All About Weight Gain During Periods And Ways To Tackle It


Medically reviewed by  Darshita ThakkarNutrition Training and Quality Manager for PAN India

How many of you become a couch potato during those days when you get your periods?

Becoming excessively obsessed with rest and comfort food in those haywire days could lead to substantial weight gain.

Table of Contents

Bloating during Period

Bloating during periods is a common phenomenon observed in women. You tend to feel bloated during periods because a change in salt concentration occurs.

There is water retention in your body due to the changing levels of the sex hormones progesterone and oestrogen. The levels of progesterone hormone significantly lower before the onset of your next menstrual cycle.

Bloating during period happens almost every month. You experience symptoms like heaviness and discomfort. Your stomach bulges outwards as you are nearing your periods.

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These changes can be collectively termed as the pre-menstrual syndrome as these symptoms appear just before your periods is about to commence.

“A test was conducted in 2012 among adolescent girls to monitor the kind of changes that prevails before and during the menstruation period and how period weight gain influences these changes.”

Common symptoms appearing in females before and during the menstruation cycle are:

  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Malaise
  • Acne
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Backache
  • Breast heaviness
  • Joint Pain
  • Anxiety

Pre-menstrual period hits you before 7 to 10 days depending on your body’s metabolism. The hormonal changes influence many of these physiological changes, out of which bloating during periods is the primary symptom brought about by hormonal fluctuations.

The hormonal alterations also result in changes in the plasma serum, magnesium and inorganic phosphorus levels in the blood.

There is a surge in the serum calcium levels in women at the onset of the ovulatory phase (From Day 14). These elevated levels of calcium /magnesium induce contractions or spasms that are characteristic of the menstrual cycle in women. Magnesium levels are low in the follicular phase (From day 1 to 13) in comparison to the luteal phase (From day 15 to 28) which later sees a spike.

Water retention or bloating taking place in the luteal phase during period follows in retrospect to the constriction of the renal arteries brought about by magnesium.

Diet during periods for weight loss

Follow a healthy diet plan when you are on your period.

  • Try to consume foods rich in calcium like milk, yogurt, cheese, kale and spinach can help you keep your calcium levels stable
  • Intake of phosphorus foods such as lentils, nuts, will help in warding off those PMS symptoms
  • A diet rich in Vitamin D fortified foods like salmon, eggs will regulate your calcium and phosphate levels
  • Add bananas and chocolate to your diet as these foods will get rid of those muscle cramps.
Healthy Foods
Healthy Foods

Does weight increase during periods

Weight gain is correlated with your periods. Pre-menstrual cravings are common. You have an inclination to that sinful indulgence that causes weight gain during periods.

Putting on weight during periods is inevitable because your system retains water instead of losing it. Swelling of your stomach makes you feel bloated by about a pound to 10lbs.

You suddenly feel that your weight has increased in a few days owing to bloating and water retention, though it is not the case. The problem aggravates when you do not unhesitatingly give in to your food cravings which actually is the main culprit.

Period weight gain also results from those unhealthy snacks like salty and excess sugary eatables and processed foods like potato chips. These sodium-rich foods lead to weight gain during periods.

How to lose weight during periods

Period weight gain can be tough to deal with. But tackling the situation and come out as a winner is a feat. How to lose weight during periods can be quite tricky.

Taking things in your stride during these stressful times seems a wise thing to do.

Do not get disheartened at this sudden realisation of period weight gain. It is just a matter of a few days when your body has that water retention potential.

Following some simple rules can help you avoid those extra pounds.

  • Staying hydrated will help you lose weight during periods. It will also help in flushing out the excess water retained in your gut.
  • Ditch those salted and sweetened munchies and reduce your salt intake when you consume food.
  • Try to do a little work out even if it is of the simplest form like taking the stairs or walking down the road or lane. This will help you curb the period weight gain.
climbing stairs
climbing stairs

The tables can be turned by a little work out that will work immensely fast as your metabolism speeds up during your period. Yes, you heard it right. Your mechanism doubles up during your period with the spike in estrogen and progesterone hormone.

So you just need to act a little patient when you are PMSing!

What to eat during periods to lose weight

Your whole world shifts upside down when you weigh a little more than usual on the weighing machine.

Thoughts of anxiety and depression dawn upon you as you begin self-loathing and stress yourself more thinking about how to lose weight during periods.

You start thinking you can no longer fit into that skin tight jeans or hot pants which you felt proud of.  However, there is nothing to worry about as this change is not irreversible.

The weight gained during periods is temporary but it can become damaging with your PMS hunger cravings.

The question that constantly hounds you what to eat during your period to lose weight is logical.

Period weight gain can be handled if you choose a diet full of greens and fresh fruits. You have to make healthy choices and watch out what you eat before your periods.

  • Try eating more nuts and fibers as it will give you the feeling of fullness and you will not end up eating more. Additionally, this will work wonders for your body as it will help you in staying agile and active. Grab a handful of flax or pumpkin seeds which are super rich in omega fatty acids.
  • Consume more lean proteins like Greek yoghurt and broccoli. It will give you that rush of energy when you feel lethargic.
  • Intake of dark leafy green veggies like spinach, fenugreek and asparagus will give you the radiant glow on your face as these foods are rich in antioxidants and full of nutrition.
  • If you are fighting off the blues stemming in from your periodic cycle, chomp in those goodness-loaded chia seeds that will keep you away from stress and anxiety.

Next time you are on your periods, keep away your blues and follow these simple diet regimens.


2 thoughts on “All About Weight Gain During Periods And Ways To Tackle It

    • Soma Raghavendra says:

      Hi Dizy! We thank you for sharing your valuable feedback towards our article. This helps you how to tackle the weight gain during periods. Keep following our blog to know more health information.

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