However, as a girl I am fully aware of the monthly struggle we all have trying to stay on track when it's your period. Ice cream, chocolate, carbs - give it to me. It's all i want.
This really sucks because we work so hard for 3 weeks to keep ourselves trim and healthy and as soon as we're on week 4 it all just goes out the window and even our mentality changes. It's like we tell ourselves it doesn't matter or it doesn't count because it's our period.
First lets look at why we crave these foods and then we can figure out a way to tackle this problem.
Okay, so did you know that during your menstrual cycle your metabolism increases by 10 percent? This increase means that we burn an extra 250 calories a day for that week. This should make me feel a little better... except I know I have way more than 250 extra calories a day during this time. Damn it!
During this time your Serotonin levels drop so if you are craving carbs it's because the body uses carbs to create Serotonin.
Whilst Serotonin is dropping, your Cortisol levels are rising. This stimulates your appetite and increases your metabolism. Meaning we are on the hunt for fat.
Another frustrating factor is the serious bloating problem - you get on the scale and notice you've ballooned by 5ibs after eating a perfectly healthy diet for the last 3 weeks, lose all motivation and drown your sorrows in some Ben & Jerry's.
So with these changes in mind it's no wonder we crave these bad foods that we work so hard to avoid. The reason we choose them is because they offer us a quick fix to our serotonin/cortisol levels that knock them back into a level sequence.
The problem with choosing these foods is that you will experience a significant drop in your blood sugar levels which will cause you to be irritable and cause edginess. Then within an hour or two you will be hungry again and craving those same foods. Sound familiar?
So what are we going to do about this?
Now i'm not going to sit here and tell you to make healthier decisions such as eating whole grains and nuts because I reckon you already know all that.
Lets be realistic, because 'girl to girl' we know nobody actually does that - Beyonce won't even do that.
I'm going to give you a couple of tips for next month and if you choose to use even just one - Hey it's an improvement isn't it? Slow improvement is better than no improvement.
First of all and most importantly, you MUST get rid of the guilt. If you read the first part you'll have found out how totally normal it is to crave all this rubbish, it doesn't mean you're a failure, it doesn't mean your life is out of control. It means you are a woman.
If you want that chocolate bar, you eat that chocolate bar and if anybody tries to make you feel bad about it.. eat them too.
Once you start denying yourself certain foods you WILL eventually give in and seriously over do it. What happens when we over do it? Bad moods and lack of motivation for the rest of the week and nobody wants that! So make these days when cravings are especially high your cheat days and just enjoy them. :-)
Another great tip is to make sure for that week your cupboards are fully stocked with loads of easily accessible snacks. Things like fruit, Low fat yogurt, granola, rice cakes/oat cakes and nut butter. These kinda foods taste amazing and are still classed as healthy so if you do over do it on these kinda foods its not going to be seriously detrimental to your diet.
Chocolate deserves it's own paragraph because I know you all love it. I've got a little chocolate hack for you that should reduce the amount you want to eat!
Ideally you want to choose dark but like I said earlier I want to be realistic so just take your desired chocolate bar and put it in the freezer.
When you get a craving for some you can go grab it, and using a cheese grater you can grate off a couple of squares. You will find that after grating just a small amount it looks like you have so much chocolate to eat when really it's just a few squares. Not only that but if you do want to eat more you literally can't because the chocolate is so hard you would need to grate it and ain't nobody got time for that! :-)
Finally, pamper yourself with face masks, hair masks and bubble baths. Give yourself a little manicure and put some false tan on. It's a proven fact that pampering is one of the best ways to cheer yourself up and help lift your mood.
Thank you for reading, I hope you found these tips helpful.
Hollie from Hairburst