PMS Monster

snowdancer03
snowdancer03 Posts: 218 Member
edited March 2021 in Health and Weight Loss
I have wasted three weeks of work over one terrible menstrual cycle. 😡 I'm determined not to let this happen again. What do you guys do to feel better during horrible PMS, cravings, cramps, .... I went straight to the chocolate, sweet drinks, and sugar. It made me feel better for a bit but now I'm 3.5 pounds heavier, I have had a horrible headache all week, and I feel bad. What should I do instead when I feel like a crazy PMS monster?
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Replies

  • Skyler103
    Skyler103 Posts: 113 Member
    I've had cycles like that, but usually I only feel bad for about 5 days. One of the best things I've ever done is ask my Dr for something to help me with my migraines I have during that time. I take generic
    Imitrex, and it's been a game changer for me.

    Sometimes, I just have those chips or whatever it is I want, but only one day. I find that if I don't have the headaches, I don't feel as sick and vulnerable.
  • concordancia
    concordancia Posts: 5,320 Member
    I have recently started supplementing magnesium and it seems to be helping with the cravings. I have ordered a different supplement because I still am not getting enough to overcome the constipation. If I can mitigate the cravings, I find my headaches aren't as bad. However, full disclaimer, yesterday I had the worst cramps I ever remember having in my entire life, and mine have always been bad. I swear my uterus was trying to get out, alien style.

    Another thing that generally helps is light exercise, like going for a walk. Even with the horrible cramps yesterday, I noticed that they would subside for a while if I got moving. I just absolutely could not do anything that compressed my belly, so it was all walking and dancing for me. Exercise generally helps with mood, so it should help with many of the PMS symptoms.

    Oh and a hot water bottle or microwaveable beanie bag to put on your belly can help, too.

    There is a good chance the weight gain is mostly water from the increased sugar and the inflammation that is causing the cramps. Be gentle with yourself, this too shall pass.
  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 945 Member
    I find eating a healthy diet is really important when I'm facing big hormonal shifts. It seems to help my moods mellow out, rather than go wildly up and down. If I'm really craving something, I might have something small that satisfies. Exercise and water help a ton too. It's definitely not always easy.

    If you don't track your fertility, something like that can help you pinpoint times that are likely to be hard. Sometimes I get blindsided and don't realize why it is that I feel crazy all of a sudden. But if I know it's cycle-related, it's easy for me to take a deep breath and just get on with it, knowing that "this too shall pass." There's tons of free apps that can make this really easy for you. I use OvuView.

    If you have cycles a lot like this, I'd recommend consulting a doctor or midwife because there could be some other hormonal issues at play. This stuff can stink, but if it's debilitating that's not normal! <3 Please take care of yourself. :)
  • ThatCookieGurl
    ThatCookieGurl Posts: 39 Member
    Honestly, I specifically go out to Outback and get a hearty steak, broccoli, a side salad, and a baked potato. It’s not too unhealthy and satiates me enough that I don’t want to grab the chips or sweets. Maybe not the best thing, but it works for me.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 916 Member
    I have wasted three weeks of work over one terrible menstrual cycle. 😡 I'm determined not to let this happen again. What do you guys do to feel better during horrible PMS, cravings, cramps, .... I went straight to the chocolate, sweet drinks, and sugar. It made me feel better for a bit but now I'm 3.5 pounds heavier, I have had a horrible headache all week, and I feel bad. What should I do instead when I feel like a crazy PMS monster?

    I just had the same issue this weekend. I ate 3000 calories one day and I couldn’t stop eating. Appetite was so ravenous it scared me because I thought I had my hormones under control 😢. And It was all sugar and chocolates! I’ve found that (maybe due to my PCOS) but eating too much sugar makes my cravings WORSE. So next time I’m actually going to just have a little dark chocolate and increase my calories of other foods such as protein, fats and fibrous carbs. I’d rather eat enough and not overeat if that makes sense. Oh and exercise, especially walking and yoga helped me a lot. I love my vinyasa flows.
  • gcminton
    gcminton Posts: 170 Member
    Cool. Wrote out a whole post and I think I hit "done" instead of posting the reply.

    So... Overall I just try to be patient and cut myself some slack.

    Mostly I drink more water and try to find protein or fat to snack on. That's usually fine if the hunger isn't too strong.

    If I'm ravenous, I eat. My goal then is just to not go over maintenance, but if I do then I do. Any uptick on the scale is basically just water retention or extra food in my system and will go away soon enough.

    I'm struggling with it now, actually. I keep thinking I forgot to eat breakfast and that's why I'm so hungry, but then I remember I ate both breakfast and lunch. It doesn't feel like it at all.
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,662 Member
    To have gained 3.5lbs of fat you'd have to eat roughly the equivalent of 12250 calories above maintenance, that'd be a lot of chocolate & sweet drinks even for a PMS monster, what's more likely is that because you've eaten more carbs than normal and you're experiencing hormonal swings from your cycle, you're retaining more water than normal.

