We all know that feeling when that time of the month rolls around and you’re feeling hungrier than usual. If you are on a fat loss journey and eating in a calorie deficit, you may feel conflicted when your appetite increases. Should you eat more? Or should you stay in your calorie deficit? Keep on reading to learn more about how to navigate dieting when on your period.
Why do I have cravings when on my period?
The week leading up to your period and while you're menstruating, you will likely experience food cravings. In fact, studies show that this phase of the menstrual cycle is associated with strong cravings for sweet, carbohydrate-rich and fatty foods. This is because of hormonal changes that impact metabolic pathways.
Should I give into my food cravings?
First up, it’s important to recognize that there is a reason your body is having cravings, so cut yourself some slack, babes! It is totally natural to have food cravings during this time of the month.
If you truly are craving a particular food, my advice would be to eat it and enjoy it! The key here is to try and keep the rest of your food that day nutritionally balanced. This way, the one treat you enjoy will not negatively impact your fat loss progress.
My other piece of advice is to opt for some healthy versions of the foods you're craving. Whether you're craving pizza, pasta, cookies, mug cake, pancakes… we’ve got it ALL in the LSF app! By finding healthy recipe alternatives, you’ll be able to enjoy what you’re craving without going overboard on your calories.
Do I need to stay in a calorie deficit when I'm on my period?
To lose fat, you do need to be in a calorie deficit, however, eating over your recommended calories for a few days of the month will likely not cause detrimental impact on your progress. Some studies do show that resting metabolic rate increases in the week leading up to your period - so it’s likely that even if you ate over your calories, it would be compensated by the fact your body is more metabolically active during this time of the month.
I recommend that you treat yourself and honor how your body is feeling. But at the same time, it’s important to eat nutritionally balanced meals when you can, as consuming a nutrient rich diet can actually help keep cravings at bay and keep your appetite stable.
So, is it okay to eat more on your period?
Long story short, yes! It is totally natural to want to eat more on your period. Eating some treats or a meal you are really craving, in conjunction with a balanced diet, will likely NOT impact your fat loss progress. By making the most of the ‘swap’ meal feature in the LSF app, you’ll be able to eat plenty of indulgent meals without drastically going over your calories. You can have the best of both worlds!
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