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TOPIC: Time of month and increased appetite

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October 30, 2011 5:05 PM
Found this article hope it helps I was wondering why I've been so hungry


Cravings, bloating and then the hunger – the best diets are often laid asunder by your period. For many women, the symptoms leading up to and during the week of your period are outrageous, and one of these is the hunger that seems to ratchet up from nowhere.

The reason for this increase in hunger is simple. Your body uses more calories during the time right before and in some cases during your period. This increase in calories makes your body burn more calories during this time, and as the calories as burning you’re going to feel hungry more often.

To compound this, the hormones at work in your body during this time are also likely making you crave particular food items. So suddenly, you’re starving, you already feel bloated from water weight and now you want to eat chocolate or chips. No wonder we all feel so miserable during this week!

Why Do I Get So Hungry Before and During My Period

Calories are units of energy. You can think of them like tiny gallons or liters of gas. Just like a car burns through gas, your body burns through calories. Every day, if you were to lie in bed and do nothing at all, you would burn a certain number of calories just being alive. This number is your Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR.

As you lay in your bed doing nothing at all, your body is burning up fuel, or calories, keeping your digestive system working, helping your heart beat and all of the other wonderful things that happen inside us that we don’t have to think about on a daily basis. Every thirty days or so, the systems in your body pick up another task.

With the menstrual cycle, the week of your period makes your body do some extra work. This extra work burns more calories and your BMR actually goes up. In some women, the week of your period can make you burn up to fifteen percent more calories, and you haven’t changed a single thing about your lifestyle!





Eating and Your Period

Of course, if you’re trying to figure out why your period makes you so hungry, the answer is clear. Your body is doing more work; your body needs more calories. To get the calories it needs, your body sends a message to your brain telling you you’re hungry more often. Since you’re feeling hungry, you eat.

This is a tricky week for women who are paying close attention to their figures, however. Being extra hungry often means you are compelled to eat. The additional symptoms of this week make eating even more enjoyable. I mean, really – if you’re sitting in sweat pants already watching weepy movies, wouldn’t it taste better with a pint of ice cream?

The trouble is, you may feel hungrier, but the extra calorie burning can be a bit deceptive. Your body is burning some extra calories, but only about 100 to 300 per day, and only for a few days at a time. Sadly, 100 calories is the same as one of those tiny snack packs you can put in your lunch while you’re dieting. At most, you can enjoy a candy bar for close to 300. A pint of ice cream is easily 500 to almost 1,000 calories at a time – it’s not justified by period calorie burn.

Controlling Hunger and Your Period

The best way to stay healthy and watch your figure is to listen to your body more than your appetite. You may feel a strong craving for ice cream, but that probably has more to do with comfort then nutrition. If you’re feeling like shoveling through a bag of chips, don’t give in to the craving. If you really can’t stand it, count out enough chips to be about one serving and then stop. Savor the chips you’re eating, but leave the rest put away.

If you can prevent your appetite from getting the best of you by eating filling foods without many extra calories such as lean protein and vegetables, you will benefit in another way from feeling so hungry this week. When your BMR goes up, as it does the days before your period, you’re burning some extra calories. If you fend off the desire to shove junk in your face this week, you can actually burn off more calories instead of consuming them.

If you are one of the lucky ones burning an extra 300 calories per day for about five days, you’ll lose half a pound by not doing anything except waking up in the morning. After gaining up to five pounds in retained water, losing that water plus a bit more feels outstanding the week after your cycle – it just takes a bit of willpower to reach that point.
October 30, 2011 5:10 PM
I am going through this as I write this....lol.... Usually its the day before I start. This month its day one. Which is today. Luckily I only have this for one day.
  8599933
October 30, 2011 5:10 PM
Thanks for posting this! Going through this right now, it's driving me mad... soooo hungry.
Edited by Moonblood On October 30, 2011 5:10 PM
October 30, 2011 5:13 PM
Thanks - very informative! Will remember this water weight when I hop on the scale - in the past it's made me want to give up because I thought I wasn't getting anywhere that week - now I know about that I can look forward to the week after being a bigger number!
December 8, 2011 11:57 AM
Thanks for this. I tried to fast yesterday for a doc appt and ended up famished, weak & eating before the appt anyway. TOM was not a good time to attempt a fast. What impact does TOM have on weight?
  251525
December 8, 2011 12:35 PM
Oh, this makes everything make so much more sense. The other three weeks of the month, I don't have any serious cravings. But I know that as soon as my body starts demanding chocolate, it's that TOM. I don't let myself have very much, but I've always been so demoralised by that little 2/3 lb gain.

