Weight gain during menstruation: what are the causes?

Some women have pain during their period, others feel bloated and sometimes gain weight during or just before their period. How to stop this weight gain?

Weight gain during menstruation: is it normal?

We don't usually talk about weight gain, but about body changes, since normal weight is regained at the end of the period when a new menstrual cycle begins.
In most cases, the increase in body weight before menstruation is one of the many inconveniences that are part of the symptoms of menstruation. It is also called premenstrual syndrome. Some menstruating people will also gain weight because they will consume a lot of sugars, more salt and more fat, due to these menstrual cravings.

What causes weight gain during menstruation?

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

The main culprit: hormones

The two hormones that cause changes on the scale are progesterone and estrogen! They occur just before and during menstruation.
During menstruation, a woman will experience a drop in estrogen and progesterone, which are responsible for sugar cravings... but that's not all. She will experience a drop in serotonin, the happiness hormone, a powerful natural antidepressant. The need for sugar is accentuated during blood loss because the body and the brain will try to replace serotonin with amino acids and tryptophan to be able to produce carbohydrates and serotonin again!

Increase in water retention

Fluid retention is a build-up of fluid in the body and tissues that causes swelling of certain limbs. It is caused by heat but also by hormones that impact the endocrine system. The imbalance between progesterone and estrogen will cause swelling that will be felt in the legs, breasts and stomach. Do not hesitate to elevate your legs, to do massages and lymphatic drainages if you suffer from it.

Constipation and bloating

It is possible that your weight gain before your period is related to constipation or bloating. Progesterone is the culprit! Indeed, this hormone in abundance is the cause of a slowing down of intestinal transit and thus of a less good digestion! When menstruation arrives, the drop in progesterone and uterine contractions can lead to diarrhea.

An increase in appetite

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

A temporary decrease in physical activity

During or before your period, weight gain can cause a decrease in physical activity. Fatigue related to menstruation can discourage some women from practicing their usual sports. The decrease in sports activity and fatigue can lead to a bad surprise on the scale, as can eating disorders such as bulimia and sedentary lifestyle. A winning combo to combine menstrual period and weight gain. Don't hesitate to listen to yourself during your period. However, keep in mind that theendorphin produced when you exercise tends to ease cramps and create a feeling of well-being!

How to limit weight gain before and during your period?

Putting on weight during your period is not inevitable, especially if it makes you feel insecure or uncomfortable. Here are some tips to avoid it:

Stay properly hydrated throughout the day

To avoid water retention, it is important to stay well hydrated. Drink at least 1.5 L of unsweetened beverages per day. This will promote excellent drainage but also a good functioning of the digestive system and your intestines.

Establish a healthy routine

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

  • favour food intakes rich in fibre
  • respect your feeling of satiety
  • reduce your salt intake
  • eat foods with diuretic properties
  • Do sports!

Take a homeopathic treatment

There are several treatments to prevent the effects of premenstrual syndrome and menstruation. Some plants such as chasteberry have menstrual cycle regulating properties. You can approach your doctor to consider a course ofhomeopathy or phytotherapy to reduce the symptoms that cause weight gain during or before your period.

Using menstrual briefs for bloating

Clothes that don't constrict you, that are scalable and adapt to your changes on the scale are ideal! In the same way, a menstrual panty with a particular ease and comfort will be welcome.

The FAQ of weight gain and menstruation

What is the normal weight gain during my period?

Weight gain during menstruation is completely normal. In fact, it is more a question of weight variation, because at the end of the cycle, women are generally back to their normal shape.

Do I gain weight during my period?

It is possible to gain weight during your period. Water retention, constipation, food cravings, consumption of carbohydrates, sugars and salts and lack of exercise are all causes related to hormonal changes. Generally, the weight returns to normal at the end of the flow!

Why shouldn't I weigh myself during my period?

It is possible to weigh yourself during your period, but you should keep in mind that it is possible to gain weight before and during your menstrual flow. A body change related to hormonal variations takes place during this whole period, no need for an obligatory passage on the scale to put pressure on you during your period!

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