Yep. I know that PMS cravings aren’t exactly the coolest topic in the world.
For at least half the population, it’s just a subject of annoyance anyway, so I’m gonna suggest that if you are a bloke, you might not want to read this post.
(Likewise, if you’ve never found yourself stuffing the biggest pile of food in your mouth, and you never crave chocolate or highly refined carbohydrates at a certain time of the good old month, then go ahead and skip this post. You’ll think I’m a total waster if you do read it, and you’ll shake your head in a strange combination of sympathy and disgust which I don’t think I’m tough enough to handle just yet.)
If you’ve gotten this far – hurrah. I guess you are one of my friends.
Either that, or you just want to see how the other half live. And by the ‘other half’, I don’t mean the richer half; I just mean the half that like their carb-overdose at PMS-o-clock.
So, what’s it all about? Seriously seriously. I mean, there’s fancying a slice of pizza and there’s fancying a pizza, followed by some chips, a tub of chocolate icecream and then a milk shake because, stuff it, your period is due and you NEED it.
Why would you crave that kind of stuff when you are such a goody two shoes for the other 27 days every month?
There are plenty of nutritional reasons why you get your cravings: you need the additional calories, you need the magnesium in the chocolate etc etc. This post isn’t about that – although your cravings can give a huge insight as to what’s going on. When I see my clients, I always try to find out what they crave.
But: this post is about why I love PMS cravings, and why you should try to love them too.
Now, the reason I LOVE my PMS cravings are that they give me an excuse. An excuse to pig out a little (or a lottle, depending on how I’m feeling).
And we all need an excuse sometimes, don’t we?
I mean; yes, I totally LOVE good food – give me a good salad any day and I’m as happy as a happy chick in happy-land – and we all know that good food helps you love good food even more by giving you all the goodness you’ve been craving for most of your life. BUT, not only do I believe that it’s ok to eat pap occasionally, I also believe that it’s vital to have your occasional food-rebellion so that you don’t feel like you’ve given up on food fun and become the nutritional equivalent of a nun.
You know what I’m talking about. You go on a diet, or go through a healthy eating phase and then you hit a wall. That wall might be at a party, or a BBQ. Or it might be at the office when everyone is celebrating a random birthday with more donuts than is legal. It might be after a big old bike ride, and you feel like you deserve it.
Whatever that wall is, when you hit it, you know it. It’s like losing your senses and your body goes wild. Your arm muscles work at lifting food to your mouth like there’s no tomorrow, and your brain switches off, because if it didn’t, you’d soon start feeling guilty. Not guilty enough to stop.
Just guilty enough to feel rubbish enough to need to eat more.
Imagine how nice it would be to knowingly let yourself become a pig for a day or two, happy in the knowledge that it’s fine, no guilt required. In fact, how cool would it be to actually PLAN on being a pigster for a short while, perfectly content with the fact that it fits into your long term life plan of being fit, healthy and HAPPY.
I know I’m not a failure. There’s no need to chuck in the towel and eat take-aways and cronuts (have you heard of them? I can’t decide if they are crazy or amazing!) for the rest of my life just because I slipped up for a couple of days.
That’s why I love PMS cravings. They are a set-in-stone part of the schedule (which makes it sound as if I HAVE a schedule, which I don’t).
No negotiation required.
Should I feel guilty?
As a nutritionist, maybe I should do. But as a human being of the female variety, I know that depriving myself of a day or two of happy-stuffing would lead to all sorts of sadness in later life.
The key here though, is to treat your cravings with good manners.
By that, I mean, sure, head for the chocolate. But treat yourself to the good stuff.
Eat cake if you want. But bake that cake, or, better still, get someone to bake the cake for you and sit down properly to eat it.
Feeling wild for pastries? Excellent – just go for the real ones and ENJOY the lovely frenchness of a pastry in the afternoon.
Get my point?
If you are going to do it, do it properly, with manners, good thoughts, and even a little decorum, if you can muster some.
That also means you have to enjoy it too because there is nothing worse (at least in terms of eating lots) than stuffing yourself and feeling bad about it.
I’d love to know what you crave at that crazy time of the month – feel free to comment below. And if you are a chap, then I’d also love to know what you crave – fellas can be affected by the moon too you know!
Here’s the serious bit : if your cravings get waaaay out of hand, and actually cause you to eat more in those few vital days than you do in the rest of the month, then you might want to consider a bit of help. Yes, this post is about taking your cravings and running with them for the sheer joy of it, but if your cravings or other PMS symptoms are starting to rule your life, then let’s have a chat. You know that I am NOT going to tell you to give up chocolate for ever – I’m just gonna get you enjoying every day of the month.