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5 Tips for Coping with Period Cravings


Do you have a ravenous appetite before your period? Do you crave sugary drinks, chocolate treats, baked goods, and salty snacks at that time of the month? You are not alone.

Many women experience intense food cravings in the week or two before their periods. This is a symptom of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Scientists believe fluctuating hormones and serotonin levels during a woman’s cycle are to blame.

Hormone changes can cause a drop in blood sugar levels, which leads to sugar cravings. Serotonin levels, the “feel good” chemical in your brain — also tend to be lower during this time. When that happens, women crave sugars and especially carbohydrates because the body uses carbohydrates to make serotonin.

Period-related cravings usually start around 7 to 10 days before your period starts. This is also when other PMS symptoms tend to start, like changes to your bowel habits, such as period poop and farts, headaches, acne, and bloating. The urge to stuff one’s face usually disappears once your period starts.

Listed below are five ways to curb PMS cravings:

Pick Complex Carbs

Eat fiber-rich foods like whole grain bread, pasta, and cereals to keep your blood sugar even and ease mood swings and food cravings. Enriched whole grain products also have PMS-fighting B vitamins, thiamine, and riboflavin. Other examples are barley, brown rice, beans, and lentils.

Eat Six Small Meals

Eat smaller, more frequent meals to keep your blood sugar levels stable and help control cravings. Try eating six small meals a day instead of three large ones. You can also eat slightly less at your three meals and add three light snacks to balance things.

Boost Your Magnesium

If you are craving chocolate, your magnesium levels might be low. Chocolate is rich in magnesium, but it’s also high in fat. Healthy sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, cashews, almonds, peanut butter, seeds, and whole grains. If you can’t resist chocolate, you can eat dark chocolate to satisfy your craving.


Work Out

Any physical activity that gets your heart going will raise serotonin levels and help nip those cravings and other PMS symptoms like fatigue and depression in the bud. Exercises such as brisk walking, running, cycling, and swimming will increase your heart rate and lung function. For maximum results, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise four to five days of the week.

Seek Sunshine

Sunlight helps your body produce serotonin. Too little sunshine can lower your serotonin levels and your mood, leading to increased appetite and cravings. You need to go outside to raise your serotonin levels and reduce cravings. Just remember to use your sunscreen while you are going out.



The sugar cravings are usually down to changes in our hormones. Before our periods begin there is a drop in the hormone progesterone and a rise in oestrogen, which can cause blood sugar levels to drop. When blood sugar levels drop the brain sends signals to replenish sugar, and therefore cravings occur. This is why you crave so much sugar during your period.

The change in oestrogen and progesterone levels just before your period can make you crave carbohydrates and sugar. In addition to the previously listed reasons, some researchers believe appetite-controlling endogenous opioid peptides are more active during PMS. This is what girls crave for in periods.

What does eating sugar on your period do?

If you consume more sweet things during your period, it will cause inflammation. “Excess sugar can cause inflammation because it can increase cramping and heavy flow. “This is because the inflammation will be contracting all the muscles and increasing the blood flow thus leading to heavy bleeding.


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