People tend to forget that the body changes with age, with or without a pregnancy, Stone told MyHealthNewsDaily. So before blaming your saddlebags on your offspring, try counting the candles on your next birthday cake.

Pregnancy makes your feet grow.

(Image credit: laura-s | sxc.hu)

While most women experience some swelling in their calves, ankles and feet during pregnancy, many can fit back into their favorite heels at some point postpartum.

But this one isn’t a complete myth: Some women permanently go up a half-size over the course of a pregnancy and possibly even another half-size with each subsequent pregnancy.

“Hopefully, they’re not having ten kids,” Stone laughed.

Drinking any alcohol during pregnancy will hurt your baby.

(Image credit: Barbara Oleksa/Dreamstime)

While binge drinking during pregnancy can cause severe problems, recent studies of thousands of women in the United Kingdom and Australia have confirmed earlier research suggesting that light to moderate drinking usually defined as one drink a week to one small drink most days may not be harmful.

Drinking during pregnancy is more culturally acceptable in Europe and Australia, where pregnant woman imbibe more openly than in the United States. But many physicians in the United States, such as Dr. Michael Broder, author of “Panic-Free Pregnancy” (Perigee Trade, 2004), also quietly allow their patients to have the occasional alcoholic drink particularly after the first trimester.

“Morning” sickness only happens in the morning.

(Image credit: Valua Vitaly | Dreamstime)

If only this were true! Thought to be caused by shifting hormones, morning sickness can strike (and often does) at any point in the day.

And it’s not confined to the first trimester, as many believe, Stone said. “It can last up to 16 weeks.”

Pregnant women who “allow” themselves to become overweight are “criminal”, and placing needless strain on the healthcare system. That is the verdict of the Finnish TV doctor Eva Orsmond.

“Women who allow themselves to be overweight when pregnant are criminal and are putting their lives and the life of their baby to be put in danger due to serious health complications when in labour,” said Orsmond, who now lives in Dublin.

By the same logic, old people are an undue strain on the healthcare system for allowing themselves to become old. Never mind all those old people who eat well, exercise and live happily regardless of their age. Lock these criminals up!

It’s worth keeping in mind that Orsmond made a name for herself in Ireland by telling fat people how to lose weight. She’s published a lot of diet books, too, so you might say she’s got skin in the game. Fat-shaming is good for business.

But Orsmond isn’t the only one who demonises overweight pregnant women. As a journalist I’m sad to say that the media is good at it too. (And by the way, I hate the word overweight, because it suggests there’s a normal weight to be, but, because most of the medical studies I reference use it, I do too.)

With headlines like: “Overweight pregnancy increases risk of birth defects,” it’s no wonder people feel comfortable passing judgment on fat women out of “concern” for their health. But as a fat, pregnant woman, I am here to tell other pregnant women not to panic. What Orsmond and much of the media often fail to do when they make these sensationalist statements is put the numbers they’re repeating into perspective.

It’s true that last year a study from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found there was an increased risk of birth defects for overweight pregnant women. The rate of birth defects in women who weren’t overweight was 3.4%. The rate for overweight pregnant women? It was 3.5%. So, we’re talking about an increased rate of 0.1%. I mean, come on.

Eva Orsmond has ‘published a lot of diet books, too, so you might say she’s got skin in the game’. Photograph: Alamy

Sure, gestational diabetes is worrying, and more likely if you’re overweight. A 2004 study of more than 16,000 women found that 9.5% of those with a BMI higher than 35 experienced gestational diabetes. Compared with 2.3% of women with a BMI less than 30, that’s significantly higher. But more than 90% of the overweight pregnant women in that study didn’t develop gestational diabetes.

That same study found that, while fat pregnant women were three times as likely to get pre-eclampsia, the risk was already so small that a three-times-increased chance just wasn’t that scary. In fact, 93% of the pregnant women with a BMI over 35 in that study didn’t develop pre-eclampsia.

