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Managing and understanding hunger in the active pregnant woman

Managing and understanding hunger in the active pregnant woman

When you hear about pregnancy, we still sometimes hear people say, “You need to eat more because you are now eating for two!” ” Is this really true?

The first trimester is that of bionic fatigue and aversions. Then, oh, let the hunger come back! It is indeed normal to have more appetite, because energy needs increase over the trimesters. On the other hand, they do not double! We must therefore make sure to choose the right quality and quantity of food to coexist well with baby and wolfish hunger without the obsession of the belly!

Variable needs

If you maintain the same level of physical activity as before pregnancy, your energy needs do not change during the first trimester. They increase by about 350 kcal in the second and 450 kcal in all in the third (1/2). You can get the extra amount you need by eating richer snacks or meals with slightly larger portions. On the other hand, some women experience early satiety and stomach compression, especially in the last trimester. It is therefore preferable to split meals and snacks and distribute them throughout the day, in addition to avoiding drinking before or during the meal. By increasing the sources of protein at every meal and snack (especially after physical activity), you are ensuring greater satiety.

Many women have specific cravings, including cravings for foods that are acidic (eg, pickles, citrus fruits, or grapes) or sweet or savory (eg, ice cream, chocolate, or chips). You don’t have to eliminate less nutritious foods from your diet, but it’s important to eat them at the right time! Above all, they should not take the place of other healthier foods on a daily basis.

Some suitable substitutes to calm certain daily cravings


  • A piece of dark chocolate after the meal
  • Fruits in all their forms, added to yogurt, puddings, muffins (variant: fruits softened in the microwave with a little maple syrup and nuts)
  • Chocolate milk or flavored soy drinks (especially after physical activity)
  • Milk, frozen yogurts and sorbets


  • Soybean, pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • Spicy grilled chickpeas or edamame beans with a pinch of fleur de sel
  • Cheese (cottage or other)
  • Rice cakes and crackers and toasted pita bread brushed with pesto


Fat cravings can arise from a need to eat more filling or filling foods. Prepare mashed potatoes, add parsnip, sweet potato and a little butter, cream or cheese: this will give you a smoother texture.

  • Dips made with yogurt, cream cheese (such as quark) or sour cream, extended to serve as a sauce or vinaigrette
  • Homemade fries (potato or sweet potato) baked in the oven
  • Tortillas or pitas with hummus or cheese

Above all, we wish you a healthy pregnancy. 

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