Regular menstruation can send our internal clocks all over the place, as anyone who has had unusual stomach troubles around their period knows all too well. And our hunger is no different. It’s not in your mind if you find yourself hungry enough to eat many meals for several days straight, just to end up riding the red wave at the end of the week.
Hormones like estrogen and progesterone change throughout the menstrual cycle.
Estrogen levels rise during ovulation, whereas progesterone levels stay low. Then, just before your period, things change. Estrogen levels drop and progesterone levels rise, causing stomach rumbling.
The menstrual cycle affects metabolic requirements as well.
Continue reading to understand more about the reasons for this.
Reasons for Overeating During Periods
Hormones and the Desire to Eat
Your body prepares for a possible pregnancy during ovulation. Which occurs 6 to 14 days before your period. This preparation work may affect your hormones and metabolism.
Your hormones ride a roller coaster in the last stages of the follicular phase, just before ovulation.
First, estradiol, the estrogen hormone, increases, and rises. Your hormones continue to have a good time throughout ovulation. And for the luteal phase, which lasts until your monthly visitor arrives.
Estrogen levels drop in the first half of the luteal phase, just as progesterone levels rise.
Hormone-fueled hunger affects certain people more than it affects others.
Those who are genetically programmed to disordered eating are more likely to engage in “emotional” or “overeat” eating. That is during their menstruation, which might seem impossible to avoid.
Genes are flipped on and off by these hormones. As a result, eating disorder risk genes are more likely to be triggered when hormonal levels rise post ovulation.
As a result, when hormones go all over the place, the chance of ED-prone behavior rises. This vulnerability has the potential to become a vicious cycle. Following ovulation, people’s weight becomes increasingly important to them.
It’s a response to binge eating. We may become concerned about our weight after our bodies encourage us to ingest extra calories.
Cravings for Carbohydrates and Serotonin: What’s the Connection?
Neurotransmitters like serotonin can be affected by fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels.
Mood swings and hunger pangs are both affected by serotonin. When your serotonin levels drop during the luteal phase, your body may try to self-medicate by craving food.
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, has been linked to low serotonin. Consider cramps, irritability, anxiety, headaches, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Carbohydrate eating can help you feel better by increasing serotonin levels. In other words, your body is begging you to eat that morning muffin to drown out your pre-menstrual angst.
Sleep deprivation, such as pulling all-nighters or sleeping for only 6 hours, might aggravate the problem.
Metabolism and Hunger
Your body will have to put in more effort in preparation for the red wave. This is why your basal metabolic rate increases right before and during your period.
A small rise in calorie burn and energy demand in the days leading up to and during code red might also cause hunger.
Surprisingly, hunger can also be a reaction to not eating. When we expect to say no to the nice stuff because we know we’ll be especially hungry, the body strengthens the hunger reflex.
Hunger During This Period: What You Should Do
It’s normal to feel hungry before your period, and it’s also normal to eat a little extra during your period. It’s nothing to be concerned about in general. Here’s some period preparation to help you out next time.
During Your Menstruation, Do Not Starve Yourself
If you enter the luteal phase depleted in calories and essential micronutrients (like minerals and vitamins), your system will give you all the hunger signals it can.
During your menstrual cycle, make sure you’re well-fueled. Also, choose foods that will make you feel great and help in the treatment of PMS.
Pre-period phase, eat plenty of iron-rich foods. Red meat, fish, and leafy greens can help you restore the iron you lose before and during your menstruation.
This will generate a “feedback loop” in your body, informing it that you are responding to it in the way it requires.
De-stress by Getting Some Sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep, your hunger levels will rise, so try to obtain 7 to 9 hours of rest.
Stress, on the other hand, can lead to an immediate trip to the grocery store. If this is the case, try these simple relaxing exercises to improve your mood.
When Do I Need to Consult a Healthcare Professional?
Treatment for premenstrual binge eating isn’t necessary for everyone. If you binge on occasions other than the days leading up to your period, or if compulsive eating is causing you severe weight gain or emotional discomfort, you should seek medical help.
What Is Compulsive Eating and How Does It Affect You?
Compulsive eaters have a strong, uncontrollable drive to consume enormous amounts of food, eat quickly, or eat when they are not hungry. Binge eating is a term used to describe this type of behavior. Binge eating disorder is defined as someone who engages in this behavior twice weekly for six months or more (BED).
BED is a medical diagnosis that must be made by your doctor. Please see your medical professional if you’re eating in secret, feeling humiliated after a binge, routinely eating huge amounts of food uncontrollably, or eating when you’re not hungry.
Treatment for binge eating disorder includes several types of psychological counseling, such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- interpersonal psychotherapy (ITP)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a sort of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on “emotion regulation” as a way of reducing detrimental behavior patterns.
Other drugs, such as appetite suppressants, could be used.
It can assist to be aware of what your hormones are doing if you want to better predict when cravings or hunger will hit. Keeping track of your cycle can help you reclaim some control over it.
Talk to your healthcare practitioner if any PMS or period symptoms become troublesome or change.
The peanut butter jar, on the other hand, does not need to be locked. Keep in mind that your body requires additional nutrition for you to function at your best and kick PMS to the curb.