Eating once a day while being pregnant due to any reason is not acceptable or recommended by any doctor. Doing this will only result in you and your baby having many deficiencies. Not having proper meals in a day will only make your baby take their nutrition from your body. Discussing your diet plans with your doctor and exercising is the only way to not gain that extra pregnancy weight and give birth to a healthy child.
Eating one meal a day is something a lot of people do to lose weight. Another closely related thing is intermittent fasting; it helps keep one’s weight in check.
While being pregnant, your body changes a lot and does throughout the whole term of pregnancy. However smaller these changes are, it happens to accommodate your baby and let it grow healthily.
While it’s true that most women gain weight during their pregnancy, but is it safe to choose to eat just one meal a day? Will it help you lose weight? And most of all, is it healthy for your baby?
Eating one meal in pregnancy
When it comes to body changes, every woman feels differently about it. While some women are prepared for it and accept it, others don’t so much.
They get conscious about how they look and try to keep off their weight. Following this mindset, some women then try to eat less to lose weight while being pregnant.
Another reason could be that you might not have the time to sit down and have proper meals as a working woman. It might have been fine before when you weren’t carrying a child, but now that you are growing a baby, you must have three proper meals at least.
Whatever the reason might be, that caused you to have just one meal a day while being pregnant. It is not appreciated or recommended in any way, for it is insufficient for your baby’s growth.
Risks of eating one meal during pregnancy
There has been no long-term research on what happens when a pregnant woman eats one meal during her pregnancy. However, studies conducted and results were analyzed from women fasting for Ramadan and how it affects them and their babies.
When women fasted (for Ramadan, it’s 30 days), it affects their glucose level, which dips. As a result, it takes a longer amount of time to detect fetal movements. Low fetal movements should be taken seriously and are definitely not a good sign as you get close to your delivery date.
As per the normal development of a healthy fetus, they should be making around 10 movements within 1-2 hours.
You should usually be able to feel 10 movements within just half an hour.
So, when you’re restricting eating too, say, one meal a day, it is difficult for the baby to get the right amount of nutrition. You need to eat for yourself and the baby. When you don’t get enough nutrition, your baby pulls it from your body’s store.
This results in many deficiencies, like being anemic, which is pretty standard amongst pregnant women. When the baby doesn’t get enough iron, especially in the third trimester, they’re at a higher risk of developing anemia before their first birthday.
What is intermittent fasting?
It is a kind of fasting where you don’t consume food for a specific period like 6 pm to 10 am and fasting for 16 hours a day, only eating in the short window of 8 hours.
Intermittent fasting has received a lot of positive feedback, as people find it easier to follow. In addition, it helps them burn their calories without exercising too much.
The reason for losing weight is that if you restrict your body from eating for a prolonged time, then your insulin levels go down, and your body will burn fat.
Rather than counting calories, you need to keep a tab when you can eat around, which helps you stay motivated. But this doesn’t mean you get to eat anything. You still need to keep a healthy and balanced diet to lose weight.
Intermittent fasting and pregnancy
Just like eating one meal a day, intermittent is similar in the sense. Your doctor would never recommend this kind of fasting to you when you’re pregnant. The apparent reasons remain that fasting in a way and eating fewer meals is never healthier for your growing baby.
Eating lesser meals may have health implications on your baby that might appear later in their life and should be avoided because your baby needs help gaining weight during this period.
You’re the sole provider of nutrition to help with brain and body development. Not to mention keeping a healthy weight yourself is crucial to be able to breastfeed later on.
What you should do
Suppose you’re fasting or eating reduced meals in a day while being pregnant. In that case, it can lead to unpredictable results and utterly different from how it may affect somebody else. You need to maintain weight according to your body mass index (BMI) and focus on your overall health. This way you can healthily control your weight.
You should aim to consume 300 extra calories but not double the total calorie intake you consume in a day. Exercising like yoga helps many pregnant women maintain their weight, and it helps with labor too. You can do a lot of activities once you consult and discuss with your doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many times a day should a pregnant woman eat?
A balanced and healthy diet is promoted. The three meals in a day with snacks in between is an excellent way to make sure you get everything from fruits to vegetables.
How many hours can you go without eating while pregnant?
You shouldn’t go more than 4 hours of eating. Not eating for an extended period of time will result in long-term complications for you and your baby.
Is it okay to skip breakfast while pregnant?
Skipping breakfast is not a good idea. Since you didn’t eat the whole night, having a healthy and filling breakfast is vital to keep you stable and not faint.
Your body needs a healthy breakfast to kick start a day with a sound mind and body.
Can yelling during pregnancy hurt the baby?
When you do it frequently and too much, then yelling can and will harm the baby. It can affect your baby’s hearing even when they’re in the womb.
It’s also stressful for both the mom and baby, affects everything, and even makes you go into premature labor. So it’s recommended for pregnant women to stay as calm and have a stress-free pregnancy as possible.
What food is good for a baby’s brain during pregnancy?
Omega 3 fatty acids found in many food items are good food for developing your baby’s brain. Foods such as fish, soybeans, and spinach should be included in your diet.
Eating leafy vegetables will help the baby in getting their iron and helps the flow of oxygen to the baby’s brain cells.
If you’re thinking that reducing your meals per day or fasting is a way to maintain your weight during pregnancy, you should be aware of its risks. It all comes down to your baby not getting enough nutrition which will affect their growth immensely.
While pregnant, you should have a healthy and balanced diet to help develop your baby’s body and mind. Discussing your diet with your doctor is the safest option to maintain your body weight as well. Then you can give birth to a healthy child without gaining all the extra pregnancy weight.