why do you crave things on your period
From chocolatey treats to salty snacks, many women experience intense cravings and ravenous appetites a week or two before their periods. Experts have their theories on what causes these monthly hankerings. For one, scientists believe low progesterone and high estrogen levels generate a drop in blood sugar levels, which leads to sugar cravings. Eating sugary treats will raise blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, the quick fix is followed by sharp blood sugar declines, creating a roller coaster of irritability, anxiety, and more sugar cravings. Another cause of cravings may be due to serotonin levels, which are generally lower during PMS. Serotonin is the feel-good chemical in your brain. When levels are low we crave sugars and especially other carbohydrates like potato chips. That's because the body uses carbs to make serotonin. One thing's for sure, cravings can occur like clockwork and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Because they're practically predictable, women can take several positive measures to prevent monthly pig-outs. Here are the top ways to curb those inevitable cravings. Eat six mini meals. Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day helps regulate blood sugar levels and keeps cravings from becoming binges. Try eating six smaller meals instead of the usual three bigger ones. Space them out about every three hours to give your body constant fuel.
Choose complex carbs. Fiber-rich foods are complex carbs that take longer for your body to break down and absorb, further curbing your cravings. Eat more whole-grain breads and cereals, and produce like legumes, fruit, and starchy veggies, which are on the complex-carb list. Go for protein. By including protein at every meal or snack you help moderate blood sugar imbalances and slow the digestive process to keep from feeling hungry. Choose better-for-you protein options like eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, even peanut butter. Maintain magnesium intake. Research indicates women can experience low levels of magnesium during PMS. Peanut butter, almonds, cashews, brown rice, sunflower seeds, and most beans are great sources of magnesium. It should be noted that chocolate is also rich in magnesium (which may further explain the cravings), but it's also high in fat. If you simply must have chocolate, try to make it a small piece of high-quality, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate, which typically has more calories and fat. Relax and take a deep breath. Cravings can worsen in times of stress. By learning relaxation techniques and practicing them whenever you feel anxious or stressed, you can curtail the snack attacks. Bring on the sunshine. The lack of sun can reduce serotonin levels, which leads to increased appetite and cravings.
Get outdoors or let the sunshine in to raise serotonin levels and reduce sugar and carb cravings. Get moving. Exercise boosts endorphins and decreases the appetite, but it's not just scheduled exercise that can help. Being more physically active throughout your daily routine can also make a difference. Walk the dog, vacuum the floor, take the stairs, and simply keep moving. Take heart. Cravings aren't the only thing on the premenstrual rise. The female metabolism also increases a week before menstruation. So if you cave in to a craving you'll be happy to know our bodies may burn an additional 100 calories a day during this time. It's a small way of counteracting extra eating!
Itвs that time of the month and all youвre craving is chocolate, ice cream and chips. Weвre grumpy, tired and sore, and if we want a whole tub of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream, thatвs what weвre going to have. Why is it, though, that we crave these certain foods? Contrary to what we might believe, women crave these foods, not because our bodies вneedв them, but because they make us feel better. "When you menstruate, your oestrogen and progesterone levels do go low and sometimes we can feel a bit more tired or a bit stressed," Simone Austin, accredited practising dietitian and spokeswoman for the Dietitians Association of Australia, told The Huffington Post Australia. "Itвs probably more environmental or social programming that, when we feel stressed or tired, we tend to want to have comfort foods.
This is often foods like chocolate and other sweets, as we associate those with a pick-me-up. " Chocolate, ice cream and cakes make us feel better as they contain sugar, which -- as we all know -- has an addictive quality. That is, it's difficult to stop at one square of chocolate and easy to inhale a whole block. "We do get that feedback from having sweets, that opioid, happy hormone reaction, and it makes us fees good. So, if youвre tired, grumpy or stressed when your period comes, that reaction feeds you and thatвs when you want more," Austin said. However, period cravings don't always have to be sweet. Some women crave salty or fatty foods like chips, pizza and burgers. "Itвs usually sweets that women tend to crave more," Austin said. "However, if youвre a person who goes for those salty, fatty foods as your treats then those would be the comfort foods you will want when you have your period. " Where can we find this chocolate burger, now. While eating a block of chocolate can help women to feel better before or during their period, there are ways to enjoy your favourite comfort food while at the same time ensuring you don't overeat. "When we are menstruating we need to recognise that these cravings might happen, so donвt buy blocks of chocolate that you can work your way through.
Buy small Freddo Frog-size amounts," Austin told HuffPost Australia. "It doesnвt mean you canвt treat yourself, but maybe try to look at portion sizes and eat it mindfully. Slowly enjoy it and don't have the guilt associated with it. " If milk chocolate is your vice, Austin also suggests trying a darker variety. "Chocolate can certainly make you feel better. Dark chocolate is less sweet so it doesnвt give you that same feeling of needing to eat the whole block," Austin said. To make sure you're getting important nutrients during menstruation, mix it it up with some fresh, whole foods to have alongside your sweet treat. "Have available some other healthy foods like nuts or your favourite fruit (a mango or a punnet of raspberries might be sweet enough), and have a few chocolate squares to go with them," Austin said. "Try to have plenty of these healthy foods already prepared so theyвre easy choices, but donвt feel guilty about having small amounts of these treat foods. "Try to remove the guilt from it but donвt buy the big packets that are going to make life hard for you. "
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