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What You Should Eat On Your Period

Chocolates might be a woman’s best friend when Aunt Flo comes for a visit, but they hardly constitute the ‘ideal period diet.’ To look and feel amazing all through the month, including those god-awful 5 days that seem to disrupt everything, you really have to listen to your body and act accordingly.

That doesn’t mean slinking onto the couch with a huge tub of your favorite ice cream! It means finding the healthier route to staying nourished, fit, and happy. And as it turns out, finding that way is not that difficult.

A new study has come up, which details how women should customize their diet and their workout routine according to their menses in order to lead healthier lives (1). Conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen, this study found that women who tried out their meal and exercise plans lost about 9 pounds (or 4 kilos) during the 6-month long trial period of the study.

If you too want similar results, you’ll have to follow a specific diet and exercise plan that caters to what your body needs during the different stages of the month, says Limor Baum, a dietician from New York City (2).

She explains that it’s okay if your body craves more food during certain times of the month as your metabolic rate increases, which causes an increased appetite. But she warns against reaching for junk and other sweet and salty delights to satiate your hunger as that can throw your fitness regime off balance.

Here’s what Baum recommends you eat and do during the different phases your body goes through each month!

Phase No. 1 – Menstruation (Day 1-5)

Phase No. 1 – Menstruation (Day 1-5)

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Although the days leading up to menstruation are fraught with a foul mood, pelvic pain, sore breasts, stress, and bloating, once your period starts a sense of relief washes over. That said, hormonal imbalances at this stage can make you feel exhausted.

Diet And Exercise Plan:

During this stage, your appetite levels will go down. So, do what your body says and eat smaller portions of food. However, make sure what you eat helps in replenishing lost nutrients, particularly iron.

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with strawberries, yogurt, and sesame seeds.
  • Lunch: Salad made with chickpeas, spinach, sesame seeds, red peppers, and apricots.
  • Snack: Dry fruits such as prunes in yogurt.
  • Dinner: Brown rice with chicken and spinach.

As for exercising, the study discourages working out at this stage, stating you should take a break. If you want to work out though, yoga and light walks are enough.

Phase No. 2 – Follicular (Day 5-13)

Phase No. 2 – Follicular (Day 5-13)

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Post-period is a feel-good stage for all women. Known as the ‘follicular phase,’ in this stage a woman’s follicles prepare the eggs in the ovary for release. Women feel really attractive and strong at this stage (3).

Diet And Exercise Plan:

Your appetite will increase due to the high energy levels you experience at this phase. Here’s what you should eat during this stage to nourish your body and make it exercise-ready:

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs.
  • Lunch: Tacos made with corn flour along with a filling of tomatoes, beef, onion, radish, lime, and coriander.
  • Snack: Seeds and nuts.
  • Dinner: Lamb with tomato, mint, and whole grain couscous salad.

Intense workouts are great for this phase. You could try kick boxing or interval training.

Ovulation (Day 14)

Ovulation (Day 14)

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Though not a separate phase, you need to follow different rules for this day that can take place anywhere between the 12th and 16th day of your cycle. Your libido will be at its best in this phase and you will feel very active.

Diet And Exercise Plan:

Since your energy level will be at its peak, you have to eat well. Zinc should be a part of your diet at this stage as it helps in cell division, keeping your natural fertility cycle in order (even if you don’t want to get pregnant).

  • Breakfast: Toast with avocados or sliced bananas.
  • Lunch: Falafel salad made with hummus, hot pepper, lettuce, and tahini.
  • Snack: Ricotta cheese with fresh figs.
  • Dinner: Potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes with salmon.

Pushing yourself to your limit and beyond is a good idea. So, work out really hard in this phase.

Phase No. 3 – Luteal (Day 15-28)

Phase No. 3 – Luteal (Day 15-28)

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The longest phase and also the hardest one, at this stage your uterus starts preparing itself for pregnancy (whether you try or not). Your uterus lining thickens and your testosterone and estrogen levels decrease (4). PMS and all its related symptoms also take place during this stage.

Diet And Exercise Plan:

During the first 2 days of this phase, your appetite will skyrocket, which is only normal as your metabolism increases. You can eat carbs at this time, but make sure they are the good kind. Also, eat foods that help deal with the PMS.

  • Breakfast: Whole grain toast with peanut butter and jelly.
  • Lunch: Salad made with sweet potatoes, lentils, tahini, and walnuts.
  • Snack: Agave or honey-glazed bananas or seeds and nuts.
  • Dinner: Thai green curry with coconut milk, mango chutney, and brown rice.

Don’t overexert yourself during this stage. Keep your workout regime light, focusing on activities such as yoga or light swimming.

For optimal results, try sticking to this diet to the best you can. However, before starting, be sure to consult with your doctor.

The post What You Should Eat On Your Period appeared first on STYLECRAZE.


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