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It's "that" time of the month when every single woman would just like to be left alone so that she could put one her comfy onesie and eat her favorite trash food. When the period is around the corner, our hormones go ballistic, and there is even the sensation that you could eat everything that's been set in front of you. However, during the period ladies often crave for fatty burgers, potato chips, chocolate, and other sweet delights. It's because they are delicious, they uplift our mood, makes us feel satisfied, and they are so damn juicy! To be honest, cravings during the period are a nasty thing, and they should be taken under control for numerous health reasons. Here is how to do it.
Cravings and Period 101
Firstly, before being able to deal with, or at least put the craving under control, we need to figure out why do we crave various during the period. If already women haven’t had enough with the basic period symptoms like tedious cramps, or fatigue and bloating, they have to resort to the fridge or pantry to succumb through the period. But, it is all due to hormones. During the period, the body goes through immense physiological changes. Just before the monthly “schedule” the stress hormone, aka cortisol, goes up, while the feel-good hormone, aka serotonin, decreases. Signaling our body to do something in order to fight cortisol and make us feel happy again, thus the cravings occur. Both sugars and fats increase the levels of serotonin, which is why you are reaching for chocolate and a Big Mac.
No matter how hard you try to fight it, a few days prior to the period and during that time, we simply cannot resist the urge to grab the forbidden foods. One of the ways to fight that need is to opt for a more healthier version, or simply choose fruits. They contain natural sugar and are a definitely healthier option, even though apples and bananas might not completely saturate the sugary cravings, they will make that serotonin levels go up. A good idea is to eat an apple in the morning, in the afternoon go for a bowl of strawberries, and in the evening have one banana. In that way, you would keep your hormones in balance, and resist the temptation to grab cheesecake.
Indulge in healthy chocolate.
Probably many of you are not aware of that girls' number one period food has a healthier companion, the dark chocolate. Yes, it is not as sweet and tasty as milk chocolate, but it surely has enough sugar level to satisfy your craving. Actually, it is perfectly okay to take a piece of chocolate from time to time during your period, as long as you don't grab other unhealthy fast food. That is, try not to eat a greasy hamburger and then immediately after, eat a whole bar of chocolate. Resort to healthier options. Eating either one piece of dark or milk chocolate in a day will make you feel content, and get you through your period without feeling too cranky and nervous. For instance, your partner might surprise you with a wonderful Gift Rebellion chocolate bouquet, would you say no to that? Of course not.
Eat small chunks of food.
Another very common type of craving is craving for everything, all the time, during the period. Sometimes you might crave food that you have never imagined that you are going to blend, like dipping potato chips into vanilla ice cream. Well, that is all normal during the period, however, the goal is to go through your period as sanely as possible without (hopefully) not gaining weight. So, the solution is to eat smaller chunks of food. Instead of grabbing the whole plate of fries or salty crisps, only a handful of nuts, cashews, or walnuts slowly during the day. Next, try to prepare chia seed pudding with soy milk and raspberries, instead of banana split or sugary pudding, and eat it throughout the day. When you eat smaller, but frequent, meals during the day would help you regulate blood sugar levels and keep cravings from becoming binges.
Opt for “good” carbohydrates.
Most of the food that you crave during the period is just too unhealthy. In order to deal with that negative urge, try choosing food that wouldn't have such a big impact on your organism. Most of the sweets and fast food contain empty, or "bad," carbohydrates, and they can only make our bodies store fat. Choose fiber-rich foods and complex carbs that might take longer for the body to absorb but they will surely curb your craving. Those are whole grain products such as cereals, brown rice, legumes, and starchy veggies. Let's not forget about protein. The "bad" version or the Big Mac has more empty nutrients, which only satisfy your need at that precise moment, leaving you wanting more the next second. Therefore, choose smart proteins that will help you moderate blood sugar imbalances like turkey and chicken meat, eggs, fish, and peanut butter.
Be active and drink water.
Any form of motion will help you deal with bloating and cramps during your period, especially if you do squats believe it or not. From the scientific point of view, exercise boosts healthy endorphins which consequently helps us decrease our appetite. You don't need to hit the gym three times a day during your period, on the contrary, any other physical activity will help you fight off cravings. Walk the dog, go cycling with friends, vacuum the house, or go clubbing and dance the night away. What's more, accompany the physical activity with drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water per day. Water is the essence of life, and it does a miracle to our organism, especially during the period. It keeps the bloating under control, and it tricks the body and cortisol into not resorting to greasy foods because the stomach feels full.
Relax and take a deep breath. Periods are an unavoidable gift (sadly) from mother nature, but the cravings can be easily avoided and taken under control if you follow these tips.