1. Increase your muscle bulk

Your waistline starts to expand as your total body fat increases, and muscle mass and body water decrease. This is why you’re likely to see an increase in body weight and lose some of your youthful muscle tone, and why it’s important to increase your muscle bulk now – to promote greater fat burning during exercise and higher calorie burn around the clock.

2. Eat cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli

As estrogen levels drop in this decade, eating cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and bok choy can help because they contain a nutrient called indole-3-carbinol, which has been shown to help reduce excess estrogen and may drop the risk of breast and cervical cancers.

3. Fill up on insoluble fiber

Insoluble fiber, found in whole wheat and brown rice, is also good because it binds itself to estrogen in the digestive tract and has a laxative effect.

4. Don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to overeat

Dr. Grosse warns against using pregnancy as an excuse to overeat. “While you do have increased nutrient needs, the quality of the food you eat is more important than the quantity,” she explains. “Gaining more than the recommended 11 to 16 kg can be counterproductive and harder to lose in the future.”