Is PMS Sabotaging Your Diet?
How to cope with food cravings and keep losing weight
12 Ways To Fight PMS Cravings continued...
Avoid processed sugar
Simple sugars increase insulin secretion, which lowers blood sugar, Lark
explains. And if insulin levels shoot up enough, your appetite for carbs and
Try foods high in essential fatty acids
Food high in essential fatty acids, such as salmon or safflower or canola oil
mayonnaise, "slow absorption of carbs, stabilize the blood sugar, and stop
cravings in their tracks," Lark says. Try tuna with a little low-fat
canola-oil mayo on a rice cake, she says, or a couple of tablespoons of flax
meal in a protein shake.
Drink plenty of water
Eight or so glasses of water a day help to flush the body out and reduce
bloating, Peeke says.
Not only will a diet low in salt reduce bloating and fluid retention, but it
also can help reduce your risk of high blood pressure, Wurtman says.
"Fat slows down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. And you won't
feel better until your body absorbs the carbs and turns them into
serotonin," Wurtman explains.
Limit coffee and cola
Reduce caffeine intake to feel less tense and irritable and to ease breast
soreness, advises the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP).
Cut meals in half
Eating up to six small meals a day instead of three larger ones can help keep
blood sugar more stable, which will cut back on carvings, Lark says. This
strategy can help you lose weight even when you don't have PMS, adds Goldstein,
noting that Americans tend to continue eating until their plates are clean,
long after they are full.
"Figure out about when you'll be premenstrual and avoid scheduling any
stressful obligations, such as a speech or dinner with the in-laws,"
Wurtman advises. Anything that exacerbates stress fuels yearnings for
high-calorie comfort foods, such as mashed potatoes smothered in butter.
Abstain from alcohol
Drinking before your period can make you feel more depressed, according to the
AAFP. Plus, alcohol can deplete the body of PMS-thwarting vitamin B and disrupt
the metabolism of carbohydrates.
Get plenty of sleep
Noting that lack of sleep makes you more irritable and even less likely to
exercise control over your diet, experts recommend eight hours a night. Plus,
studies have shown that people who sleep through the night live longer.
Have a routine
Keeping to a regular schedule of meals, bedtime, and exercise will help
alleviate systems of PMS, according to the AAFP.