In this Broadcast, Donna Reish, blogger, author of 100 curriculum books for preschool through twelfth graders, seeker of health and fitness, and Intermittent Fasting teacher, talks about PMS cravings and mood issues and how to handle them with Intermittent Fasting and eating. Donna reassures listeners that the real YOU is during your non-PMS days. The hormone imbalances, cravings, moodiness, and lack of focus during PMS is not the real you. Believing this and understanding it makes us look more objectively at the PMS days as opposed to feeling bad about ourselves because we couldn’t measure up during those days. Donna begins with what PMS is—and how the lowering of serotonin might be causing us to want more carbs. She describes how many women lose weight the other two weeks of the month but undo that weight loss and gain even more than they lost during the other two weeks of the month. This keeps many women in a perpetual cycle of weight gain, or at the very least weight maintenance at their higher weight (as opposed to a net loss). Next, Donna describes the importance of doing our best, digging deep, getting as many things right as we can during our NON-PMS times. (Get Donna’s IF Start Up Charts!) As we get our food, fast, exercise, and other healthy habits down pat during the “good” days, we will have a greater chance of those habits carrying over into the PMS days. Donna then spends a good portion of the broadcast helping listeners find some PMS-solving snacks and treats that will not undo all of their hard work the rest of the month. She talks about starting with fruit and then moving to less seductive, lower fat treats that aren’t so calorie dense that they wreck your weight loss efforts over all. (Check out Donna’s freebie, Sugar-Free Solutions, at the blog for more “better” snacks during PMS.) This week’s broadcast is sponsored by Plexus supplements. Specifically, Donna taught about Plexus’ magnesium supplement, BioCleanse. It has amazing bio-available magnesium, vitamins, and other healthy ingredients to keep you regular, give you energy, help you sleep, reduce axiety, and lessen your pain and inflammation. Try your free sample of the pink drink (Plexus Slim) today:  Note: Upcoming webinars this week and next!!! 

A. What Is It and Does It Happen to Others?


1. Throughout my diet history, I had two downfalls…

a. One: Weekends
b. Two: Monthly cravings and weight gain

2. What Causes it?

a. Serotinin levels are lower during PMS

i. Feel good chemical in the brain
ii. Body uses carbs to make serotonin (this is why people are often grouchy if they go too low in carbs)
iii. Thus, we crave sugar and starches and snacky foods in order to increase low serotonin levels

b. Hormone imbalances as body does many tasks in general cause body to be out of whack—estrogen levels are high mid-cycle, which cause us to seek more “feel good” foods and activities
c. Chocolate cravings could be a craving for caffeine
d. Sugar cravings could be a deficiency in magnesium (see today’s sponsor, BioCleanse) or chromium (check out my Plexus Slim info)—two nutrients we are often deficient in that are needed in order to take sugar to cells…so we don’t get the “sugar” we are eating and need more and more to satisfy. This could happen during PMS or any time that we are deficient.

3. Different start and stop times

a. PMS
b. PMS after menopause?
c. Two full weeks of uncontrolled misery?

4. Surprise—I wasn’t the only one!


B. General Steps to Counteract It

1. Don’t start fasting or working out or changing your eating protocol during this time—watch your calendar
2. Watch calendar closely for the worst days, the okay days, and the recovery days—these will be important to your food, motivation, mood, and more
3. Don’t throw in the towel and call them “cheat days”

a. Cheat days during cycle issues become cheat weeks
b. You will undo all you have worked so hard for
c. Cheat days are shown in research to consume twice as many calories as non cheat days

i. 2,000 calories maintenance
ii. 4,000 calories cheat day is maintenance for two days
iii. You can’t make a calorie deficit with cheat days

4. When your motivation and control are high, make superb fasting, eating, and movement decisions

a. Don’t wane when you are not being affected by your cycle
b. This is the REAL you!

i. This is one of the most important aspects of PMS that we often overlook, especially if PMS is truly half the month for us.
ii. The real YOU is the non-PMS person. Remember this!!!!

c. Be what you want to be when an outside force is not controlling you

5. Make fasting as much of a habit as possible when doing well

a. Many people can still fast pretty well during their bad cycle days if they have the fasting as second nature during the other times
b. It’s often not the fasting that is that affected as much as it is the food choices and amounts—these can be triggered by the hormone imbalances during key times of the cycle.
c. Do NOT throw in the towel on your fasting…adjust, adjust, adjust!

6. Key to helping it (next section) is going to be getting ready for it and knowing when and how you will be affected!


C. Misc Ideas—Try Some of These!


1. Keep your fasting and eating windows intact as much as possible—sometimes just knowing what you can have when your eating window opens is enough to get you through the fast
2. Use your regular fasting tools that I teach at the blog and in the course—pink Himalayan salt, mineral water, sparkling water, coffee, tea, caffeine, self talk, 5 Second rule, time blocking, etc.
3. Don’t keep the worst offenders in your house. (“When you say no at the grocery, you only have to say no once!”) One of the best ways in general to break really strong food habits is to create barriers….there’s no barrier if the food is in the freezer or in your secret stash drawer!
4. Don’t start new things during this time—such as new exercise regiment or new food protocols, etc.
5. Take advantage of the good days—establish good fasting habits, start exercising more, etc
6. Use same techniques as cortisol lowering (See Broadcast #42)

i. Meditation
ii. Yoga
iii. Deep breathing
iv. Instrumental music
v. Sunlight
vi. Nature
vii. Walking
viii. Things you love that are not food related
ix. Journaling
x. Gratitude journal or list
xi. Prayer
xii. Reading

