Ah yes. PMS cravings. We’ve all been there. A week or two before aunt flow comes, our tummies start rumbling and we start craving all the bad things we’ve been trying to stay away from. And it’s not even a craving that will pass. It’s an I-will-die-if-I-don’t-eat-this type of craving. Cravings that make us drive 10 min to a location to get what we want. But just because we have these diet-destroyer cravings every month doesn’t mean we have to give in to them…exactly. We can still pretty much stick to our diet and sub-side the cravings with healthy substitutes! In this post I will explain why we get hungrier during our periods, what deficiencies we usually experience, why we crave certain things, and what we can eat to curb them AND stay on top of our diet. I’m also including some healthy but craving-satisfying recipes to try out when you think you can’t stick to your diet during your time of the month!
When we ovulate (12-16 days before our period), our body is prepping for potential pregnancy. With that, our hormones are at an all-time high, producing a hunger response in our body. Another reason we start to get cravings and feel hungrier is because our metabolic rate speeds up causing us to burn up to 15% more calories than usual during our period. Another thing to keep into consideration is the fact that our estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate constantly during our cycle which can then affect us with mood swings or cravings. So we do have an excuse for wanting more food! Our body needs the extra food; we just need to control it!
Because of our hormones and insulin changing throughout PMS, we can experience some vitamin deficiencies in our body, which then can lead to cravings.
B vitamin deficiency can usually cause us to crave carbs such as potatoes, rice, cereals, and even dairy products.
Magnesium is a big one that we usually lack during PMS. This deficiency causes us to crave all those delicious things that contain chocolate. Try eating nuts, seeds, veggies and fruit instead.
A deficiency in calcium is common as well. If you are craving sugar and salt you may need to consume more dairy (milk, yogurt, low fat cheese).
If you are lacking vitamin C, that may be the cause of some cravings as well. Try to get in vitamin C rich foods such as orange juice, fruits, and vegetables. Iron can also be found in these, which is another mineral deficiency we have during our cycle. Try taking an iron supplement or find foods that contain a decent amount of iron in them.
Now that we went over the deficiencies, cravings, and some healthy alternatives, we should be able to handle our diet, right? Wrong! What if your craving is so strong that the oranges, apples, or vegetables just don’t do the trick? Well, below I have some healthier alternatives for you to try when you just can’t turn down the urge for chocolate, or those salty and sugary cravings we all want to dive into during our aunt flow.
If you really want chocolate and the urge just won’t go away, try out this recipe I found on these Peanut Butter Banana Bites. These always help curb my chocolate craving because my favorite candy is Reese’s peanut butter cups!
Craving sugar in general? I like anything sweet, so I’m always having this issue during my time of the month. I found Together As Family‘s recipe for these 3 Ingredient Cookies. I find them so helpful when I’m having those uncontrollable sugar cravings!
Are you someone who just wants chips or pretzels or anything salty when the cravings hit? Try out this sweet and salty recipe I’ve created to make your own healthy trail mix!
-1 cup roasted almonds
-1 cup roasted cashews
-1/2 cup dried cranberries
-1 cup dried banana chips
-1 cup of mini pretzels
– ½ cup chocolate, white chocolate, or peanut butter chips
- Put all ingredients into large Ziploc bag, mix, and enjoy! You can even portion it out into snack bags for an easy grab and go snack!
Now, who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? As girls, when it’s our time of the month, we may feel out of control with our crazy mood swings, PMS and food cravings, but, with understanding why we crave the things we do, and with some healthy alternatives to enjoy when we do have those cravings, we can all get through shark week without killing anyone, or ruining our waistline by satisfying our cravings without ruining our diet. I hope you guys enjoy this blog, and if you have any other healthy but craving satisfying recipes to suggest, I’d love to hear from you! Tell me what they are! Tell me if you have tried any of the recipes I listed and let me know if they have helped you for your time of the month!