is it possible that you are trying to cut too many calories overall? and that little bit of extra burn from your cycle is the straw that's breaking the camel's back? in other words we have a little window of calories where we actually lose. when we find that balance, it's great. but when we start to burn more calories than that it takes us out of that little window of loss opportunity because the deficit is just a little too great to work for us. which leaves us rather hungry and more susceptible to overeating because we really aren't eating enough overall. the other thing to pay attention to is what you're actually eating. some foods just fill us up more than others. so if you want your comfort mac and cheese but it's not cutting it, have it, but perhaps add a half cup of shredded zucchini to 3/4 cup of mac so that you're getting the food and taste you love while bulking up the meal for fewer calories. or if you want a burger and fries have fewer fries with a salad or strips of pepper, celery, zucchini or yellow squash. again, so that you'r getting greater bulk with what you are already eating.
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
1,176 9/19/13 5:20 P
Lsangange -- Exactly what it feels like, and I just worked it out that for me, "little snacks" are not going to cut it and I'm going to be hungry all day and constantly trying to graze on something. But eating something real and substantial (as Jennilacey said, lots of good fats and protein, decent calorie count as well) tends to stop it, and then you feel fine, and your body is getting what it needs as well.
Nobody ever failed to lose weight by eating an extra ~200 healthy calories for a couple of days a month when their body is telling them emphatically those calories are needed. Probably a lot of people have failed to lose weight because they ignore the signals and wind up binging, or because they convince themselves such hunger is going to be inevitable and everlasting, and just give up.
Fitness Minutes: (5,900)
223 9/19/13 2:55 P
I find that I always want to eat more and exercise less when it is that time of the month. I will let myself snack on things like grapes and watermelon, and it helps me feel a little better. As for the exercise part, some days I just can't do it.
Fitness Minutes: (8,760)
237 9/19/13 2:40 P
Wow!!! this was sooo good to hear. I was starving 2 days ago and couldn't figure out why. Kept having to add little snacks in more and more, then made some not so good decisions for dinner based on the fact that I was just HUNGRY. I am not usually so hungry like that as I eat every 2-3 hours.
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
1,176 9/19/13 1:24 P
Ignore the doctors.
Lots of us have days we are very much hungrier than usual (real hunger), whether associated with menstruation or not. (A sudden increase in exercise can also do it, for instance; not eating properly for a few days previously might do it; sometimes there seems to be no reason at all.) I know that while I was still losing weight, I would run into that sort of thing on average about once or twice a week. (It didn't necessarily last the entire day.)
What I wound up trying to do is to give my body what it was asking for, within reason, and while paying extra attention to making sure the food was high quality and filling. So in other words, I would never try to satisfy that sort of hunger with an apple, a fruit and nut bar, an 80 calorie yogurt, or half a peanut butter sandwich. It was straight for the big guns -- at least 300 calories of whatever I had around that had a lot of protein and healthy fat in it (and some carbs too, don't get me wrong -- a mix of all three is helpful IMO). Sometimes I would eat my planned lunch (generally 400-500 calories) instead of my morning snack (200 calories) and hope for the best. And as often as not, it worked out, and nipped the crazy hunger in the bud and let me get through the rest of the day without eating more than my planned calories by very much, if at all. (Occasionally eating my lunch at 10 in the morning meant I wasn't hungry at all again until late afternoon, and I could eat my snack then and finish out the day completely on my usual course, just rearranged.) And if I was still hungry despite all of that, generally it was more manageable. (And it always goes away after a day or two, so never let your mind try to tell you you're doomed to suffer through it forever!)
One extra thought, though, have you had your iron tested? If you're borderline low, maybe menstruation is pushing you just slightly over the edge to where your body is trying to get you to eat more food to get more iron into your system. So that might be worth looking into. But it might be perfectly normal, too.
Oh, and one additional thought -- just doublecheck that your behavior (that is, what you eat) isn't different at that time. Some foods definitely do a better job of dealing with hunger than others, and if hormones are leading you to eat more of the worse ones at that time of month than otherwise, then that could be the issue right there and all you need to do is make sure you eat the same then as otherwise. But again -- could be perfectly normal.
The emotional ups and downs associated with hormone fluctuations right before and during your period have been known to cause emotional eating.
My gyno and dietician both prescribed that vitamin supplements (in my case, based on blood work, the b-vitamins), exercise, and eating more fat to help with the crippling hunger I felt. It has worked wonders for me. I just added a bit more healthy fats, take a certain b-vitamin complex, and exercise during my periods and it really helps.
Check with your doctor and see what they say. They might have suggestions that could help.
I see that with women who are overweight that this can even be "more" of a problem. Many women report much better hunger control when a healthier weight is reached.
There may be some minor changes you can make with your food choices to help. If you make your nutrition tracker public, I may be able to give ideas. Let me know if you need the steps to do this.
Have you noticed any help with exercise?? Becky Your SP Registered Dietitian
Fitness Minutes: (4,102)
715 9/18/13 4:21 P
I'm totally the same. My TOM has just restarted after having a baby and I was eating everything in sight which caused me to gain 2 pounds the last 2 months which brought me back here. I find that when I record my food and have to be accountable it helps me choose better foods. I still eat more during that time but try to choose more protein rich foods rather than carbs which just make me want more.
Fitness Minutes: (66,655)
2,489 9/18/13 2:58 P
"I realize that, medically speaking, women have gotten the short end for a long time. For the most part, women’s reproductive health has been left up to “magic” and a vague understanding of “that area”." -- lol, sad... but true.
Yes... you burn more calories because your body is performing an extra bodily function, thus your BMR is increased just before or during menstruation.
"Woman's Day Magazine reports that for the week before your period, your body will require 100 to 300 more calories a day."
I get extra hungry too during TOM. Actual hunger... tummy growling, hunger. Usually about 24-36 hours pre-cycle and the first 24 hours of my cycle.
Having an extra snack of 150-200 cals during this time won't put a big damper on your weight loss efforts. I wouldn't however recommend extra veg and fruit. Carbs are probably the least satiating macronutrient. As important as it is to get your veg and fruit, your best bet is to increase your fats (unsaturated) and protein. Fats and protein fill you up and keep you full much longer than carbs. Make your hungriest time of the day lower in carbs (choose some low calorie fibrous carbs for bulk) and higher in fats and protein. Like a chicken, avocado and cashew salad.
It happens to me, too. It is not every time, but if I am insatiably hungry I can be pretty sure of what is coming. It also has happened when I was newly pregnant, but that lasted longer than just a day. I assume it has something to do with hormones.
Fitness Minutes: (26,778)
73 9/18/13 12:50 P
When it’s my T.O.M. I become ravenous! It’s not cravings for chocolate or salty treats, it’s plain and simple hunger.
When it's that time, I eat as I do every day. But I find that within an hour of eating I become hungry again; and not just peckish, I will be shaking and weak with hunger, as if I haven’t eaten all day. I can even start to feel nauseated if I don’t eat something.
I know my body is doing a lot of unusual work during that time; but I wouldn’t think it would be enough to create such an unusual increase in hunger.
I have looked at medical sites and talked with Drs and nutritionists, and none seem to know anything about an increased hunger during menstruation. Most misunderstand me and think I’m talking about cravings.
I realize that, medically speaking, women have gotten the short end for a long time. For the most part, women’s reproductive health has been left up to “magic” and a vague understanding of “that area”.
I’m just wondering if any other women out there in world have had a similar experience?
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