It’s usual to have an increased appetite or desires for particular meals before your period. Realizing what’s going on in your body and mind might help you manage.
- Progesterone, a hormone that surges before menstruation, can also increase hunger.
- Throughout your menstruation, your body uses extra calories.
- Those suffering from Menstruation or depression may have more extreme pre-menstrual feelings of hunger.
- The majority of weight increase during your period is because of water accumulation, not fat development.
- Question: When it’s “that time of the month,” my tummy feels like a bottomless hole. I can eat forever. I, too, have a sweet tooth. Is this the norm?
- Response: In a word, yeah. It’s usual to have an increase in hunger or desires for specific meals immediately before or during your period.
The idea that getting your period causes an insatiable desire for sweets is so pervasive in our heritage that it may easily become a self-fulfilling narrative:
But how much of this is real or physiological in nature, and how much is psychological in nature? After all, the belief that getting your period triggers an uncontrolled need for chocolate or other sweets is so deeply embedded in our culture that it might easily become a self-fulfilling prophesy. When we think we are victims of circumstances beyond our control, we have an excuse to lose our regular self-control or to rationalise our excesses.
While some dramatisation may occur, the issue of hunger and desires connected with a woman’s period is not wholly fictitious.
The menstrual cycle and its impact on hunger and metabolism:
Hormonal changes grow in the second part of the menstrual cycle, leading up to menstruation. This hormone induces changes in the uterus that allow it to maintain pregnancy. It is also known to stimulate appetite.
Non-human animals, who are supposedly oblivious to cultural cues, tend to eat more and choose more calorie-dense diets in the week or two before the menstrual cycle begins. This might be the body’s method of preparing for the increased energy needs of pregnancy.
We are not entirely dependent on our hunger hormones:
Unfortunately, there are a few more aspects to consider. During the middle half of the cycle, levels of the hormonal leptin grow, and this libido hormone tends to decrease the desire to eat. So our hunger hormones do not entirely control us.
Additionally, you burn more calories in the days preceding your period. It’s a common misconception that women burn up to 500 additional calories each day while they’re on their period. In actuality, you likely burn 500 calories more per cycle. But if you’re feeling a little more hungry than normal, it might be part of the explanation. As long as you don’t overdo it, the increased calorie burn may be enough to compensate for an extra snack or two.
Every month, you may gain and lose a few pounds, but the majority of the difference is due to transitory water retention:
In consequence, the normal variations in hunger hormones and metabolism that occur during your menstrual cycle are mostly balanced. Every season, you could gain and lose a few pounds. While this is irritating, it is not always reason for concern. You aren’t acquiring and shedding several pounds of fat on a regular basis. The majority of the scale shift is due to transitory water retention.
The serotonin impact:
Changes in neurotransmitters may also influence your hunger. Serotonin, for example, serves a variety of roles in the body. It’s arguably most recognised for its ability to improve mood and provide a sense of well-being. However, it also plays a role in cell-to-cell communication, sleep, digestion, and other processes.
When you want carbohydrates, you are essentially self-medicating:
When serotonin levels drop, this can lead to desires for carbohydrate foods—a high carbohydrate intake will induce a transient increase in serotonin levels. You’re practically self-medicating when you desire carbohydrates.
Serotonin levels in many women stay pretty constant throughout their cycles. However, for some women, serotonin levels drop before to menstruation, which may explain desires for chocolate or carbs in the days before your period. This appears to be especially true for women who have PMS, are prone to depression, or have seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Many individuals find that the more processed carbohydrates they consume, the more they crave:
Another difficulty with utilising carbs to self-medicate for a serotonin shortage is that consuming a lot of refined carbohydrates might lead to additional undesirable side effects. For starters, many people discover that the more refined carbs they consume, the more they desire. (Especially if it also has antidepressant properties!) As a result, rather of a regular cycle in which your hunger and metabolism rise and subsequently decline, your intake just increases.
Carbohydrates, fortunately, are not the only method to increase serotonin levels.
A few minutes of cardiovascular activity, such as a fast stroll or even some jumping jacks at your office, exposure to sunlight, doing a pleasant favour for someone, or simply smiling, are all established methods to improve your mood;
Coping skills include:
Let’s speak about how to deal knowing that we have a better grasp of what happens in our bodies and minds before our periods.
1. When it comes to menstruation cravings, try to stick to tasty but nutritious things that fill you up: fruits, vegetable, whole grains, and protein-rich foods.
2. If the desires are expressive, consider if you can find alternative non-caloric strategies to improve your mood. Take a stroll in a beautiful location; exercise; book a massage; attend a yoga class; watch a hilarious movie; or phone a beloved friend.
3. Get lots of rest. Sleep deprivation may dramatically increase hunger and desires.
4. Attempt satisfying your chocolate cravings. After all, chocolate includes mood-enhancing chemicals. Instead of a king-sized bag of M&Ms, treat yourself to an ounce or two of the highest-quality chocolate you can locate.
Please don’t battle alone if you’re experiencing severe PMS symptoms or sadness. Seek the help of a medical practitioner. Treatments are available that can significantly enhance your quality of life.
1. L. Dye, et al., Menstrual cycle and appetite control: implications for weight regulation Human Reproduction. 1997