Some months are worse than others. It’s the week or a few days before your period and you’re a BEAR! *$%# my diet, screw eating healthy I want everything dipped in cheese, chocolate, and wine and I want it NOW!
Before you give up and freak out, let’s take some steps to see WHY this happens to us, what we can do to help keep ourselves on track and why that extra metabolism boost once a month can really play in our favor.
Prevention: Before we even try to get into why PMS happens, realize the steps you can take to make it less bothersome. Eating healthy, taking fish oil, and evening primrose oil, can help reduce PMS symptoms. It’s also important to keep your exercise regimen going during this time. Aerobic activities can help stave off that depressed feeling and get you feeling more energized.
While it’s hard to find one particular study, research suggests that a week before a woman’s period, during the luteal phase, we will require an additional 100-300 calories/day. Some women’s metabolism can increase by as much as 15%. But this doesn’t mean you should go eat nachos and an entire bag of Dove chocolates (although what I’d give to do that guilt free). Instead, look at this as a reason for all these seemingly uncontrollable cravings. You were doing so well and not even THINKING about cake and now it’s all you want. Don’t start feeling guilty about this, just be aware of it. You got this.
Also – don’t you DARE go weigh yourself while you’re on your period. Water retention is a bitch and you’re going to fluctuate by about 2-5 pounds during this time. You may even feel gross or not be able to suck in your stomach as much, this is NORMAL.
Chocolate – when we’re on our cycles, our magnesium levels get way low. Chocolate is an easy way for our bodies to compensate, plus, it’s delicious! Magnesium deficiencies can cause a host of other issues, too, like depression, fatigue, insomnia, indecisiveness, confusion. OMG this totally sounds like PMS, doesn’t it! No wonder I’ve stood in the middle of the grocery store staring at cereal for 10 minutes thinking “there’s no way I’m going to be able to choose one, there’s just…sooo many.” A good way to combat this is to fuel up on magnesium rich foods before hand and throughout the month in general. And let yourself have some chocolate, preferably dark for less sugar and more cocoa benefits.
PMS and periods are also going to reduce a woman’s iron, which means we crave high energy foods to compensate for the sleepy/drained feeling. Hormones also sway and can effect our blood sugar levels. Before you indulge on sweets however, realize that the more sweets you have, the more your blood sugar will spike, and when it crashes again, the more you’ll want. Sugar is very much like a drug.
The good news is if you can power through and stay on track during this time, you’ll have that added calorie deficit depending on your personal BMR. Power through!
Until then, I think I may need to put something like this in my kitchen…