Do you find that some days, you just can’t stop eating? Like amounts that are ridiculous… I do.
In fact, just recently, I came home from my morning training session and had a protein smoothie. Normally that’s enough, but my body wanted more! So I had some GF toast. By the time I was about to head out the door, I was still hungry, so I had a bliss ball too. Oh boy! Normally that would be waay too much, but this continued all day. And then today, I’ve been fine on my usual smoothie and eggs for lunch.
You see, for us ladies, our hunger levels can vary depending on whole lot of things – stress levels, sleep, activity levels, and also our menstrual cycle…
Yep, not only does Aunt Flo get the blame for our moody and unpredictive behaviour, but she can also get the rap for us eating more too!
Because similar to our monthly cycle, we also have an appetite cycle, where our hormones (responsible for appetite and sex) increase also. Generally in the luteal phase of our cycle – before our period. In fact, when our estrogen levels are at their highest (during ovulation) is when we are less likely to feel hungry, and feel less satisfaction from our food. And then a little bit out from our period, it totally flips around. Yes – that’s why we can feel like a yoyo. It is NOT in our head. Many of us feel fat, hungry, heavy and unsure what to do. Whilst it’s a real thing, know that it will pass, and there are a few things we can do about it.
So during these phases what should we do?
Well I say go with it. Over the course of the month it should all even out… some days we will eat more, others we will eat less. The trick is when we are hungrier, to choose good whole natural foods. You probably know I’m not a fan of counting calories, so let’s just listen to our bodies, and see what they are really wanting?
But I’m craving chocolate and treats! Do I go with that too?
Again, yes and no… Choose wholesome nutrient filled foods, and if the craving persists (like really persists, not just we ‘want’ it to persist), then choose the healthiest version of the food you crave. E.g. organic dark dark chocolate, and just a piece or two (NOT half a block!). I’ve come to learn that depriving a true craving is going to end in a blowout, so allow yourself a small amount of the thing you crave, and have it alongside some healthy fats and protein, and then get back into routine.
Finally, aim to prepare for this phase as much as you can. Make sure there is healthy food in the fridge, aim for some extra sleep and hydration, and know that it is not all in your head… A great idea is to keep a calendar or log when you feel this way over a few months until you see a pattern to be able to combat it well.
Hmm. And now I’m feeling hungry again…