When you’re wondering how to stop PMS cravings, the best place to start is to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients. Once that’s settled, and a multi-vitamin designed for women usually helps, here are a few more ideas on how to say no to premestrual cravings.

From your eating habits to choosing the right snacks that give you the maximum satisfaction with the least amount of calories, here’s what to do when you’re struggling with cravings before your period.

1. Increase the Number of Daily Meals

Sticking to three meals a day and the occasional snack is not the way to go when you want to discover how to stop PMS cravings. Instead, try eating up to six smaller meals throughout the day. 

If you eat something every three hours, you’re already helping your metabolism burn more fat, but this habit can also help keep hunger pangs and cravings at bay.

2. Fight the Magnesium Deficiency

Sometimes chocolate cravings aren’t just connected to how delicious it is, but they’re your body’s way to tell you that you’re struggling with a magnesium deficiency. You’re a lot more likely to overeat when you’re lacking this important mineral. You can either take a supplement or eat more of the best dietary sources, including dark chocolate (over 75% cocoa), beans, nuts, seeds, and brown rice.

3. Load Up on Tryptophan

Most cravings are associated with lower levels of serotonin. While tryptophan rich foods, from chocolate and eggs to fish and oats are generally good for you, they don’t provide the answer to the question of how to stop PMS cravings. Instead, try taking a tryptophan supplement, or 5-HTP, which is another precursor to serotonin.

Pms Craving Sweets

4. Get the Right Carbs

If you’re not willing to mess with your serotonin levels using over the counter supplements, then the most natural way to curb your cravings is to eat complex carbs. Don’t choose foods that are also high in protein or fat. Graham crackers, low-fat granola bars, pretzels, low-fat cookies, and rice or soy crackers are a great way to get the carbs you need without the extra calories.

See also: Solid Reasons to Cut Back on Sugar

5. Stabilize Your Blood Sugar with Essential Fatty Acids

If you’re not getting enough essential fatty acids, like Omega-3 and Omega-6, you might also struggle with cravings. Canola oil, flax oil and salmon are excellent sources for the fatty acids which help stabilize blood sugar, which means less cravings. Nuts are also a good source, but make sure you choose leaner nuts when you’re trying to stop PMS cravings without too many extra calories.

6. Skip the Happy Hour

Alcohol doesn’t just mess with your impulse control when it comes to cravings, it has an even more direct way of making trouble. It will interfere with the way you metabolize carbs, making them less efficient when it comes to satisfying cravings, and it can also lower your vitamin B levels, which is the last thing you need when you’re struggling with PMS.

7. Reduce Your Fat Intake

Getting enough carbs to keep your serotonin levels up and fight cravings always works better with less fat, since the more fats you eat, the slower your digestion gets. Graham crackers with a square of dark chocolate can be just as effective in helping you stop PMS cravings as decadent chocolate brownies that are bursting with fat.

8. Limit Salty Foods

If you’re having a hard time limiting salty foods, when they’re your biggest craving, then the best thing you can do is choose the healthiest options. Choose salts that offer a variety of minerals, including Utah mineral bed sea salt or Celtic sea salt.

Pms Cravings Overeating

9. Stay Hydrated

Whether you’re eating plenty of salty foods or your cravings are for desserts, help yourself stop PMS cravings by staying well hydrated. You’ll also feel fuller after a glass of water, and you’ll prevent bloating.

10. Try Spirulina

Another excellent supplement for dealing with PMS cravings, spirulina provides you with plenty of iron, calcium and other minerals are linked to cravings when you’re dealing with a deficiency.

11. Exercise Regularly

The simplest answer to the question of how to stop PMS cravings, exercise releases endophins which counterbalance any low serotonin levels. Stay active to fight cravings before your period.