Weight gain during periods : what causes it?

Some women experience pain during menstruation, others feel bloated and sometimes put on weight during or just before periods . How can you stop this weight gain?

Weight gain during periods : is it normal?

We don't usually speak of weight gain, but of body variation, since normal body mass is restored at the end of periods when a new menstrual cycle begins.
In most cases, the increase in body weight before periods is one of the many inconveniences associated with the symptoms of periods. Also known as premenstrual syndrome. Some menstruating women will also put on weight, as they consume more sugar, salt and fat due to menstrual cravings.

What causes weight gain during periods ?

But why do we gain weight before or during the menstrual period? What causes these weight gains or changes?

The main culprit: hormones

The two hormones responsible for the changes on the bathroom scale are progesterone and estrogen! They occur just before and during periods.
During menstruation, women experience a drop in estrogen and progesterone, which are responsible for sugar cravings... but that's not all. She will also experience a drop in serotonin, the hormone of happiness, a powerful natural antidepressant. The need for sugar is heightened during blood loss, as the body and brain seek to replace serotonin with amino acids and tryptophan, in order to make carbohydrates and serotonin again!

Increased water retention

Water retention is an accumulation of fluid in the body and tissues lthat causes certain limbs to swell. It is caused by heat, but also by hormones that impact the endocrine system. The imbalance between progesterone and estrogen will cause swelling to be felt in the legs, breasts and stomach. Don't hesitate to elevate your legs, massage and do lymphatic drainage if you suffer from swelling.

Constipation and bloating

Your weight gain before periods may be linked to constipation or bloating. Progesterone is the culprit! In fact, this abundant hormone is the cause of slower intestinal transit and therefore poorer digestion! At lprogesterone and uterine contractions can lead to diarrhoea.

Increased appetite

Many studies confirm that blood loss has an impact on metabolism andappetite. Menstruating women are hungrier than usual and crave products and foods rich in carbohydrates and calories. The result is weight gain during your menstrual flow!

A temporary drop in physical activity

During or before periods, weight gain can lead to a drop in physical activity. Menstrual fatigue can discourage some women from practising their usual sports. Reduced physical activity and fatigue can lead to unpleasant surprises on the scales, as can eating disorders such as bulimia and a sedentary lifestyle. A winning combination for menstruation and weight gain. Don't hesitate to listen to yourself during menstruation. Bear in mind, however, that theendorphins produced when you exercise tend to ease cramps and create a feeling of well-being!

How can you limit weight gain before and during periods ?

Putting on weight during periods is not inevitable, especially if it makes you feel insecure or uncomfortable. Here are a few tips to help you avoid it:

Shydrate properly throughout the day

To avoid water retention, it's important to stay well hydrated. Drink at least 1.5 L of unsweetened beverages a day. This will not only promote excellent drainage, but also the proper functioning of your digestive system and intestines.

Establish a healthy routine

During the periods your body needs to compensate for the drop in certain hormones, and therefore needs to be supplied with a variety of foods. You also need to set up a healthy routine to rest, feel good, eat well and keep moving with the healthiest lifestyle possible:

  • encourage a high-fiber diet
  • respect your feeling of fullness
  • reduce your salt intake
  • eat foods with diuretic properties
  • Play sports!

Taking a homeopathic treatment

There are several treatments available to prevent the effects of premenstrual syndrome and menstruation. Some plants, such as chasteberry, have menstrual cycle-regulating properties. Talk to your GP about a course ofhomeopathy or phytotherapy to reduce the symptoms that can lead to weight gain during or before your periods.

Using menstrual pants to cope with bloating

Clothes that don't constrict you, that are evolutionary and s'adapt to your changes on the scale are ideal! Likewise, a period pants with particular ease and comfort will be most welcome.

The FAQs on weight gain and periods

What is the normal weight gain during periods ?

Weight gain during periods is completely normal. In fact, by the end of the cycle, women are generally back to their normal weight.

Do you gain weight at periods ?

It's possible to gain weight during periods. Water retention, constipation, cravings, consumption of carbohydrates, sugars and salts and lack of exercise are all causes linked to hormonal changes. Weight generally returns to normal at the end of the flow!

Why not weigh yourself at periods ?

It's possible to weigh yourself at periods , but it's important to remember that it's possible to gain weight before and during your period. A body change linked to hormonal variations takes place throughout this period, so you don't need a compulsory trip to the scale to put pressure on yourself during your period!

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