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Dr Nicholas Lim - Control weight by having balanced diet, appropriate portion and carbs.

The Truth About Pregnancy Weight

Starting at a healthy weight during your pregnancy is important. Check out the recommended weight gains during the pregnancy from our website.


  • Being overweight or obese before pregnancy
  • Having family members (first degree) with diabetes
  • A laboratory finding of sugar (AKA glucose) in the urine
  • Having a previous pregnancy complicated by gestational diabetes

That’s why starting at a healthy weight during your pregnancy is important.

Below is a table which shows recommended weight gains during the pregnancy. 3, 4


 Keep in mind that the weight you gain has an immediate and future impact on your health, as well your child’s. 4

So, how can I achieve and maintain healthy weight during pregnancy?

1. Eat a well-balanced diet.

There’s no secret formula, or any single food that can offer you all nutrients. 5, 6 Your meals must be varied and well-balanced, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and foods with less fat. 5, 6 It’s essential that your meals contain food from all food groups that provide you the highest quality nutrients.

Well balanced diet with fruits and fibre helps maitain healthy weight.

2. Watch portion sizes.

Eating for two does not mean eating a lot more than you did before. 3, 6 While the increased energy (calorie) requirement is attributed to your changing body to support the pregnancy and the nutritional needs of your growing little one, an excess in calories can lead to gaining too much weight which can increase your risk for gestational diabetes. For most normal-weight pregnant women, the number of calories needed per day per trimester is as follows: 7


To help you decide what and how much to put on your plate, you may use the following plate illustration as a guide. In addition to a well-portioned meal, include regular physical activity to maintain a healthy weight. 8

Suitable portion of different food types for healthy weight

3. Choose your carbs with care.

Carbohydrates are the main sources of energy for you and your little one. However, if consumed in excess, it will put you at risk of gaining too much weight and possibly risk of developing gestational diabetes. Of all the nutrients, carbohydrates particularly simple carbohydrates like refined sugars have the most immediate impact on blood glucose level. When digested, carbohydrates are broken down into smaller glucose units which are absorbed in the bloodstream. 9 Therefore, the type and amount of carbohydrate including presence of other substances such as fibre (also known as complex carbohydrates) can impact the rate of absorption of glucose by the body. 10, 11

Choose your carbohydrates with care


1. American Diabetes Association. Prenatal care for women with diabetes. Available at: Accessed May 29, 2023.

2. Mayo Clinic. Pregnancy diet: focus on these essential nutrients. Available at: Accessed July 16, 2016.

3. Bewellfinder. Why Diabetes is Quietly Becoming the Biggest Health Epidemic of the 21st Century. Available at: Accessed May 29, 2023.

4. MedlinePlus. Eating right during pregnancy. Available at: Accessed July 16, 2016.

5. Simple vs complex carbs. Available at: Accessed July 16, 2016.

6. NutritionMD. Making sense of foods. Available at: Accessed July 16, 2016.

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