Cravings, bloating and hunger come every month without fail. Yes, you are thinking right! We are talking about periods. Women who are on their periods start to feel moody, low and irritable and also notice a big increase in hunger. So, why are we hungrier before periods. Let's find out here.
For most women, bloating is a common experience during periods. But, there are many other women who also feel hungry and changes in appetite is usual. But, really why do they feel hungry before and during their period?
The fluctuations in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, as they increase and then drop off, just before the period can possibly cause hunger. This lurking hunger is totally normal.
During ovulation, which is around 12 to 16 days before your period, your body is getting ready to get pregnant. And your body wants to be stocked and ready just in case, so the hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that increase during this time trigger a hunger response.
Also, during this time before your periods, 15 per cent calories are burned which can also make you feel hungrier. While the menstrual cycle is on, the week of your period makes your body do some extra work like burning more calories and your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) goes up.
And to get the sufficient amount of calories it needs, your body sends a signal to the brain saying that you are hungry more often.
Why Am I So Hungry When I'm On My Period?
How to control your hunger during your periods? Listen to your body when you are on your periods. You may crave for chocolates, ice cream or maybe anything that will give you comfort rather than giving you nutrition.
If you are feeling like chewing down on a burger, don't give in to the craving. If you can't control it at all, just have one serving.
Some women with genetic risks of genetic disorders are more vulnerable to emotional or binge eating. Progesterone leads to binge eating which causes body dissatisfaction. In addition, this hormone contributes to pre-menstrual anxiety. This is a state in which women feel critical of their bodies.
If you are experiencing increased hunger and food cravings, try these tips during your periods.
1. Be Kind To Yourself
If you are feeling very hungry, moody and low, don't resent but be kind to yourself. If a particular food is what you want during this time to make you feel better, then have them in appropriate amounts. Eat foods that make you happy.
2. Don't Compare Yourself With Other Women
The worst thing that a woman can do is compare themselves with others in terms of PMS, weight gain, increased pain or cramps. So, women, endeavour yourself into simple eating habits when you are on your periods and remember the symptoms differ from woman to woman.
3. Do Gentle Exercises And Eat Properly
If you are experiencing fatigue and menstrual cramps, try doing gentle exercises like yoga or walking. And eating healthy will make you feel better as well. Choose high-fibre natural foods like walnuts, dates, fruits and vegetables. Eat dark chocolate which is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Snack Smartly
If you want to eat something salty, don't have that packet full of chips as they are loaded with sodium and eventually you will feel bloated. You can have dry nuts like almonds or cashew nuts at home by sprinkling little bit of salt.
You can also chew a gum or drink a glass of infused water with fresh fruit and mint.
So, to all the women out there, when you are in your periods, fulfil your wishes by eating the right foods. And also indulge in cravings but in limited portions.
If at all you are cranky or depressed, find other ways to keep your mood happy. Always remember this phase has an effect of sex hormones and the menstrual cycle on appetite and body image.
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ALSO READ: Why Do You Get Hunger Headaches?
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