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Old 07-14-2006, 08:23 PM   #1
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One week a month, I go insane. I crave beef, pork and carbs. I don't even like chocolate the rest of the month, but during the week around my period (several days before and after) I feel like I'm starving and crave everything that is the worst for me (and worsens my fibromyalgia symptoms).

Anyone else have this problem - any suggestions for helping with the cravings and urge to binge? I've discussed it with my doctors, and they agree that a lot of women have hormonal eating issues, but no one has offered any suggestions for help in overcoming this.

It seems like since I've started exercising more, it's actually getting worse!
(Maybe because it's harder to distinguish between real and phantom hunger).
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Old 07-14-2006, 08:51 PM   #2
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Hmmmmm, I have an all the time bingeing problem, but it definitely worsens with the appearance of my period. I get an overwhelming craving for chocolate (like I would eat chocolate instead of drink water if I had that option if I was dehydrating in the desert . . . ).

For my chocolate craving, instead of the real stuff (and it takes literally 6 chocolate bars to satisfy the craving), I opt for two chocolate protein bars. It's 400 calories & 12 grams of fat instead of the 1300 and 70 grams of fat. And you get the added bonus of protein which helps knock out the craving. I can't fight the craving, so I give in, but I crumble, I don't cave. There's quite the distinction between the two. I can't offer any advice on how to NOT give in, because I find that to be an impossible feat (personally) or how to control them. But I have learned to wisely manage them.

But I have heard birth control helps with the hormonal fluctuations. I don't have any experience with them though, so I can't give a personal opinion.
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Old 07-14-2006, 09:17 PM   #3
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I've tried L Glutamine and all kinds of other crap I've read is supposed to help with cravings. They don't. Birth control sure doesn't help me. Wellbutrin doesn't help me even though I'd really hoped it would. The only thing that helps is to give in--a little bit. When I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, I would suck on a hershey kiss until it melts. Or have a sugar free chocolate popsicle--or six since they are only one point a piece.

Someday I'm going to find a way around the cravings.
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Old 07-14-2006, 10:16 PM   #4
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I'm on birth control, and while it helps with the severity of cramps, it doesn't seem to help much with the cravings, and compulsion to eat.

Part of my problem, I think, is that I don't pay attention to my cycle, and am blindsided by the hunger. I always get cramps a few days before my period, and the bc pills also tell me when to expect the period, but it's like I "forget" each month the challenge I'm going to be facing. So when the hunger hits, it feels like it's out of the blue, and by the time I realize the cause, I've gone so far off program I get discouraged, and lose control even further.

I'm going to try highlighting the days on my calendar, and try to be prepared ahead of time for them. Hopefully, by planning for them, I'll be a little stronger.

I told my husband that I almost wish I could be locked up during that week. I find it so hard to control my cravings during that week, and he is too willing to be a co-conspirator. He will make steaks or go on a burger run to appease the hungry beast. I realize that he is trying to keep me "happy" so I don't take out hormonal anger out on him, but while the binging "calms" me, it ultimately only makes things worse.

I've had a talk with him about it, and this month he was much better about it. He did tell me a couple times that he was willing to go get burgers or ice cream, if I "needed" him to, but he didn't, as he often does during this time of the month, just bring home burgers as a surprise peace offering (sacrifice to the hormonal goddess?)
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Old 07-15-2006, 01:54 AM   #5
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I hate when it is time for that one week to happen. My cravings go haywire. It is hard to stay focused then. I usually crave Oranges or Chocolate. When I crave the chocolate, I usually go snack on something that is a little salty that is allowed on my diet and that usually helps. However, to be honest... I would pretty much prefer to eat the chocolate!!!
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Old 07-15-2006, 04:39 AM   #6
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One thing I have found is that its important to plan your food during binge prone times. It's harder to binge if you are full of complex carbs, fruits, veggies etc. Make sure you eat at your calorier allowance maximum during your vulnerable times.

Then medicate! I have small, single portion, dark chocolate squares that I use during period time, to prevent me eating my body weight in chocolate. The chocolate protein bar is a fabulous idea, and I might start doing that instead!
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Old 07-15-2006, 09:40 AM   #7
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Mine has been worse also since I have changed my eating habits.
I keep Skinny Cow ice cream in the freezer at the TOM. Its really good, less calories and does the job for me.
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Old 07-15-2006, 09:52 AM   #8
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i seem to have the worst time when i am ovulating. i allow myself to eat a little extra then if i am truly hungry. sometimes i feel like i WILL NOT satisfied until i've had chocolate. i usually have diet hot cocoa, or put cocoa powder and splenda in my cottage cheese or oatmeal.

i can't keep ice cream and other sweets in the house bc i will overeat it. if i really want ice cream, i go to baskin robbins or dairy queen and get their SF chocolate ice cream (the bar at DQ is only 50 calories, and the soft serve at BR is DIVINE).

basically, i understand what is causing the cravings and try to be understanding with my body. i am thankful i have hormones that work properly now-- a few years ago my TOM was MIA due to extensive globe hopping.
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Old 07-16-2006, 01:42 PM   #9
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My problem isn't so much chocolate... it's breakfast cereals. I can't help it. Whenever I go on a hormonal binge, I reach for the corn flakes and Cheerios first. Usually I try to eat whole grain cereals so I don't feel quite so bad, but the calories still add up. When I feel like binging, I try binging on diet-friendly foods like low-cal popcorn, strawberries, or peanut butter sandwiches. Sure, a binge is still a binge, but I figure a peanut butter sandwich or two is better for me than a chocolate covered sundae or a Snickers bar.

What I hate the most is the mood swings. I already have a hard time dealing with anxiety/depression when I'm not menstrating, but during TOM it's 1000% worse. I hate the bloaty feeling, too, because I feel so fat. I hate it. I can't wait until this week is over so I can flush the water out. Unfortunately, I can't have my beloved Pamprin anymore due to needing other medications that forbid the use of diuretics Sigh.
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Old 07-16-2006, 02:01 PM   #10
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My husband and I only argue during "that week." He says he keeps better track of my cycle than I do, out of self-preservation (he rarely says this during "that week" for the same reson). It isn't that my husband is a saint the rest of the month, just that all the little things that might ordinarily be mildly annoying, suddenly become unbearable.

The mood swings are part of what makes the binging so difficult to control. I get so angry and upset that long-term consequences mean nothing to me. I know that the comfort foods I crave will make me feel better in the short term, and at the point that I feel I need them, I could care less about next week or next year, I'm just trying to get through the afternoon.

This month has been better (though far from perfect), because I am trying to find other ways to medicate than with food. Exercise, warm showers, and sleeping seem to help some. But this is so hard - I feel like I'm fighting tooth and nail, just to keep my mouth shut.
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Old 07-16-2006, 02:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods
My husband and I only argue during "that week." He says he keeps better track of my cycle than I do, out of self-preservation (he rarely says this during "that week" for the same reson).
oh that made me laugh! i WISH my husband would realize that my snappiness is just hormones!
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