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How to Deal With PMS Symptoms

A Reader Asks: How Do You Tame the PMS Monster?

FitSugar reader WarmnessOnTheSoul needs your help: her PMS is making it even harder to stay on her new diet and exercise plan. She posted her question in our Weight Loss Support group.

OK ladies, I need some support/advice. I've been on a diet program for about a week, eating healthy, exercising every day, feeling great — until Mother Nature decided to attack! I've been completely sluggish, extremely achy all over (car-accident-day-after achy), waking up with a good amount of energy just to barely keep my eyes open three hours later — and I'm hungry!

I can't take Midol and I go through ibuprofen like candy. I know I am on the extreme end of PMS symptoms (I've been told this by a doctor) but for insurance reasons (lack thereof) I just deal with it. I'm writing to ask if any of you have experienced the same thing, and if so, how do you reduce cravings/pain, and find the energy to keep exercising? Thanks!


PMS can certainly be a bummer, especially when you're working so hard to be healthy. Read on for our advice (and share your own!) after the break.

Thanks for the question, WarmnessOnTheSoul! We can likely all relate; PMS symptoms can really derail your healthy lifestyle. Who wants to exercise when you're feeling bloated, fatigued, and just want to curl up with a piece of cake? But just like always, listening to your body to see what you need can help you power through that dreaded week.

When you are PMSing, you may be craving certain foods. First try to combat those cravings by eating other things that address your cravings without giving into them. Eat healthier foods in order to diminish cravings for certain ingredients. If you're always finding yourself craving sugar, for example, make certain changes in your diet — like eating more whole grains and fruits, and substituting refined sugar with different types of natural sweeteners to calm cravings. Check out a handy chart of what you should be eating to combat cravings here.

You can also try incorporating a few different foods into your diet that will help diminish the symptoms of PMS. Dairy, fish, pineapple, and more all affect your bodies in different ways — check out why you should be eating certain foods here (including ones that can help reduce breast tenderness, bloating, and cramps). And try these tips for naturally balancing out your hormones to reduce PMS symptoms.

Having the energy to keep up an exercise routine when your body is saying no is just another hurdle we have to go through when PMSing. Hopefully, making these diet changes above will help reduce your fatigue and keep you energized enough to get through the day, including through your workouts. And if you force yourself to exercise you may also find that you end up with more energy in the long run. But if you're still struggling, don't beat yourself up if you miss a day or two or give into cravings. (A little dark chocolate can go a long way!) Remind yourself that you can make healthy choices next time, and that it's important to give your body the rest it needs.

I hope this helps! Readers, have any more advice for WarmnessOntheSoul? Share yours below!

Trying to lose weight? Join our Weight Loss Support group in the Fit Community — you can ask questions, offer advice, and help yourself and others stay on track.

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Join The Conversation
tootsiekins tootsiekins 6 years
I had to change my whole eating habits an followed to the letter the plan int he book PMT-Reversing the curse. Good news for me is that my skin is clear for the first time since puberty, I have so much energy, my thinking is clear and all those horrible pms symptoms have gone! Get it from
testadura67 testadura67 6 years
I have a little bowl of ghiradelli squares on my desk for this exact reason :) One little square is enough to keep me from caving and buy a pint of Ben & Jerry's. I've also been on the bad side of the spectrum before, but birth control helped a lot. I know you don't have health insurance, but it may be worth it to see if your local Health Dept has a program for free or discount birth control. Also one thing I found helped a lot was staying extra hydrated. It helps with the cramps and headache, and also if your belly's full of water, you may not feel as hungry. Good luck, hope you find something that helps.
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