Recently our ambassador and personal trainer Katie Nelson, aka KatieJFit, took to Instagram to give a bit of advice to women who experience pre-menstrual syndrome, better known as PMS.
Cravings typically strike during PMS due to fluctuating hormones increasing hunger levels. But these cravings can be difficult to navigate, especially when you’re working towards a goal in the gym, whether that be muscle gain, weight loss, or getting that extra pull-up. Katie gave a bit of a toolkit for getting through period cravings and still staying on track with your goals.
Here’s what she had to say.
‘Listen to your hunger cues’
You’re hunger naturally increases during PMS, and Katie recommends feeding your body the calories it needs to maintain a positive relationship with food and avoid a potential restriction and binge cycle.
“Listen to your hunger cues and if they’re really calling you then feed your body with an extra 100-200 cals! Because it’s likely if you end up restricting yourself then you’re more likely to want to binge one evening! Or, give yourself an ‘off tracked’ meal at the weekend to enjoy what you’re craving”.
‘Bulk up your meals’
Katie recommends taking note of your macros too, paying special attention to fats, protein and veggies.
“Increase dietary fats (such as nuts, dark chocolate and avocado), bulk up your meals with veggies and maintain a high protein diet to increase satiety and prevent cravings. It’s best to keep simple carbs and sugars lower as these foods raise blood glucose levels which then causes further hunger”.
‘Push meals back’
Katie’s next tip is all about timing. Line up your meals and snacks for when you’re likely to crave them.
“Push meals back in the day + save any snacks for the evening as this is when we’re most likely to want them”.
‘Don’t use it as an excuse’
We should all be kinder to ourselves during PMS, and Katie agrees, but this can easily lead to losing sight of your goals and set your progress back. Instead, plan for any PMS craving symptoms by scheduling in a diet break.
“Don’t use it as an excuse to go off the rails — bit of tough love but sometimes it’s easy for us to give up and feel sorry for ourselves on our period! Granted you should take it easier and not be too hard on yourself but if you do have a specific goal like weight loss then it’s important to remember this and be adherent. OR, give yourself the week to have a planned diet break if you do struggle badly! It might slow down progress overall but it’s going to be better to plan it in rather than getting into that restrict/binge mentality”.
Take home message
So, listen to your hunger cues and enjoy the foods you’re craving, while upping things like healthy fats, veggies and protein. Snack smarter by aiming to get more of your snacks in later in the day, and don’t lose sight of your goal to maintain your motivation.
PS – our Layered Bars are the perfect snack to satisfy any sweet cravings and up your protein all at the same time.