The truth about ‘eating for two’

Eating for two is not the way, here’s what you need to know about eating in pregnancy

Eating for two is a myth, here’s what you need to know

The reasons explained why eating for two is not the way to go

eating two 474

Don’t eat for two

If you’ve been eating sensibly for years, when you get pregnant it’s tempting to reach for the biscuit tin and gorge the whole gorgeous lot. But the truth is ‘eating for two’ in pregnancy is a myth and you don’t need many extra calories. The best thing for you and you baby is eating a healthy, varied pregnancy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. And with obesity in pregnancy a fast-growing problem, it’s best to go easy on foods that are high in fat and sugar.

Healthy weight gain

As ever, it comes down to common sense – you need to gain some weight, just not loads. Most pregnant women gain between 8–14kg, most of it after week 20 as the baby grows and your body lays down enough fat to make all that lovely breast milk.

What you need

You don’t need any extra calories right up until the third trimester, when you start needing an extra 200 calories a day. That isn't much - about the same as two slices of wholegrain toast with margarine.

Healthy snacks

If you feel hungry, you do need to eat! Just avoid fatty, sugary foods and opt for nutritious, satisfying snacks like fruit, low fat yoghurt or a glass of milk.

Tackling excess weight gain

Unfortunately, obesity in pregnancy is a fast-growing problem with 20–40% of women in Europe and the US, gaining more than they need to. Obesity can cause serious problems for the mum-to-be, and may increase the chances of the baby becoming obese in later life too. If you’re concerned, chat to a dietician who can develop a safe weight management programme. 

The truth about ‘eating for two’