A guide to period cravings
If chocolate, pizza, sweets, and a good old maccies have been on the brain, It’s your period talkin’… Get scrollin’ to discover easy ways to tackle those pre flow cravings 🍕
Periods, you’ve gotta love them. They’re a relatable topic of conversation, you’ll always find a girl in the club bathroom with a spare tampon to hand, and period syncing with your bestie is a thing. During the luteal phase (the luteal phase occurs after ovulation and before your period starts) those god awful food cravings begin. If you never feel full, wanna order a family bundle from Dominos, and feel like watching a romcom while crying over a tub of Ben and Jerrys, you’ve experienced a good old period craving.
I know what you’re thinking, all of the above sounds pretty stereotypical, however, it’s a well known fact that period cravings are a thing, and they’re extremely common. So, we’ve done some digging and got all the deets on why, when, and how you can combat that period crave.
why do we get period cravings?
During the luteal phase your bodies main goal is to thicken and build up the uterine lining to prepare for potential pregnancy. When pregnancy doesn’t occur, the uterine lining sheds causing you to have a period. The body requires more energy to build up the uterine lining so it sends signals to your brain asking for more food. Also, it’s normal to feel hungrier during the luteal phase of your cycle as your resting metabolic rate increases, resulting in anywhere between 2 and 10 percent more calories being burnt than normal. If your period is 28 days long you can expect to feel hungrier than usual for 12 to 14 days, which is around the time the luteal phase lasts.
The feeling of hunger is mostly concentrated in the first few days post-ovulation. You can expect to get those good old cravings again at the end of the luteal phase, which is when your estrogen and progesterone levels drop again. The changes in the level of these two hormones cause cravings for high-carb and sweet foods.
how early can cravings start?
You’ll find that period-related cravings usually start around 7 to 10 days before your period starts. PMS symptoms tend to start around this time to and your bowl movements change along with potential headaches, hormonal acne, and pre period bloating.
The urge to stuff ones face usually disappears once your period starts.
what is PMS?
PMS (premenstural syndrome) is a shortened name for all the symptoms you more than likely are pretty familiar with in the weeks before your period. Each women’s symptoms are different and can vary in intensity month to month, one month you could have feel extremely tired and the next you might not feel that tired at all but more bloated and need to wash your hair twice a week instead of once.
The most common symptoms of PMS include:
- Mood swings,
- Feelings of upset,
- Anxiety or irritability,
- Tiredness or trouble sleeping,
- Bloating and lower stomach pain,
- Breast tenderness,
- Spots appearing on your skin,
- Greasy hair,
- Changes in appetite and food cravings,
- And changes to your sex drive.
is it okay to indulge?
Hell yeah hunny, it’s not just okay – paying attention to your body and its needs is key. Certain cravings may be happening for a reason, and your body may need more calories. We aren’t saying go wild and make yourself feel sluggish and ill. Instead, during the first few days of your period allow your body to have what it’s begging you for.
If that voice in your head is screaming “the foods I crave just make me feel worse!!” this is because you’re reaching for foods high in refined sugar, salt, and carbs. Swapping for healthier homemade alternatives that include less additives, or limiting portions of those crave-able items can help give your body what it’s screaming for without making you feel worse.
How to eat in sync with your hormones
Now, if you’re wondering what the holy grail is, it’s eating with your cycle in mind. This is the key to balancing your hormones, easing the pain of cramps, and can help regulate your cycle.
Before your period you’ll experience those first PMS symptoms so eating magnesium-rich foods during the last 7 to 10 days of your cycle will help fight fatigue and cramps. Magnesium is found in foods like spinach and dark chocolate. To help with bloating reach for fibre rich foods such as berries, dark leafy veg, and whole grains. With fibre filled foods in mind you’ll be waving bye to your bloat and hello to better gut health and bowel regularity (doesn’t sound that glamorous we know, but you’ve gotta celebrate the small wins). Upping your vitamin D, calcium, and B6 boost both your mood and vitamin D is a key player when it comes to supporting reproductive health and increases dopamine and serotonin for your mood.
During your period increasing both your iron and vitamin B12 intake for fatigue is key, as when the uterine lining comes away you need a boost in iron. If you have a heavy flow, too much iron may be escaping your body which means you will have a low red blood cell count which can lead to brain fog. For more iron effect absorption pair iron-rich foods with vitamin c foods. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti inflammatory affects which give a helping hand with those annoying cramps. To keep your blood sugar and carb intake balanced eating every 3-4 hours is essential as you’ll avoid cortisol spikes and mood swings is
When your flow finally arrives &SISTERS period products are perf. They’re sustainable and safer on your body then your regular store brought products. Whether you have a light, medium, or heavy flow &SISTERS have got a product to support your period. If you’re lookin’ to dive deeper into what products are best suited to you then check our ‘Know Your Flow With &SISTERS’ blog to get the deets.