As a woman, you are surely familiar with the routine of eating certain foods before your monthly period. But do you know why there is more desire to eat chocolate and junk foods during that time of the month? This case is known as Compulsive Eating.
Here in this article, we have written about the things that happen in the body to cause these types of carvings and also the ways to curb them.
What is compulsive eating?
Compulsive eating is also known as binge eating. It is characterized by the strong and uncontrollable impulse for eating a large number of foods.
In some of the cases, compulsive eating can also progress into binge eating disorder (BED). It is a kind of formal diagnosis. In others, it takes place only is a certain time like during the time of leading up to your period.
Some familiar symptoms of compulsive eating:
- Eating more when you are not even hungry or even when you are feeling full
- Eating a large amount of food
- The feeling of ashamed or upset after a binge
- Eating constantly throughout the day or eating in a secret
Why does compulsive eating take place before the period?
According to the study, an ovarian hormone plays a vital role in compulsive eating. The study has shown that the high levels of progesterone during the premenstrual phrase phase play a vital role in compulsive eating and body dissatisfaction.
On the other hand, Estrogen seems to be associated with a decrease in appetite. During ovulation, Estrogen is at a higher level.
In simple words, right before your period, you are likely dissatisfied with everything. And this dissatisfaction can encourage you for eating more and more.
How can I avoid compulsive eating?
The most beginning way to reduce or avoid compulsive eating is to recognize either the problem exists or not. You should also find out when you are more likely to binge. Once you do these things, consider following these tips for avoiding overeating.
- Make a routine to track everything you are eating, especially if you binge. Noticing how much calories you are eating might help you in stopping the cycle.
- Try eating more healthfully throughout the month. Consider cutting the foods that contain refined sugars.
- Eat more high-fiber foods like vegetables, beans, fruits, seeds, whole grains, etc. Fibre will help you to feel fuller for a long time.
- Avoid junk foods. It will be difficult if it will not be in your house. Instead of junk foods, consider buying the ingredients for making healthy snacks with a variety of flavors and textures.
- When you feel hungry again and again, consider drinking a glass of water with the mint or fresh fruits. It might help in curbing your cravings. Eating a lollipop or a chewing gum can also be helpful.
Make healthy lifestyle choices
- Stress can also lead to emotional eating in your period. Exercise, practice, good sleep can help in managing stress.
- You can join the support group like Overeaters Anonymous (OA). Talking with the one who can understand your feelings can be very helpful for you.
When should I call healthcare professionals?
Everyone will not need treatment for compulsive eating. If you find yourself bingeing more at the time of periods or compulsive eating is making your emotional stress or weight gain, it will be better to consult with the health professionals.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are various kinds of psychological counseling for binge eating disorders. They include:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy (ITP)
- Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a kind of CBT that focuses on emotional regulation. Different types of meditation can also be used. Premenstrual cravings are very hard to tackle.
But arming yourself with good knowledge, healthy foods, and stress management techniques can be very helpful for tackling with the urges. Take good care of your hygiene too.
If it becomes difficult in stopping the compulsive eating, consider taking help with the professionals.