Posted by: Nikki | 2007/05/10


Dear Diet Doc

Firstly thanks for this amazingly informative forum and encouraging words to everyone who writes in.

The week before my period I get extremely hungry with cravings for lots of carbs and fats. Now I know that our intake can increase during this time, but my problem is that I put on weight so it's not as though I burn it off due to a faster metabolism. What is the reason for this faster metabolism and how can I prevent the weight gain - other than try and suppress the cravings?

Many thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Nikki
Thank you for your kind words which I really appreciate. The reason for feeling so hungry in the week before your period is that your hormone levels change and this influences your appetite (not your actual metabolism). It is believed that this increase in appetite is due to a drop in serotonin levels in the brain (serotonin is known as a chemical messenger). Foods that increase serotonin levels are carbohydrates and protein, so when next you reach the week before menstruation, try increasing your intake of low-GI, high-fibre carbs (not highly processed carbs associated with a high fat content like cakes, sweets, chocolate, etc) and eat more lean protein (fat-free milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, lean meat and fish). Click on 'Diet' and 'Weight loss' and 'The right approach' and read the articles on the GI. Some women also find that taking vit B6 and omega-3 fatty acids (Salmon Oil capsules - buy at chemist) can help them with premenstrual syndrome.
Best regards

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