I’m not saying that these risks aren’t a valid thing to bring up in a doctor’s consultation, I’m only saying that people like Orsmond or other GPs and media outlets don’t have to make complications sound so inevitable.

There are also studies that suggest fear and anxiety in pregnant women have adverse effects on the unborn child: poor brain development, shorter gestation, lower birth weight, increased risk of miscarriage. How about laying off us for the sake of our mental health? Or do concerns about fat people’s wellbeing not extend that far?

There are few resources out there that offer evidence-based or positive pregnancy stories for fat pregnant women – trust me, I’ve looked. Don’t even think about trying to find a plus-size nursing bra. And the only open and honest plus-size pregnancy journey by a high-profile fat woman I’ve been able to find was the model Tess Holliday’s. I’ve found Plus Size Birth to be good and Evidence Based Births, but these are US websites and, as we know, there’s plenty of fat women elsewhere in the world.

Many of us struggle against bias from doctors like Eva Orsmond, who think it’s fine to scapegoat fat pregnant women for the troubling state of the healthcare system rather than acknowledging that something bigger is broken.

According to a study by the University of Antwerp, 20% to 25% of pregnant women in the UK and Ireland are overweight. In Europe, that number ranges between 7% and 20%, depending on the country.

That’s a lot of women. The overwhelming majority of whom are delivering perfectly healthy babies with no extraordinary issues or complications every single day.

Those are the facts. Hold on to them, my fellow fat preggos. The odds are in our favour.

• Nanna Árnadóttir is a freelance journalist

December is considered the most fertile month, a time when there’s the greatest likelihood that children will be conceived. Some experts even pinpoint Dec. 11 as the most fertile day.

But in the lead up to giving birth and in the time after bringing home their new additions, many women may experience an unwelcome surprise. Family, friends and even bystanders are all too quick to comment on – and often criticize – an expectant or new mother’s weight.

This shaming can include judging a mother-to-be for her weight before becoming pregnant; the weight she gains over pregnancy; and the weight she doesn’t lose after having the baby. Weight stigma like this is potentially a very real threat to maternal health.

Outside the realm of pregnancy, research shows that experiencing weight stigma is stressful and harmful. For instance, it is associated with various health consequences, including weight gain, heightened cortisol and inflammation, and unhealthy or disordered eating. Despite this, little research has examined weight stigma’s effects on pregnant and postpartum women.

As a health psychologist studying weight stigma and its consequences, I see pregnancy as an important new avenue for research. This is because, in the context of pregnancy, the consequences may be multiplied by two. Stress that affects a pregnant woman might harm her unborn child as well.

Do pregnant women actually get shamed for their weight?

Friends and family often try to monitor what a pregnant woman eats. Federico Marcicano/.com

The short answer – yes! My recent research suggests that nearly two-thirds of pregnant and postpartum women experience some form of weight stigma. In one study, 501 pregnant and postpartum women reported experiencing weight stigma from multiple people and places.

For instance, 21% indicated they had experienced it from immediate family. One woman said, “A good number of my family told me that I shouldn’t be ‘trying’ to get pregnant because I’m too heavy after they found out I was expecting.” Nearly 25% reported feeling stigmatized by the media. Also, 33% said they experienced weight stigma in the media, an example being, “society treats overweight pregnant women as less than.”

Health care providers were another common source. One woman shared, “One doctor told me I was terrible for getting pregnant at my weight … I was setting up my baby to fail.”

Moreover, these types of experiences didn’t just happen for heavy mothers. Women of all weights experienced some form of weight stigma.

What’s the big deal?

Weight shaming has been linked to increased postpartum depression in women, an often serious illness. Aspen Studio/.com

There’s a widely held concern that heavy women are unhealthy and have unhealthy pregnancies, so many think we need to intervene on weight. My research, however, suggests that we should also be very concerned about weight stigma directed at pregnant and postpartum women.

