Do you diet successfully for so long that you can’t believe it, but then as your period approaches, you find yourself snacking on junk, and garbage food, completely ruining your healthy eating goals? Yes, it happens to the best of us too. So, does your period make you hungry? Is it normal to be more hungry during your period? Conversely, is a loss of appetite before a period also possible?
To understand what the heck is even happening, let’s first delve into some period science, shall we?
SCIENCE BEHIND PERIODS
Periods make your hormonal levels go crazy; there are fluctuations all throughout your cycle. Your hormones are at their peak sometimes, while at other times, there is a sudden drop. The effects of these hormonal changes are not limited to your reproductive system. This is where PMS enters the picture.
Premenstrual Syndrome is the emotional, physical, and behavioral changes that occur in you just before your period rolls around the corner. These changes happen because of your hormones and occur sometime between your ovulation phase and the beginning of your period. They last till a few days after your periods.
Nearly 48% of women of reproductive age who menstruate face PMS symptoms. You are likely to experience at least one symptom of PMS per period cycle. The symptoms can sometimes be so severe that they disrupt your regular way of life.
Experts are still unsure why PMS occurs, but a few theories claim a combination of genetic, environmental, hormonal, and lifestyle factors are to be blamed.
One thing that we are certain about is that you need to be comfortable and indulge yourself during your periods. A way to do that is to opt for sanitary pads that keep you free from the worries of staining your pants.
Opting for a RIO Sanitary Pad will ensure you are protected on all fronts. RIO absorbs liquid like a pro. It has a Japanese SAP that turns the liquid into gel lightning fast. A raised center with deep channels, so the blood doesn’t sit on top. The soft, cushy top layer keeps you rash and irritation-free. The top layer is antibacterial and enriched with the goodness of Aloe Vera.Choose a better period; choose RIO!
Some common symptoms of PMS can include:
- Changes in sexual drive
- Mild anxiety
- Bloating in the abdomen
- Sensitive breasts
- Muscle pain
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Food cravings, etc.
In this blog, we’re exploring this last point a little more in detail.
WHY DO YOU GET SO HUNGRY BEFORE PERIOD?
Man of us have wondered, “why am I so hungry before my period?” Or “Is it normal to eat more on your period?”
Understanding the “why” will not just sate your curiosity but also help you in combating your food cravings better and making healthier choices for yourself and your body.
Food cravings are notoriously famous for their strong ties to PMS. Fluctuations in your hormonal levels are what cause them.
- Estrogen is the female reproductive hormone, and cortisol is a stress hormone, which your brain produces.
The body regulates the levels of cortisol in relation to estrogen. In the weeks before your periods begin, you experience an increase in estrogen, so cortisol spikes as well.
This spike in cortisol creates a high-stress environment for your body, and the metabolic activity too increases. It triggers an increase in appetite before the period, and you start craving foods that are high in fats and carbs.
- Serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain, is responsible for feel-good emotions and well-being. During periods there is a drop in serotonin levels, and your body demands foods that are high in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are used in serotonin production.
- A decrease in blood sugar levels often results in food cravings.
CALORIES AND PERIOD
Your PMS food cravings are nothing but your body’s natural instinct to preserve the balance and combat the drastic hormonal changes which your body is experiencing.
You should keep in mind that the cravings you want to indulge in will keep changing, and your fixes are, at best, temporary. All the foods you crave are often high in calories, too, due to the way these foods are prepared (deep-fried, sugary, and other unhealthy ingredients).
The best way to cope with these cravings is to not give in to them and maintain a healthy, nutritious diet. This can help in reducing the urge to stuff your face with cakes, burgers, and other unhealthy foods.
WHICH IS THE BEST PERIOD FOOD?
What are good things to eat during your period?
Good period food includes:
- Complex carbohydrates (You will be craving simple and sugary carbohydrates, avoid those)
- Foods rich in calcium
- Foods that have a limited amount of fat, salt, and sugar content
- Drinks that do not contain caffeine and alcohol
In addition to all of this, you can eat smaller sized meals but increase the frequency to maintain proper blood sugar levels.
You can have a bowl of fruit or peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth. Popcorn and dark chocolate make for good period snacks. Have eggs, nuts, and vegetables too.
DIET DURING PERIODS
You really do not need to do any fad diets while on your periods. In fact, some research has shown that you might be losing weight faster during periods.
Some research has been done to see if you lose more weight during periods while at rest compared to normal days. Resting metabolic rate or RMR is rumored to have a few changes and go up a little bit for a few days during the ovulation phase. There is a catch: the sample sizes for these researches were pretty small, so the results are not completely conclusive.
Even if they do occur, the changes in RMR are typically very small, and your body weight remains the same except maybe for water retention weight.
Do we need more calories while on your period? Nope, because, as said before, your RMR changes are really small, and your body adjusts to these changes, so you don’t need to eat more compulsively.
With that, we hope all of your questions relating to PMS food cravings are answered. If not, comment below with your questions so we can answer them!