Our menstrual cycle can impact the way we eat. More, less, sweet treats, carbs. Changes in appetite can be down to the normal hormonal fluctuations we experience every cycle. Here’s some tips to help manage the cravings.
1. Become more aware
The simple act of noticing how your eating habits may change throughout your cycle can be key to managing cravings and keeping any weight loss goals on track. Are you feeling frustrated, sensitive, and ready to punch someone in the face? Try to get the feelings out in a healthy way instead of consuming them – sometimes a little exercise, a bath, journaling or doing something creative can allow us to feel the feelings without upending our longer term goals.
2. Up your fibre
A fibre-rich diet that’s not too high in simple carbs and sodium can help stabilise your hunger levels (and therefore, weight) throughout your menstrual cycle.
3. Stay active
Light to moderate exercise on a regular basis is important for your health. At certain points of your cycle you might feel like hibernating and eating chocolate, but light intensity activity like walking or yoga can distract you from the snacks, burn calories and even boost your mood thanks to the release of feel-good chemicals, like endorphins.
4. Eat mindfully
Changes in hormones oestrogen and progesterone cause cravings for high sugar and foods rich in carbohydrates before a period. There may be times where cravings kick in, but being mindful at these times and being aware of what you may be craving and any healthier swaps you can make can aid with weight loss. Healthier swaps can include things like nuts, healthy fats and berries.
5. Prioritise sleep
Not getting enough sleep can cause our hunger levels to spike, so aim for 7-9 hours of good quality sleep, especially at the points of your cycle where you know you find it harder to manage menstrual cravings. If you struggle to sleep, relaxation techniques can help and also can help boost your wellbeing. Don’t forget to have a glass of water by the bed to help rehydrate you first thing in the morning and combat those nightly temperature spikes.