“I scream, you scream. We all scream for ice cream!” While this might’ve been a popular chant when you were a child, you might find that this holds true while you’re on your period! You might not have noticed the first few times, but after four periods and the constant need for sugar, you probably realized that you crave particular foods while on your period. This is because food cravings are actually a common symptom. If you’re wondering why your body is always craving ice cream and potato chips, look no further!
When it comes to period symptoms, most women are familiar with the basics of cramps, bloating, and fatigue. You might even experience restlessness, low sex drive, and mood swings. If you experience some of the more bizarre period symptoms, you might even find that you’re extra clumsy or plucking your eyebrows hurts 100x worse than it did before. Although some of these symptoms can be relieved in a number of ways, there’s nothing more satisfying than relieving the most pleasant symptom – food cravings.
Tons of women get food cravings while on their period. Here’s why! Estrogen and progesterone are two of the most important hormones you’ll find in a woman’s body. Throughout her menstrual cycle (before, during, and after her period), you’d see that the hormone levels are drastically fluctuating through that time. The hormones in your body can affect almost anything, so it comes as no shock that they can also alter your appetite.
At the beginning of your period, your estrogen levels rise until they peak. During this time, your progesterone levels are relatively low. This is said to cause a drop in your blood sugar levels. Due to this drop, your body begins to crave sugar, and who doesn’t love to eat it in the form of cookies and ice cream? While this is one explanation for your craving of sweets, why is it that many women also crave fatty foods like potato chips?
Serotonin is another hormone in the body that helps regulate our mood. During your period, serotonin levels drop which might be why you’re irritable in addition to all these food cravings! Both sugars and fats increase levels of serotonin, which is why you’re probably reaching for a potato chip before you binge eat Ben and Jerry’s.
While period cravings are normal, you actually want to indulge in them as little as possible! If you’ve eaten an entire pint of Half Baked ice cream, you’d know why! There are a few methods to help decrease the grating feel of food cravings.
Rather than having three big meals a day, separate them into smaller ones. This will stop you from turning a meal into a full on buffet.
Choose fruit! When your body is craving sugar, you’re more likely to choose a cupcake! Instead, keep your house stocked with fruit! The natural sugars in strawberries or pineapple will help you scratch that itch!
When you’re on your period, it might seem like a never-ending list of problems. You’re in pain from cramps and headaches. You might feel self-conscious because of bloating, and to add to these problems, you want to eat every piece of junk food in sight! Food cravings are a common symptom of your period, but sometimes it helps to know why your body behaves the way it does!