Great advice and information here. I have wild cravings every month starting about a week before my period. For me, personally, it doesn't matter if they're physical or psychological - I started tracking my periods, and making a note on my calendar about a week before they're scheduled to start, so I can prepare for them. The best way to recover from a binge, I feel, is to avoid the next one. :) I hope this helps!
Hormonal imbalance (premenstrual syndrome, pregnancy, menopause) CAN cause physical cravings produced by the brain. I don't buy the claim that cravings (whether it be food, drugs, alcohol, etc) are all in our heads.
Some 'cravings' can be purely psychological. But even psychological reactions come from somewhere.
Monthly hormonal fluctuations are a real thing that affect the female body. A healthy diet can minimize PMS but everyone is going to have issues related to hormonal shifts in varying degrees of severity.
My whole body gets bloated the week before my period. My breasts go up 1-2 cup sizes, I feel more tired then usual and my patience is lower.
Every time I get a craving to bake some chocolate chip cookies I check the calendar and 10 out of 10 times it is week before my period. It doesn't mean I have to make and eat them though. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't depending on my willpower at the time.
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I'm the opposite. During PMS and the first couple days of my period, I have no appetite at all. I'll make something that sounds good at the time, then look at it, maybe eat a little of it, and pitch the rest of it out. PMS and the like has never given me cravings.
COURTNEYB9, it's a myth that PMS causes binges. Scientists studied women all over the world, and they found that only Western (specifically American) women had cravings and mood swings before their period. It doesn't happen in the rest of the world at all.
So, that's how I fight my food cravings and desires to binge around that time of the month...I recognize that there isn't any sort of strange, internal, chemical reaction that is forcing me to eat french fries. What's actually happening is that my craving for french fries is ALWAYS there, hiding in the background, and when my period is about to happen, I allow that craving to take control of me...because I have the excuse of PMS.
Just treat this like every other binge. It has no magical qualities. It's JUST a binge. The best way to deal with those is to simply stand up, brush the dust (or crumbs) off, and keep moving forward.
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