Listen up ladies, this one’s for you! Call it ‘Aunt Flo’ or simply “that time of the month,” it’s no secret that your monthly cycle can sometimes throw you a surprise or two. Although each woman has their own unique experience, there are a few common struggles that we wanted to share our take on.
Dealing With Cravings
We all wish that there were special PMS macros to let you fit in whatever you’re craving, but there are a ton of easy ways to help suppress cravings.
- Eat lots of high volume foods so that you’re well satiated and can allocate some macros towards the foods you’re really having a hankering for.
- Stock up on nutrient-rich fruits like strawberries and melons.
- Fill up on fluids! Seltzer, coffee and dessert-y teas will help fill you up and calm that sweet tooth.
- Eat foods high in magnesium like dark leafy greens, black beans and yogurt. Part of why chocolate cravings are common around your cycle is because dark chocolate is high in magnesium. Upping your intake helps keep those cravings in check.
The Water Retention Worry
Did you know that it’s normal for women to gain up to ten pounds of water around their menstrual cycle? Although the number you see might be a bit of a shocker, it’s a natural response to your body’s higher estrogen levels the week before and during your period. As fast as the scale jumped, it will come right back down! Channel your energy into things you can control like nutrition and training so you know you’re still on track for progress.
Listen to Your Body
Every woman experiences their cycle differently, so taking time to tune in to what your body is feeling and when is very helpful for both you and your coach to be aware of — you might be surprised at how precise the patterns are each month once you begin writing it down. Some helpful details could include:
- The start and stop of your cycle to help track weight fluctuations.
- Energy levels both in and out of the gym. If you find that your energy is consistently lower before or during your cycle this might be the perfect time to schedule a lower-intensity week at the gym.
- Feeling hungry? Cranky? Hangry? Keeping track of any cravings or edginess can help you understand the ‘why,’ in order to help you be more mindful of what you need (like different food selections or a little extra quiet time).
- If your cycle is particularly stressful on your body, make time for self-care. Heating pads, gentle stretching or a hot bath are perfect ways to soothe cramps, fatigue and spend some ‘me’ time!
At WAG we are all about getting in touch with your body and finding a strategy that works for you. It takes time, but feeling aware and empowered about your body is priceless!