Several times you must have observed a sudden increase in the urge to binge on calorie-laden food, especially during the premenstrual period. It has been estimated that around 85% of all woman suffer from 1 or 2 symptoms of PMS, causing disturbing emotional and physical changes in the lifestyle. Many women suffer from PMS-related food cravings, weakness, mood swings, irritability and changes in sleeping pattern. It is very frustrating for a woman who, after successfully following a diet program for 2-3 weeks, succumbs to increased cravings for high calorie food during the premenstrual period, thus spoiling her weight loss regimen. A proper understanding of the causes of these cravings and ways to overcome them can help the woman in reducing these symptoms.
The levels of estrogen and cortisol fluctuate throughout the menstrual period. When the levels of cortisol in the body are high, the body activates its defense mechanism to make it metabolically active. This causes increase in the appetite of the woman. The tendency to binge on sweets and other high calorie food comes due to the increased demand of the body for extra energy. One more hormone responsible for this change in cravings is serotonin. This chemical, produced in the brain, is dependant on carbohydrates for its production. Hence, a sudden drop in serotonin levels during premenstrual period increases the demand for sugar in the body, thus causing increased craving for the same.
The relation with blood sugar levels
Low blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia during the last days of the menstrual cycle are also responsible for the increased desire to eat sweets in women, during that period. There can be a significant drop in blood sugar levels, along with irritability and weakness during premenstrual period. This leads to increased hunger in the woman and leads to a tendency to crave for food containing high carbohydrates.
However, indulging in calorie-laden food is the wrong way to combat these hormonal and metabolic changes. A proper lifestyle and balanced nutrition plan can help the woman overcome these problems without disturbing her diet plans.
Ways to fight the food cravings-