7 Major Causes For Weight Gain During Periods
PMS or premenstrual syndrome begins one or two weeks before the actual period commences. And its most obvious symptoms are bloating, anxiety, food cravings, and depression. These result in a craving for sugary and salty foods and binge eating. As a result, by the end of the PMSing phase and the start of your period, you gain about 5 pounds of weight.
2. Food Cravings
Increased food cravings and overeating can also be other causes for weight gain before and during periods. When you are PMSing, you are under mental stress, and to feel good, you end up eating high-sugar and high-sodium foods. This results in increased water retention and spikes blood glucose levels.
3. Water Retention
Water retention is one of the main reasons for weight gain during periods. Water that is absorbed in the body from different sources during the day is retained by the body tissues during menstruation. This retention of water also known as edema influences the body because of severe hormonal changes that occur during the periodic cycle. It is common for any woman to feel bloated at such times. In fact, any changes in the bowel movements can also result in edema. But the main reason is the sudden and abrupt decrease in the progesterone levels in the body.
PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome strikes 3 out of 5 women. Most overweight women tend to have PCOS. If you have PCOs, possibilities are you will be more prone to weight gain during your periods and that’s mainly because your metabolism is slow.
5. A Decrease in Magnesium Levels
Just before your menstruation cycle, the magnesium levels in your body might decrease. This can cause lower levels of insulin, which raise the craving for glucose. This leads to raised food cravings, especially high-sugar foods, and that can cause weight gain before and during your periods.
6. Gut Problems
Most women suffer from gut problems like bloating, constipation, and indigestion when they are PMSing. When the digestive system does not function properly, the metabolism decreases. And, as a result, you tend to stock everything you consume as fat. Moreover, the stress levels in your body increase, causing inflammation and inflammation-induced weight gain.
7. Skip Workouts
Maximum women tend to skip workouts when they are PMSing, and I am sure you do it too! This happens because when you are PMSing and not feeling good, your brain and body become lazy. So, either you skip your workouts completely or go about them without putting in much effort. As a result, you gain weight and start storing fat due to binge eating.
So, these are the 7 main reasons for weight gain during periods. But the main question is, how to prevent or protect yourself from gaining this random weight gain? Here’s a tricky plan to prevent weight gain before and during periods.
Tips To Prevent Weight Gain During Periods
Here are the most efficient ways to prevent weight gain during your period.
1. Drink Water
Drinking water will keep you hydrated, remove the toxins from your colon, and keep your metabolism high. As a result, this will prevent weight gain before and during your periods.
2. Cut Down On Salt
Salty or high-sodium foods like processed and junk foods can cause water retention in your body. Reducing the intake of these before and during your periods will help prevent water weight gain.
3. Be Prepared
I know, it sounds obscure now, but when you try to understand your cycles and your body’s response to the hormonal fluctuations, you will be able to anticipate all the causes of weight gain during your period. Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks like fruits, popcorn, and homemade low-sugar brownies so that once the hunger hormones hit in, you don’t resort to unhealthy snacking and binging on high-sugar and high-sodium foods.
4. Cut Back On Caffeine
Since you will feel a lot more uneasy when you PMS, cutting back on caffeine will make you relaxed and prevent other related symptoms.
5. Do Not Skip Meals
Have at least 5-6 meals per day. Along with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, have healthy snacks at least twice a day. This will keep your metabolism from falling down, balance your hormones, and keep you full.
Read More: The PCOS Diet: Foods to Avoid
6. Do Not Skip Your Workouts
I know you don’t feel like working out during your periods. But working out will actually lift your mood. And when you feel good, you will not crave for unhealthy food, sleep better, and feel less stressed out.
Calcium is helpful in fighting PMS symptoms, and hence, it is advised to consume enough calcium during this period. Magnesium is another important nutrient that you must intake to balance the hormonal fluctuations in your body. Omega-3 supplements or fish oil supplements may also help decrease the stress levels when you PMS and prevent you from eating a lot of unhealthy food. However, remember, it is necessary to consult a doctor before consuming any supplements or medications as not doing so can have severe effects on your body.
Vitamin B6 helps decrease the estrogen levels and also increases the progesterone levels in the blood. This helps in balancing the hormone changes, which controls weight gain. To get rid of the PMS symptoms during menstruation, take 100 to 200 mg of vitamin B6 daily.
9. Recognize The Triggers
Maintaining a PMS diary will help you recognize the time of the month around which you start PMSing and understand how you feel, and what actions you take. This will make you more alert the next time you PMS and binge eat or skip workout sessions.
These are the major reasons for weight gain and how you can avoid it before and during your monthly cycle. By knowing your body better and taking action accordingly, you will find it easy to tackle this problem. Twitch your lifestyle and see the contrast in the next cycle for yourself. Take care!
Read Next: Period Bloating: Causes and Remedies