You’ve got a lot to handle when your period arrives. The cramps, headaches, backaches, weird nausea and mood swings, all of which can make you feel upset. However, there is another problem along with your period: period weight! Do you weigh more on your period? Or have you ever noticed the changes in your body?
Do You Gain Weight on Your Period?
Yes! Women do gain weight during their periods. Women gain about 2-10 pounds during their menstrual cycle, and most of them also experience food craving which causes weight gain. Some women get unnoticeable weight gain of a pound or two but those who gain ten pounds of weight during their period face some terrible problems such as tight-fitting clothing and frustration. But don’t get depressed, this weight gain is short-lived and usually goes away right after the period is over.
Why Do You Weigh More on Your Period?
Water retention is the main cause of weight gain during your period. When you are on your period, your body stores extra water in the tissue, which is caused by hormonal changes associated with the period. A change in bowel movement is another reason for water retention, but most likely, a natural drop in progesterone during your period is the main cause.
Bloating is another symptom related with your period. It is caused by the increase of gas in the intestines. Being active during the period can help reduce the amount of gas in the intestines. Besides, constipation can also lead to bloating sensation during your period.
Weight gain during period is closely associated with food carvings during your period. Hormonal imbalance in the body causes food craving and overeating. Hormonal changes make direct influence on your metabolism, which will send your brain a wrong signal that your body lacks of glucose. This will make you feel hungrier than usual, and consume extra calories which lead to your weight gain. However, once the period is over, your increased craving for food will go back to normal.
Before your period starts, magnesium levels in the body go down obviously which leads to a decrease in insulin levels and sends your brain a wrong signal that the glucose levels are low. In turn, you will feel hunger and want to consume more sugars and of course, weight gain.
Lack of Exercise
Some of you face a hard time during your menstrual cycle, due to the painful cramps and weariness. You might avoid any activity and just want to lie in bed. But this inactivity can lead to weight gain especially when you’re eating more than usual during these days.
What Can You Do to Reduce Weight Gain in Period?
Eat Right to Keep a Balanced Diet
Eat a healthy diet that includes lean proteins, vegetables, Omega 3 fatty acids, fruits, unsalted nuts and complex carbohydrates to reduce your food carvings and stabilize your usual food intake. Make sure that you eat plenty of fiber, which can help your digestion and move the food through the intestines. Add foods with high potassium in to your diet, such as bananas, can help reduce bloating.
Sodium Balance During Period
The high intake of sodium before and during your menstrual cycle can cause water retention, and that can result in weight gain. Try to avoid food that contains too much sodium, such as, salt, soy sauce, canned vegetables, and soups.
Drink Plenty of Water
We have said that water retention is one of the prime reasons of weight gain, but remember, water can never be unfriendly to your body. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated during the period and this will help flush out some impurities in the body, such as salt, that could cause weight gain. Try to refrain yourself from drinking any fluids that are high in sugar.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
It is suggested to limit the consumption of alcohol and caffeine before and during the period, because it can slow your metabolism and increase emotional eating.
Many vitamins, minerals, and herbs are effective home remedies for PMS symptoms including weight gain. Here are some suggestions for you, but before taking any supplements, you must consult your doctor to avoid any allergic reactions you could happen to have with any herbs.
Here are some suggested dietary supplements:
Calcium: It can prevent water retention. Taking a calcium supplement can ease your food carvings and prevent bloating.
Magnesium: As mentioned above, decreased magnesium can bring you many troubles. Besides of consuming black beans, pumpkin seeds to increase magnesium levels, you can also take magnesium supplement after discussing with your doctor.
Chromium: It is effective to stabilize blood sugar level and helps to reduce your carvings for sugars and carbohydrates.
Vitamin B6: It can help reduce estrogen levels in the body and increase progesterone levels. Taking 100-200 mg of vitamin B6 per day can be helpful to your PMS symptoms including weight gain.
Have you ever thought of exercising during your period? Maybe you haven’t. Some common PMS symptoms make it difficult for you to involve in any activity. But if you are troubled by the question “do you weigh more on your period?” you might opt for an exercise. Many exercises can help you burn calories and get rid of the excess water in the body during your period.
If everything fails to control your weight gain during period and other PMS symptoms, you may try some medications. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, medications to treat water retention, and hormonal imbalance during period might include birth control pills, diuretics or uncontrollable pain medications like paracetamol or ibuprofen. But as we have said before, make sure to consult your doctor before taking any medications.