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Why Am I So Hungry Before My Period?

Why Am I So Hungry Before My Period?

Our menstrual cycle typically involves hormonal fluctuations that influence various aspects of our well-being. One common PMS symptom people face is a surge in appetite preceding their period. 

We’ll dive into the intricacies of hormonal changes and their impact on hunger, exploring the reasons behind those intense pre-period cravings. Understanding this physiological phenomenon not only sheds light on our body's intricate signaling system, but also empowers us to make informed choices, fostering a balanced and harmonious menstrual experience.

The Connection Between Your Hormonal Changes and Appetite

The menstrual cycle commands a delicate interaction of hormones, prominently featuring estrogen and progesterone. As the premenstrual phase approaches, these hormones undergo fluctuations that can significantly influence appetite and any specific food craving. These shifts impact neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to an increased desire for certain foods.

If you want to know how to balance hormones naturally, you should be able to get the essential nutrients through your diet. However, a hormone balance supplement can help fill nutritional gaps when your body demands more throughout your cycle.

Beyond the psychological realm, our bodies experience a shift in nutritional needs during this phase. The rise in progesterone levels may contribute to an increased metabolic rate, demanding additional energy. This metabolic surge manifests as heightened hunger, necessitating an uptick in nutrient intake to support the body's changing requirements.

The Impact of Serotonin and Blood Sugar Levels

Serotonin is the neurotransmitter renowned for its role in mood regulation. Fluctuations in estrogen levels directly influence serotonin, contributing to mood swings and, intriguingly, alterations in appetite. Reduced serotonin levels before menstruation may trigger cravings for foods rich in carbohydrates and sugars, offering a transient boost in serotonin levels. [1]

The delicate balance of blood sugar levels also wields considerable influence over increased hunger during the premenstrual phase. Hormonal fluctuations can affect insulin sensitivity, potentially resulting in blood sugar level instability. This is why people may experience heightened hunger and cravings, especially for quick energy fixes like sugary snacks.

Cycle Syncing and Dietary Management

Cycle syncing is a strategic alignment of lifestyle, including dietary habits, with the distinct phases of the menstrual cycle. During the premenstrual phase, customizing your diet to accommodate changing nutritional needs is crucial. Recognizing that our bodies have unique requirements during each menstrual cycle phase forms the crux of cycle syncing. [2]

Adjusting Eating Patterns for Better Management

To effectively manage pre-period hunger, consider tailoring your eating patterns based on your menstrual cycle. Prioritize nutrient-dense food intake during the premenstrual phase to meet increased energy demands. Embrace a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats to provide sustained energy and alleviate hunger pangs.

Practical Tips for Managing Pre-Period Hunger

Experiencing an uptick in hunger before your period is normal. With some smart strategies and nutrient-rich snack ideas, you can navigate this period with ease. Here are practical tips to manage your pre-period hunger and keep your cravings in check:

  1. Plan Ahead: Keep healthy snacks on hand. Being prepared means you're less likely to reach for less nutritious, convenience foods.
  2. Balance Your Meals: Ensure your meals have a good balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. This balance helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels, potentially reducing the intensity of your cravings.
  3. Hydrate: Sometimes, our bodies confuse thirst with hunger. Make sure you're well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  4. Opt for Whole Foods: Choose snacks that are rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. These nutrients are not only essential for your overall health but also help in keeping you fuller for longer.
  5. Mindful Eating: Pay attention to your hunger cues. Eating mindfully helps in distinguishing between true hunger and eating out of boredom or emotion.
  6. Moderation is Key: If you're craving something specific like chocolate, it's okay to indulge in a small amount. Denying yourself can lead to overeating later on.

Nutrition Snack Ideas

When hunger strikes before your period, reach for snacks that are not only satisfying but also rich in vitamins and essential nutrients. Here are some nutritious snack ideas that can help curb your pre-period cravings:

  • Greek Yogurt and Berries: A perfect combo of protein and antioxidants. The protein keeps you full, while the berries provide a sweet taste and a load of vitamins.
  • Hummus and Veggies: Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber, and when paired with veggies, you get an extra crunch and nutrients without too many added calories.
  • Nut Butter on Whole Grain Toast: The healthy fats in nut butter can satisfy your hunger, and the fiber in whole grain toast helps keep your blood sugar levels stable.
  • Mixed Nuts and Dried Fruit: A small handful can pack a punch of protein, healthy fats, and fiber, along with a sweet and satisfying taste.
  • Dark Chocolate and Almonds: If you're craving something sweet and crunchy, this combo can be a satisfying treat. Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, a mineral that's often depleted before your period.

Remember, everyone's body is different, and it's essential to listen to yours and understand its needs. By incorporating these tips and snack ideas into your routine, you can manage pre-period hunger effectively and maintain your well-being throughout your cycle.

Rael’s Holistic Approach to Menstrual Health

Our commitment to clean, effective ingredients extends beyond skin care to encompass  our period care essentials. Explore Rael's comprehensive range of period supplements and supplement bundles designed to support your unique menstrual journey.

By understanding the impact of hormonal changes, embracing cycle syncing, and adopting practical tips for managing hunger, we can navigate this phase with grace and balance. Rael's holistic approach to menstrual health complements this journey, offering solutions that prioritize your well-being.


  1. Sugimoto Y, Kimura I, Yamada J, Watanabe Y, Takeuchi N, Horisaka K. Effects of serotonin on blood glucose and insulin levels of glucose- and streptozotocin-treated mice. Japanese Journal of Pharmacology
  1. Cycle Syncing Nutrition and Exercise. Cleveland Clinic.

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