We all know that gaining weight during pregnancy is a thing for the mother-to-be, and the OB/GYN will have concerns if weight gain is too little, or too much. But this post is about weight gain for the fathers-to-be. It’s a real thing! We call it sympathy weight gain, but in my experience it has nothing to do with sympathy and more to do with just the sheer amount of atypical foods that start to show up to appease the cravings of the mothers-to-be. Many trips were made to go fetch chocolate ice cream and watermelons from the grocery store. Friends told stories of their plights of their pregnant wives ordering 3 different dishes for take-out only to take a bite from each one and deciding she didn’t like any of them; or their insatiable craving for Taco Bell 24/7.
These aren’t bad things, whatever it takes to keep the mother-to-be happy is worth it. This isn’t a post about preventing it either. Unless you have a steel resolve, avoiding all those temptations is difficult. Rather, this is just about accepting that it’s going to happen and then dealing with it after all is said and done. This also sets you up to be in a position to take the “return to pre-baby weight” journey with your significant other. I have found that having someone there to keep me accountable and to provide encouragement is far easier than trying to do it alone.
Check out that graph! It aligns 100% with the conception of our daughter on the left side, and an increasing weight gain until her birth at the end of August. At that point, things leveled for a few months and then there is a significant improvement beginning in the last few months on this chart.
So what caused that improving trend in the last few months? It wasn’t just a factor of pregnancy cravings going away. If that was the case, it would have occurred a few months earlier. There’s one main factor that I attribute to this; beginning in December, my wife and I started creating a daily dinner meal plan (and left overs for lunch the following day). This in itself wouldn’t change anything if the meals we were planning were unhealthy. We both subscribe to the ideal of eating whole foods (veggies, fruits, healthy meats, etc) vs. (unhealthy) processed foods. It’s not always easy to stay away from unhealthy cravings, but it’s the ideal we strive for, and it’s what our meal plan is based on which helps keep us on track. We no longer discuss for 30 minutes what it is we want to eat that day, we just look on our meal plan calendar! This has resulted in much less eating out or meals to go based purely on indecisiveness/laziness. Now, the times we do go out generally align with date nights and are more meaningful and enjoyable.
There’s a side-effect bonus we’ve experienced since planning our meals, and that is we spend a bit less on food than we did in the past; mainly a result of wasting less food. Spending less, wasting less… both good things! Without the meal plan, our shopping trips often resulted in over buying. With the plan we tend to buy only what is needed, not what MIGHT be needed (and then isn’t and thrown away after it has gone bad). Not sure what to cook or prepare, check out 5dollarmealplan.com. Let us know if you would like our calendar or recipes as well.
What are the ways you have either kept weight gain in check, or lost weight (both mothers and fathers) post-partum?