For instance, in that same sample of 501 women, having experienced weight stigma was related to more symptoms of depression (both during and after pregnancy), dieting in unhealthy ways, more emotional eating behavior, and feeling stressed out. Among postpartum moms, weight stigma was also related to keeping on their baby weight.

The author discusses her research on weight stigma during pregnancy.

In another sample, I similarly found that experiencing weight-based discrimination during pregnancy was associated with gaining more weight throughout the pregnancy. It also predicted more symptoms of postpartum depression and retaining baby weight in the first year after having the baby.

All these findings took into account a woman’s actual weight. It is not just that heavier moms tend to be more depressed or to eat in unhealthy ways. These relationships emerged regardless of a woman’s weight before becoming pregnant. So whether or not weight is a great indicator of health – which I argue it is not – making a pregnant or postpartum woman feel bad about her weight could be very harmful to her well-being.

Shifting the conversation

Being pregnant doesn’t suddenly make it any less uncomfortable for someone to comment on your weight (or to touch your stomach). So as the year comes to a close, you might consider a new kind of New Year’s resolution. If your partner, friend, sister, neighbor or colleague is pregnant, be mindful in how you talk to her about her weight. Or better yet, maybe don’t even mention weight.

If we want healthy babies, that begins with healthy mothers. We all have a role to play in that insofar as we can avoid weight shaming.

Even for the most body-secure among us, gaining anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds during pregnancy is no picnic. Sure, we have days where we are full of energy and glowing and ready to flaunt our adorable baby bumps. But we also have days, especially in the third trimester, where we feel less like mama-goddesses and more like sweaty, frumpy, nothing-fits-anymore messes.

To take the edge off, I turned to the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report on pregnancy weight gain, which provides the evidence base for their widely-referenced weight gain guidelines:

  • Underweight: Gain 28-40 pounds
  • Normal weight: Gain 25-35 pounds
  • Overweight: Gain 15-25 pounds
  • Obese: Gain 11-20 pounds

Some of what I learned from their report was outright reassuring, like that a sudden bump up in weight in the second trimester is common and does not imply that you will continue to gain weight at a fast clip. Other facts, like that 15-30 percent of the fat gained during pregnancy goes straight to our thighs, were less reassuring.

But ultimately what became clear was this: Nothing in the actual research supports treating these guidelines as hard and fast rules. In fact, the evidence is murky for most outcomes related to pregnancy weight gain. There are complex tradeoffs between gaining too little and gaining too much, and pregnant women are not always in control of how much they gain–their blood sugar control, fat metabolism, and thus weight gain have been hijacked by one very adorable little co-passenger.

To see why, below I list five key–yet often overlooked–facts about pregnancy weight gain, taken from the IOM report itself:

1. Pregnant women do not gain weight at a consistent rate. Your weight gain will not be consistent from week to week, not during your whole pregnancy, nor even just from the second trimester on. This is surprising, because the charts most OBs use to track pregnancy weight gain like the one below typically show an even, steady increase of about a pound per week from the second trimester on.

There’s no nice way to put this. This is just nonsense. Your weight will come on in fits and starts, not at a steady rate.

In my 6th month of pregnancy, I shot up 8 lbs without a change in my exercise habits or diet. Disconcerted, I decided to get to the bottom of these charts. Was it normal to have a large gain in weight followed by what I hoped would be a plateau?

It turns out the the answer is a resounding yes. Studies of actual weight gain in pregnancy show it does not follow a straight line. Instead the pattern of weight gain looks more like a side-lying S, with a slow rate of gain in the first trimester, a more rapid weight gain in the second trimester, and then a slow down during the third trimester. In the last month of pregnancy, many women gain almost nothing or even lose a pound or two.

“The pattern of GWG is most commonly described as sigmoidal, with mean weight gains higher in the second than the third trimester across BMI categories, except for obese women.” – IOM 2009 report, pg. 101.

