Is It Ok To Have Cheat Meals During The Menstruation Cycle To Fulfill Cravings
You would be following a diet plan and trying to eat healthy and promised yourself that you won’t eat anything unhealthy but then it comes that time of month, i.e. your periods and you starve to crave sugar and carbs like pizza, French fries, chocolate bar etc. You might be feeling guilty about it but you don’t need to. It’s completely fine to cheat meals during your periods and I’ll explain in this article all about it.
- Body requires more calories – While you are menstruating the metabolic rate of your body increases which means the amount of energy spent while at rest. Weeks prior to your periods, more amount of energy is spent than any other time and hence when the time of periods come a lot of body fuel is used up, leaving you exhausted and hungry. This is the cause you feel more hungry.
- Changes in hormone levels – In the menstrual cycle there are two phases, i.e. follicular phase and luteal phase. Two main hormones progesterone and estrogen levels fluctuate during these phases which affects the hunger levels and you feel more hungry during periods.
- Changes in blood sugar levels – Yeah it’s right that even your blood sugar is affected during your periods. This is the reason why women are more insulin responsive during their periods. Insulin is the hormone which regulates blood glucose. Hence you feel more craving for sugar foods and chocolate in order to balance the sugar level as the body demands. So it’s completely normal to cheat on sugary foods, just maintain a limit as these foods leave you tired shortly after boosting the energy.
- Craving for mood boosting foods – When you are on your periods, it’s the follicular phase of your cycle. During this phase the estrogen level is high causing mood swings, sadness and crankiness. Hence, at this time your body craves for foods that will boost your energy quickly. This is the reason when you eat a chocolate bar your mood feels lifted and you also have a feel of comfort. It is because these foods like carbs, chocolates, and sugary foods boost up the dopamine and serotonin level in your body.
- Fatigued body – During your periods there is drop in the levels of iron, leaving your body feeling fatigued which causes changes in the demand of diet for your body. During this phase your body is taking up the stress of the menstrual cycle while handling everyday routine works also, hence it is completely ok to have cheat meals during this time in order to pamper yourself and also meet up the increased demands of your body. During this phase while binging on sugary foods, carbs and chocolates also do not forget to take your greens and have nutritious meals in order to balance the iron levels of your body.
Definitely a healthy diet and lifestyle can help in overcoming the pain and cramps of periods and also you can fulfill your cravings without getting indulged in unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits. If you exercise regularly then it is less likely that you will have pains and cramps of periods or mood swings. Exercising helps in releasing the endorphins and serotonin which are called happy hormones and lift up your mood and relaxes your body. While a healthy diet is helpful in reducing and relieving PMS symptoms like fish, a diet low in animal fats, rich in vitamin D and calcium, less coffee and salt intake.
Below are some of the tips which can help you in having pain free periods:
- Avoid salt as it will help in reducing the fluid retention preventing bloating of abdomen, pain and swelling of breasts.
- Avoid coffee as coffee intake causes menstrual cramps, poor sleep and irritability.
- Take more low fat dairy products, calcium rich foods, tofu, fish with bones like sardines and salmon, bok choy and broccoli.
- If you have a craving for sweets take sweet fruits like red grapes, pears, apples, pineapple and wild blueberries. In this way you’ll fulfill your craving without spiking your glucose levels by taking a lot of refined sugars.
- Take a warm cup of ginger tea as it is anti inflammatory in nature and will relieve cramps and muscle aches. Ginger tea also relieves nausea. However take in less amounts.
- If you are non-vegetarian take chicken as it is rich in protein and iron which is helpful for maintaining your overall health and also will curb your cravings.
- Fish is another healthy food which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that will maintain your iron level and also will reduce the pain.
- Nuts are also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and also they are full of protein and contain magnesium and other vitamins. So why not munch on these healthy snacks. If you don’t like to eat them directly, you can also try nut based butters and milks and can add to smoothies as well.
- Who doesn’t like chocolates and when it’s dark, it’s better. Dark chocolates are rich in magnesium and iron. Hence they are not only delicious but beneficial for health as well. People having magnesium deficiencies are more likely to suffer from PMS.
- Exercising lightly is not a bad idea during periods. You can do a light, simple walk wearing your favorite sneakers. In this way you’ll not only feel physically good but your mood will also get uplifted as this light exercise will secrete endorphins.
- Yoga is also definitely a great way to relax your irritable and cranky mood. You can just do simple breathing and stretching exercises as this will provide ease to your cramps and bloating.
I hope this article will be of help to you. Following these tips and information can definitely help you relieve the PMS and also you can fulfill your cravings without eating unhealthy food. It’s normal to have cravings and also it’s normal to cheat some days without having guilt!