jryan047

PMS and Carbohydrate Cravings

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In spite of heroic efforts, I seem to be unable to manage my cravings for carbs during the final week of my cycle. It seems that even 100% compliance with the Whole 30 does not eliminate these cravings. I'd appreciate any insight or suggestions that might be offered.

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Hormonal changes can certainly bring out the Wonder Woman in us all! You might find the work of Christiane Northrup, MD helpful. http://www.drnorthrup.com/. I particularly like her book, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom.

Sometimes just acknowledging the fact that we can't control it all and "fix" everything helps a little, too. :)

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During your luteal phase (pre-menstrual), the body shunts tons of energy in the form of glucose (sugar) to your ovaries and related activities, like producing more hormones. As more glucose goes to your reproductive system, less is left for the rest of the body... which responds by craving more "fuel" in the form of... you guessed it... sugar!

Understanding this, perhaps purposefully bump up your starchy carb intake during this time period. (Chocolate will provide fast glucose, sure, but any form of carbohydrate will do.) Pre-emptively eating more carbohydrates and providing your body with the glucose it needs may help to diminish some of those carb cravings.

Best,

Melissa

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In spite of heroic efforts, I seem to be unable to manage my cravings for carbs during the final week of my cycle. It seems that even 100% compliance with the Whole 30 does not eliminate these cravings. I'd appreciate any insight or suggestions that might be offered.

I have not found these "cravings" to ever just go away (sorry for the buzz kill, wish it was better news too). During the final week of your cycle, those craving are not the result of a bad habit, which is why you are encouraged to not eat paleo "treats" or copious amounts of fruit while on your Whole30, they are the result of your body telling you it needs something. Its just like when you feel hungry. How you fuel that craving is what matters. I let myself have some extra fruit or sweet potatoes during the last week to help with cravings. In my head it doesn't sound as good as a brownie (duh!), but it gives my body the extra carbohydrates and calories that it needs in that last week.

let us know how it goes next month because I think a lot of women struggle with this week...for more reason than one ;)

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I'm the same way and I've learned to just allow myself to eat more sweet potato or sometimes even fruit in this week. I seem to be able to return to normal, i.e., I don't crave sugar any more the following week.

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During your luteal phase (pre-menstrual), the body shunts tons of energy in the form of glucose (sugar) to your ovaries and related activities, like producing more hormones. As more glucose goes to your reproductive system, less is left for the rest of the body... which responds by craving more "fuel" in the form of... you guessed it... sugar!

This is a super-interesting tidbit, Melissa! Thanks!

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So glad someone posted this. I just stareted Whole 9 three days ago and it's the last week of my cycle and I am estrogen dominant and just weaned off progesterone cream (bio identical) to manage my cycles/mood via herbs and other nutrional supps. Have been gf/df for almost three years which helped a ton...but darn those cravings!!! Will be interested to see what happens. Great forum!

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I've experienced this too and just chalked it up to general PMS/cravings. Thanks, Melissa, for the scientific explanation! I like the idea of adding more good, sweet carbs like sweet potatoes and fruit. I almost never eat fruit, but this gives me an excuse to splurge for raspberries or blackberries one week per month.

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I read something about this on Marks Daily Apple, but at the time, I didn't think I craved carbs any more or less that time of the month. That is until I started paying attention! When I trace it back, I find that every sugar binge I've gone on (since going paleo) coincides with my cycle. That is a big thing to know! I keep feeling like a failure, but it is just that I need to listen to my body and respond better.

Excellent thread! I'm going to take in some extra fruit/sweet potato instead of sugar the next time around.

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I definitely expereince the same carb-cravings and have noticed they coincide with my cycle. I know that when I start to feel like a food/sugar horder that my body is definitely sending me messages.

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This info is fantastic... on day 4 of Whole30 and PMSing something crazy.... I think I'd just about give anything for a dark chocolate sea salt almond... not giving in BUT I will eat a tad more fruit in hopes that it helps.

