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Hunger Games? Nope. Hunger Pains!


As a woman, I can definitely attest to the fact that girls get more hungry before their periods. Sometimes I feel like I can eat right through a cement wall! In fact, it’s been scientifically proven. (Well, not the part where I can eat cement. Cause that would be kind of weird, don’t you think?) Why is it though, that women see such an appetite increase during the week right before their periods? Some say that it’s because of an increased amount of calories burned at a basal metabolic rate, while other scientists believe that the progesterone released has an appetite increasing effect.

The basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is the amount of calories someone burns while they’re simply sitting or sleeping. However, when a female is about to menstruate, her body actually has to use more calories to be able to go through that life function. After all, calories are simply a measure of energy. Because of the increased calories a woman’s body has to use to carry out menstrual functions, the brain receives messages that it needs more and more calories. However, there are other factors at work in combination with the increased use of energy that add to increased hunger in a woman.

Progesterone increases in a female right before they begin their periods; and this goes for humans and animals. Interestingly enough, the eating patterns are similar for both people and animals as well, when it relates to the hormones that are released. When estrogen is released (estrogen is considered to be an appetite suppressant), both the person and animal stop binge eating. However, the other interesting point is at the time when progesterone is released, women tend to have the highest amount of body dissatisfaction. This led scientists to believe there is a correlation between binge eating and dissatisfaction with one’s body image, and that it is cyclic. Slightly problematic, considering it could even be regulated by hormones, rendering one almost powerless. So how do we deal with that? Guys definitely don’t want to deal with it; I’d say “no, thanks” too if I was them. It’s like dealing with hungry crocodiles!

The answer can be found in healthy eating. While it may not satisfy our cravings for salty or sweet at the particular moment, it will definitely help us to feel better about ourselves, and give us that little extra boost of food that we need during that pre-period week. Apples and honey give us the sweet taste, or a salty energy bar can also satisfy cravings. Another solution is to work out in order to release endorphins, so that we can continue to feel good about ourselves, despite the hormones that are telling us otherwise. It doesn’t matter if our body is using up more calories, we should still take care of ourselves, and eat healthy. Living healthy is a way to live happy, and feel better; it doesn’t matter what time of the month it is!


Works Cited

Admin. Why Do You Get Hungry Before Your Period? 25 May 2009. http:/ 28 February 2013.

Group, The Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Why Do I Get So Hungry Right Before My Period? 28 February 2013. 28 February 2013.

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Filed under: Conditions and Disorders, Eating disorders · Tags: Basal Metabolic Rate, binge eating, BMR, body image, calories, endorphins, Estrogen, Exercise, Feeling better, Healthy Eating, Hunger Pains, Menstrual Cycle, PMS, Progesterone, women is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
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