Do doctors actually expect women to gain weight at a steady rate? As unlikely as this seems, many women, myself included, have been harangued by their doctors for minor deviations from the “correct” trajectory. As Emily Oster describes in her book Expecting Better, she once received a long lecture when, sometime in mid-pregnancy, her trajectory pointed to a final gain of 36 pounds (unacceptable) instead of 35 pounds (acceptable). As she notes, nothing supports this–not the data and not common sense.

Her story is especially absurd, given that a jump up in weight in the second trimester is common and to be expected. This is because (2) most of the weight you gain in the second trimester is water. And water weight, unlike fat, can come on very fast.

The insane, unquenchable thirst that strikes in the second trimester? It allows your blood volume to increase by almost 50%.

“Plasma volume increases progressively to 50 percent by 30-34 weeks of gestation.” – IOM 2009 report, pg. 93

By the third trimester, the increase in blood volume and in amniotic fluid is largely behind you. So your weight gain mainly comes from gaining fat, on the baby, and on you.

(While I love this chart’s breakdown of weight gain components by week, it does show show a linear weight gain, which, as I noted above, is nonsense.)

(3) The fat you gain will not look like your normal pattern of weight gain, instead it will accrue on your back, hips, and thighs. Ugh! Pregnancy hormones drive this unique pattern of fat accrual.

Even worse news? For the average pregnant woman, a fifth or more of the fat she gains goes to her upper thighs. (I experienced this for all my pregnancies; I just had no idea it was so common. I had assumed it was a personal problem.)

“Based on serial measurements of skinfold thickness at seven sites made in 84 healthy, pregnant women, fat appears to be deposited preferentially over the hips, back, and upper thighs… This pattern of fat deposition is unique to pregnancy.” – IOM 2009 report, pg. 79

Bummer!

Ready for some good news? The thigh fat comes off first after birth. The bad news is that belly fat tends to linger. (And, despite the research described below, women did not need full body scans to tell us that.)

“Of the total fat deposition, 46 percent was in the lower trunk, 32 percent in the upper trunk, 16 percent in the thighs, 1 percent in the calves, 4 percent in the upper arms, and 1 percent in the forearms.” – IOM 2009 report, pg. 80

“Postpartum, fat was mobilized more completely from the thighs than the trunk, and non-subcutaneous fat in the upper trunk actually increased postpartum. Evidence obtained with computer tomography from 14 women suggests that childbearing may be associated with acquisition of visceral fat (Gunderson et al., 2008).” – IOM 2009 report, pg. 80

(4) How much fat you gain may not affect the size of your baby. Note I said fat, not weight. Total weight gain does correlate with the baby’s eventual size; fat gain does not. Greater water and protein gain in the placenta, uterus, and amniotic fluid all predict a bigger baby. More fat mass in your thighs, breasts, and stomach does not.

“Birth weight was positively correlated with gains in weight… but not FM gain. Lederman et al. (1997) also found that maternal weight and FFM , but not FM , at term related to birth weight” — IOM 2009 report, pg. 83

Why, then, do we advise women with a slow rate of gain to eat more, in order to avoid having a baby that is too small? There is no evidence that eating past hunger leads to bigger, healthier babies. Instead, these studies suggest that the arrow of causation goes in the opposite direction–healthy babies tend to promote greater weight gain.

Worse, what is there good evidence for? That excess fat gained during pregnancy is hard to shed.

“The extent to which fat mass accretion is critical rather than incidental to pregnancy is not clear, but unrestrained weight gain leads to postpartum weight retention.” – IOM 2009 report, pg. 102

(5) Swelling in your arms, legs, hands and feet, what doctors refers to as edema, varies a lot from woman to woman and can have a big impact on your third trimester weight gain. In your third trimester, gaining anywhere from 1 to 9 additional lbs. of water weight from this swelling is considered normal.