    I tend to eat maintenance a couple of days around my period and ovulation and try to up my intake of B Vitamins & Iron (Steak & Beer here I come). Exercising also helps with my cramps/mood too.

    Just to emphasize the bolded.
    I always gain some water weight during my period (even without giving into cravings).

    I don't have good pointers for what helps with the cravings except that I sometimes eat at maintenance during my period.
    For the cramps however, ibuprofen is the one thing that always helps me, provided I take it as soon as I feel the cramps starting.
  • tinkerbellang83
    tinkerbellang83 Posts: 9,057 Member
    gcminton wrote: »
    Cool. Wrote out a whole post and I think I hit "done" instead of posting the reply.

    I have done this soooo many times in the app - helpful tip: copy your text before posting, that way you can paste it in if you accidentally hit done and save yourself writing it alllll out again.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,947 Member
    I have recently started supplementing magnesium and it seems to be helping with the cravings. I have ordered a different supplement because I still am not getting enough to overcome the constipation. If I can mitigate the cravings, I find my headaches aren't as bad. However, full disclaimer, yesterday I had the worst cramps I ever remember having in my entire life, and mine have always been bad. I swear my uterus was trying to get out, alien style.

    Another thing that generally helps is light exercise, like going for a walk. Even with the horrible cramps yesterday, I noticed that they would subside for a while if I got moving. I just absolutely could not do anything that compressed my belly, so it was all walking and dancing for me. Exercise generally helps with mood, so it should help with many of the PMS symptoms.

    Oh and a hot water bottle or microwaveable beanie bag to put on your belly can help, too.

    There is a good chance the weight gain is mostly water from the increased sugar and the inflammation that is causing the cramps. Be gentle with yourself, this too shall pass.

    Type of magnesium is important. For example, magnesium oxide has laxative effects ;)

    https://www.wellandgood.com/magnesium-for-cramps-pms/

    If you do choose to use magnesium supplements, make sure to take them daily—and be patient. Unlike pain relievers, which take effect almost immediately, magnesium needs to be soaked up by the body over time. “Consistent intake lets the body get the most use out of [the magnesium], and it takes some time to reach that point—maybe days or weeks,” says Schneider. She recommends a three-month "therapeutic trial" to see how the supplements work for you. “After this period, assess how you feel," she says.

    As for what type of magnesium to buy, Schneider suggests staying away from magnesium oxide, which is the most commonly available type of supplement, as well as magnesium hydroxide and magnesium chloride, as they are typically too harsh. Instead, both Schneider and Dr. Briden suggest taking magnesium glycinate. “It’s magnesium joined to the amino acid glycine, which is more absorbable than other types of magnesium and is less likely to cause diarrhea,” says Briden. “Also, glycine has its own calming effect on the nervous system.”
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,947 Member
    xxzenabxx wrote: »
    I have wasted three weeks of work over one terrible menstrual cycle. 😡 I'm determined not to let this happen again. What do you guys do to feel better during horrible PMS, cravings, cramps, .... I went straight to the chocolate, sweet drinks, and sugar. It made me feel better for a bit but now I'm 3.5 pounds heavier, I have had a horrible headache all week, and I feel bad. What should I do instead when I feel like a crazy PMS monster?

    I just had the same issue this weekend. I ate 3000 calories one day and I couldn’t stop eating. Appetite was so ravenous it scared me because I thought I had my hormones under control 😢. And It was all sugar and chocolates! I’ve found that (maybe due to my PCOS) but eating too much sugar makes my cravings WORSE. So next time I’m actually going to just have a little dark chocolate and increase my calories of other foods such as protein, fats and fibrous carbs. I’d rather eat enough and not overeat if that makes sense. Oh and exercise, especially walking and yoga helped me a lot. I love my vinyasa flows.

    Yes, I was going to suggest eating at maintenance and making sure goals for protein and fiber are met. That helps me quite a bit with cravings. I can stop at 200 calories worth of brownies instead of 1200 calories worth of ice cream.

    And upping the exercise (before I am debilitated by my period) helps as well.
  • concordancia
    concordancia Posts: 5,320 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I have recently started supplementing magnesium and it seems to be helping with the cravings. I have ordered a different supplement because I still am not getting enough to overcome the constipation. If I can mitigate the cravings, I find my headaches aren't as bad. However, full disclaimer, yesterday I had the worst cramps I ever remember having in my entire life, and mine have always been bad. I swear my uterus was trying to get out, alien style.

    Another thing that generally helps is light exercise, like going for a walk. Even with the horrible cramps yesterday, I noticed that they would subside for a while if I got moving. I just absolutely could not do anything that compressed my belly, so it was all walking and dancing for me. Exercise generally helps with mood, so it should help with many of the PMS symptoms.

