What to Know About Pregnancy Cravings

Pregnancy Cravings

Pregnancy is full of surprises, and one of them is the wild and weird foods you might end up with pregnancy cravings. While not all expectant parents crave certain foods, most have an unexpected hunkering or two at some point or another. And for some people, these cravings can be pretty intense and elaborate. Yes, you might crave a specific egg sandwich from a deli across town at 3 in the morning—it happens!

Here, we’ll take a look at what pregnancy cravings are, when to expect them to begin, what the most common cravings entail, and whether these food-related urges are ever a health concern.

How Early in Pregnancy Do You Have Cravings?

Pregnancy cravings tend to fade in the later stages of pregnancy, peaking in the first and second trimesters. It isn’t uncommon to begin experiencing cravings as early as five weeks into pregnancy. Cravings often coincide with the point at which women may begin experiencing food aversions.

What Are the Most Common Pregnancy Cravings?

Pregnancy cravings can be for nearly anything, but some of the most common include:

  • Mac and cheese
  • Pizza
  • Pasta
  • Hamburgers and steaks
  • Sweets
  • Pickles
  • Pretzels
  • Nachos

How Long Do Pregnancy Cravings Last?

Pregnancy cravings are typically most intense within the first three months of pregnancy. For some people, though, they tend to peak in the second trimester of pregnancy, and then slowly die down by the third trimester. But while they tend to be most potent in the first few months, some folks may find that cravings don’t go away completely, and may last for the entire pregnancy

How to Reduce Pregnancy Cravings

Though hormonal changes can make pregnancy cravings themselves innate and unavoidable, follow these tips to cope and remain healthy when battling cravings:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet and stay mindful of calorie limits during each trimester. Doing so provides the best way to reduce pregnancy cravings.
  • Attempt to satisfy urges with lower-calorie food options. For example, if you’re craving a fast-food cheeseburger, try making one at home using lean meat and low-fat cheese.
  • Space out meals. Cravings often seem the most intense when you’re hungry and have low blood sugar. Try breaking up your eating from three big meals a day to six smaller, satisfying ones.
  • Distract yourself. When you notice yourself wandering to the kitchen to eat a king-size chocolate bar, take your mind off the craving by doing some brief doctor-approved exercise or calling a loved one.

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