As a woman, I know the struggle of trying to keep a healthy diet during this time of the month!
We constantly crave all the fatty and sugary foods such as cake, pizza, crisps and fizzy juice like there’s no tomorrow! We may start off well at the beginning of the week.. Hell we may even reach Friday of eating super clean and staying in our routine during our busy working week but then all of a sudden that craving hits us and we end up gorging on everything that is within our reach!
STOP! Take a breath and put the chocolate down.
Do not lose hope or tell yourself that it cannot be beat!
I have compiled a list of things that I have found to really help me stop snacking on things that only leave me feeling that instant guilt and shame the moment it is done.
Stay away from those processed sugars, once they are in your system your insulin levels spike up and that is when you crave sugary, fatty foods. We all know that once you have a bit of chocolate you will end up eating the whole box! So resist the cravings and go for a healthier option if absolutely necessary such as a handful of blueberries, rice cakes with a little organic peanut or almond butter.
Eat food that is high in essential fatty acids such as salmon, tuna and avocado. Food high in essential fatty acids slow done the absorption of carbs, stabilize blood sugars that helps to stop those pesky cravings.
Drink plenty of water. Aim to drink up to 3 litres of water a day. It will fill you up and flush your body out and reduce bloating. So if you feel hungry, first try drinking a glass of water, wait 10 minutes and if you are not hungry anymore, you were probably just dehydrated!
Stay away from salt! High sodium levels from consuming too much salt can cause you to retain water much easier. Now I don’t know about you, but as it’s that time of the month, the last thing I want to feel is anymore bloated than I already do! Reduce your salt levels and increase water intake to help reduce this effect.
Cut down on the Coffee and Fizzy Drinks. We all get a little bit more hormonal during our periods and can get a little bit more irritable so by reducing your caffeine intake it can help reduce feeling as tense, anxious or agitated. (Beware of how much caffeine is in each product you are drinking! It is easy not to realise how much you are ingesting. Fizzy Drinks are a perfect example as they add caffeine to almost all carbonated drinks.)
Probably the biggest and best tip I could give you is to get plenty of sleep and exercise! If you don’t get enough sleep you are more likely to become more irritable. This is due to the bodies ability to maintain a healthy balance of hormones predominantly during the recovery process that body provides you during your sleep.
So don’t go cutting out on that beauty sleep! It really is such an under-appreciated aspect of this whole process. The recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night is an average for most people.
So there you have it!
6 simple steps I took that helped me MASSIVELY during the time we dread each month.
Give it a go and see just how much it can help you too. 🙂
Marie Nicol – Personal Trainer