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PMS cravings- it ain't all in your mind!

I found this article online because I AM SICK AND TIRED of all the people who claim PMS cravings (and symptoms) are excuses for bad behavior.

Variations in food preference and consumption across the menstrual cycle.

Bowen DJ, Grunberg NE.

Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98104.

There is some evidence that food consumption changes across the menstrual cycle. However, archived studies tend to rely on self-report data and do not differentiate among types of food eaten. The present laboratory study was designed to measure women's taste preferences and specific food consumption across the menstrual cycle. Women came into the laboratory, consumed everyday foods, and rated them on taste judgment scales. The foods were weighed before and after the tasting session to determine amount eaten. After the tasting session, subjects completed several questionnaires (e.g., measures of affect, restrained eating, menstrual cycle and menstrual symptoms). Physical measurements (e.g., height, weight) were taken at the end of the session. Sweet food consumption and preference ratings were significantly higher during the premenstrual period. Consumption and ratings of other foods did not differ. There were no differences in levels of mood, obesity, or restrained eating across the menstrual cycle. Low restraint was associated with reporting fewer menstrual symptoms, in general, and slightly better mood. These results support the idea that specific taste preferences change over the menstrual cycle, and that endocrinological factors could be involved in this phenomenon.

PMID: 2333344 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Wed. Jul 26, 2:10pm

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i crave sweets and fatty proteins like you wouldn't believe when i am experiencing PMS. i also find alcohol utterly distasteful. i fully believe that these are not just "in my head".

Wednesday, July 26, 2006, 3:12 PM

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i crave chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate when it's that time of the month. sometimes i find myself wondering why i've been eating so badly, then i remember what day it is lol. that's how i know it's not just psychological.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006, 8:06 PM

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I'm also tired of the "you're just making excuses to eat junk" thing. I explained some of the stuff I found to my DH last night, and he was both surprised and impressed, and admitted he'd had that bias. When I have a daughter, if I have one, I want to make sure she KNOWS she's not going nuts.
Men, there is NOT a vast conspiracy of women making excuses for the way they feel and eat before their periods.
Women, stop beating up other women! Just because you may not have symptoms, or have them as strongly, doesn't mean it's not real for us! Support us in this, please.

Thursday, July 27, 2006, 8:43 AM

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supplement to the "recent "hungry beast" thread, w/lots o' love.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006, 8:38 PM

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not just food cravings

When I'm not on the pill (which keeps me more cognizant of when my period is coming), I typically have the following scenario:
Minor problem comes up, like misplacing my keys...
"Where are my keys? What is wrong with me? Why do I always lose things? Why am I such a loser? I can't do anything right! My life is in the toilet! Nobody loves me! I hate everybody!" -- Burst into tears.
"Wait a minute... what's the date today? Oh. So my period's starting tomorrow. Hmmm.... Oh, and there are my keys!"

Tuesday, August 15, 2006, 11:05 PM

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lol 11:05pm
that was hilarious

Wednesday, August 16, 2006, 8:04 AM

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I agree just because you don't have the cravings doesn't mean the rest of us are using this as an excuse or it's all in our minds. I've didn't have the cravings when I was younger but they started some time in my late 30's & have increased now that I am in my 40's.

Sometimes I ask myself why am I eating everything in site, then I realize it's the week b4 I start. If it were an excuse I would take care of the problem by now but it's real dificult to change your frame of mind when you hormones are the ones in control.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006, 11:34 PM

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006, 1:03 PM

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I think the best way to deal with that pre-period hunger is to not restrict yourself - fill up on as many healthy foods as you want, and choose a small indulgence. It's all about hunger, so if you satisfy it before you get tooo won't crave the sweets/salty foods as much. As hard as it is to resist, when a bad pms craving comes, substitute your normal chocolate/chip binges (or my personal one, cheese popcorn) with a bowl of high fiber cereal, a chocolately protein bar, a huge bowl of chopped fruits and veggies - basically anything high volume, high fiber, yet still tasty. If you fill up on this, you won't want as much of the unhealthy foods and you'll do less damage to the diet!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 8:36 PM

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Bogus 8:36

I eat healthy a majority of the time - whole grains, veggies, fish, fruit, all the good stuff. About 3 days before my period I can be found rummaging through the kitchen looking for anything fatty and savory - like dark chocolate fruit,'s like my taste buds change. During the rest of the month I do not crave these things I can walk past them with no hesitation. But in those 3 days it's all I want. I've learned to substitute healthy things and sometimes that works. But damn, sometimes I just want a fat slice of cake with some chocolate on the side!

Thursday, April 24, 2008, 6:47 AM

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I know my hunger sky rockets when I'm PMSing. Thankfully, due to cognitive therapy, I don't really have the mood swings like 11:05 mentioned (though ironically, I did when I was one the pill...). When I don't restrict myself during PMS, the cramps are always less. (Cramps were another thing that started after being on the pill, and stayed after quitting the pill.)

And there's something to be said for craving choco- choco tends to have magnesium in it, which has been linked to reducing PMS symptoms.

Thursday, April 24, 2008, 12:26 PM

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I am trying to figure out why I crave cigarettes when I am on my period

Friday, April 25, 2008, 11:36 AM

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