Weight gain during periods is a common concern for women while going through menstrual cycle. Some women have Premenstrual Syndrome experience with strong hormonal changes that lead to a variety of symptoms such as bloating, food cravings, increased appetite, stress, fatigue, irritability and anxiety. These changes can lead to weight gain and there are some ways to prevent and treat it.
As per to PeriodVitamins.com
Premenstrual Stage occurs about two weeks before the bleeding period starts. Many of the symptoms of PMS begin in this stage but they are minor and grow more severe in the next two stages.
Some women experience weight gain during pre-period stage while some do at the later stage of their period cycle. Initially, you may feel bloated prior to the weight gain.
Causes of weight gain during menstrual cycle
1. Water Retention
Most weight gain during your period is probably due to water retention. Premenstrual water retention is the reason behind a bloated, heavy feeling, which happens at least a week or two before your period begins. So far, none knows the cause of water retention and other PMS symptoms, but hormonal changes may
Care Tips – You must take good care for yourself. It can help banish water retention. Some to-do’s include doing physical activity in your daily routine, limiting the amount of salt in your diet and eating a healthy diet.
Gas accumulation in the intestine is one of the major reasons of menstrual bloating. A woman’s body goes through many hormonal changes during her lifetime, which can be one of the main causes of bloating. While gas accumulation happens due to the changes in the body, constipation and inactivity before and during the menstruation time is also noticed. Due to bloating, a woman may experience severe menstrual cramps.
3. Food Cravings & Overeating
Over eating has always led to weight gain, undoubtedly! This could also be a cause of gain in your weight during menstrual cycle. As during period, metabolism levels increase due to which women tend to overeat resulting in food cravings and hence consume about 100 to 200 calories more than they usually have. The cravings are temporary and dissolve soon.
In one of the articles of www.medimanage.com, Dr Jyoti Kulkarni, a renowned gynaecologist, from Nova Medical opines that food cravings in some women are caused due psychological reasons. She says –
Increase in the level of Progesterone hormone in the body causes water retention that leads to weight gain. Being active and performing regular exercises helps in reducing the discomfort caused due to menstruation.
How to overcome food craving?
- Focus only on healthy food, even if you are having cravings. You can have nuts and fresh fruits whenever you feel like munching on food.
- Divide your meals into 4 – 5 small meals and have them at regular intervals to avoid hunger pangs. For example, after every 2 hours have something little to eat.
- Hydration is really important. Hence, you need to keep yourself hydrated. Besides water, you can have fruit juices, butter milk, coconut water etc. When you drink fluids, it reduces the amount of sodium in your body and helps kidney to flush out excess water out of your body.
- Control your caffeine intake to a limit. Caffeine triggers your body to release endorphins. During the periods, there is an increase in estrogens levels and up in two hormonal levels may result in reducing feel good factor.
4. Decrease In Magnesium
Before the menstrual period starts, the magnesium level goes down in a woman’s body, further resulting in the rise of insulin levels and hence the need for more sugar in the body. The reason why women have sugar cravings and tendency to overeat before and during the period.
Some women tend to overeat when they feel blues. Yes! Depression or a bad mood generates the food cravings. One of the side effects of Pre Menstrual Syndrome is depression or severe change in the moods. Depression can affect women of all ages, whether they are menstruating or not, and one of the biggest side effects known is the act of overeating.
6. Declining Age
With declining age, the rate of metabolism and a person’s physical abilities also tends to decline. The process begins at the age of 30 and the health largely depends on a person’s lifestyle. The decreasing metabolism and bodily abilities affect weight gain because of being unable to engage in the physical activities.
Depending on the time of day you weigh yourself, the scale may read differently. Your weight can fluctuate as much as five pounds depending on the amount of water or food you have consumed. The weight will go as soon as your period ends since that’s all water weight shed in sweat. It is therefore important to weigh yourself at the same time each day.
8. Reduced Physical Activity
There is a myth that women should not exercise during her menstrual cycle while some just don’t choose to exercise to avoid inconvenience of heavy exercise. The inactivity then leads to the weight gain in case of overeating during your periods.
You can easily shed the weight you have gained during your periods. It happens because of the lifestyle changes.
Which one is the reason behind your weight gain?