How Much Exercise Do I Need to Do When I Have Gestational Diabetes?

Most women are reluctant to exercise during their pregnancy. They are afraid that some exercises might cause harm to the baby they are carrying. When they are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, the fear of exercising increases since their condition becomes more delicate than normal pregnancy.

baby loveDespite this fear, doctors would even recommend exercising especially for pregnant women with gestational diabetes. The purpose of exercising is not to lose weight, but to maintain it and to prevent you from gaining excess weight that might be detrimental to you and your baby’s health. In gestational diabetes, your cells cannot utilize the excess glucose in your bloodstream because the insulin receptors in the cells are less responsive to insulin. That is the reason why you have to take the initiative of using up your excess glucose through exercising.

But exercising for pregnant women with gestational diabetes is not that simple. There are some considerations that you need to keep in mind to prevent adverse effects and complications. Here are some tips and guidelines that you need to remember to exercise safely during your gestational diabetes state:

  • Ask your doctor. First and foremost, your doctor should know about any exercise program that you are contemplating on starting. Your doctor will be able to advise you well on the dos and don’ts of exercising with gestational diabetes. In general, exercise is safe as long as you are not in danger of pre-term labor and delivery or you have no cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases that might hinder your ability to exercise. Ask your doctor for any warning signs or limitations in exercising during pregnancy.
  • Start slowly. If you were physically active before you got pregnant, take note that you cannot be as active as you were now that you are pregnant. High-impact sports should be avoided in general, and you have to start slow. You can try walking, yoga, and aerobics. Around 20 minutes per day three times a week is good to start, and you may increase your frequency as your body gets used to the exercise.  However, you should always ask your doctor about the amount of exercise that you should be doing. Ideally, you should be able to carry on a conversation comfortably while exercising.
  • Drink lots of water. Hydration is very important when you are exercising. This helps you prevent dehydration, which could lead to pre-term labor because it raises your body’s temperature. Drinking water while exercising can also prevent excess sodium in your body, thus avoiding swelling or edema.
  • Do not forget warm-up and cool-down exercises. Warming up prepares your muscles for exercise, helping you avoid stiffness and soreness in your muscles during and after exercising. Cooling down, on the other hand, gets your heart rate back to normal in a gradual manner. Warm-up and cool-down exercises should be done for about five to ten minutes per exercise routine.

Your pregnancy or gestational diabetes should never be a hindrance to your physical activities.

To learn more about what exercises are good for you, please sign up for my ebook and newsletters!

Healthy Eating Out at Restaurants For Gestational Diabetes Moms

Wondering What You Should Do When Eating Out?

English: McDonald's Restaurant, Bermuda Park A...

Having gestational diabetes is not the end of the world for a pregnant woman. In fact, you can still enjoy much of the foods that you normally eat, but always in moderation. That being said, eating out at restaurants is not a total no-no for you, as it still remains one of your options. In fact, the choices that you have for eating out can still be the same choices that you have at home. As with eating at home, remember that you also need to have a balanced diet once you decide to dine out. Here are some guidelines that you need to remember to still keep healthy while eating out at restaurants:

  • Select the “right” restaurant. Before you go to whatever restaurant to eat out, you can research their menu beforehand so that you know what kinds of food to expect. Choose restaurant that have healthy food options, such as those with low fat and low sugar content. In fact, some restaurant websites contain nutritional and caloric information about their foods, so you can already plan what to eat even before you step into the restaurant. If such information is not available, you can instead opt for a restaurant where you can ask the chef to prepare low fat food for you.
  • Be mindful of the servings. There are some restaurants that offer large meal portions, so you need to control how much you eat by opting for smaller servings. You can also share with your partner if there are jumbo servings. Avoid supersizing your meals since this can lead to an exacerbation of gestational diabetes symptoms.
  • Avoid the freebies. Oftentimes, restaurants serve free bread, crackers, or chips while you are waiting for your meal. You can already skip these appetizers, especially since they are usually full of calories that will further increase your blood sugar levels. If you really want to have an appetizer, a safe choice would be a vegetable salad.
  • Use gravy and dressings sparingly. Both salad dressings and meat gravy are very high in fats, so you should not pour these over your meals like there’s no tomorrow. Instead, ask the waiter to serve it on the side so that you can control how much gravy or dressing you put into your food. If there is any low-fat dressing, that would be a good choice.
  • Substitute unhealthy foods with healthy ones. You can request from the chef or the waiter that instead of giving you fries as sides, they can just serve you garden salad instead. You can also substitute hash browns with fresh fruits.
  • Take note of what you drink. Your blood sugar levels might rise with sodas, fruit juices, shakes, tea, and coffee. While it is best to just drink plenty of water, you can still indulge in other drinks, provided that you only consume a little amount of those drinks.
  • Avoid fried foods. Remember that an average fast food restaurant serves food that have a lot of calories, fats, and salt, since the way that they cooked their food was almost always deep fried. Instead of eating fried foods, opt for baked or grilled foods instead.

You can sign up to receive all of my email updates on gestational diabetes and receive information about gestational diabetes and as my FREE gift you get my Ebook on Gestational Diabetes!

I do offer a full gestational diabetes meal plan that is downloadable to your computer, $10.99, 14 weeks worth of recipes and diet information!

Click Here To Buy

 

Fitting Sweets into Your Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan-Fitting In Sweets

Just like the people afflicted with the more common type 2 diabetes mellitus, women suffering from gestational diabetes should also keep a close watch on their diet. Since glucose comes from ar the food that they eat, it is important that they should take note of what they eat so that they are able keep their blood glucose levels in check. One way to do this is to make a gestational diabetes meal plan. In order to create this, you must know how much carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and sugar you need to include in your diet.

What Should You Eat?

The key to gestational diabetes meal planning is to eat a balanced diet. Remember, there is nothing that is forbidden to you – not even sweets. However, these should be eaten in moderation. That being said, it is essential to include a variety of foods in your meal plan: vegetables; fruits; milk and milk products; meat, poultry, and fish; and bread, rice, and pasta.

The last food group is full of carbohydrates, and these are the ones that are broken down into glucose and used by the body. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you should avoid eating carbohydrates altogether, since that is not an option. Carbohydrates are still needed by the body, as they are the main sources of energy for the body. What you can do is to moderate your intake of carbohydrates; that is, only consume not more than three servings for each of the main meals. It is also important to choose foods that are broken down into glucose slowly, since this helps avoid spikes in a woman’s blood glucose level. Examples of these foods are whole grain breads and plain yogurts. You can also opt to combine carbohydrates with protein-rich foods so as to balance your diet.

But What About Sweets?

gestational diabetes meal planAs for sweets, it is a generally accepted fact that these foods should be avoided because of their little to none nutritional value, and at the same time adverse effects on one’s blood sugar levels. However, it is not wise to completely obliterate sugar-rich foods in one’s diet, since sugar is also another source of energy for the body. One way to incorporate sweets into your diet is to eat a slightly lower amount of carbohydrates in a specific meal, and then allow yourself a little bit of sugar in return. You can also add sweets into your meal if the food you are eating has a low glycemic index, meaning glucose is broken down slowly. Remember, you cannot indulge in sweets, but you can have a little bit of it in your diet.

If you really have a sweet tooth and cannot seem to get enough of sweet foods, you can opt to use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Equal. These can be used even during pregnancy, and does not have any adverse effect on the mother or the fetus. Do not forget to drink plenty of water, as it still remains the first choice of fluids for moms-to-be with gestational diabetes.

Finally, if you want to learn more about what to do with gestational diabetes, check out our book on Amazon, and sign up for our mailing list.

gestational diabetes meal plan pdf