Ladies, we've all been there; it comes to that time of the month and you can literally eat a horse covered in chocolate fudge with extra scoops of double choc ice cream on the side! You are not alone, according to a recent survey as many as 7 in 10 women admitted they went wild for a few days every month and have no self-control.
The reason why we tend to reach for the chocolate in our moment of need? There are many, from your body needing more energy, to it craving certain nutrients to the emotional need for comfort foods that lead to happy hormones being released.
Here's a quick rundown as to what our bodies might be telling us:
- Craving chocolate? That's most likely your body craving magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that helps with several body functions such as muscle recovery and hormone production, hence why it can be easy to become deficient when our bodies are going into hormone overdrive.
- The change in hormones levels, leads to lower levels of progesterone, which causes mood swings. This leads to comfort eating as chocolate has been proved to increase serotonin and dopamine levels (the happy hormones).
- Another theory is that due to our bodies going into overdrive during our period, we are using a lot more energy than normal. Reaching for high carb and high sugar foods gives us the quick release of energy.
So, what strategies can you put in place to avoid going OTT once a month and potentially sabotaging your goals?
1. Increase your healthy fats and protein…A LOT! Healthy fats such as avocado, organic butter and nuts help to keep your blood sugar levels even. Whilst protein provides satiety and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
2. Reach for low GI foods such as oats, green vegetables, mushrooms, soy and linseed bread. These foods are slow releasing of energy, keeping your blood sugar levels even and therefore your energy levels more balanced. Meaning you are less likely to crave high carb, high sugar foods that give you that energy rush.
3. Go crazy with leafy green veg…and I mean go crazy!! Your body is working really hard, it needs all the help it can get. The vitamins and minerals found in leafy green veg, not to mention the fibre, have no end of benefits. Superfoods such as broccoli, kale, cabbage and bok choy have a compound called indole-3-carbinol that helps promote the production of less potent forms of estrogen.
4. Keep yourself hydrated! Make a conscious effort to drink more water than normal. Being well hydrated will make you feel less tired as well as keeping hunger at bay, as more often than not we are dehydrated and get it confused for hunger.
5. If after all these strategies, the need for chocolate is just too much, hit up some good quality chocolate with higher levels of cocoa (70% or above). Chocolate with higher levels of cocoa tend to have less sugar, higher levels of magnesium and are slightly bitter meaning you are less likely to chow down the whole bar!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.