Updated: May 27, 2020
Periods suck. But on top of the cramps and uncomfortable feelings that periods bring on, it can also tend to ramp up the sugar and starchy cravings that completely derail our weight loss and wellness goals.
Instead of trying to limit your intake and eat LESS during this time, it's important that you eat MORE of the foods that will stabilize your blood glucose levels, keep you satiated and prevent sugar cravings from terrorizing your week. And if you happen to eat a little bit more of these foods than you normally would when you're experiencing PMS - that's completely fine! It's better to load up on the foods that will prevent the much more detrimental sugar cravings than it is to eat less or the same amount of these foods and end up diving into a bag of chocolate chip cookies instead.
Check out the best foods that you can eat when period cravings strike!
In case we needed another reason to love avocado... 😉 Avocado is a rich source of both fat AND fiber that will help to stabilize your blood glucose levels. This not only helps to prevent sugar cravings and the urge to munch on chocolate and popcorn, it also helps to stabilize your mood as a result. Loading up on sugar rich foods will inevitably lead to a spike and fall in your blood glucose levels. This fall results in a spike in your stress hormone cortisol, making you feel stressed and anxious, as well as a spike in further sugar cravings. Try adding 1/2 avocado to your egg scramble or top your salad or roasted veggies with the Spicy Socal Guac.
2. Grass-fed Greek Yogurt
If you aren't sensitive to dairy, grass-fed greek yogurt is a fantastic addition to ease cravings and reduce cramps. One observational study found that there is a relationship between dairy intake and decreased cramps, appetite and bloating. Plus, greek yogurt (the full fat variety) is an amazing source of protein and a moderate source of fat, coming in at around 22g of protein and 9g of satiating fat to aid in boosting satiety and reducing hunger. However, it's nonexistent in terms or fiber, which helps us to feel full and satisfied in the first 30 minutes after we eat, whereas protein and fat help us to feel full for the 4-5 hours after our meal. For this reason, make sure you pair it with high fiber sources such as chia seeds or flax seeds. You can make your own fat burning fruit and yogurt parfait with this technique using the recipe from my cookbook Autumn's Nerdy Kitchen.
3. Butternut Squash
Depending on which protocol you're following in the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle, butternut squash could possibly be a great addition during this time of the month. Butternut squash has a low glycemic load, which means that it won't have a significant impact on your blood glucose levels. Incorporating this more starchy ingredient (with the proper AEN Nutrient Timing, of course) can help to soothe the carb cravings without causing even FURTHER cravings by spiking your blood glucose levels.
4. Wild Caught Salmon, Tuna and Grass-fed Beef
These are all rich sources of bioavailable protein to keep you satiated and prevent sugar cravings. Plus, these are obvious sources of iron to replace what you lose during your period. Aim for 4-6 oz. of one of these high quality protein sources at each of your meals. The amount you use will depend on your needs. If you typically have 4 oz. but your body is craving 5-6 oz., don't hesitate to add a little extra to your plate. It's better to load up on these blood glucose stabilizing and satiating foods versus experience the sugar cravings that will result if you don't.
5. Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil
If you're an avid Keto Coffee drinker, then you're already using this item on the daily! If not, here's another reason why you should keto coffee (or matcha) cheers: One small 2015 rat study found that the use of virgin coconut oil helped reduce stress levels in mice undergoing a stress test. It's also been found to aid in improving HDL markers, which might not be your PRIMARY concern when period cravings are running wild, but it's certainly an added bonus. Although I'm typically not a fan of MCT oil, if you're looking to further boost satiety, you might want to swap your coconut oil for MCT oil during this time. Studies have found that MCT oil specifically helps with increasing satiety while coconut oil might not have the same effect. But again, I always caution with the use of MCT oil as it is highly processed (check out THIS article for the full deets). I could be wrong about this one, but it's still a possibility. So if you do choose to use an MCT oil, make sure it's from a high quality source such as THIS option or THIS certified organic option.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition