That Time of the Month
So I have discovered yet another obstacle on the path to self improvement and weight loss: my period.
This monthly event, which I’ve experienced since I was 12 years old, has never seemed as problematic as it does now. The food cravings I experience about a week before are enough to make nearly any woman gain weight! As I am rarely one to resist the temptation of a soft and sugary donut, heaping plateful of buttery mashed potatoes or grab bag of salty, crispy potato chips, that time right before my period is both trying and annoying.
Unable to resist, I’ve raided my cupboards this past week, starting with Monday, March 5, 2012. I haven’t done this with the intention to make myself feel guilty or poorly, but rather to satisfy the indescribable hunger that accompanies my pre-menstrual symptoms. And as such, I haven’t lost so much as an ounce. I have, however, enjoyed quite a few morsels of food that are delicious but also very unhealthy.
Of course, the bloating and fatigue don’t help matters either. So, recognizing defeat when it stares me in the face, I’ve decided to stop with the weight loss regimen this week. While I’m not conceding the battle, I am rethinking my strategy and looking for answers to pressing questions. Is there anything I can do to prevent these awful cravings? And, more importantly, can I possibly stop that insatiable hunger that doesn’t go away no matter how much food I’ve stuffed into my mouth?
It turns out I might be able to manage my eating with a little willpower, although the cravings themselves may simply need to be accepted as part of being a female. For one, it’s recommended that women going through PMS eat plenty of complex carbohydrates like whole grain bread, pasta and cereal. These can level out blood sugar levels and reduce cravings for sweet foods.
Healthy fats, including olive oil, all-natural nut butters and nuts seeds, should be included in every meal to provide a feeling of satiety. And a rice cake topped with one teaspoon of peanut butter is much more nutritious than a bag of potato chips. Each meal should also include protein, such as an egg, fish, chicken or turkey to prevent in-between snacking. Smaller, more frequent meals can stave off sudden cravings for junk food, and an occasional treat will promote psychological well-being.
Is it possible, however, to follow such common sense advice when my hormones are raging and my body is screaming for cupcakes and Doritos?
I really am not sure.
Grocery Store Blinders
I expect to find out after this is agonizing week is finished. That will give me time to continue working toward healthier habits, and I’ll hopefully also have shed a few more pounds between now and then. In the meantime, I plan to avoid the junk food aisle in the grocery store, drink plenty of water and incorporate walking into as much of my daytime routine as possible!
I’ve lost 5.5 pounds total so far, but I’ll probably stay off the scale for this week. I weigh myself every Sunday, but I’ll likely skip this week and resume for the following. While I haven’t yet noticed a difference in the way my clothes fit, I’m happier just knowing I can do something to make myself feel good.