7. Plan/prepare ahead of time with your strategies and foods and empty junk food cupboards!


D. Food Ideas—Try These Things During the Cycle!


1. If you have been controlled by your monthly cycle, simply telling you to eat less sugar during that time will not work!

a. So plan for it….
b. Think: If I have to have processed foods right now (i.e. sugar or savory), what is the best worst thing I can have????

i. Sweets that do not have Trifacta—not all three …flour, sugar, fat
ii. Savory that isn’t so fatty (chicken quesadilla over four meat pizza; baked chips and salsa over chips and queso)

c. Make a list of lower fat, lower calorie, lower sugar foods that you think would still satisfy those monster cravings (Think the old Weight Watchers days… is not the time to say “low fat foods are bad!”)

i. I use many of my sugar-free treats at the blog
ii. Use non-addictive treats during this time as the addictive properties will only be enhanced and more desired
iii. Examples of treats that are lower in calories and fat so that even if you overeat on them during your cycle, it won’t result in weight gain as easily (Note: I am only recommending this as an alternative to eating a quart of Chunky Monkey or a family sized bag of M and M’s…..I really think real foods as much as possible is the way to go!)

2. Fruit with sugar-free jello or puddings (healthy ones with stevia or erythritol are available on Amazon if you don’t want Splenda or NutraSweet!)

a. Any time you do fruit over calorie dense sweets, you are increasing fiber, stomach distensability is being utilized, water from fruits takes up stomach space, etc.
b. Fruit with sugar-free dips, puddings, jello, etc. could help with the sugar desire while meeting above benchmarks

3. Sweets that are less addictive to you normally

a. Make low sugar, low fat muffins and treats for freezer during this time
b. I use my sugar-free Cream Cheese Whip/Dessert Base made with lower fat cream cheese and TruWhip whipped topping with crispy, lower fat sweets

i. Vanilla wafers or graham crackers
ii. Fruit (I sometimes use sugar-free pie filling with it)
iii. Peanut butter powder made into peanut butter mixed with the cream cheese base tastes like peanut butter pie!
iv. Sugar-free candy bars crushed or sugar-free chocolate chips crushed and mixed into the dessert base is a lower sugar, protein-y sweet snack

4. “Make your own” less sugary treats

i. Graham crackers with homemade or sugar free frosting
ii. Vanilla wafers with melted sugar free chocolate (or chocolate and peanut butter together made with peanut flour or PB2)
iii. Make your cycle sweet treats as low, as unseductive, and as less sugary as possible (since the sugar will just trigger more sugar cravings….)
iv. Low sugar/sugar free jelly toast or jelly bread (I love Aldi’s sprouted bread, Knock Your Socks Off!”)
v. PB and J—lower fat Pb, lower sugar jam or jelly and healthier bread

3. Do the same with savory treats

a. Ask yourself what will ward off these feelings and cravings with the least amount of damage calorie and craving wise?
b. Think lesser fat savory –total caloric intake DOES matter for everyone

i. While “diet foods” might not calm the raging cravings, it doesn’t mean we have to choose the worst offenders in processed foods!
ii. If you love pretzels or Cheezits, you will do a lot less damage calorie wise with these than with chips and dips etc. (and part of what you are after right now is NOT gaining during your cycle and undoing whatever good you just did for your weight management!)

4. Other food tips during this time

a. Make lists!

i. List on phone of lower seductive/calorie sweets for this time
ii. List on phone of lower seductive/calorie savory for this time

b. Purchase these ahead of time
c. Try to go with something off this list before going off the rails entirely!
d. If nuts or beef jerky or string cheese or apples or watermelon or healthy yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit—or anything real will suffice, do that first!!!


E. Plexus BioCleanse


Today’s Sponsor: 

1. General

a. Magnesium ions draw water into the intestine helping to remove unnecessary or harmful substances
b. Up to 50% of people are deficient in magnesium and will reveal it in the form of vitamin D deficiency (since mag is needed to process Vit D), cramps, inflammation, allergies, constipation, low energy levels, unhealthy gut issues, and much more.
c. In a 2016 review of 40 studies involving a total of more than 1 million people, Wang and his colleagues found that every 100 mg increase in magnesium from food reduced the risk of heart failure by 22 percent, Type 2 diabetes by 19 percent and stroke by 7 percent.

2. Ingredients (non-caloric/non-flavored)

a. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
b. Magnesium (magnesium hydroxide)
c. Sodium (sodium biocabonate)
d. Bioflavanoid Complex–orange peel, lemon peel, quince
e. Vegetarian capsule and rice flour

3. Dose

a. First part of day 1-2 capsules
b. Later in day (or bedtime) 1-2 capsules

4. Benefits

a. Helps cleanse gastrointestinal tract (naturally, daily—not a big gush cleanse;
daily bowel movements {or twice daily})
b. Reduces gas, bloating, and discomfort
c. Helps promote regularity
d. Helps remove harmful microbes and substances
e. Relieves occasional constipation
f. Oxygenizes the blood
g. Reduces inflammation and pain

5. More About Plexus!

a. To visit our store click here:

b. To try a free sample of Plexus Slim Hunger Control (pink drink) click here:

c. MetaBurn Info Sheet:

d. MetaBurn Video:

e. Helpful MetaBurn video showing how it reduces stress and cortisol levels:

f. Plexus Magnesium Supplement—BioCleanse:

Sign up for webinar next week! 









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