That cruel, cruel world … As if we had few other troubles during PMT and menstruation, extra pounds are sometimes added to all this. Is this normal? Why does it happen? As women, we have millions of questions when it comes to our bodies that we want to understand. We want to assure you that period weight gain is normal and it is not typically permanent weight as long as you are following a healthy lifestyle. Most women become bloated during this time of the month leading to additional water weight making you feel heavier than normal. It’s not abnormal to gain even a few pounds during this time and you are definitely not alone. There are so many factors that go into this and each woman has different reasonings.
Is it normal to wake up a few pounds heavier on your period?
It is normal to gain a few extra pounds during this period of the month. What you have gained will be gone when a new cycle comes. This weight fluctuation is caused by hormonal changes associated with a phase change, which is why pounds suddenly come out of nowhere and go nowhere. The good news is, although they may come out of nowhere, they will leave just as fast. Many women suffer from pre-period symptoms and they all vary, the majority of women all experience increased weight gain.
The amplitude of these fluctuations among women is different. In the medical literature, not much attention is paid to this problem. There are mentions of weight gain anywhere from one to five pounds depending on the woman and her hormones. However, some women complain that they are gaining before menstruation and dropping three pounds after them. It all depends on the characteristics of your body.
If you followed the usual diet and the same physical activity as you always did, and suddenly, standing on the scales, you found that they show more than you expected, do not be in a hurry to be intimidated. Remember how soon you wait for menstruation to come. If there are a few days left for them – most likely, that is the reason. The appearance of these pounds is to blame the hormone progesterone, which is massively produced during this period. The female hormone (estrogen) is at it’s highest during the beginning and sometimes even before your menstrual cycle even begins. High levels of estrogen will definitely make your body feel bloated and heavier due to the fluid that your body is retaining.
A slight increase in weight, associated with hormonal activity, can be observed in the region of the time of ovulation.
Where do these extra pounds come from on my period?
This is water. Plain water! Because of all these hormonal changes before menstruation, it reluctantly leaves your body. The most unfair thing about this is that just the substances that you especially crave to get during PMT retain water: salt, sugar, and caffeine.
During PMT, we feel a breakdown, and therefore, we want more coffee and less exercise. Irritability and discomfort make us want something tasty as a consolation: either salted chips or a whole box of cakes, even though we understand that all this is not at all useful.
There is also such a psychological moment as discontent with oneself. During the PMT, we look at ourselves in the mirror and think: “God, how fat I am.” Gynecologists have noticed that this is characteristic of many women at the end of the cycle. At this time, we believe that we have gained weight, even if we have not gained it – simply because of a more critical attitude towards ourselves.
Another possible cause of weight gain during this period is constipation. Progesterone hurts intestinal motility. Therefore, some women in front of menstruation have difficulty with a chair. The result is a bloating and a feeling of heaviness in the stomach.
What can I do to control weight gain during my period?
If you have found all these unpleasant symptoms, and your female calendar suggests that menstruation is on the threshold, know: you are not alone. A lot of women on the same days suffers from the same phenomena. Stop being weighed every hour and wait a bit: in the process of monthly everything should be normalized.
Enhanced control over how much sugar, salt, and caffeine you use can help or may not help. The human body is a sophisticated device. Other things being equal (that is if you do not start eating a cake for dinner these days) the weight gained during the PMT will go away by itself. Believe it or not, but working out on your period has many benefits to weight control and PMS control.
Do not deny yourself the useful pleasure of drinking water! If you drink less water, it will not solve the problem of fluid retention in the body.
If this phenomenon bothers you too much or if the weight comes before each menstruation, but does not go away with its ending, talk to your doctor about it.
If you gained not more than 3 pounds, those are physiological processes in a female’s body, which caused a temporary unpleasant surprise. Many women complain about gaining weight before and during their period, which speaks not about physiological factors only but also about a female’s specific behavior during the period. Ignorance of dietary rules is a reason for extra pounds. Hormonal misbalance leads to embarrassment and hunger. It is where comfort eating of harmful sweeties and culinary products begins. So before you eat something during PMT, think about whether you want to carry this extra weight after your period. The moral of the story is watch the weight, but do not be paranoid and take it easy: your best days are ahead – women feel at the peak of shape for about a 7-10 day of the cycle. Set a regular weighing schedule to keep everything under control: weigh-in once a week, at the same time, on the same scale. The main thing is not to overdo it since fluctuations in weight are normal.
What to eat during one’s period:
There are many options of what you can eat during your period, but picking the healthiest choices will lead to the best results. Choosing good quality foods will not only help control and unwanted weight gain, but it will also help avoid painful period cramps.
- Various cereals; sugar-free (oatmeal is the best option)
- Vegetables (must be lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli)
- Fruits (not just apples) and other complex carbohydrates
- Fresh grenadine juice, green or herbal tea; chamomile, or thousand-leaf tea works well in case of change of mood;
- Instead of sweets, you can treat yourself to bananas, dried apricots, apples, and nuts.
What not to eat on your period:
- Salty foods
- Sweet and caffeinated drinks
- Spicy foods
- Candy and processed foods
Gaining weight a week before a period begins is not pathological, and you do not have to think that it is impossible to lose weight, even keeping a strict diet or going in for active sports. It is a physiological feature of a female body only. Women should take it for granted and do not turn up the pressure by eating a lot of junk food to compensate for a depressed mood. A lot of times women don’t even realize that they are the reason behind the weight gain and it is not solely your period’s fault. When you are PMS’ing your cravings start to change and your body tells you to eat junk food as comfort but instead, it ends up hurting your body causing pain and weight gain.