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Hey guys,

It seems like some months I’m cruising right along, sticking to a healthy diet and BAM I’m hit with intense cravings for junk food right before my period.

Does that ever happen to you?! What’s up with that?

Well, it sounds like we can blame it on those lovely hormones (as usual). Let’s learn more, shall we?

ice cream sundae with sprinkles blue background chocolate sauce

Estrogen and progesterone make you crave carbs

It’s not all in your head. Your body really DOES crave carbs around your period. It’s the changes in progesterone and estrogen that trigger the biggest changes in your body during this time, and with that hormonal swing comes an intense craving for high carb foods and sweets.

But junk food can also make you feel better

You know how you’re suddenly alllll in your feelings before your period? Again, that’s your hormones.

But junk food like refined carbs and chocolate literally fix your feelings (at least temporarily).

When you eat these foods, your brain releases serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy. Your brain remembers how much better that ice cream made you feel, and you crave it next time you’re feeling sad or stressed.

cupcake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles pink background

How to indulge without feeling blah

So is it okay to indulge when a period craving strikes?

YES

Your body might be craving that food for a specific reason, and if you try to resist you might end up bingeing on it later. Or, you’ll graze all day on other foods trying to satisfy the craving.

However, I know that my body will react if I eat the foods I usually crave like ice cream, cereal or pizza. Sooo how do we indulge without feeling bloated and miserable later?

First, I try to find a healthier alternative for what I’m craving. For example, if I’m craving ice cream, I go for a dairy-free option with less sugar. If I’m craving pizza, I go for cauliflower crust with some veggie toppings.

But I know in real life, those things don’t always cut it. There are times when I need the real thing, so I eat it! I just don’t overdo it. A small serving will cure my cravings, without any regrets later.

So here’s the takeaway:

Cravings before or during your period are NORMAL. Indulging a little to satisfy your cravings is NORMAL. It doesn’t mean you lack self-control, or that you have to “punish” yourself with less food or more exercise the next day. Indulging in a craving is just listening to your body! But the trick is to find ways to eat the foods you crave without overdoing it.

Tell me about some foods that you just can’t resist during your period!

The Conversation (65)

Got some thoughts? Share them!

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  • Sammy says:

    Chocolate!! I started to bring chocolate bars to work with me around that time of the month so I wouldn’t spend a stupid amount of money on one at the vending maching!

  • Yoselin says:

    When I am in my period I want to eat like hot chips cake o suegras things but I’m trying to not eat

  • linnie0301 says:

    I would say the food I’m craving during my period would have to be chocolate, esp. brownies. Or fried chicken.

  • Mia G says:

    It changes but usually I either want fast food (like fries and chicken) or sweets (it’s usually just wanting something sweet, it’s not always like “I want donuts!” or “I want cake!”). Sometimes I’ll give in but I’ve tried to get better about asking myself if I’m just hungry (because sometimes it’s that!). And for when I really do want that, I have a bag of dark chocolate m&ms that I can pull from :D

  • Nope says:

    “Literally fix your feelings” Estrogen in excess dysregulates blood sugar, you want to better regulate your blood sugar, not mangle it with refined carbohydates. Also, copper and estrogen cause one another to build up in the body, so eating chocolate is about the worst thing you could do to yourself. Objective truth or don’t bother publicizing, you’re only hurting people’s lives by feeding them misconceptions. Get yourselves a nice beautiful plate of fruits and vegetables, things that contain fiber and sugar together, so that the body can do what it needs to do, such as reach homeostasis instead of bursting with insulin values no mammal should require to survive.

    • Sammy says:

      While you may be right, I don’t think that’s what she meant. A little chocolate will make you feel better, for a moment. I think people can choose if they want to satisfy their craving in moderation or push through and go for healthier foods. And as far as estrogen deregulating blood sugar goes, I’m a type 1 diabetic, I have great blood sugar control, and my blood sugars don’t get noticeably worse when I am on my period. So I doubt the “deregulating blood sugars” is enough to really make a difference to the overall health of anyone, diabetic or not! :)

  • Michelle Rosa says:

    Boba Tea 😍. I think that’s probably my biggest craving.

