Do you find yourself crushing your healthy lifestyle 3 weeks out of the month & then somehow you’re unable to resist the urge to eat an entire tub of ice cream when it’s that time of the month? Well, you’re not the only one!

This may be one of the most frequently asked questions I get from my clients. How do I overcome cravings around my menstrual cycle?

Approximately 85% of women experience at least one symptom of PMS. You know what i mean…the physical and emotional changes that come on anytime in the last 2 weeks of the menstrual cycle, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. As many as 70% of these women suffer from PMS-related food cravings (typically for sweets), bloating, fatigue, sleep disturbances, mood swings, headaches, and irritability — any of which have the potential to sabotage your diet, says Judith Wurtman, PhD, director of the women’s health program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Here’s the thing, if we can develop a solid understanding of what is happening in our body at this time and the food cravings we experience because of it, we may be able to get a better handle on it!

PMS can be all around ugly. Not only are we in a foul mood, which causes our willpower & our motivation for healthy eating & exercise to go out the door, we throw food cravings on top of that. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t craving broccoli & kale! Actually…we are craving anything but the good stuff, right? Most of us are going straight for the sweet, starchy foods paired with fat, like chocolate

Bloating is another lovely side effect of PMS that causes us to get down on ourselves. You step on the scale & it’s gone UP after weeks of hard work or you find yourself having to loosen your pants because they are too tight. If you weren’t already knee deep in that bucket of ice cream, now you’re making a beeline to the freezer to drown your sorrows in Cookies & Cream.

So why does this happen?

The hormonal ebbs and spikes that occur throughout our menstrual cycle causes the lovely PMS symptoms. When estrogen levels go up and down, so do levels of the stress hormone cortisol, explains Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, author of Fight Fat After 40 and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. “It’s a very potent little partnership. The body wants to keep them aligned.” When cortisol levels are high, your appetite is stimulated & we turn to carbs and fat.

During this time, most women experience a drop in serotonin which triggers cravings for carbs because the body uses carbs to make serotonin.

So now that we know why these cravings happen, what can we do to manage them?

Here are my TOP TEN TIPS to help you stay in control during & around your menstrual cycle:

  1. Don’t buy the junk! Stock up on healthy options like fruits and veggies that are rich in vitamins and loaded with fiber. Fiber will help you stay full longer so you won’t be tempted to snack all day.
  2. Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of protein. This will also help you stay full and satisfied.
  3. Avoid processed sugar. Eating sugar increases your insulin which makes you crave carbs and fats even more. AKA chocolate candy bars! Focus on complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and fruit!
  4. Pair carbs with a healthy fat or a protein. This will slow the absorption of the carbs, stabilizing your blood sugar and will stop cravings. For example: Pair a banana with a few tablespoons of nut butter.
  5. Avoid or limit Caffeine and alcohol. Both will increase dehydration & cause hormonal imbalance, which may make you feel even more blue.
  6. Stay hydrated. This will help flush out all of the extra hormones and reduce bloating. P.S. Electrolyte water is amazing.
  7. Get plenty of sleep. Prioritizing rest will help with your mood & energy levels.
  8. Exercise. This will increase your serotonin and decrease cortisol. Sweating also helps reduce bloating. Exercise makes you happy!
  9. Take a Magnesium Supplement. Guess why you crave chocolate? Because it’s high in Magnesium! Magnesium is an essential mineral. A deficiency in magnesium can manifest in the form of intense sugar cravings, especially for chocolate.
  10. Change your mindset. If resisting your cravings leaves you feeling unsatisfied & leads to binging, maybe you need to take a different approach! Stop obsessing about food & avoid binging by honoring your cravings and enjoying a treat.

Here are some delicious sweet treats that will satisfy your cravings without guilt:












For many people, this is an ongoing battle, but hopefully with some of these tips you can feel more confident in your game plan to combat the cravings and stay on track with your wellness goals. My best advice is to drink tons of water, focus on whole food nutrition and move your body!

Some of the MANY benefits of the Faster Way Lifestyle include increased energy, better sleep, reduced cravings, and more control over your food choices. The combination of our nutritional strategies, our fitness plan & our amazing community will help you create a sustainable healthy lifestyle that will help you stay committed to your goals & will help you get a better handle on the side effects of PMS.

I would love to help you create a sustainable lifestyle and find a way to better manage your monthly cravings! Join me in my next round of the faster way to fat loss! Register today!


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