Do you ever feel like the ice cream in your freezer is calling to you? Or that chocolate bar in the cupboard? Or the crisp aisle in the supermarket?
If you’ve ever got wild and intense cravings around the time of your period, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of us out there who can identify with the feeling that you Can’t. Stop. Thinking. About. Food.
To find out more about why you crave sweet and fatty things around our period and what to do about it, we looked into the science behind period cravings.
Top 5 most common period cravings
According to research, the most common period cravings are high-sweet-fat foods. Women with severe PMS have higher cravings for high-sweet-fat foods.
Here are some of the most common period cravings:
- Chips and fries
These findings may be due to the effects of low serotonin levels in the body in the premenstrual period. This is usually coupled with cravings and depression in people with PMS.
Interestingly, research has also shown that the Western diet - high in fat and low in fibre - could be linked to PMS. Researchers found that participants with PMS generally ate more refined grains and less fruits and vegetables. This aligns with research that showed fruit and vegetable diets high in whole grains can treat mild PMS and decrease menstrual pain.
Tips to combat your cravings
If you’re PMS-ing hard and your cravings are out of control, here are some tips to help you out.
While they won’t make your cravings vanish completely, they’ll help you feel a little bit better and stop you buying yet another packet of biscuits.
Try these steps:
Drink a big glass of water
Often when you’re craving sugar, you’re actually craving water. Dehydration is a super common cause of sweets cravings. That’s because a lack of water in the body makes it harder to metabolise glycogen. Your sugar cravings could be your body trying to access a quick source of energy because it can’t process its existing energy stores correctly.
Next time you’re craving something sweet, drink a big glass of water first. Then wait a while and see if your cravings disappear.
Nuts are your friends
If you’re craving high fat and high sugar snacks, try reaching for nuts or nut butter instead. Nuts are super satisfying thanks to their high fat content and they also offer a nice sweetness without being packed full of sugar.
Importantly, nuts help you feel satiated without giving you the blood sugar spike of cookies and other sweet things. Unlike your favourite period snacks, they’re low metabolizable energy so they’re also a good snack for healthy weight management.
Make it high protein instead
Why not try making your favourite sweet things at home? Satisfy your cravings in a healthy way by baking high protein versions of your must-have period snacks.
Free Soul protein powder not only helps to boost your protein intake, it’s also packed with ingredients that are specially formulated for women’s wellness. Thanks to maca, magnesium, iron and more, Free Soul protein can help to balance your hormones and reduce symptoms of PMS.
Listen to your body
At the end of the day, cravings are a part of life. They’re your body’s way of signalling changes in your hormones, energy levels, immune system and more. It’s totally okay to indulge your cravings, as long as you’re also eating balanced meals that are rich in whole foods. You do you girl.