Understanding Period Weight Gain: Causes and Solutions

Understanding Period Weight Gain: Causes and Solutions- DATOS

You might not like the time just before your period when you feel puffy and want to eat unhealthy snacks. However, is PMS something that really happens? Well, PMS is a totally normal thing, and it can make you gain a little weight temporarily.

At New England Women’s Healthcare, we have a team that can help you with any problems related to your female body, like the uncomfortable things that happen before your period. Our team is led by eight doctors who specialize in women’s health, and they offer various ways to make you feel better during that time of the month.

What is premenstrual syndrome?

Premenstrual syndrome is a common issue for women. It happens around a week before your period begins and brings along some uncomfortable feelings, like:

  • Mood swings (feeling different emotions)
  • Getting easily annoyed
  • Wanting to eat specific foods
  • Getting pimples
  • Having sore breasts
  • Feeling puffy and heavy
  • Gaining a little weight

Usually, these feelings go away on their own when your period starts. But sometimes, they can be so bad that they affect your life. This is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Changes in your hormones before your period cause these feelings. Once your period begins and your hormones go back to normal, the uncomfortable feelings go away as quickly as they came.

Understanding why you gain weight during PMS

One of the most uncomfortable things about PMS is gaining weight. Before your period, you might feel like you can only wear loose and comfy clothes. Even though the scale may not agree, there are a few reasons why you feel heavier before your period. Here is why:

Feeling puffy:

Around your period, the changes in your hormones can make your stomach feel full of air. This can make you feel heavier and make your clothes feel tight.

Hormone changes:

Hormones called estrogen and progesterone help control the water in your body. Before your period, when these hormones drop, your body holds onto water. This makes you feel like you have gained weight because your stomach and breasts might swell up.

Craving junk food:

You might not notice, but a hormone called progesterone can make you want to eat more, especially junk food and sweets. Also, your body’s ability to burn calories can go up and down, so you end up eating more and feeling like you have put on some pounds.

Less magnesium:

When your period begins, your body’s level of magnesium goes down. This can make you crave sugary foods. Magnesium also helps control how much water is in your body. Not having enough magnesium can make you feel thirsty and hungry, especially for sugary stuff.

Stomach issues:

Your hormones can also cause problems in your stomach and intestines during the week before your period. Your digestion slows down, which can lead to feeling puffy, constipated, and having tummy aches. So, it’s no surprise you feel like you have gained a pound or two.

Tips to prevent feeling puffy during PMS

Even though PMS symptoms usually are not harmful, they can make you feel unhappy about your body. The extra weight you gain during PMS is uncomfortable, even though it only lasts for a few days to a week.

However, there are things you can do to lessen the puffiness and weight gain during the week before your period. Here are some easy tips our team suggests:

  • Do not eat too much salty food.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Do some exercise.
  • Cut back on caffeine.
  • Say no to sugary treats.

How much weight is okay to gain during your period

First, it is important to know that it is normal for your weight to go up and down, whether you are having your period or not. Dr. Charis Chambers, who is an expert in women’s health, says that most adults can see their weight change by up to five pounds in just one day. So, small weight changes like that are totally okay.

However, when you have PMS (that is the uncomfortable stuff before your period), it can make these weight changes more likely. Dr. Chambers says that bloating and gaining weight are some of the physical problems linked to PMS.

So, how much weight gain is normal? Dr. Langan explains that many women might notice around two to six pounds of extra weight around their period. However, everyone’s body is different. Dr. Jodie Horton, another expert in women’s health, says you might feel that your clothes are tighter, and you get puffy around your belly, arms, legs, and breasts.

Reasons You Might Gain Weight During Your Period

Here are five explanations for why the numbers on the scale might go up when you are on your period. Also, doctors explain how to reduce weight gain and bloating to make your time of the month more comfortable.

Hormones could be the reason:

The main hormone involved in this is called progesterone. Dr Natasha Johnson, a gynaecologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, says that progesterone levels increase in the second half of your cycle. This can lead to your body holding onto water, causing breast soreness and sometimes extra water weight.

Some women may notice that their breasts get bigger during their periods. This is again due to progesterone, which makes your body take water from blood vessels and put it into your tissues, making them seem fuller, possibly in preparation for a possible pregnancy.