  • Lisette says:

    I usually crave salty chips (tortilla chips) & dark chocolate or non-dairy ice cream (I’m vegan 🌱)

  • Topaz says:

    ALL the pastries and chocolate chocolate chocolate!😍

  • Stavroula says:

    Strawberry donuts AND the good old dairy chocolate 🥰

  • Matt says:

    I lost 20 pounds but it was difficult to fight cravings, one prodoct that helped me was https://bit.ly/2V2juYi

  • Krissy says:

    It’s kind of funny but I definitely crave chocolate. The funny part is any other time of the month, chocolate repulses me. Like the smell, the taste, I can’t stand it. :/ but for those 3 days around the beginning of my period, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, please! If I’m out and something chocolatey actually sounds tasty, I know I will be starting my flow in the next day or two!! Lol. So weird, right!!?

  • Alilia Kelly says:

    The only thing I ever crave on my period, and I’ve no clue why, is almond butter

  • Alexandra says:

    Chocolate and salt and French fries. I find that I have those days where honestly I say f*&$ it, I’m going in and won’t come out until I’m 5 pounds heavier and honestly I found that throughout my weight loss journey that it actually good to do every once in a while.

  • Zeppe says:

    I crave ramen or unagi fried rice?? I’ve never been much for sweets

  • StephanieV says:

    Even on my younger years, I really eat a lot – name it, I grab it! Ice cream, cake, chocolate, pizza, pasta and my old time favorite RICE. I will be on my golden years come August and my eating habits and preferences has not changed lol. I still eat the same way without any restrictions whatsoever. I guess I just do not want to be deprived from the foods I really want that is why I make sure I take my regular workout 3 – 5 times a week to burn it all ( cardio and mat workouts to strengthen my
    core). This is what I have been doing so far. Working on my arms, waist (luckily still 26 ) and core to remain fit.
    But there are times I missed my workouts for some important errands or work related so I make sure I have a weight loss supplement which blows my mind as it is absolutely effective so I do not feel guilty if I miss a workout. Anyone can email them at [email protected].

  • Abigail says:

    Everything Asian! Sounds weird but I crave sushi, dumplings, rice, chicken, seafood, noodles, curry, the list goes on! I love savoury foods! So when I’m on my period it just gets heightened. So I try to go for more healthier alternatives. Luckily for me a lot of Asian cuisines are healthy 😂

  • Heer says:

    Popcorn, ice cream, chocolates ( I am not a chocolate person), cakes, cheese and bread!

  • Pauline says:

    I am having those cravings for those reasons right now so it’s so comforting to read your post!! I woke up this morning and have a massive bloat even though I ate relatively “clean” all of yesterday!! So annoying!!!

  • Dani says:

    It’s pizza every single time. Every. Damn. Time. 😩

  • Alexis says:

    Chocolate..for sure! So I get a bar of chocolate and eat one small piece of it each day when on my period. I think.. it helps with the cramps and morning grumpiness hahaha

  • Aysenur says:

    I was doing your calenders for 3 months and my body really chanced but then ı couldn’t keep going ı ate whatever ı want for 2 weeks. I felt regret but i couldn’t stop! I wanna stop eating chocolate, jam, candy.. ı just need a friend who can say ‘you shouldn’t eat them please you already ate them for 2 weeks’

  • Corina says:

    Thank you for this!! I always crave coffee and lots and lots of chocolate!!!

  • Heather says:

    I crave sweet & salty things! Usually popcorn or chocolate. A new snack that I’ve been enjoying is Greek yogurt with chocolate chips, fruit, nuts etc. on top! It’s so satisfying and doesn’t leave me feeling “meh” — which I love that you shared about.

