Ladies, there is that one week out of every month where we feel like an absolute watery bloated mess! Periods seriously suck. It's bad enough that your hormones are raging and you become super emotional and sensitive, but then you decide to torture yourself even further by stepping on the scales. Then you freak out because you weight has increased so you eat more food to comfort yourself. It really is an uphill battle I know we have all been in that place before. But it's not all bad, your boobs get bigger and congratulations you are not pregnant! You have successfully made it through another month of baby free sex. And here’s to another month! So instead of heading into an emotional downward spiral that can hinder your long term progress let me give you some pointers on how to survive your monthly period with a little more ease.
Deal with chocolate cravings
For some reason even though we do not get chocolate cravings any other tie, it's the one week where everything screams chocolate and we just can't get enough of it! Instead of reaching for the nearest chocolate bar try and having some low-calorie chocolate treats on standby. If you can make a chocolaty treat that is high protein this will help curve those cravings while keeping you feeling fuller for longer rather than having a sugary binge and crash which will spiral you back into more sugar cravings. I do a protein smoothie with loads of cocoa, protein powder and plenty of stevia to make it rich and sweet. Other great options are to pre-make some chocolate protein balls and keep them in the freezer until you need to which out the ammo for your time of the month or even some low-fat, low-calorie ice cream. Continue to track your food intake if you can, the lower the caloric intake of your treats, the more you can have which will help you feel more satisfied.
Make sure you are drinking as much water as possible. Bloating is a huge part of this week and flushing everything out with an ample amount of water will help you alleviate that horrible bloated feeling and it will also help reduce any excess water retention. Plus during your period, you are losing fluid, which is why its even more important to replenish it with a million cups of water. (not really 3-4L is ideal).
Hot water saviour
There is nothing worse that those first few days where it feels like someone is kicking you directly into the uterus. So get your hands on a hot water bottle (or two) and place it on your tummy. The warmth will help provide relief to any pain. If you don’t have a heat pack try taking a nice warm relaxing bath.
Avoid what is annoying
Let’s face it, people are annoying at the best of times, but when you are irritable to the max then everything becomes ever more annoying, then you become even more irritable, it really is a vicious cycle especially when you have raging hormones in the mix. So instead of adding fuel to the fire try to eliminate people or things that irritate you this week.
Get some ammunition
You don't need to bear the pain alone. Try taking some over the counter medication that can help reducing cramping by targeting muscle aches and pains. Stick to those that contain ibuprofen or those specifically targeted at reducing muscle aching. You can always some herbal remedies too if medication is not your cup of tea. But we are busy and we have things to do so taking something to ease any pain and help you keeping up to date with your important schedule.
Don’t add to the bloat
You are feeling crazy bloated anyway, so the last thing you want to do is have anything that is gong to make you feeling even more bloated. Try avoiding salty foods as the excess sodium can make you feel even more bloated. Avoid carbonated drinks also as these can cause bloating and excess water retention.
Eat these foods
Certain vitamins and minerals can very much help with reducing menstrual cramping. Some foods that are great to include during this week especially include:
- Foods rich in magnesium: walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds
- Foods rich in iron: chicken, fish, steak, leafy greens
- Add in flaxseeds or flax oil to help reduce pain
- Add some apple cider vinegar with every meal
Wear baggy and avoid tight clothing
Bought some new outfits that you want to try on to see how they look? STOP right there! Refrain from trying on any tight new clothes or that little black dress that has been sitting in your cupboard waiting for that next special occasion. Do NOT torture yourself. You gain excess fluid during your period which may bump you up a kilo or 2. This is completely normal but the last thing you want to do is feel any worse about yourself. Stick to wearing flowy breathable clothing that you ae 100% comfortable in and that don’t make you need to suck any of you bloating in.
Have a girly night in
The last thing you are going to want to do when you have your period is to slip into that little black dress and show off your curves. Because well… we feel like a beached whale as it is so why would you torture yourself? Get the latest Netflix of movie flix and cuddle up with a hot cup of tea on the couch. If you need to cry then just let the tears flow. Nothing beats a night of girly movies and pj's.
Drink herbal tea
Nothing beats a hot cuppa. But some herbal teas can provide some really effective anti-cramping relief. try adding some of these each day while you are feeling crumby.
- Peppermint tea: is a natural muscle relaxer
- Ginger: lowers pain levels
- Chamomile: is a natural anti-inflammatory
I know the last thing you probably feel like doing during this time is any form of activity or exercise. But staying active can provide some great benefits to relieve you for menstrual distress. Now I don’t mean go and smash that step class or anything high intensity. Something as simple as going for a walk, or a yoga class can be all that you need. Exercising or staying active releases endorphins which act as a natural painkiller and mood enhancer. Staying active daily during your period will help relieve the intensity of cramping and will probably put you I a little better of a mood for those around you.
Has any of these methods helped you before? If you have any other methods to help survive your period and relieve cramping, please share in the comments below.