Controlling Common Food Cravings While On Your Cycle

HowToHandleYourCravings.MaryDugganEver get the sudden urge around the time of your period to stuff your face with carbs, sweets and that little devil named chocolate? Well great news, you are not alone! Many girls like myself not only have these sudden cravings but many more.

But don’t you hate when reality sinks in, literally, at the pit of your stomach, after you scarfed down two Snickers bars and you immediately feel bloated? Safe to say that only girls can understand the biological frustration of wanting all the cravings your taste buds desire but have a hard time trying to fight the urge to control it.

Stacy Jones, a dietitian at the University Health Services, explains how when on the menstrual cycle, it is a common sign to crave certain types of foods, “…most women will crave carbohydrates in for form of simple sugars like chocolate or fat/carb combos like bagels and cream cheese. This occurs because the body experiences a drop in serotonin levels during PMS and carbohydrates are used to make serotonin.”

This means that when you crave for quick snacks like sugar and sweets your body can break them down rather than complex carbs such as heavy pasta. However, some girls do crave those heavier meals filled with carbs rather than sweets because of a “rise in their rise in their cortisol level while their serotonin level stays fairly stable,” (Jones).

Goes to show that everyone is different and it is not necessarily a good or bad thing of what you crave more. But, do not worry girls, with Valley’s few tips to follow, it will be easier to control these crazy cravings all while enjoying them.

Are you Cuckoo for Chocolate?

Jennifer Prechtl, a junior studying advertising, admits that her obsession with chocolate enhances when she’s on her cycle and doesn’t expect everybody to understand, “You don’t understand, it’s more than just chocolate, it becomes my best friend when I’m on my period.”

A better way for girls like Jennifer to control this craving is to opt for a healthier and light alternative such as chocolate covered raspberries or even small dark chocolate bars. This way you are enjoying the savoring taste of chocolate in a healthier way that doesn’t make you feel bloated afterwards but full of satisfaction.

Sugary Sweet Tooth?

Even though it is not Halloween yet, having a sweet tooth for sugary snacks is another common craving when on the cycle. Jones mentions how this craving is much more than just a “fat kid at the candy shop” type of feeling, “Simple sugars cause a rise in insulin secretion and a drop in blood sugar which feeds the cravings more.”

Know it or not, this drop leads into a common craving for carbs and how craving it or sweets can be solved with one simple solution.

Comfort Carbs?

As mentioned above, this area of cravings goes hand in hand with sugary ones. Jones points out how combining complex carbs in combination with healthy fats, actually can control your sugar levels and stop cravings. Combinations such as peanut butter on whole grain crackers, ground flax in a smoothie and even oatmeal with berries, walnuts or almonds are all healthier alternatives that will balance out the two cravings, leaving you more than satisfy.

Whether it is crunchy chocolate, complex carbs, or even sugary sweets, any girl can find ways to control their personal cravings all while enjoying yourself.

Photo by Mary Duggan

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