I often reflect on this 1 to 9 pounds variable when I think about my postpartum weight loss. Despite gaining within the recommended amount for both of my pregnancies (30 lbs), I shed only 15 lbs. the first month after delivery. My friends who exceeded the guidelines and gained 35, 40 lbs? They all dropped 20 to 25 lbs in the first couple of weeks. But their hands, feet, and ankles had swelled up like water balloons in their last few months of pregnancy; mine had not.

I guess what I would like to tell you is this: If late in pregnancy your wrists and ankles look like tree trunks, take heart. These swollen wrists and ankles probably foretell several additional pounds of rapid post-delivery weight loss!

If this were not enough to convince you to reconsider obsessing over the number on the scale, the amount of amniotic fluid present in the third trimester also varies by up to 2.2 pounds from woman to woman.

“Given the wide range of normal amniotic fluid volume at term, this compartment may affect maternal GWG by as much as 1 kg.” – IOM 2009 report, pg. 92

That’s right: In the third trimester alone, women vary in their water weight gain by up to 11 lbs. To me, this fact underscores the difficulty of determining the “right” amount of weight gain for any woman. What might be a reasonable gain for one woman, consisting of a small amount of fat, could translate to an additional ten pounds of fat for another woman.

This realization, more than anything, persuaded me that we–medical establishment included–should all relax a bit about the number on the scale.

(One important caveat: A sudden bump in weight over the course of a week can signal preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy disorder characterized by high blood pressure and protein in your urine. Unlike obsessing over pregnancy weight gain, checking for preeclampsia is a good reason to hop on the scale regularly throughout your second and third trimesters.)

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Belly Only Pregnancy Workout

Pregnancy means you will gain some weight-it’s inevitable. While you cannot completely control or physically distribute where your weight will go or carry, you can minimize the weight you will gain and where.

During my last pregnancy, I made the news headlines when I was able to carry on with my six pack almost until the end! Why this made headlines, I’ll never know, but I get so many emails daily from other ladies asking how they can have a “belly only” or “six pack” pregnancy as well.

Let me start by saying, a “six pack” or “belly only” should not be your primary goal for your pregnancy. Your goal should be to stay moderatively active throughout your pregnancy for a healthy baby and safe delivery and to keep yourself from gaining an unhealthy amount of weight-not just to sport some six pack abs. All of our bodies are so different so our weight gain during pregnancy will be different as well.

Throughout my pregnancy with my daughter, I stayed fit and made sure to work every body part in order to keep things tight and toned. However, I did do a few tummy tightening moves to keep my abs tight in addition to workouts that minimized weight gain in the areas that I typically gain the most fat during pregnancy: my love handles, butt, and thighs.

Though I was pretty much “belly only” with both of my pregnancies, I did know exactly what to do the second time around to have a healthier and fitter pregnancy than ever before. As you can see below from my 36 week pregnant belly comparison, my belly sizes were totally different despite the fact that I gained 30lbs each time. I was more relaxed with my first pregnancy so I decided to kick things up a notch by working out 5 days per week for 45 minutes mixing cardio and weightlifting.

You will have to watch your weight during pregnancy. It is very easy to gain weight because your hormones are playing some funny games with you. The textbook recommendation is anywhere from 25lbs-35lbs, but this will vary from woman to woman. There are also so many things that will go into how much weight you gain-see my chart below!

Here are my tips to gaining weight at a slow, steady pace:

  • Eat 5-6 meals per day. No, not large meals, but small meals. You could also do 3 main meals and two snacks. You want to make sure that you eat lean protein at every meal/snack as well. This will help to keep you feeling full for a longer amount of time throughout your day. Lots of my pregnant clients love my 4 week clean eating meal plan!
  • Workout at least 5 days per week for 30 minutes. It is best to do a combo of weight training and cardio, but if I had to pick one that you should be doing more of during pregnancy to control your weight gain, I would have to say that cardio is key. During pregnancy, you gain extra body fat due to those lovely hormones and what burns fat? CARDIO, baby! However, you do not want to neglect weights for 40 weeks and let your muscles turn to mush. You won’t be happy with what you are left with when you give birth. I know I wasn’t! So this time around, I do 45 minutes a day (30 min cardio + 15 min lifting) 5 days a week.
  • Know your calories! This is the most important tip of all-you have got to get a grip on how many calories you should be consuming per day. The recommended amount is about 100-300 extra calories per day during pregnancy. Use this calculator to help determine your needs.

