5 min read
by Team Thinx | 12/19/2023
Ever found yourself reaching for those sugary treats when expecting your period? Many of us experience those insistent sugar and period cravings, especially for chocolate, ice cream, and other sweets during our menstrual cycle. Are period cravings real? Yes, and they are a very common pre-period symptom. In this article, we're going to dig into the science behind cravings, exploring the hormonal and physiological factors that specifically play a role in our sugar cravings. Getting the lowdown on this can help you make choices that keep you feeling your best during this phase. With this comprehensive understanding and some helpful advice on how to manage sweet cravings, you'll have a toolkit of practical strategies and healthier options to tackle the cravings head-on.
During your menstrual cycle, your body produces estrogen and progesterone, and they dance around, affecting all sorts of things. One of the things they do is mess with your mood and appetite.
When estrogen is on the rise, it brings along serotonin, which is like your mood's best friend. It makes you feel good and happy. However, when progesterone takes the stage later on, it might bring serotonin down a bit, which can affect your mood and cravings.
And it doesn't stop there. These hormone shifts can trigger other players like ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” making you crave carbs on your period. Meanwhile, leptin, the “fullness hormone,” might not be as chatty, leaving you with a hearty appetite.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of why those sugar cravings kick in during your period. Picture it like a hormonal rollercoaster ride. These hormones of ours, they're like little messengers in our bodies, and they have a knack for stirring up cravings, especially for sweet foods.
As these hormones rise and dip, they give a little nudge to our neurotransmitters, those brain chemicals that make us feel things. They're the ones behind those sneaky cravings for sugary goodies. Our blood sugar levels like to join the party too. They play a part in our craving for sweets, encouraging us to reach for the nearest sugary snack. It's like a gentle reminder that something sweet would be just the ticket.
When you find yourself eyeing that cookie jar, just remember, it's not just your taste buds talking, it's those clever hormones and fluctuating blood sugar levels doing their part – and hey, it's perfectly normal.
When it comes to cravings, it’s not just about hormones — our emotions play a role too. Picture this: you've had a long day, maybe a stressful meeting or a little bout of the blues. Suddenly, a warm, gooey brownie seems like the ultimate pick-me-up, right?
That's because our feelings, be it stress, anxiety, or just feeling a little down, have a way of cozying up to our taste buds. More often than not, they reach out for sugary food. It's like a comforting hug for your soul, and who can blame them?
Now, here's the fun part — recognizing these emotional triggers. When you know that stress or a gloomy mood might send you on a sweet-seeking mission, you're one step ahead! Addressing these feelings is your secret weapon in keeping your dietary choices balanced and full of self-care. Remember, it's not just about the cravings — it's about taking care of yourself.
Turns out that what you eat can have an effect on your menstrual cycle. During this time, your body's needs might change a bit. It's like your body is asking for a special mix of nutrients to keep things running smoothly.
Here's the kicker: too much of those sugary treats, just like a chocolate bar or junk food, might throw things off balance. It's like having too much frosting on a cake – delicious, but it might not be what your body really needs right now. Finding that sweet spot (pun absolutely intended) between enjoying a treat and nourishing your body with the right stuff is key.
Think of it like a little balancing act. You want to indulge a bit, but you also want to make sure you're giving your body what it craves in a way that keeps everything in sync. It's all about giving your body the love and care it deserves during this time.
Let’s talk about satisfying those sweet cravings in a way that your body will enjoy. It's all about choosing nutrient-packed, low-sugar options that give you the sweetness you're after, without the sugar rush and crash. Plus, these alternatives provide a steady stream of energy, keeping you feeling good throughout the day.
Here's a list of healthy and delicious alternatives that'll satisfy your taste buds:
sweet potato brownies - These little bites of heaven are packed with vitamins and fiber. They'll satisfy your sweet tooth and give you a boost of nutrients at the same time. Win-win!
greek yogurt parfait - A dollop of Greek yogurt, a sprinkle of berries, and a drizzle of honey or peanut butter. This parfait is a delightful blend of creamy, tangy, and sweet.
apple slices with almond butter - Crunchy, creamy, and a tad sweet - this combo is a winner. The natural sugars in the apple pair perfectly with the healthy fats in almond butter.
chia pudding with berries - Chia seeds are loaded with goodness, and when they soak up some almond milk and mingle with berries, it's like a party in your mouth!
oatmeal with cinnamon and honey - Warm, comforting, and just the right amount of sweet. Plus, the fiber in oats will keep you full and fueled.
Remember, it's not about depriving yourself of sweetness, but about choosing options that love your body back. These treats are like little love letters to your taste buds and your well-being.
It’s important to handle those sugar cravings like a pro. You can set some strategies that not only keep those cravings in check but also add a little extra sparkle to your overall well-being. It's all about feeling your best, especially during your menstrual cycle.
Here's a friendly list of actionable tips to keep those sweet cravings at bay:
get moving with a fun workout routine: Exercise isn't just about keeping fit; it's your secret weapon against cravings. When you're active, your body releases those feel-good endorphins that can help curb sugar cravings. Plus there are several benefits to exercising on your period.
dance like nobody's watching: If hitting the gym isn't your jam, how about a dance party in your living room? Crank up your favorite tunes and dance it out. Not only is it a blast, but it's also an excellent way to stay active.
mindfulness meditation: Take a breather and try mindfulness meditation. It's all about being present and calming your mind. This can help you become more aware of your cravings and better equipped to manage them.
yoga for stress relief: Yoga isn't just about flexibility; it's a brilliant stress-buster. Stress can be a major trigger for sugar cravings, so rolling out your yoga mat can work wonders.
hydration, hydration, hydration: Sometimes, your body confuses thirst for hunger. Staying hydrated can help reduce the intensity of your cravings.
healthy snack prep: Keep healthy snacks on hand. When those cravings hit, reach for options like carrot sticks, nuts, or a piece of fruit. Having these readily available makes it easier to make nutritious choices.
know your triggers: Be mindful of what triggers your cravings. Is it stress, boredom, or a particular time of day? Understanding your triggers can help you develop strategies to tackle them head-on.
It's all about creating a toolkit of techniques that work for you. You've got this, and we're here to support you on your journey to conquering those cravings and feeling your absolute best.
Alongside making thoughtful food choices, having the right menstrual products is key during this time. That's where Thinx steps in with a whole range of super comfy and absorbent options. We're talking Modal Cotton Bikini, Thong, and Hiphugger—all designed with your unique needs and preferences in mind, so you can go about your day with that extra boost of confidence.
Understanding how hormones and emotions team up to stir those sweet cravings during your menstrual cycle can really be a game-changer. With this insight, you've got the power to make food choices that not only satisfy but also keep you feeling your best. Plus, having products like Thinx on your side adds that extra layer of comfort.
Healthline Media. Why You Want to Eat All the Things before Your Period. www.healthline.com/health/period-cravings
Healthista. Sugar Cravings? 5 Reasons Your Menstrual Cycle Could Be to Blame. www.healthista.com/sugar-cravings-5-reasons-your-menstrual-cycle-could-be-to-blame/
Insider. Period Cravings: Causes and How to Handle Them. www.insider.com/guides/health/reproductive-health/period-cravings
by Team Thinx