Every three or four weeks, without fail, you experience cravings for sugar, meat, bread, and maybe even pickles. Why does this happen? According to registered dietitian Amanda Bontempo, your hormones that fluctuate during your menstrual cycle are responsible.
The fluctuation in your hormones causes spikes in the stress hormone, cortisol, and a dip in pleasure hormone, serotonin. When your body encourages you to reach for foods with a lot of sugar and fat, your mind is simply looking for a way to boost serotonin and reduce the production of cortisol. Although these cravings may feel inevitable, you can make things easier on yourself.
Bontempo recommends eliminating processed foods, caffeine, and refined carbohydrates before your period comes along so that you can help stabilize your blood sugar levels. You can fill your diet with healthy, lean proteins such as an egg-white omelette instead of cereal or French toast.
If they persist, think about satisfying those cravings in a healthier way. We created a craving guide that will explain what to do when your period makes your crave every food in your pantry.