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How can I manage PMS cravings if I want to lose weight?

Manuel Villacorta
Nutrition & Dietetics
Your metabolism increases 10 to 15 percent in the luteal phase, part of the menstrual cycle from ovulation to onset of menses, typically about 14 days. It is hypothesized that the few days prior to menses actually reflect the nadir of hormones prior to development of the next cycles follicle. Because you are burning more, you experience more hunger. You may already be on restricted calories if you're trying to lose weight and your ghrelin (hunger hormone) is high, so of course your cravings will be enhanced at this time. Be okay with adding an extra snack. During this phase it's fine to add an extra fruit, plus two to three ounces of meat or vegetarian meat. Don't deny yourself or you'll drive yourself crazy and binge later. Instead, add a little more protein and carbs, and they will decrease the cravings. When the brain is in need of food, it craves sugar -- which may explain all those premenstrual syndrome (PMS) chocolate cravings. Just add an extra small meal, like yogurt and fruit or turkey and crackers, and accept that it's normal to eat a bit more right now. Aim to work with your biology instead of fighting it.
Eating Free: The Carb-Friendly Way to Lose Inches, Embrace Your Hunger, and Keep Weight Off for Good

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Eating Free: The Carb-Friendly Way to Lose Inches, Embrace Your Hunger, and Keep Weight Off for Good

Eating Free reveals why the prevailing wisdom on weight loss--low-calorie, no carbs, high-intensity exercise--sharply clashes with the facts of human biology and human nature, setting dieters up for...
Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

The most effecting way to reduce cravings is to eat enough. When trying to lose weight, you may inadvertently eat too little. This most defiantly leads to cravings. Eating enough, specifically protein-based foods, helps keep food cravings at bay. Eat every couple of hours (2-4). In some cases, when truly not hungry, you will have to distract yourself form eating the foods you crave.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.