You are Having Lots of Food Cravings, So You Eat Differently:

The increase in progesterone levels before your period can make you feel hungrier, and you might end up eating more during this time, says Dr. Horton. Take a guess: When your period is coming, you are probably not craving healthy stuff like broccoli – it is usually the salty and sugary things you want.

Those kinds of foods can make you gain weight during your period, according to Dr. Lisa Dabney, who is a doctor specializing in women’s health. Why? Snacking on simple carbs and salty chips like candy or donuts can make your body hold onto extra water, she explains, which leads to a bit of water weight.

You Might Not Want to Exercise, Honestly:

The reason is that sweating when you work out helps your body get rid of extra water weight. Also, when you exercise, your body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which can help with period cramps. However, if you are not up for a workout, it is perfectly fine to take a break.

Once your period is over and you go back to your usual exercise and eating routine, you should go back to your regular weight.

You are Feeling Stuffed Up:

Eating more because of cravings is not the only thing that can cause bloating. Dr. Mae Kathleen Borchardt, who is a doctor for women’s health in Texas, says that before your period begins, the hormone progesterone in your body goes up, and it works like a muscle relaxant. This makes the muscles in your stomach slow down, which can cause your digestion to get stuck.

You are Drinking a Lot of Caffeine:

It is really tempting to have more coffee or other drinks with caffeine during your period when you are feeling so tired. However, suddenly, having more caffeine can also lead to some stomach problems, like feeling puffy and uncomfortable.

And it is not just coffee that’s the issue. Anything with caffeine can cause this, and that is especially true for fizzy drinks.

Dr. Sara Twogood, a women’s health doctor in Los Angeles, says that some women make a mistake in thinking that fizzy drinks keep them hydrated. She adds that drinks like soda with lots of added sugar or fake sweeteners can also make you feel bloated.

Is there anything I can do to make period bloating go away

Remember, when you gain weight during your period, it is not really fat. It is mostly just extra water in your body because of your hormones (and some stomach problems and not-so-great eating and exercise habits). However, waiting for 5-7 days for your period to end can feel like a long time.

You can try these simple fixes to at least reduce the puffiness during your period:

Drink lots of water. Dr Borchardt says you should have at least eight glasses of water each day (about two litres) to clean out your system. Surprisingly, staying hydrated can help reduce water retention, even if it might seem counterintuitive.

Keep moving if you can, and try to stick with your exercise routine even if you have cramps and feel tired. Dr. Borchardt says doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every day before and during your period, with a mix of weightlifting and cardio, can release feel-good chemicals called endorphins and counter the hormonal effects of your period.

Eat more foods with magnesium. “Magnesium reduces bloating by helping make normal stomach acid. When your stomach acid is low, you get more bloated and gassy,” says Dr. Chambers. You can increase your magnesium by taking it as a supplement (but check with your doctor first) or by eating more magnesium-rich foods like spinach.

Do not eat too much salty stuff. Dr. Chambers says salt can make you hold onto more water because it attracts it. Watching how much salt you eat might help with some of your period stomach problems.

Have more citrus fruits. Dr Horton says foods like lemons, oranges, and limes are full of vitamin C and fibre, which can reduce bloating. This is because vitamin C helps you pee more and get rid of some of that water weight.

Other than that, think of your period as the perfect time to wear your favourite comfy activewear or loose dresses, and save the high-waisted jeans for next week.

Some Questions

How much weight do you gain during your period?

The amount of extra weight you put on during your period can be different for each person. On average, women might gain about 1 to 5 pounds, which is roughly 0.4 to 2.2 kilograms during their period. However, remember, this weight gain is usually temporary and should go away once your period is finished.

Do you gain weight before or during your period?

While some people do not feel bloated or gain weight, others might put on as much as 5 pounds. Usually, this happens before your period starts, and you will lose weight again once your next period begins.

When does period weight gain begin?

Most women notice the extra weight a few days before their period starts. However, do not worry; weight gain during your period due to holding onto water usually gets better or goes away about three to five days after your period begins.

Should I weigh myself during my period?

It is common for your weight to go up and down each month during your period, so it is best not to weigh yourself during this time to avoid confusion and unnecessary worry if you weigh yourself while on your period, the result might be higher than your actual weight.

Do you lose weight after your period?

The menstrual cycle itself does not seem to make you gain or lose weight. However, having a period can affect your weight in other ways. Many women experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which can make you crave and eat more sweet or salty foods than usual.

Check Out More: Understanding Period Weight Gain: Causes and Solutions