You’re Not Going to Like What Experts Say to Avoid When It Comes to PMS

You just ate lunch| but 30 minutes later| you can’t stop thinking about chocolate| so you eat it. Then 10 minutes after that| you want something salty and crunchy| so you down a few handfuls of pretzels. Then 10 minutes later| ice cream seems like the best idea you’ve ever had. What gives? Then you realize you’re due for your period next week. Damn those PMS cravings!

You can thank your hormones| specifically cortisol and serotonin. Nutritionists Stephanie Clarke| RD| and Willow Jarosh| RD| of C&J Nutrition explain the “stress hormone cortisol tends to spike right before your period and the calm-inducing hormone serotonin tends to dip. This combo causes cravings for sweets and carbs as well as fatty foods.” Here’s how to make sure your PMS cravings don’t sabotage your goals.

Skip These

Willow and Stephanie recommend choosing the least-processed carbs you can to keep blood sugar levels steady. That means skipping crackers and chips and choosing cooked whole grains and starchy veggies such as potatoes| sweet potatoes| corn| beans| lentils| peas| and Winter squash. Bake up some sweet potato fries| satisfy your salty-sweet cravings with these honey-roasted cinnamon chickpeas| or snack on crunchy and salted roasted edamame.

Eat This For Breakfast

Eating at least 20 grams of protein at the first meal of the day can also help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling more satisfied. Plain Greek yogurt with nuts and fruit| eggs with half a cup of sautéed potatoes and eight ounces of soy milk| or a vanilla milkshake protein smoothie are great high-protein options.

Hunger Is Your Enemy

Since your willpower is already waning and strong carb cravings can get even stronger if you’re overly hungry| avoid feeling anything close to famished so your crazy cravings don’t cause you to mindlessly pig out. Aim to eat a snack or meal at least every three hours to keep hunger at bay.

Two Cents About Caffeine and Alcohol

Consuming too much caffeine can make you feel more irritable and stressed out| but cutting out your usual daily cup can leave you even more on edge. So while Willow and Stephanie don’t recommend cutting out caffeine entirely| they do recommend having a smaller cup of joe. And definitely cut out the afternoon cup| since caffeine can disrupt your sleep| which adds to the grumpiness and low energy that make you want to reach for sugary pick-me-ups. Alcohol can have the same effects on sleep and can also make you feel down and decrease your inhibiitions and your ability to say no to overindulging. Skipping those evening glasses of wine the week before Aunt Flo arrives might seem like the absolute worst idea ever| but try it this month to see if it helps curb cravings.

How to Beat Bloat

PMS bloat can make you feel less like exercising and can also be a culprit in “I’ve already gained weight so it doesn’t matter what I eat” thinking. But exercise is just what you need to help boost your mood and reduce PMS symptoms| so try to keep up with your regular workouts. If cramps make that impossible| try gentler exercise such as long walks| swimming| or yoga. In addition| Stephanie and Willow suggest skipping the sugary| carby| and fatty foods that can cause bloating and to take a probiotic to help keep your body’s natural good bacteria in balance| which can also help to reduce that puffy feeling.

WTH| Just Give In!

You can also say| “F*ck it| it’s only one week|” and give in to your cravings. But there are lower-calorie ways to satisfy your needs so you can keep your mood happy without gaining weight this time every month. For ice cream cravings| make this dairy-free cherry chocolate chip ice cream. If ooey-gooey pizza’s on the brain| make this low-carb version with a cauliflower crust. In the mood for a candy bar? Skip the Snickers and make these chocolate-covered caramels containing dates and sunflower seeds. Then once the cravings subside| you can go back to eating clean and healthy.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO

You’re Not Going to Like What Experts Say to Avoid When It Comes to PMS

You just ate lunch, but 30 minutes later, you can’t stop thinking about chocolate, so you eat it. Then 10 minutes after that, you want something salty and crunchy, so you down a few handfuls of pretzels. Then 10 minutes later, ice cream seems like the best idea you’ve ever had. What gives? Then you realize you’re due for your period next week. Damn those PMS cravings!

You can thank your hormones, specifically cortisol and serotonin. Nutritionists Stephanie Clarke, RD, and Willow Jarosh, RD, of C&J Nutrition explain the “stress hormone cortisol tends to spike right before your period and the calm-inducing hormone serotonin tends to dip. This combo causes cravings for sweets and carbs as well as fatty foods.” Here’s how to make sure your PMS cravings don’t sabotage your goals.

Skip These

Willow and Stephanie recommend choosing the least-processed carbs you can to keep blood sugar levels steady. That means skipping crackers and chips and choosing cooked whole grains and starchy veggies such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, beans, lentils, peas, and Winter squash. Bake up some sweet potato fries, satisfy your salty-sweet cravings with these honey-roasted cinnamon chickpeas, or snack on crunchy and salted roasted edamame.

Eat This For Breakfast

Eating at least 20 grams of protein at the first meal of the day can also help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling more satisfied. Plain Greek yogurt with nuts and fruit, eggs with half a cup of saut¨¦ed potatoes and eight ounces of soy milk, or a vanilla milkshake protein smoothie are great high-protein options.

