Reply To: cravings and hormones

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Great question, Alessandra, as this is a very common issue for a lot of women.

It’s true that there are physiological changes in the body for all kinds of reasons, but I’m not sure this necessarily means the addictive desire is coming from anything other than a cue – the cue being the physiological change. This can certainly be unconscious. You may be unaware it’s that time of the month again, but here you are wanting more sugar and/or eating more sugar and you conclude, as many do, that your body “needs carbs”.

There’s no doubt this happens to many women, but I’ve not come across research that explains any physical need for extra sugar or carbs at any point in the menstrual cycle, or during times of stress.

I have read that there are other cultures – both past and present – where women don’t crave carbs at these times of the month. That suggests this is learned behaviour: a conditioned association, rather than a basic human need. The bad news is you may only need to do it once or twice to create the ringing bell. The good news is it can be unlearned by Working Through Desire.

Just the same as any emotional state, feeling stressed can also be a cue for desire. The additional problem is the denial of free choice, which is a stressful state itself, plus the stress of your life/work/kids, etc. Pay special attention to the “pause and breathe” beginning to Working Through Desire, and of course any other coping strategies for stress you may have.