South Beach Diet - Is PMS sabotaging your weight loss?




Schmoodle
07-15-2008, 09:59 PM
I found this interesting article when looking for information about how to combat premenstrual food cravings:
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56732!

Some months this is a huge issue for me. It is so frustrating to be on plan for a couple of weeks, feeling strong, then the cravings hit, and I am pawing through the cabinets looking for anything I can find remotely related to chocolate. The stuff it's perfectly safe to have around the rest of the month: NSA fudge bars, pudding, mini chocolate chips - gone in a frenzy of hormonal binging! I've got to get a handle on this vicious cycle. Then after the binge is over, I've eaten things I shouldn't and I have to deal with cravings by doing some Ph1 days.

Some of the things suggested here are normal parts of the SBD diet plan. But I did get a couple of ideas of things to try. First, I will not keep even ordinarily "safe" trigger foods around during that week. I have tried limiting grains during the pre-TOM week, but they suggest the opposite. So I will try 2 - 3 servings of whole grains/day just during that week. I will up my water consumption and I will try the exercise strategy.

Breaking my food up into 6 mini-meals so that I can feel like I am snacking all day has proven to help some. I wondered also about upping my protein intake, but they do not mention that in this article.

Anyone else have this problem and have you found any good strategies to help?


SunshineCA
07-15-2008, 10:29 PM
When I'm on SB, I usually don't have PMS/MS cravings. If I'm not true to plan, I get a salty/sweet tooth. "Aunt Flo" came to visit me today and so far, so good. ;)

Thanks for the article. :)

lene1974
07-17-2008, 09:51 PM
Schmoodle, thanks for posting that article. I do have serious chocolate/sweets cravings at TOM. I am definitely going to try using some of those tips. I feel like I have control over my eating any other time. Once the PMS kicks in it can really be a struggle not to indulge on the wrong foods.
Thanks again!


murphmitch
07-17-2008, 10:12 PM
I found another article with some tips for PMS in general:

PMS treatment varies between each woman. Each person with PMS is unique, and sometimes it is nearly impossible to predict who will respond to which nutrient, and in what dosage and timing. But, these natural herbs and supplements are worth a try as you discuss these options with your physician. I will update this page as more information becomes available.

Reduce simple carbohydrates such as sugar, fructose, donuts, cakes, pies, cookies, etc. These simple steps are part of a natural PMS remedy.
Reduce caffeine intake, switch to non-caffeinated herbal teas
Exercise frequently, or at least a half hour walk a day.
Vitamin D and Calcium -- Among thousands of 27- to 44-year-old women involved in the ongoing Nurses' Health Study II, those who consumed the most vitamin D and calcium -rich foods had the lowest risk of PMS. Calcium reduces cramping and moodiness -- some patients with PMS have difficulty balancing calcium levels.
Chaste Berry has been shown to improve mood while reducing anger, headache, and breast fullness. Chasteberry is thought to work through balancing prolactin levels.
Consider eating more cold water fish or take fish oil capsules, 3 to 5 in the morning before breakfast, or krill oil.
Take some B vitamins such as B12, B6 or pyridoxal-5-phosphate, once daily in the morning
SAM-e may help some women with PMS. SAM-e is a powerful mood lifter.
5-HTP stabilizes serotonin levels and can be used for PMS as needed. Sometimes it works very quickly, within hours. Since 5-HTP is quick acting, it is worth a try to see whether it reduces PMS symptoms.
St. johnís wort may improve mood, usually one capsule daily, in the morning, a week or two before periods
Magnesium (may help with headache, fluid retention and mood).
Vitamin E may be helpful
Saffron spice may influence serotonin levels and could be beneficial to women with PMS symptoms.
Try yoga, it helps with PMS symptoms, particularly with anxiety and mood reduction.

My daughter tried the extra calcium and B vitamins & said it helped her.

Another article that supports the calcium theory:

The Calcium Connection

Probably the strongest potential PMS helper is calcium. Several studies have suggested that PMS patients tend to have an altered calcium balance and are also at increased risk of osteoporosis. Other studies have linked adequate intakes of milk and calcium with reduced PMS symptoms.

Further, a Turkish study on PMS symptoms in adolescent girls found that higher milk consumption was associated with reduced bloating, cramps, and food cravings.

How much calcium is enough? Some suggest that we should shoot for 1,200 milligrams a day.

This is very doable with foods alone, as long as you like and tolerate dairy products.

And if you don't like dairy? Supplements may help, too.

In a Columbia University study, women with moderate to severe PMS who took two Tums E-X tablets twice a day (for a total of 1,200 milligrams of elemental calcium), showed a 48% reduction in PMS symptoms.