Your PMS symptoms can be reduced or even eliminated altogether by making some changes to your lifestyle. I’ve chosen write about this for week 1 as it is the most simple step (although it can be challenging to adhere to).
Eat a Balanced, Healthy Diet
The easiest way to make and track changes in your diet is to keep a food diary, and make yourself accountable to someone else (preferably not your partner – it can cause arguments if it’s someone you’re too close to). In order to notice a considerable reduction in your PMS symptoms, you need to stick to these changes for at least 3 cycles (3 months). This might sound like a big commitment, but it will go faster than you think and in 3 months time you’ll be glad that you stuck to it. Don’t rely on willpower – it’s overrated. Instead, put in some time to plan each week. Write up a meal plan and buy all the ingredients in advance, and ensure you have lots of healthy snacks in the house – that way, when the sugar cravings hit, you can reach for a handful of blueberries with a splodge of yoghurt instead of having a bar of chocolate. And, needless to say, it’s much more difficult to eat that bar of chocolate if you don’t stock it in your pantry in the first place. Keep some good quality dark chocolate around to satisfy the cocoa cravings.
Dietary Guidelines for PMS
- Consume whole foods – include plenty of fresh organic vegetables, free-range organic meats and healthy fats such as coconut oil, pastured butter and olive oil. Reduce processed foods and refined sugars, such as biscuits, cakes, sugary cereals, refined pasta and bread.
- Include antioxidants – green tea, dark-skinned berries etc.
- Eliminate caffeine – yup, that’s coffee and tea out the window. Try replacing them with fresh ginger tea for an anti-inflammatory boost
- Eliminate alcohol – yes, really. If you can’t eliminate it altogether for 3 months, then reduce it to 1-2 units/week at most. If you can’t reduce it down to that level, I’d suggest going to see your GP for support.
- Eat little and often to balance cravings
- Avoid smoking – smoking could double your risk of developing PMS. Visit your GP to find out how they can help you to quit.
Exercise & PMS
- Aerobic exercise for 30 mins 3-4 times per week may be beneficial. Commit to doing some form of exercise 3-4 times per week, such as going for a brisk walk, cycling, going to the gym, dancing, rock climbing, or running.
- If possible, get someone to buddy up with you so that you’re accountable for your exercising. It’s much easier to go for a walk or bike ride with a friend who’s going to pitch up and make sure you leave the house than relying on will power alone.
Here are a few of my favourite products that I eat/use to help me when I’m making lifestyle changes (affiliate links):
For the chocolate cravings: Green and Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate (85% Cocoa, 5 x 100 g)
Healthy coconut oil: Tiana Fairtrade Organic Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil 500 ml
The best protein bars on the planet: Quest Nutrition Bar 12 Flavor Variety Pack
Delicious green tea: Teapigs Mao Feng Green Tea 125 g (Pack of 1, Total 50 Tea Bags)
My go-to recipe book for healthy, filling whole-food meals. My copy is covered in fingerprints and smudges from extensive use: The Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Cookbook: Over 100 delicious recipes for effortless weight loss and vibrant health
Let me know how you get on in the comments below 🙂