Pains, cramps, mood swings, and insatiable cravings are just some of the irritating effects of menstruation. Some women experience these uncomfortable sensations a week before and after the period kicks in.
Probably the worst of all is that bloated feeling and the surprising weight gain during every period. It is the foremost reason that a lot would call the monthly period as a curse.
Although this unwanted period-related anomaly can actually be prevented and alleviated, learn about the facts why this annoying phenomenon is happening so you will worry less about them.
Weight- watchers or those who are so conscious about their weight find it troublesome to gain extra pounds, period or not. Even if they follow a strict diet and stick to their fitness regimen, they still managed to tip the scale higher than normal.
To some women, this weight gain is not related to food at all. It is just the wild hormones that are to blame for it. The hormonal changes before, during, and after your period makes your flesh retain most of the water that you take. Even without extra calories, those accumulated water in the body add up to make you heavier.
Aside from water retention, the hormonal changes also cause the digestive system to form and retain extra gas thus the full and bloating sensation around the area in the stomach.
For some unfortunate ladies, menstrual period is the time when cravings are too powerful to ignore. Still, it is because of hormonal changes that appetite seemed heightened. Many women are craving for both sugary and carbohydrate- rich foods while there are also some who desperately wants sodium- laden snacks.
Carbohydrates and sweets are to blame since they are packed with so many calories. Salty snacks, on the other hand, contribute to water retention hence the increase in weight.
Is the Gain Temporary?
Since the hormones are hard at work during your period, you are actually eating more than the usual because of your feelings and not because you are hungry. It is also because of the hormones that you hold water too much and not because you have any kidney problem.
The best thing about it is that all these weight gain problems happen usually before your period starts. That is why they are actually referred to as PMS or pre-menstrual syndrome. Upon the start of the period, everything gradually returns back to normal. You shed off the fluids along with the bloating and you are back to hating carbs and sweets. Only a handful experiences these symptoms from the start until the end of their periods.
Tips to Avoid Permanent Weight Gain
Since these uncomfortable feelings eventually fade within a few days, there are things you can do to prevent a permanent weight gain after your period.
You can’t always go around blaming the hormones for it. Be firm on your ground to eat healthy even during your period. Steer clear from too much salt, sugar, and carbohydrates. Even though you feel like you are dying to have a bite of some carb- heavy food, remember that those are just hormones talking.
Water weight goes away but those pounds you put on because of food will take a while. So if you do not want to be burdened by the long-term weight gain, take control of your cravings.
Foods that Ward Off Bloating
There are certain foods that can soothe the digestive system and help lose water weight.
First is Kefir. It is a yogurt- like cultured dairy product that breaks down lactose to avoid bloating and gas pains. Another one is spinach that contains a lot of magnesium that reduces menstrual cramps and relaxes the muscles. The last one is chocolate. To avoid sugar, choose at least 70% dark chocolate as it is also rich in magnesium. Its chemical properties make you happier too.
Aside from keeping a healthy diet, exercise is a great way to control weight gain during your period. Hitting the gym or just by doing simple exercises like walking and running will burn those calories you took.
However, physical activity does not only burn calories. When it comes to exercise and period, it actually lessens the production of cortisol, one of the active hormones during menstruation. It is a stress hormone that is to be blamed for the crazy mood swings. Once cortisol is down, you tend to become a bit happier and less moody so you can easily maneuver to those other nasty period- related symptoms.
Weight fluctuations during a period are pretty normal. This is a curse, as a lot would say, but it is your choice whether to bow down to it. In fact, most of the weight gain effects are temporary. All you need is to be extra careful on what you eat and support healthy diet with exercise.