If it really is mostly water, that makes me feel a whole lot better. I'm due soon, so I'm going to skip next week's weigh in. :D
  13389864
June 6, 2012 10:47 PM
Thank you for posting!!!!!! I feel like I'm insatiable right now. Just going to drink water and hope the hunger goes away!
June 7, 2012 12:21 AM
I usually start bloating and getting hungry 2 weeks before T.O.M crazy thing I never realize T.O.M is the culprit till a couple of days before its on or its actually on.. and then I'm always like oh.. same way when I feel like a blimp.. then T.O.M and its like oh no wonder... its weird you'd think id know by now... but its always a surprise lol
September 7, 2012 11:34 AM
I feel so much better after reading this. I dont feel like the only ravenous psycho out there...ha ha.
I also hate the game the scale plays with my mind.....Im trying to push past my cravings and accept that bloating normal....not failure.tongue
September 7, 2012 11:38 AM
QUOTE:

I usually start bloating and getting hungry 2 weeks before T.O.M crazy thing I never realize T.O.M is the culprit till a couple of days before its on or its actually on.. and then I'm always like oh.. same way when I feel like a blimp.. then T.O.M and its like oh no wonder... its weird you'd think id know by now... but its always a surprise lol


Same thing here. It didn't used to hit me until a week or even days before I started, but now it last pretty much from ovulation through to when I start, and is incredibly difficult to control. It is the time when some of my worst binges have occurred as the chocolate, cheesecake and ice cream cravings took over, lol. I am learning to just have a little these days, rather than go on an no holds barred pig out.
  27974990
January 11, 2013 4:47 PM
Whoa this explains a lot.
January 30, 2013 12:12 PM
I had to search this because I start mine tomorrow and I can't think of anything else but eating. I thought I was crazy!
  11728599
January 30, 2013 7:41 PM
Same here! I feel like I can eat the whole peanut butter jar. I've been putting chocolate chips in my raw coconut oil and eating that. So bad.
January 30, 2013 7:51 PM
Thanks for sharing...I had no idea!
  34773897
January 30, 2013 7:53 PM
I am too old to have this problem any more, but I remember I was always RAVENOUS the day before my period. I figured it was some sort of hormone thing.
January 31, 2013 4:30 AM
wow that is strange. I was just dealing with this last night.. I ate my normal calories and were still sooooo hungry.. I'll try to remember to have more low fat snacks on hand.. I was bad and went to arby's :( Today is a new day though :)
  27129105
January 31, 2013 5:30 AM
I can't say I notice any increase in appetite, but what I do notice is a distinct decrease in energy. I almost lose the will to move entirely. My legs feel like they weigh a ton and my back aches too. It lasts for a day or so either side of the event (three to five days total), and I'm in the middle of it now. I'm currently doing a great job of making Garfield look energetic and could quite happily go to bed and sleep for a week :)

I'm not the most avid fitness fan, but since I started with MFP at the start of the month I've managed to make myself fit in some exercise and movement every day. Then the day before yesterday, I found myself with that familiar feeling that I probably couldn't even be bothered to run to the tap for a bucket of water if the house was on fire. I kept within my calories that day and made myself do the minimum of exercise (I think it was a twenty minute walk, and I only did the last ten minutes of that just to get home again!). The next day, I found I'd gained two pounds (I weigh every day).

Delightful - not. It was my first gain since I started this and I was tempted not to record it because I was worried it might have a negative impact on my psychological mojo, but when the Monthly Misery struck a few hours later I changed my mind. It would be interesting to know if this temporary gain represents a pattern for me. And it did turn out to be temporary, because those two pounds had gone when I weighed this morning. Sadly, my get-up-and-go is still gotten-up-and-gone too, but hopefully it will be back in a day or so :)
  33884779
January 31, 2013 12:14 PM
instead of a tiny 100-cal snack pack, i just discovered arctic zero ice cream--> you really CAN eat the whole pint if you go crazy cuz its ONLY 150 CALS!!!. for the whole entire pint!!! and i think it doesnt have any artificial sugars, not sure tho.... its lovely for avoiding guilt trips :)
January 31, 2013 1:18 PM
This makes me feel so much better! The last couple days I have wanted to give up and feel SOOO hungry and today I am achy as heck and want nothing more than a huge chocolate bar. And oh...enter cramps too. Guess I know why now! Does anyone know how much water weight you gain during TOM or is it different for everyone? I was super sad this morning when I weighed myself and it was the same as last week, but maybe its water weight?? God I hope so!
February 2, 2013 10:06 PM
QUOTE:

instead of a tiny 100-cal snack pack, i just discovered arctic zero ice cream--> you really CAN eat the whole pint if you go crazy cuz its ONLY 150 CALS!!!. for the whole entire pint!!! and i think it doesnt have any artificial sugars, not sure tho.... its lovely for avoiding guilt trips :)





Where do they sell that at?? I'd love to get some!
  27129105
February 12, 2013 3:52 PM
QUOTE:

Found this article hope it helps I was wondering why I've been so hungry


Cravings, bloating and then the hunger – the best diets are often laid asunder by your period. For many women, the symptoms leading up to and during the week of your period are outrageous, and one of these is the hunger that seems to ratchet up from nowhere.

