Are you one of those who feel that they have gained weight during or before your menstrual cycle? It is normal to feel bloated or see that extra weight around your belly prior to your period. It is the physical symptoms of PMS. We are sure you might be exercising and following a healthy diet the whole month. But just before your period, the scale goes up. Yes, this is period weight gain. PMS includes a range of physical, emotional or behavioural symptoms. In few women, the weight gain can even go up to as much as 2.5-3 kgs. But, this weight is a perfectly natural, biological occurrence which is due to water retention and usually goes away.
“Women are biologically wired to increase their food intake during their monthly cycle in preparation for pregnancy – it's supposed to happen,” said researchers from Michigan State University Foundation. Here are a few reasons why you experience weight gain just before your periods.
Food cravings: Your period makes you crave for salty or sweet foods. All of us overeat around this time due to change in hormones. Your brain craves for more sugar. And therefore it increases your calorie intake and causes weight gain.
Hormonal imbalance: Most women start retaining water because just before your period begins, your oestrogen levels are at their peak. As a result, you feel bloated and this causes water weight. But the good news is that oestrogen levels drop as soon as your period starts. At times, water retention may cause swelling or puffiness in your breasts also.
You skip the gym: Hitting the gym at this time might be the last thing on your mind. You skip your workouts because you are tired, lazy or bloated. But do not forget that you need to make an effort. Light exercising will ease your cramps. It will also help you fight period weight gain.
Caffeine overload: It's really tempting to sip your coffee or tea during this period of time. But, coffee overdose will lead to bloating and discomfort. Stay away from caffeine for these few days as it not only dehydrates you but also affects your hormonal imbalance. It also causes other natural causes that have nothing to do with eating. Even carbonated beverages are loaded with caffeine. They are even worse than coffee as they are loaded with sugars and artificial sweeteners.
Low levels of magnesium: When your period hits, your magnesium levels gradually decrease. This decline leads to sugar cravings and contribute to weight gain. Magnesium regulates the hydration in our body, and lower levels result in dehydration. Dehydration makes us think our body is hungry and we tend to overeat.
Gastrointestinal Issues: Hormonal changes in your body can increase gas in your gastrointestinal tract and cause bloating. Bloating generally starts a week before your period and continues till the first few days of menstruation.