Weight Gain During Periods-Unraveling The Connection
I say ‘girls’ because this post is for only for them 😉 All of us hate that time of the month when we have cramps, leg pain and backache. Yes, I am talking about periods. Along with all the misery you can experience weight gain too. There are lucky women who don’t gain any weight but there are others who gain between ½ a kilo to 4.5 kgs before or during the menstrual period 🙁
No worries because this weight gain is like passing clouds. Losing it is as easy as gaining it. You can lose it without a huge change in your physical activity and diet. Let us have a look at things in detail.
Causes of weight gain during menstrual period
The most common cause of weight gain during menstruation is due to water retention. Bowel problems and a drop in the hormone progesterone during this part of the menstrual cycle are the most common reasons for water retention.
Bloating can occur during your menstrual period and can be due to an increase in intestinal gas, constipation or inactivity during this time of the month. Bloating can also lead to abdominal cramps that are commonly linked with the menstrual period.
Overeating and food cravings
It is possible to have food cravings before or during menstruation and this is because there is a fluctuation of sugar levels in your body. When these cravings overpower you, you may eat an extra of 200 or more calories than you usually would. As your period ends, this overeating will also subside. So, there is no need to panic.
Decrease in magnesium levels
The body’s magnesium levels witness a drop a few days before the menstrual period starts. A drop in magnesium levels results in rise in insulin levels which in turn result in the need for more sugar. This explains well why you crave sugar and overeat before and during the period.
Avoiding weight gain during your period
After knowing the reasons of weight gain, I am sure you would want to know the way out. So, here we go!
Reduce intake of sodium
Consuming too much of sodium before and during your period can cause retention of water in the body and weight gain. The simplest way to curb sodium from your diet is to avoid processed foods that are loaded with sodium. Instead, go in for fresh food and veggies. Read labels before buying packaged foods. Avoid fast foods as they have high levels of fat and sodium.
Reduce water retention
If water retention is making you uncomfortable or is not vanishing after your period is over, you should check with your doctor and he/she will take steps that will treat your problem of water retention.
You can reduce bloating by drinking warm water with a tsp or 2 of lemon juice on an empty stomach in the morning.
Increase your intake of magnesium
Try have cooked spinach, pumpkin seeds and black beans in order to increase the levels of magnesium in the body. Like most other minerals, you can take supplements of this too after consulting the physician.
Have sufficient calcium
Calcium is essential for healthy bones and for preventing retention of water. Have milk, milk products, leafy greens, cereals, beans and nuts in your diet. You can also consume calcium supplements.
Making minor modifications in your diet is enough to avoid unwanted weight gain during menstruation. Have small but well balanced meals throughout the day. Stick to food that is low in refined sugars and other simple carbs. Include a lot of fibre and protein too.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Sleep properly and get plenty of physical exercise before and during your period. Nobody will ask you to run a marathon, you just need to get up and keep moving.
Keep yourself hydrated
Make it a point to drink lots of water and fluids low in sugar. Drinking water will help in flushing out toxins and keeping your body healthy. Limit the intake of alcohol and caffeine during those days.
Enhance your intake of iron
You may feel tired before or during you period. This can be due to low iron in the body leading to anemia. Consume foods that are high in iron, like beans, meat, green leafy veggies and seafood. If you are very anemic, your doctor will prescribe you an iron supplement.
Ready to fight Weight Gain During Periods?
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