Remember: you WILL gain weight and that is absolutely OK! As long as you eat a clean diet and get moving often, you have done everything in your power to obtain a healthy weight gain range.

In order to keep your weight in your belly and even all over, you will need to work your entire body with various moves. I will share with you below my favorite moves that helped me during pregnancy:

“Belly Only” Workout

Standing Side Crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps (alternating sides)

Stand straight upward with your hands behind your head. Slowly bend to the left side as far down as you can (without feeling any pain or discomfort). Slowly come back upward, pause, and bend to the right side. Repeat.

Dumbbell Side Bends: 3 sets of 10 reps (each side)

Grabbing a 5lb or 10lb dumbbell, bend slowly to the left and hold it for a second. Let your body guide you and listen to your body to know how far down to bend. Slowly come back upward. Repeat and switch sides.

Side Plank: 60 seconds (each side)

Lie on side on mat. Place forearm on mat under shoulder perpendicular to body. Place upper leg directly on top of lower leg and straighten knees and hips. Raise body upward by straightening waist so body is ridged. Hold position. Repeat with opposite side.

Side Plank Hip Dips: 3 sets of 10 reps (per side)

Start in a side plank position with your elbow touching the ground. Drop your hips toward the floor, squeezing your obliques as you bring them back up. Repeat and switch sides.

Dumbbell Side Bend Variation #2: 3 sets of 20 reps (per side)

Stand with your feet 2-3 inches further than hip width apart.Keeping your hips facing forward, raise the dumbbell above your head (holding it with both hands). Drop your upper body to the right, shifting your weight and hips to the right. Keep your arms up and don’t let the weight drop below your head. Lift back up, returning to the top but keep the weight above your head. Repeat, alternating sides.

Dumbbell Elbows to Knees Side Crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps (alternating sides)

Similar to the move above, follow the directions the same way. The only difference with this move is that you will pick up the knee of the side you are bending toward. For example, if you are bending to your left, pick up your left knee and bring it to meet the dumbbell. Note: they don’t have to touch, but go as far as you can without having to strain or feel discomfort.

Modified Woodchoppers 3 sets of 10 reps (per side)

Standing tall, with feet shoulder width apart, hold a dumbbell with both hands. Engage your core and reach dumbbell straight over to one shoulder, tilting your body a bit. Bring the dumbbell downward in a quick chopping motion toward the opposite hip. Instead of bending down for a traditional woodchopper, you will simply bring your opposite knee upward as you bring the dumbbell down in a diagonal motion. Repeat and switch sides.

Standing Side Reaches 3 sets of 10 reps (per side)

This move is similar to a stretch and feels very nice! Slowly bend to the right side with your left arm extending overhead and over as if you are trying to touch the opposite side of your body. Your right hand/arm can rest beneath or on your belly. Hold for 5 seconds and feel the stretch. Repeat and switch sides.

Now, here’s a video that demonstates the entire workout:

To follow my exact prenatal routine, check out my Fit For Two: 12 Week Home Workout Plan! The workouts in the program are based off of my exact plan and I actually created it while pregnant with my second.

  • NO GYM REQUIRED!
  • Keeps you lean and toned during pregnancy.
  • Strengthens your body for a shorter labor and delivery.
  • A trimester specific workout plan broken down into 3 separate phases that you can do from home or anywhere!
  • Over 100 different exercises with photo based step-by-step instructions.
  • PDF format that is available to use on iPhone/iPad/Android/Kindle/Computer.
  • An exercise glossary with a detailed written description of each move.
  • Only one set of dumbbells are required.

