Ever find yourself with an undeniable urge to indulge in a pack of Tim Tams or grab a handful...bagful of salty chips right before your period kicks in? Well, you're not alone!
Research confirms that our cravings for sugar, salt, and fat tend to soar during the pre-menstrual phase. But what fuels these cravings, and more importantly, how can we take charge and beat them at their own game?
Let's delve into the science behind these desires and explore effective strategies to combat those PMS cravings!
The Hormone Rollercoaster
Hormonal fluctuations throughout our menstrual cycle impact blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity. While estrogen helps follicle growth and progesterone thickens the uterine lining, these hormones also influence glucose uptake.
In the second half of the cycle (after ovulation), insulin responsiveness can decrease. A 2010 study observed insulin resistance significantly rose during this phase. Levels of estrogen and progesterone were directly associated with insulin resistance.
But also, serotonin levels may dipped in some people in the days leading to menstruation. This has a potential to affect mood and sleep.
Some researchers suggest that an increased craving for simple carbohydrates during this phase might be an unconscious attempt to self-medicate and elevate serotonin levels, contributing to improved mood.
Kick your Cravings to the Curb!
1. Get Moving:
Want to kick those cravings to the curb? Take a chill 30-minute walk. It’s like a secret weapon against pesky sugar desires. Bonus: Do stuff you like, and as you get fitter, cravings might just peace out.
2. Keep the Zzzs:
Beauty sleep isn’t just for looks. Miss just one night, and bam, your cravings go wild (ok maybe not wild, but up to 30% worse). Stay snoozing for at least 7 hours nightly for a routine that rocks your cycle and keeps you making boss decisions.
3. Don’t Skip Meals:
Hangry for sugar? Skipping meals makes it worse. Stick to regular meal times and throw in snacks. Mix it up with fiber, protein, and good fats. Add in complex carbohydrate stuff like spuds, sweet potatoes, rice, or oats.
4. Cocoa Cheers:
Hot choc fan? Swap it for a Cacao Latte. It’s sweet, plus it has magnesium to fight sugar cravings and chill your PMS stress (PMS is stressful Y’all!) and help you sleep.
If your not keen on including cocoa or cocao if it isn’t Cadbury chocolate, try supplementing with a magnesium powder.
I like any magnesium that is paired with glycine.
5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate:
Yeah, water’s not as fun as coffee or snacks, but it's your hydrating sidekick. When you're in a funk and dreaming of chocolate, a sip can do wonders. Staying hydrated is like giving your body an Uber for nutrients. Super handy when you're feeling meh and just tempted to drown your sorrows in a mountain of chocolates