Cravings are something everyone will have experienced at some point, some more than others. They can be brought on by hunger, low blood sugar levels, hormones or you may just get one stuck in your head from seeing an advert or walking past an amazing smelling shop.
Ladies however, you may find some cravings seem to crop up at the same time every month…usually the week leading up to your period.
I have been asked 3 times already this week “why do I crave foods just before I come on?”
So here is the reason why…
At the end of your cycle your hormones Oestrogen and Progesterone start to take a dip and with this comes cravings. These cravings are driven by a drop in your happy hormones and good mood signals dopamine and serotonin.
The reasons you may start to crave higher carb, calorie dense foods and in many cases CHOCOLATE as your cycle ends is your body’s way of trying to increase your serotonin and dopamine. These foods are natural mood boosters and your body knows this, it remembers what makes you feel good and drives you towards those foods.
So should you just give in to your cravings and give the body what it wants? Well Probably not no.
Ok so you get that instant taste of satisfaction and feeling of joy surge through you but those feelings are short lived, the foods won’t have boosted your mood as well as expected and now you’ve just eaten hundreds of needless calories, sent your blood sugars all over the place and now probably feeling needlelessly guilty about the whole thing.
So what should you do?
1. Plan in advance for when the cravings creep up on you (remember it’s usually the week before your period)
2. Eat a balanced natural diet full of lean proteins, leafy green veg, nutrient dense carbohydrates and natural fats. These foods are high in tyrosine and B vitamins which will help keep your cravings at bay.
3. Have a couple of “go to” foods to fix your cravings eg: dark chocolate, porridge, apple and peanut butter.
*I recommend 25g of 85% dark chocolate to my female clients to help with cravings.