    It is so good to eat the fun foods that we want sometimes too! I allow myself to enjoy ice cream or the treat that I’m really craving. I used to have an eating disorder, so this is big for me! Yay for having a healthy relationship with food

    Thanks for this blog post

  • Ariela Garcia says:

    My cravings are chocolate so I make homemade chocolates but make them healthier dark chocolates!

  • Savannah says:

    CHOCOLATE….like a crazy lady

  • Muntaha says:

    Can’t resist chocolates
    Want everything sweet when I m on my periods 🤭😬

  • Paige says:

    I can’t resist chocolate, ice cream, pancakes, Reese’s, popcorn, cookies, or potatoes weirdly enough😂 but I have been off of sugar for so long that sugar-free desserts taste the same to me! So I usually make the keto or paleo version of it. I love making keto pancakes with chocolate pudding made from avocados and putting some fresh strawberries on it.

  • Jeanette says:

    Salty salty salty… never ever sweet, I just want to load up on salty things. It almost doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s a salt delivery system, so I could dip veggies in salt and I’m happy. It’s almost as if I can’t taste the salt enough and need more. I always thought it was weird because everyone around me craved sweets. Looks like it’s “normal” too lol.

  • Amelie says:

    Im on my period right now and I watched a movie about the I industries and sugar, like how their hiding sugar in foods. And I ate nachos with salsa while I watched it 🤣😅 I felt really bad and feel like I should punish myself but now I saw your post sooooo thank you I feel better now 🥰

  • Jess says:

    Always carbs and sweet things haha but now this make me feel better about it 💙

  • magenmh922 says:

    I needed this article today! I started my period two days ago and I’ve been dong AMAZING with eating healthy, but yesterday I gave into my craving for ice cream. I decided to get the smallest size available this time and my body thanked me for it this morning. I’m getting better and better at not feeling so guilty and down on myself for indulging in cravings as long as it’s only once in a while and as long as I indulge in moderation instead of binging!

  • Mayuri says:

    Today’s is my second day from yesterday I was craving for icecream and today infact just had it. I was controlling my craving from yesterday but finally decided to have. And after reading your blog just feeling relief Thank you very much 😘

  • Marlene says:

    I really enjoy eating a lot of fruit during my period. My favorite is strawberries and apples with peanut butter.

  • Cebrina says:

    Banana bread!!!!!

    • Aliza says:

      Same for me. I have been craving banana bread so often as well as any sweets, Mexican food, salt and vinegar chips, pickles, tuna salad and Chick-fil-A!

  • Eleonora says:

    I ALWAYS crave chocolate, it’s my drug!! And everything sweet and heavy!

  • Helen says:

    I too crave sugar and fat like anything. Muffins, cakes, chocolates or any very sweet stuff. I just eat the stuff without thinking about anything. Btw, I have been a little underweight always and have very normal cholesterol and sugar.

  • Shandra says:

    I find I crave spicy foods during my period and I can’t get enough protein. Like, I could eat an entire chicken some days kind of craving. So I usually go for something with a lot of ginger or chili or similar, something that is going to burn a little but taste so good, and add it to protein. Huevos rancheros is a pretty common period breakfast/lunch for me.

  • Christina says:

    I always need something sweet a couple of days before that time of month. And I’ve also realized that I am much more hungry and eat a lot more food than when I’m actually on my period and after.

  • Nora says:

    Okay this is why I ate yesterday cake for lunch :D

  • Laura says:

    I always crave sweet things, like ice cream, chocolate and cookies. But sometimes a fruit does also the trick.

  • Nora says:

    Hmm, I can’t eat my cravings when on period. It most sertainly makes me have more cramps and more sore breasts and I can feel so much pain. But when I eat super healthy no sugar and very low salt foods I have almost no pain. So I don’t feel my body needs my cravings and I don’t feed it them. Research also shows that if you eat healthy during your period it will be easier for you. But you can be right Cassey, if someone doesn’t have bad pain on period they most can enjoy they cravings. My cravings just doesn’t stop until the periods are over (after pizza I want ice cream and after that I want cookies) so I keep doing me.