The reason for this increase in hunger is simple. Your body uses more calories during the time right before and in some cases during your period. This increase in calories makes your body burn more calories during this time, and as the calories as burning you’re going to feel hungry more often.

To compound this, the hormones at work in your body during this time are also likely making you crave particular food items. So suddenly, you’re starving, you already feel bloated from water weight and now you want to eat chocolate or chips. No wonder we all feel so miserable during this week!

Why Do I Get So Hungry Before and During My Period

Calories are units of energy. You can think of them like tiny gallons or liters of gas. Just like a car burns through gas, your body burns through calories. Every day, if you were to lie in bed and do nothing at all, you would burn a certain number of calories just being alive. This number is your Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR.

As you lay in your bed doing nothing at all, your body is burning up fuel, or calories, keeping your digestive system working, helping your heart beat and all of the other wonderful things that happen inside us that we don’t have to think about on a daily basis. Every thirty days or so, the systems in your body pick up another task.

With the menstrual cycle, the week of your period makes your body do some extra work. This extra work burns more calories and your BMR actually goes up. In some women, the week of your period can make you burn up to fifteen percent more calories, and you haven’t changed a single thing about your lifestyle!





Eating and Your Period

Of course, if you’re trying to figure out why your period makes you so hungry, the answer is clear. Your body is doing more work; your body needs more calories. To get the calories it needs, your body sends a message to your brain telling you you’re hungry more often. Since you’re feeling hungry, you eat.

This is a tricky week for women who are paying close attention to their figures, however. Being extra hungry often means you are compelled to eat. The additional symptoms of this week make eating even more enjoyable. I mean, really – if you’re sitting in sweat pants already watching weepy movies, wouldn’t it taste better with a pint of ice cream?

The trouble is, you may feel hungrier, but the extra calorie burning can be a bit deceptive. Your body is burning some extra calories, but only about 100 to 300 per day, and only for a few days at a time. Sadly, 100 calories is the same as one of those tiny snack packs you can put in your lunch while you’re dieting. At most, you can enjoy a candy bar for close to 300. A pint of ice cream is easily 500 to almost 1,000 calories at a time – it’s not justified by period calorie burn.

Controlling Hunger and Your Period

The best way to stay healthy and watch your figure is to listen to your body more than your appetite. You may feel a strong craving for ice cream, but that probably has more to do with comfort then nutrition. If you’re feeling like shoveling through a bag of chips, don’t give in to the craving. If you really can’t stand it, count out enough chips to be about one serving and then stop. Savor the chips you’re eating, but leave the rest put away.

If you can prevent your appetite from getting the best of you by eating filling foods without many extra calories such as lean protein and vegetables, you will benefit in another way from feeling so hungry this week. When your BMR goes up, as it does the days before your period, you’re burning some extra calories. If you fend off the desire to shove junk in your face this week, you can actually burn off more calories instead of consuming them.

If you are one of the lucky ones burning an extra 300 calories per day for about five days, you’ll lose half a pound by not doing anything except waking up in the morning. After gaining up to five pounds in retained water, losing that water plus a bit more feels outstanding the week after your cycle – it just takes a bit of willpower to reach that point.
February 12, 2013 6:22 PM
Thought I was going crazy today haha have not had the night time munchies in so long and now today I feel like I could eat and eat! I do not even have a specific craving, just feel hungry! Know TOM is on the way so thought maybe that is the reason. Sorry you all get that too but I am so glad I am not alone! hehehe
  22635426
February 20, 2013 6:30 PM
The reason for increased appetite has more to do with hormones than energy. The hormone progesterone, which stimulates the appetite, is at it's peak right before you start. Also, seratonin levels are low which stimulates appetite as well.
February 20, 2013 6:39 PM
Ahhhh explains my salt and pepper chip craving and munching I have been doing tonight.
March 22, 2013 2:34 PM
Thanks for making me feel I am not alone. I started using this app a few weeks ago and it's really helped me stay on track. I had lost 4.4 lbs since the 9th but the last two days I have been so hungry. I started my period Monday and those first few days I didn't even "use" all of my calories, I didn't feel the greatest (cramps etc...), so my appetite was low. But yesterday and today I am hungry all the time. My stomach is growling about every hour or two. I am like "what is going on?" It's not like I'm not eating. I've tried drinking more water to fill the void but my stomach still growls. So, maybe I do need a little more calories these few days? I want to stay on track so I don't want to go over my "allowed" calories but I can't get my stomach to stop growling and from feeling so hungry.
  39499050

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