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We all love confessions, don’t we? So, here is my confession: I used to eat like the world is ending during my periods. Honestly, I ate whatever I could find, whenever I could find it. I had absolutely no control. My bingeing would be followed by severe guilt pangs over having wasted the hard work I put towards eating healthy.
I got fed up with the fact that those five days were ruining all the effort I made towards staying fit. So, I stood up for my health and decided to put a full stop to these binge eating sessions during my periods.
But, why the urge to binge during those five days?
Our body craves for carbs and sugar because of the fluctuating levels of oestrogen, progesterone and serotonin levels during our periods. These hormonal changes in the body can cause a drop in sugar levels which can make us crave for sugar even more.
I’m going to be very honest and tell you that it was not an easy job to control the deadly combination of cravings, mood swings and cramps. But, I promised myself that I will not give in this time and so, I stopped myself each time I thought I was going to break.
Here are the things that I followed:
1. I ate filling and satisfying meals
I used to feel hungry and unsatisfied after having my regular bowl of salad. So, I switched to more filling meals like eggs and fruits. This used to tame my hunger as well as my sugar cravings. Switching to something more satisfying helped me with my post-lunch binge session.
2. I chomped on dark chocolate
I craved sugar a lot and it was difficult to just rely on natural sugars from fruits. So, I switched from regular milk chocolate to dark chocolate. It also has mood-stabilizing content like magnesium which took care of my mood swings as well!
Dark chocolate, when eaten in moderation, is actually beneficial for health. Hence, whenever I felt like binging on something sugary, I used to have a cube of dark chocolate.
3. I tried to be mindful of what I ate
Making healthy choices even when I wanted to binge eat helped me a lot. Instead of having a pack of chips, I tried making masala makhana. There is plenty of other options available when it comes to picking a healthy snack. Instead of having a cake or biscuits, I tried sweet potatoes and sweet corn.
Moreover, when I got the urge to eat something, I used to drink a glass of water infused with mint leaves or basil leaves. Believe me, it really curbed my urge to eat.
4. I planned my meals in advance
Since I knew the pattern of my mood and cravings, I planned my diet in advance. We all need extra energy during our periods. Hence, I tried including carb-rich and high energy foods like oatmeal, spinach, eggs, and so on. These foods helped me meet my body’s need and kept the cravings at bay.
5. I stopped buying junk food and keeping it at home
Previously, I used to buy and store my favourite junk food before my periods started. This, my friends, is a really bad idea. If you are surrounded by it and keep coming across it at home, you will obviously feel the strongest urge to go for it. Instead, keep healthy snacks like banana chips, puffed rice and makhana. This will satisfy your cravings without adding those extra calories to your diet.
6. I started working out
I’m a sloth when it comes to physical activity. But, just a little bit of exercise (I tried running, skipping and dancing) helped my hormones calm down and function properly. Exercise is proven to help balance your hormones, helping you avoid any emotional or stress eating.
If you feel that you’re not able to manage your binging urges, then it is best to talk to a doctor since it could indicate an underlying medical issue.