Grab your copy by clicking here!

Your trainer and friend,

There is No Such Thing as a “Belly Only Pregnancy”

Today I am going to be talking about finding the Balance Between a “Belly Only Pregnancy” and “Eating for Two”.

I have become super annoyed with this Pinterest trend of a “Belly Only Pregnancy”. Once again, society has taken it too far. Sorry, what? You want a “Belly Only Pregnancy”? How about you just want a healthy, happy, active, fun, and beautiful pregnancy?

In this world, I am always trying to find the balance in things.

Maybe this is why I feel that there is a happy medium between eating for two and “Belly Only Pregnancy”. It’s unrealistic to work out during pregnancy consuming just enough in hopes to grow only a belly and nothing else. Trust me you will be disappointed and well I have found that there is a healthy balance.

Let’s stop for a moment because I feel I need to be blunt. If you are here to get that belly-only pregnancy and think that, by following the workout guides and eating just enough, you won’t gain any weight, just close this browser tab now.

But, if you want to experience joy by finding out for yourself that exercising can feel good and has so many benefits for you and your baby, you’ve found your happy place! That is why I am here and that’s why I created 40weekFit for moms and new moms like you!

It is true, research has shown that pregnant women who exercise gain significantly less weight during pregnancy than those who do not exercise (James F. Clapp III, 2002). In one of the research studies Clapp conducted, he found that women who exercised during pregnancy experienced less weight gain (by 7 pounds) and had fat deposits reduced by 3%. Why is this important? It means that if you want less of an uphill battle losing the “baby weight” postpartum, you will put in the time now to instill good habits.

So, my theory is this, women who exercise feel good about their pregnant bodies and want to continue making healthy choices. These healthy choices become good habits that extend beyond the pregnancy and into their everyday lifestyles.

It doesn’t matter your size, your background, the way you were built, etc. I have a belief that our best workouts aren’t the ones where we are focused on what we look like, but how we feel. Some pregnant women will walk or go to the gym every day and still put on 40 pounds. Try not to focus on the weight why you are working out. Maybe working out helps you overcome tough mental hurdles. Who know’s, getting through that really tough booty burner put an extra pep in your step.

What I am saying is to focus on that sense of accomplishment you feel at the end of a workout. This is truly what matters, not whether the scale says your staying the same or gaining at an obscure rate. Focus on the achievement and how you feel at the end, it’s going to be pretty wonderful, I promise!

And it’s this feeling, the one I am talking about, I want all my moms to have as they go through the 40weekFit Philosophy. Your body is going to change, your emotions are going to change, and you may not even recognize the woman in the mirror, but that is all ok.

Let’s start a new trend and ditch the “Belly Only”. This new trend of pregnancies is where you get the feeling of accomplishment when you are working out, you feel great, and you enjoy it. Try to feel it and share this feeling with other moms as much as you can during your own pregnancy.

It really comes down to putting on the necessary weight that is right for you and your body. You have to make healthy choices, not just for you, but for your baby too.

The TRUTH about eating for two:

  1. The person you are creating inside of you is little.
  2. Most women do not need to eat more than usual until the third trimester. Even then, it is only about 200-300 calories more per day.
  3. Choose healthy options. A small bag of Cheetos is 150 calories and an apple is 125 calories—which one are you more inclined to give a small child who is growing?

Some examples of 200-300 calorie snacks:

  • 16 wheat crackers and string cheese: 230 calories
  • Apple and string cheese: 210 calories
  • 8 oz. of fat-free milk and 2 cups of blueberries: 266 calories
  • Greek honey yogurt (Voskos): 290 calories
Check out MyFitnessPal to search for the calorie count in thousands of different foods. I am not a Registered Dietician; therefore, these are merely suggestions based on what I have learned in my studies. If you have more questions about prenatal nutrition, please find a Registered Prenatal Dietician in your area!

How not to get fat when pregnant?

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