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How Much Extra Food Should I Eat While Pregnant?

Pregnancy hormones can play havoc with appetite, causing some women to feel famished.  Others are daunted by nausea, vomiting, and fatigue that diminish their desire for food. In both cases, the best strategy is trying as much as possible to adhere to a balanced diet that accounts for physical activity and stage of pregnancy, like the ones offered at MyPyramid.gov.

A nutritious pregnancy eating plan with adequate calories -- about 340 more calories each day than your prepregnancy needs, starting in the second trimester, and about 450 more than your prepregnancy diet during the last three months of pregnancy -- should be enough to prevent constant hunger. Women who are particularly physically active during pregnancy may need more calories, however.

A woman pregnant with twins should eat about 440 more calories each day starting in the second trimester, and 500-600 more calories more per day in the last trimester.

Choosing foods that fill you up as part of a balanced pregnancy diet improves eating satisfaction. For example, whole grains, vegetables, and legumes are filled with fiber to keep you fuller for longer, without any extra calories. Drink plenty of fluids; it works with fiber to keep you full and to prevent constipation, a common pregnancy complaint.

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