How to calculate your healthy calorie requirements during pregnancy

The myth of “eating for two” has been busted but healthy weight gain is a very important part of pregnancy. We want to help you calculate how much extra you need to eat to help with healthy weight gain for your baby and you

Beginning in the second trimester, moms-to-be should consume an additional 300 to 350 calories per day.


For healthy moms, here is a simple formula:

  • STEP 1: Take your current weight in pounds (lbs)
  • STEP 2: and multiply it by 
    • 12, if you are not active (get minimal exercise)
    • 14, if you are moderately active (work out 3 - 4 times a week)
    • 16, if you are very active (work out 5 - 7 times a week)
  • STEP 3: add 300 to the total number found in step 2

This is your target calorie requirement

Example: a healthy, 140-pound mom-to-be who is moderately active would require 2,260 calories per day based on this formula.

That is: 140 (mom’s weight) times 14 (moderately active) is 1,960. Adding 300 gives you 2,260.

Some health tips to keep in mind:

  • These extra calories should come from nutritious foods, so they can contribute to your baby’s growth and development
  • Spread out the extra 300 calories across multiple meals rater than one meal - Eating five to six nutrient-dense meals every three to four hours will help maintain blood sugar levels and prevent you from feeling sick and lightheaded, and keep you energized all day


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