Weight Gain During Period

Along with cramping, back and leg pain, weight gain during your period is very common. While some women do not gain any weight, most women will gain between one and ten pounds in the days leading up to and during the menstrual period. Fortunately, as easy as it is to gain the weight, you will usually lose the weight without a drastic change in diet or activity. Understanding the causes and treatments of weight gain during period have help you have a better control of your weight.

Causes of Weight Gain during Period

Weight gain and loss associated with the menstrual cycle and hormonal changes begin during the teen years and continue through and after the menopause. The weight gain at menopause age may be as much as 15 pounds or more and this weight is harder to lose. The weight gain in younger women is easier to avoid and lose. What are the causes of this weight gain during your period?



Water Retention

Most weight gain during your period is probably due to water retention. Bowel problems and a natural drop in progesterone during this part of the cycle are the most common reasons for this cause of weight gain.


Bloating during the menstrual period may be due to increased gas in the intestine, constipation, or inactivity at this time. This may also lead to the abdominal cramping associated with the menstrual period.

Food Cravings and Overeating

Occasionally, you may have food cravings before and during your period as sugar levels fluctuate in your body. When these cravings hit, you may eat 200 or more calories than you would normally. Typically, this overeating subsides as your period ends.

Decrease in Magnesium

Magnesium levels in the body typically go down in the days before your menstrual period starts. As the magnesium level drops, insulin levels rise resulting in the need for more sugar. This may account for some of the sugar cravings and overeating before and during the period.

Treatment for Weight Gain during Period

Most weight gain during your period will go away as your period stops. For those stubborn pounds that do not go away, there are some easy ways to avoid or treat this weight gain using home remedies.


How to Do It?

Reduce Sodium Intake

Too much sodium before and during your period can result in water retention and weight gain. The easiest way to reduce sodium intake is to avoid processed foods that are loaded with sodium. Instead, use fresh foods and vegetables and season them with other herbs and spices. Read the labels of packaged foods -- even if they say low sodium, they may have high levels of sodium. Avoid fast foods since they have high levels of sodium and fat.

Reduce Water Retention

If you have water retention that makes you extremely uncomfortable or that does not resolve when your period ends, check with your healthcare provider who may want to put you on a low-dose diuretic in the days before and during your period.

Reduce Bloating

Try drinking some warm water with a teaspoon or two of lime juice before you eat anything in the morning.

Increase Magnesium Intake

Try cooked spinach, black beans and pumpkin seeds to increase the magnesium levels in your body. Like other minerals, you can always take multivitamin supplements after consulting your doctor.

Have Enough Calcium

Calcium is critical for healthy bones and prevention of water retention. Milk and milk products, beans nuts, green leafy vegetables, cereals with added calcium, and over-the-counter calcium supplements are easy ways to add calcium to your diet.

Eat Wisely

Minor modifications in your diet may be enough to avoid unhealthy weight gain during your period. Try to eat small, well-balanced meals throughout the day that are low in refined sugars and other simple carbohydrates. Be sure you eat plenty of protein and fiber. The extra fiber can help process the foods and move them through your intestines more efficiently.

Keep Healthy Lifestyle

Get plenty of exercise and sleep before and during your period. Although you may not feel like running a marathon, get up and move!

Stay Hydrated

Be sure to drink plenty of water and other fluids low in sugar. This will help flush out toxins and keep your cells healthy. Limit the alcohol and caffeine before and during your period.

Try Herbs

Herbal supplements may help to correct some of the hormonal imbalances that happen during the menstrual cycle. Phytoestrogenic herbs such as black cohosh contain natural estrogen. Non-estrogenic herbs such as Macafem may help balance hormones without using estrogen. Before using any of these herbs, check with your healthcare provider to ensure that they are right for you.

Practice Yoga

If you have not tried yoga, it can be a great way to get active and control the weight gain during your period. Many practitioners recommend that you avoid inversion poses such as shoulder stands during your period, but most will tell you to let your body be your guide. The important point is to keep moving!

Enhance Iron Intake

Before and during your period, you may feel tired. This may be due to low iron leading to anemia. Be sure to eat foods high in iron including beans, meat, iron fortified grains, dark leafy green vegetables, meat and seafood. Your healthcare provider may want you to take an iron supplement if you are very anemic.

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