  • Anniebelle says:

    I crave like crazy dark chocolate kisses from hershey. They are amazing. They are actually only 21 calories and if you can eat just one or two they are great for a diet. Although some days right before my period d I want 4 or 5. Not good

    • Paige says:

      Wow, that’s good to know, i would binge-eat those😂

  • Haley Hodges says:

    I crave Mike and Ikes and ice cream. Chocolate chip cookie dough, dolce de lecher, or butter pecan.

  • Dalia M Esquivel says:

    It’s always spicy chips and Oreo ice cream or a kit Kat bar or peach gummy rings…if being Hispanic wasn’t hard enough – . – – ___ –

  • Angel Ramirez says:

    Well… I like to bake. So you can imagine how hard it is to resist cookies and cakes when my period hits. 😅 However, I still try to drink plenty of water before a I eat something I’m craving. But sometimes a girl’s gotta eat.

  • Umita Singh says:

    Omg this month was just and unstoppable craving for carrrrbbbssss and nachos 😑😊

  • Mack says:

    I’m trying so hard these days to be super conscious of my eating, but coming from an Italian family who is very food oriented, I actually receive pressure from people with my new healthy lifestyle to eat those bad foods. Does anyone else experience this? Any advice?

  • Moo Moo1 says:

    I know it is about something completely different. I so loved it when you use to be able to click on each tick box on the calendar after you have completed an exercise round. The added bonus when you had logged back in, the Calendar still had the exercise videos that you had completed each day, previously. Please bring that back that idea encouraged you to keep striving and made you feel like you achieved.

  • Ace says:

    Hurmm,, Now I know why I continued to eat toasts with peanut butter and jam yesterday…

  • Cheese puffs

  • Candice Schneider says:

    Thank you for such a balanced approach to this! I have always felt the same way♡

  • Katy says:

    For me, I have ALWAYS craved tomatoes and tomato sauce! It’s ridiculous how many tomatoes I can eat during my moontime haha. I sometimes crave something sweet, but the tomatoes are first pick every time!

  • aljo23 says:

    I always crave anything salty just before my period starts so I end up really bloated after.

  • Sky Lee says:

    Thank you for this. I knew it wasn’t a psychological thing. For me, it works (to eat especially dark chocolate) too well by easing my cramps and by, just, helping me function better.

  • lesliej312 says:

    I always know my period will start the next day when I’m craving root beer and ice cream dibs. Every time.

  • That is really solid advice. Great post Cassey :) I love your blog!

    • Kitti says:

      I crave burgers with fries and chocolate. Since I started doing regular pop pilates and yoga I have been able to choose wisely. So I go for real meat burgers and fresh fries, the less processed the better. I started indulging in buying watermelon or berries instead of the unhealthy sweets and I also discovered orange almond dar chocolate. There’s something about this combo that makes me not want anything else. 💖

  • Is anyone else here reactive to dairy? A good alternative is to try coconut cream! I hope this help somebody out there.

  • Selina says:

    I just finished my Monday workout for week 4 of the 28 Day Summer Sculpt while on my period🤯 and I came to your blog for any craving tips and this article just came up! Thank you for the reminder that it’s ok to indulge during this time! Love you Cassey❤️

  • kesjames says:

    I wonder if fatigue also contributes to this? I’ve noticed that I tend to eat more sugar when I haven’t slept enough, looking for that little pick-me-up of energy. I also often don’t wanna cook because I’m tired and then I reach for convenient foods like pizza.

    • batik for sure! Treat yourself kindly and opt for healthier options other than sugar which will make you even more tired than you already are! I know this because I’ve gone through it myself. And I coached others through it.

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