Hunger Is Your Enemy

Since your willpower is already waning and strong carb cravings can get even stronger if you’re overly hungry, avoid feeling anything close to famished so your crazy cravings don’t cause you to mindlessly pig out. Aim to eat a snack or meal at least every three hours to keep hunger at bay.

Two Cents About Caffeine and Alcohol

Consuming too much caffeine can make you feel more irritable and stressed out, but cutting out your usual daily cup can leave you even more on edge. So while Willow and Stephanie don’t recommend cutting out caffeine entirely, they do recommend having a smaller cup of joe. And definitely cut out the afternoon cup, since caffeine can disrupt your sleep, which adds to the grumpiness and low energy that make you want to reach for sugary pick-me-ups. Alcohol can have the same effects on sleep and can also make you feel down and decrease your inhibitions and your ability to say no to overindulging. Skipping those evening glasses of wine the week before Aunt Flo arrives might seem like the absolute worst idea ever, but try it this month to see if it helps curb cravings.

How to Beat Bloat

PMS bloat can make you feel less like exercising and can also be a culprit in “I’ve already gained weight so it doesn’t matter what I eat” thinking. But exercise is just what you need to help boost your mood and reduce PMS symptoms, so try to keep up with your regular workouts. If cramps make that impossible, try gentler exercise such as long walks, swimming, or yoga. In addition, Stephanie and Willow suggest skipping the sugary, carby, and fatty foods that can cause bloating and to take a probiotic to help keep your body’s natural good bacteria in balance, which can also help to reduce that puffy feeling.

WTH, Just Give In!

You can also say, “F*ck it, it’s only one week,” and give in to your cravings. But there are lower-calorie ways to satisfy your needs so you can keep your mood happy without gaining weight this time every month. For ice cream cravings, make this dairy-free cherry chocolate chip ice cream. If ooey-gooey pizza’s on the brain, make this low-carb version with a cauliflower crust. In the mood for a candy bar? Skip the Snickers and make these chocolate-covered caramels containing dates and sunflower seeds. Then once the cravings subside, you can go back to eating clean and healthy.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO

If You Want to Lose Weight, You Should Be Eating More of This

One of the best ways to see weight-loss success? Loading up your plate with protein. In fact| many trainers and nutritionists recommend at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast| which should be within 30 minutes of waking for the best weight-loss success. But not all protein is created equal; when searching for the best way to fuel up| you should always opt for the lean protein options. But what exactly qualifies as a lean protein?

According to the USDA| lean meats contain less than 10 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat| as well as less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol| per 3.5-ounce serving. In general| beef cuts like roasts| top loin| top sirloin| and shoulder are the leanest cuts of beef| while cuts like pork loin| tenderloin| center loin| and ham are the leanest cuts of pork. When it comes to choosing poultry| opt for skinless breast meat or turkey cutlets for less-fatty options like thigh meat. For more on how to choose a lean cut of meat| read this list on the leanest cuts of red meat like bison| lamb| and veal.

Many types of seafood are also considered lean even though their fat content may be high. That’s because seafood is a great source of unsaturated fats| the “healthy fats” that help keep your heart and brain healthy and fight belly fat as well. When choosing seafood| look for sustainable choices that are high in omega-3 fatty acids| like salmon| trout| or herring.

Lean protein isn’t just about choosing the right cut of meat| however. There are plenty of vegetarian sources that make a prime protein source| like beans| quinoa| tofu| and unsalted nuts. In fact| switching out your meat routine just once a week may help you be healthier by reducing your risk of diseases like cancer. Don’t always equate protein with meat; there are many other foods that are sky-high in protein. Use this list of high-protein meats| dairy products| and plant-based foods to help you decide which protein is right for you; be sure to pay attention to the fat content as well.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry

If You Want to Lose Weight, You Should Be Eating More of This

One of the best ways to see weight-loss success? Loading up your plate with protein. In fact, many trainers and nutritionists recommend at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast, which should be within 30 minutes of waking for the best weight-loss success. But not all protein is created equal; when searching for the best way to fuel up, you should always opt for the lean protein options. But what exactly qualifies as a lean protein?

According to the USDA, lean meats contain less than 10 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat, as well as less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol, per 3.5-ounce serving. In general, beef cuts like roasts, top loin, top sirloin, and shoulder are the leanest cuts of beef, while cuts like pork loin, tenderloin, center loin, and ham are the leanest cuts of pork. When it comes to choosing poultry, opt for skinless breast meat or turkey cutlets for less-fatty options like thigh meat. For more on how to choose a lean cut of meat, read this list on the leanest cuts of red meat like bison, lamb, and veal.

Many types of seafood are also considered lean even though their fat content may be high. That’s because seafood is a great source of unsaturated fats, the “healthy fats” that help keep your heart and brain healthy and fight belly fat as well. When choosing seafood, look for sustainable choices that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, trout, or herring.

Lean protein isn’t just about choosing the right cut of meat, however. There are plenty of vegetarian sources that make a prime protein source, like beans, quinoa, tofu, and unsalted nuts. In fact, switching out your meat routine just once a week may help you be healthier by reducing your risk of diseases like cancer. Don’t always equate protein with meat; there are many other foods that are sky-high in protein. Use this list of high-protein meats, dairy products, and plant-based foods to help you decide which protein is right for you; be sure to pay attention to the fat content as well.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry

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