When it comes to their period, women experience a variety of symptoms that increase or decrease in severity from one woman to another. It is rumored about that period that it comes accompanied by mood swings and pain in the abdomen, bones and breasts, but the unpopular symptom despite its prevalence is the observation of women gaining a number of unexplained kilograms during menstruation, so what does science say?
normal and temporary
Most women gain weight during menstruation, at rates that differ from one woman to another, but the good news is that the reasons for weight gain during that period make it temporary.
It’s not uncommon for the scales to swing, regardless of whether you have your period or not, says Lauren Streicher, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and medical director of the Center for Sexual and Menopausal Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Bloating and weight gain are some of the physical symptoms associated with PMS, and thus can increase your likelihood of experiencing weight changes.
In an article published on Women health mag, Streicher confirms that many women experience a weight gain of about one kilogram to three during their menstrual period, but each body is different from the other. A number of women may notice that their clothes are tighter and tighter around the abdomen, arms and legs. But the good thing is that the period of weight gain usually disappears 3-5 days after the start of your period.
Why does weight gain?
There are a number of scientific reasons that explain weight gain during the menstrual cycle, according to Weight watchers, which are:
During the period before ovulation, the amount of estrogen peaks in the body, which leads to fluid retention that can make a woman feel bloated and put on a few pounds.
As well as progesterone, which peaks during the first days of menstruation, and also leads to water retention, and breast pain, which also appears to be more full due to fluid retention.
The menstrual cycle affects the efficiency of the digestive system in expelling waste from the body.
The hormone progesterone may cause some relaxation of the smooth muscles, which leads to a decrease in the motility of the digestive system, which may lead to bloating and constipation in some women.
High levels of the hormone progesterone play an important role during the second half of the menstrual cycle. It may increase appetite, which makes women eat more during that period.
Women crave sugary or salty foods because of the increased appetite, and eating very sweet or very salty foods leads to weight gain, especially since constant overeating at that time is not matched by an increase in physical activity, which can lead to permanent and not temporary weight gain.
Depression or anxiety, too, is a hallmark of PMS, which is thought to be caused by cyclical changes in the brain chemical serotonin.
For some women, mood disturbance, a syndrome known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), can lead to overeating and binge eating.
During the premenstrual period, increased hormones can lead to a strong caffeine craving to reduce tiredness and fatigue.
Suddenly increasing caffeine in the diet can lead to discomfort and bloating. Soft drinks also contain caffeine, which some women tend to drink during this period, and they also contain added sugars and artificial sweeteners that lead to weight gain.
Lack of exercise
Feeling lethargic and lazy is completely normal during the period leading up to your period. Fatigue and exhaustion lead to lack of movement and lack of exercise, and with all the previous changes, this increases the possibility of gaining some extra weight.
Will the extra weight go away?
Excess weight usually goes away during the menstrual cycle, if it is caused by fluid retention rather than a change in eating habits.
The retention is most intense on the first day of the period, but decreases rapidly after that, and it is normal for the weight to return to normal about 5 days after the start of the period, but if the bloating is bothersome and uncomfortable, there are several ways to lose excess weight safely, according to Greatist, including:
- Taking 250 milligrams of magnesium daily helps reduce the period of water retention.
- Taking a daily dose of vitamin B6 helps reduce overall PMS symptoms, including bloating.
- Reducing salt intake helps you lose water weight faster, as the more sodium you consume, the more water your body retains.
- Getting good rest and sleep helps make healthy food choices, and helps the body function better as a whole.
- Eating complex carbohydrates that make the body feel full for a longer period and do not cause a rise in blood sugar, helps the body to reduce the intake of snacks and sugars.
- Limit the consumption of coffee and caffeine, as heavy consumption of them exacerbates the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
- Eating fiber, especially the second half of the menstrual cycle, helps in the movement of the digestive system, which facilitates the expulsion of waste from the body and the disposal of bloating and excess weight.