Pregnancy Diet and Fitness Tips from Jillian Michaels

By Brandi Koskie -

Last week at the focus was on healthy pregnancies. We invited a number of moms, health experts and even dads to share their personal experiences and insights on ways to manage your health before, during and after a pregnancy. One of those experts was Jillian Michaels, and her tips were just too good to keep to ourselves.

We've seen Jillian's no-nonsense approach to weight loss in the gym on NBC's Biggest Loser. Now we see that even for moms-to-be, she's still got that same sensible way of breaking down what needs to happen to stay healthy for baby.

Pregnancy Fitness

1. Talk to your doctor. Before embarking on any kind of exercise program, it's always advised to check with your doctor first. This ensures that he is aware of the kinds of activities you intend to do and he can provide guidance and even make suggestions.

2. Stretching is critical. Although proper diet and exercise can go a long way toward keeping you healthy and contributing toward an easy birth, they are only part of the equation. You have to stretch as well. In fact, the third trimester is a great time to make stretching the focus of your fitness routine. Stretching is a great way to keep the blood flowing through your muscles, relieve tension, and keep your body supple. Here are a few stretches to explore: child's pose, child's kneel, tailor stretch, full back stretch and calf, ankle, and foot stretches.

3. Abdominal and back exercises are important. They help with postural changes and stability and keep your body strong after the baby's born, when you'll have a lot of lifting to do. Since doing crunches on your back is not safe, switch to standing pelvic tilts or lying on your side or on your hands and knees; concentrate on bringing your navel toward your spine. You can also experiment with wall sits, side-lying bicep curls, side-lying lifts, side-lying lateral raises, side-lying triceps extensions… you get the idea.

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Pregnancy Diet

1. Do NOT eat for two!!! You won't need to lose baby weight if you don't gain it. It takes about 55,000 calories to make a baby. This breaks down to about 200-300 extra calories a day. So make sure to eat the equivalent of your Active Metabolic Rate (you can figure this out with an AMR calculator on Google) and then add 200 or so extra calories on top of it.

2. Stay hydrated. This will help with constipation problems that can occur, and since blood volume increases during pregnancy by roughly four percent, you must make efforts to drink your water.

3. Make sure you get equal portions of protein, fat and carbs. Your body needs all three macro-nutrients to keep you and your baby healthy. Fat in particular is very important for your baby's eye development and brain growth.

See more of Jillian Michaels' Pregnancy Diet Tips

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