Eating For 2 When Pregnant – Fact or Myth

When you are pregnant are you really eating for two or is that an old wives tale? How much weight will you gain during your pregnancy? We asked a female PT for advice.
Do you need to eat for 2 when pregnant in the UAE?

Do I really need to eat for two when I am pregnant in Dubai?

Article Contributor: Admin

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The old saying ‘you’re eating for two’ when pregnant is well known but is there really any truth to it?

When pregnant there is the old saying that you are eating for two.


Is there any truth to ‘eating for 2’?


Question: During the 3 trimesters of pregnancy is there any truth in the above statement and do prenatal women in Dubai need to consume more food?

When people say that a pregnant woman is “eating for two,” it doesn’t mean she needs to consume twice as much food or double her calories.

Women in Dubai are not eating for two during her first trimester.

During the first three months, pregnant women calorie needs are basically the same as they were before pregnancy.

The recommended weight for the first trimester is between 1 and 4 pounds over the three-month period.

The advice usually provided for pregnant women is to add 200 calories to their usual dietary intake during the second trimester, then add 300 calories during their third trimester when the baby is growing quickly.

Prenatal personal trainers and coaches in Dubai can create tailor made nutrition plans for you if you are concerned in any way about your diet.

A recent study that can be found here explains that over eating during pregnancy can also lead to obesity. 


How much to eat when pregnant in Dubai


Question: On average how many calories should prenatal women be consuming per day?


For women in Dubai who are pregnant their calorie intake can be different. It really depends on their individual level of activity, weight and height and also age.

For my pregnant clients in Dubai I am more specific with the calorie and macro calculation if the client is doing any prenatal exercise as I don’t want them to be on a calorie deficit during their pregnancy.


Are some foods healthier than others when pregnant?


Question: Although healthy eating should be seen as a lifestyle and not something that is adopted just because a women is pregnant are there any food types that are more healthier to eat during pregnancy and why/how are these more healthy?

During pregnancy in Dubai, the goal is to be eating nutritious foods most of the time.

To maximize prenatal nutrition, I suggest emphasizing the following five food groups:


  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Lean protein
  • Whole grains
  • Dairy products

Pregnant women should focus on fruits and vegetables, particularly during the second and third trimesters.

Prenatal women should include good protein sources at every meal to support the baby’s growth.

Protein-rich foods include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, tofu, cheese, milk, nuts and seeds.

Whole grain foods are an important source of energy in the diet, and they also provide fiber, iron and B-vitamins.

At least half of a pregnant woman’s carbohydrate choices each day should come from whole grains.

These whole grains should include oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta or breads and brown rice.

You should ideally aim for 3 to 4 servings of dairy foods a day.

Dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt and cheese are good dietary sources of calcium, protein and vitamin D.


Do women who exercise regularly when pregnant need to eat more?


Question: Prenatal women in Dubai who continue to train and workout during their pregnancy are there any special considerations when it comes to eat more?

From a prenatal trainer point of view I would need to be more specific with the calorie and macro calculation if the client is doing any exercise as we don’t want them to be on calorie deficit during pregnancy.

I personally would take a look at their diet and nutrition and make sure they are eating enough.

The quality of the food is important not just to cover the daily calorie intake.


What about gaining excessive weight from eating more?


Question: Pregnancy in Dubai does come with weight gain and dieting during pregnancy should be avoided. However, for women who are eating more are there any tips you can provide to help avoid excessive weight gain?

When it comes to pregnancy weight gain, it is advised mothers-to-be to look at the big picture:

During regular prenatal checkups, focus on the fact that the baby is growing normally rather than worrying about the number on a scale.

Guidelines suggest that pregnant women gain between 1 and 4.5 lbs. (0.45 to 2kg) total during their first trimester of pregnancy.

The guideline recommends that underweight and normal-weight women gain, on average, about 1 pound every week during their second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

Overweight and obese women gain about half a pound every week in their second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

Ultimately, I would say to all my prenatal clients in Dubai that yours and your babies health are more important than worrying about whether you will put on too much pregnancy weight.

As a postnatal personal trainer we can always take a look at the best ways to help you get back your pre pregnancy figure too.

In Summary.....

There is no need to consume excessive amounts of food during your pregnancy. Eat sensibly and eat well during all trimesters. 

Find A Pre Natal or Post Natal Personal Trainer In Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah

If pregnancy exercise and nutrition is important to you find out how a professional and fully qualified male or female pregnancy trainer can help you. 

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