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If you choose to use oral contraceptives, you may want to talk to your doctor about re-evaluating the one you are currently on if this continues and you are still eating clean since the cycle is different from the way nature made it. After 4 months of eating Paleo/Whole30-esque was able to go to one with a much lower dose of hormones/different formulation because the change in lifestyle has reduced the majority of my PMS symptoms. As a happy by-product, I don't feel intense cravings that seemingly had no cause other than the PMS monster. I feel ya though and wish you the best! :)

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My husband brought from trader joes their joe joe cookies. Yep I caved in a little here and there during my cycle. And then the worst was I had ice cream with whipped cream as part of a fundraiser at my daughter's school. I'm lactose intolerant and I'm usually just fine with the lactase pill, however my stomach started to bother me.

The rest of the day after I slept for 24 hours straight. That ice cream came out in a nasty way that left me shaking and barely able to stand up. Now seeing how I have Fibro and MS, I can't see how that one night made me feel this way but it wasn't the first time of a 24 hour "nap" since this started.

I know that I will probably need more time with this challenge, but for the most part I'm doing really well considering. Unsweetened almond milk in my coffee helps a lot. Eating chicken with salad, eggs with spinach or book choy mad apples or a banana helps too. Before I started, bananas made my tummy upset and now I can tolerate them again.

My ovulation has hit and I had one Scottish shortbread cookie and my tummy hurt after eating it. I am trying very very hard.......today I was that on a photo assignment(I'm a pro photographer and a mother) and I HAD to eat. So I had chicken nuggets from chick fi la with no dipping sauce,dry salad and picked the cheese off it, and had the small fruit cup and my coffee with unsweetened almond milk. The chicken has a very light breading on it, but I was fine with it and had no problems.

I do carry around nuts and apples with me. I cannot afford to get sugar free beef jerky online, but it would be great if I could. That would help a lot!

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I'm craving some of my vanilla bean protein powder and heavy whipping cream. Ice cream sounds good right about now too! I really resent the fact that my PMS lasts 2 out of 4 weeks per month :angry: .

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Happy to report my period while on my first Whole 30 went well. I didn't particularly notice it during, but looking back, I wasn't near as grouchy as I tend to usually be. I'm sure my family appreciated that :) I had less cramping, too.

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Tija - You might enjoy reading Womens' Bodies, Womens' Wisdom by Dr. Christanne Northrup. I find it to be a great resource!

And hopefully it helps to know that many women report improvements with PMS symptoms the longer they eat clean.

Dee - Yay for you and the family!

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i'm still grouchy...and my cramps are still in high gear. maybe my next w30 will go smoother in the "time of the month" department. i did eat a sweet potato yesterday at breakfast and that took care of my chocolate and cream cravings.

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Glad to hear that folks are doing well with cravings during their Whole30 cycle. Renee is right - the longer you eat well, the easier and more mellow things get. In fact, my cycle often totally catches me by surprise at this point - and I used to be able to tell about a week out by my attitude and mood that it was coming. (Dallas could too.)

You can also try SeaSnax (http://seasnax.com) for that salty, crunchy satisfaction... they're Whole30 approved and absolutely delicious, and a great source of dietary iodine. Use the code "w9fs" for free shipping!(

Note, we have no financial affiliation with SeaSnax - I just love their products, and they love Whole9. Win/win.

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Cd1 here and no mad cravings. I think rather than cravings what I usually get is just a tired & grumpy mood which I medicate with "treats".

And that is what I did today :( A delivery of nut butter from Amazon coincided with my period - bad timing! My cooker needs to be replaced, we can barely afford to do so, then period today. Fed up beyond belief and so I ate more 85% Lindt than I should together with nut butter pig out, and lots of fruit yesterday... I hoped once I'd finished my W30 I could have dark chocolate in the house and it *not* be a daily thing ...or a pig-out thing...but it seems not, and that makes me sad :(

*And* if we had a bottle of wine in the house that would be open now too!

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I baked a huge bag of sweet potatoes and ate them with every meal during pms... so delicious and totally healthy. At first I had a little bit of "carb guilt" because I usually only eat one sweet potato per day, but I quickly got over that because they taste so good and Melissa's post about extra glucose made perfect sense...I am loving whole 30!

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