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So I have DEFINITELY noticed a trend in my self-control and sugar cravings month to month.  The first two weeks of my cycle (period and the week after) I find it easy to manage the Paleo/Whole30 thing.  Then things spiral out of control and I get worse and worse...  to the point where yesterday I ate a bag of Milano cookies for breakfast (!!!!!!!!!) and this morning I started my period, and have NO desire for sugar. 


What's the deal?  Any suggestions?

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Yeah I have this too.  I'm atticipating my period next week sometime (I hope it holds off b/c I'm on sunny warm holidays - it's still cold here and we had some snow yesterday) but I've been so hungry lately.  I am a walking stomach that walks as a woman.  I know I get like this a week prior to my period so upping my meal volume, and starchy carbs goes up. (usually one at every meal)  Mind you the desire to devour chocolate never quite goes away but it is managable.

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Your body NEEDS more energy just prior to your period. Until your period arrives, your body has to assume it's pregnant and starts preparations to support a potential pregnancy. That's why your body craves more food between ovulation and your period. It's instinct and has nothing to do with willpower. However, how you choose to address this those instincts does.

A few things: before that empty-pit-must-eat-everything-now feeling hits each month, increase your starchy carbs. That'll start to satiate the cravings as it'll give your body the quick energy it needs. If that's not doing the trick, increase your fats with the starchy carbs.

You may also find your body craving salt then. It serves a similar purpose - it holds onto additional water so you're appropriately hydrated to support a potential baby. Increase your salt content if needed.

Even though we don't have the challenges of cave women with potential famines, lack of water, etc., our instincts still tell our bodies to stock up for the worst case scenario when it comes to perpetuating the species. Listen to what your body is telling you, but do it within the constraints of the plan.

Once you get your period, your body will start to lay off as it realizes it's not pregnant and you'll go through the same thing the next month!

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I'm on the same "sugar cycle." The day before my period arrives is prime time for eating a whole batch of cookies.

I have this idea (though I'm having trouble with a search to confirm) that Melissa wrote about this, either here in the forums or on the blog: that beyond mere "cravings," this attraction to sweets is a biological imperative, as your body "throws sugar" at your reproductive system. Those of us with menstruating female bodies just need more carbohydrates in our life for healthy hormone function.

Everyone says more starchy vegetables--which I personally find helps a lot. But also more VARIETY of starchy vegetables. I fall into the trap of eating only sweet potatoes (especially slow-roasted, so they're REALLY sweet), but beets, parsnips, pumpkin, butternut squash, even carrots!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was just saying how during the PMS week before my w30 I was digging through my overstuffed freezer trying to find one more piece of chocolate! My carb/sweet/chocolate cravings take over my brain.

But I'm in that week now and all I get is increased hunger and a tendency to overeat maybe a little of my meals. I think carbs help but also FAT. For me fat kills sugar cravings. Up the high Q fat intake and see if that helps. It always helps me when I fall off the wagon.

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Progesterone increases appetite. I'm in this week right now. I just ate a huge breakfast of strawberries, steak, baked eggplant, and a sweet potato and was still starving so now I'm eating celery with cashew butter and raisins. It's not really cravings for me, just a desire for more food in general. As long as it's real food I figure it evens out in the wash- the week of ovulation I get really nauseous and off my food. 

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Another reminder on the chocolate cravings is that this is usually our body needing more magnesium just before and during our periods. Increasing our intake of magnesium rich foods helps too. Whole30 compliant foods that have lots of magnesium include dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish, avocado, and bananas. 

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