    Oh and a hot water bottle or microwaveable beanie bag to put on your belly can help, too.

    There is a good chance the weight gain is mostly water from the increased sugar and the inflammation that is causing the cramps. Be gentle with yourself, this too shall pass.

    Type of magnesium is important. For example, magnesium oxide has laxative effects ;)

    Although this is what I was using for the last month, it did not have enough of a laxative effect to counteract my PMS constipation.

    However, I have ordered a magnesium glycinate supplement to start when it arrives.

  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 945 Member
    Epsom salts are also useful as a magnesium supplement. Some people take it internally as a laxative, but you can also absorb it through your skin in a bath, or foot soak, or similar. It feels really good on sore muscles.
  • Speakeasy76
    Speakeasy76 Posts: 960 Member
    I actually was going to post something about PMS cravings a couple of weeks ago, so I know how you feel!

    I don't really have any great advice, but I think what works best for me is to just plan ahead to have a few more treats and try to distract myself. A doctor told me that unfortunately, those foods we usually crave often make PMS symptoms worse--yay! I think I may also focus on my sleep and trying to get even more steps in those days, even if it's just jogging in place while watching TV.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 916 Member
    You could do something like have a week each cycle where you eat at-maintenance calories. Around the week of ur period.There is some research suggesting women require an extra 100 or so calories a day during their period so if you are trying to diet on top of this extra calorie requirement then it might just be tipping you into the hangries.

    Sure it means it takes you longer to reach ur ultimate goal.but better than overeating and ruining progress

    Yup- you just hit the nail on the dot! James Smith did a Ted talk where he said that a woman can burn an extra 100-300 calories per day which means if she doesn’t increase her calories she could potentially be in a greater deficit, so instead of being in a 500 calorie deficit it could be up to an 800 calorie deficit. The greater deficit could lead to even more hunger and cravings and thus leading to a 5000+ calorie binge! So if a woman, for example, needs 1800 calories whilst dieting she could eat an extra 200 let’s say and not binge or she could just eat at maintenance for 5-7 days. It’s fascinating what the female body can do.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 916 Member


    This is the video if anyone is interested.
  • tinkerbellang83
    tinkerbellang83 Posts: 9,057 Member
    xxzenabxx wrote: »
    You could do something like have a week each cycle where you eat at-maintenance calories. Around the week of ur period.There is some research suggesting women require an extra 100 or so calories a day during their period so if you are trying to diet on top of this extra calorie requirement then it might just be tipping you into the hangries.

    Sure it means it takes you longer to reach ur ultimate goal.but better than overeating and ruining progress

    Yup- you just hit the nail on the dot! James Smith did a Ted talk where he said that a woman can burn an extra 100-300 calories per day which means if she doesn’t increase her calories she could potentially be in a greater deficit, so instead of being in a 500 calorie deficit it could be up to an 800 calorie deficit. The greater deficit could lead to even more hunger and cravings and thus leading to a 5000+ calorie binge! So if a woman, for example, needs 1800 calories whilst dieting she could eat an extra 200 let’s say and not binge or she could just eat at maintenance for 5-7 days. It’s fascinating what the female body can do.

    He did a very good podcast episode on it too! Think he said he had a client who'd been struggling to lose weight and it wasn't until they worked out for her to eat maintenance or just under for the 2 weeks her hormones had her legit hangry that she started losing weight consistently. Prior to that he'd never really taken into account the challenges posed by zee hormones.
  • ExistingFish
    ExistingFish Posts: 1,260 Member
    I always retain several pounds of water weight, like 2-3lbs, on my period. I get a big drop about the 4th day of my period that water just vanishes.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 916 Member
    xxzenabxx wrote: »
    You could do something like have a week each cycle where you eat at-maintenance calories. Around the week of ur period.There is some research suggesting women require an extra 100 or so calories a day during their period so if you are trying to diet on top of this extra calorie requirement then it might just be tipping you into the hangries.

    Sure it means it takes you longer to reach ur ultimate goal.but better than overeating and ruining progress

    Yup- you just hit the nail on the dot! James Smith did a Ted talk where he said that a woman can burn an extra 100-300 calories per day which means if she doesn’t increase her calories she could potentially be in a greater deficit, so instead of being in a 500 calorie deficit it could be up to an 800 calorie deficit. The greater deficit could lead to even more hunger and cravings and thus leading to a 5000+ calorie binge! So if a woman, for example, needs 1800 calories whilst dieting she could eat an extra 200 let’s say and not binge or she could just eat at maintenance for 5-7 days. It’s fascinating what the female body can do.

    He did a very good podcast episode on it too! Think he said he had a client who'd been struggling to lose weight and it wasn't until they worked out for her to eat maintenance or just under for the 2 weeks her hormones had her legit hangry that she started losing weight consistently. Prior to that he'd never really taken into account the challenges posed by zee hormones.

    Thank you I’ll definitely check it out 😊