Cravings, mood swings, tiredness – Time of the month.
So you just feel like you are getting somewhere with your diet & exercise regime, your sleeping well, your mood is lifted & then BOOM it hits you ….Bring on the night sweats, bad dreams, the crazy irrational lunatic that we become & if you are anything like me a bloated self-loathing mess!! You guessed it - the T.O.M
So why do we become a different person during this time & what can we do to prevent / suppress these symptoms?
Hopefully I can answer a few of these questions for you.
Why do I crave sugary / fatty foods?
Hormones are to blame, the desire to eat chocolate, fatty or sugary foods are due to the stress hormone cortisol spiking & your feel good hormones serotonin dips. The fluctuation between the two makes your body crave foods which contain lots of sugar & fats because they boost serotonin levels & combat the production of cortisol which makes you feel happier & more relaxed. The sugar intake makes your insulin levels spike & gives you a temporary boost in energy, then comes the insulin crash which increases stress levels on your body (cortisol) & here we have a never ending circle of cravings.
All of this time your body is under huge strain (no wonder we feel tired & emotional), essential fatty acids are being used up faster than ever to try to alleviate your body of the stress it is under.
You can decrease cravings by
- Cutting out processed foods - caffeine, refined carbs & alcohol
- Eating un roasted, unsalted nuts - as they are rich in magnesium, potassium & essential fatty acids
- Up your intake of protein & fibre - not only will this help with weight loss but it will help your blood sugar levels to stay stable
- Ensure that you are taking 6000mg of vitamin C daily - ( 2000mg with breakfast, 2000mg with lunch & 2000mg with dinner) - vitamin C battles the stress hormone cortisol
- Take fish oil supplements 6000mg daily - ( 2 with breakfast, 2 with lunch & 2 with dinner) - the extra stress that our cycle causes our body forces it to use up it's essential fatty acid stores faster than ever, so at this time we are particularly deficient in EFA's.
- Exercise - exercise increases our serotonin levels naturally
- Vitamin Intake - If you suffer badly with food cravings & have tried all of the above consistently & to no avail you can take a daily stack of the following vitamins :
Written by Leah