Wednesday, November 14, 2012

15 Ways To Battle PMS Cravings

That dreaded week before my cycle.  It's like I have an endless roller coaster of cravings!  I know it's coming, but still, those pesky cravings sneak up on me and all I want to do is grab a bag of Doritos!  {Seriously, I think Doritos are my gateway-food-drug}.  As soon as I eat them, my taste buds flood with all sorts of ideas of what I can put into my mouth next.  Needless to say, not good!

Why do we crave?  We crave because our serotonin levels dip, and our bodies scream to replace them!   

So what can we do to fight against these cravings?

1) Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.  Staying hydrated will help you from feeling bloated.
2) Avoid processed sugar.  I know what you are thinking, that's what you are craving and when you put that sugary food in your mouth, you feel your body settle down and relax.  Don't be fooled, it's only a temporary fix and will only feed the cravings even more!  They cause your blood sugar levels to rise very quickly then crash even faster!  Try stevia on some fresh berries.
3) Avoid salty and sodium-rich foods.  This will help avoid fluid-retention.  Use herbs and spices instead of salt.
4) Limit cola and caffeine.  This will help you feel less irritable and relieve breast soreness.
5) Cut your meals in half.  Eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large meals.
6) Aerobic exercise.  Exercise boosts endorphins and helps reduce hunger.  This will help you feel better and create a healthy mind and body.  It will boost your mood because it is a natural way to replenish serotonin levels.
7) Get your rest.  Studies show that a good night's rest will help relieve stress.  When you are stressed and overtired, you are more likely to give in to those food-temptations.  Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep will help increase the levels of the fat burning and appetite suppressing hormone Leptin.
8) Grab some warm tea.  Instead of grabbing that food, sit and slowly sip some warm caffeine free tea.  Let your body relax and slow down.  Sometimes we give into our cravings because of impulse and habit.
9) Sunlight.  I know it's hard in the winter months, but whenever you can grab some, do it!
10) Do something you enjoy.  Find an activity that makes you feel happy.  This is an easy way to boost serotonin levels and beat the cravings.
11) Grab some protein.  Lean protein at your meals will help regulate and stabilize you blood sugar levels.  Some healthy choices would be turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, and even a healthy peanut butter.
12) Vitamins and nutrients.  If you aren't getting a daily multivitamin, enough calcium, magnesium, and/or vitamin D, your body will crave more.  Vitamin B-3 will also help lower your sugar cravings. 
13) Sniff some vanilla.  The sweet smell of vanilla tricks your brain into thinking you already satisfied your sweet tooth.
14) Wait 20 minutes.  Most cravings pass within 20 minutes so if you can distract yourself with something else, they just might vanish!
15) Use hot sauce.  It has been proven to lower the hunger inducing hormones while increasing the appetite suppressing hormones.  Who knew!

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  1. Great tips...but I hate number 3! :-) *sigh* I still like my daily coffee....

  2. Thanks for the tips. I didn't know about serotonin levels dipping, I only knew about progesterone doing that. Interesting.

  3. I notice that when I eat more chicken right before my cycle, I don't bloat as much. (and that's a wonderful feeling!)


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