Introduction To Period Weight Gain
Your period is here again, and you’ve just stepped on the scale to see those numbers creeping up a little higher than usual. It may not make your day, but you should know that period weight gain is a completely normal and expected part of PMS and menstruation.
Most of the time, when your period ends, the added weight drops off your body. An article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology discussed premenstrual syndrome in terms of weight gain, abdominal bloating, and perceived body image.
This article will explore your most pressing questions about weight gain during your period, such as why it occurs, what to do about it, and most importantly, ‘when does period weight go away?’
Why Do Some Women Gain Weight During Their Period?
While the majority of women experience weight gain before and during their periods, there are several different possible causes for this phenomenon. Some, or even all of them may be relevant during your time of the month. When does period weight go away? Usually, after your period is done, although it’s not always the case.
The most common cause of weight gain during period is water retention, often because hormones vary in levels. Among other things, this may cause lower levels of magnesium and potassium levels impacting the electrolyte balance in your system.
Gastrointestinal issues like gas and bloating are also common during your period, which may make you feel heavier. Hormonal Imbalance and other changes may lead to snacking on carbohydrates for actual weight gain. Let’s examine each of the major causes in more detail.
Levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone fluctuate before and during your period. As they are partially responsible for the regulation of hydration levels in the body, it often leads to water retention. When you retain water, it can translate to a couple more pounds on the scale and may lead to discomfort, swollen breasts, and period bloat.
Snacking And Cravings
Varying levels of hormones during the time of your period can also lead to additional cravings for snacks and sweets, which can add to the weight that could remain after your period is done if you aren’t careful.
It often occurs when progesterone levels rise right before your period begins. When estrogen levels decline, it may lead to a corresponding decrease in serotonin levels and low mood, which, according to a report in Obesity Reviews, may cause you to overeat.
Hormonal shifts during your period may cause gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, and period bloat. High levels of progesterone before menstruation may slow muscle movement and thus decrease the efficiency of digestion.
Lipids called prostaglandins can lead to an electrolyte imbalance in your digestive tract, which sometimes promotes diarrhea. The primary reason GI issues may lead to a higher number on the scale is gas and bloating, as well as retaining liquid. So, if you’re wondering how to lose water weight, try limiting your salt intake or taking magnesium or potassium orally to balance your electrolytes.
What Is The Average Weight Gain During Menstruation?
The amount of weight gain during period will vary from person to person, depending on factors like hormonal balance, how much water you usually retain during menstruation, and the degree to which you give in to cravings and snacking.
Some women experience more period bloat than others, which may add to the number on the scale. It may also vary depending on the day, perhaps going up to 5 pounds one day and back to normal another. On average, most women find that they put on between 2-5 pounds during their period.
While many women are concerned when they see their weight increasing, for the most part, the added weight does not represent much in the way of additional fat. It is due to water retention and gastrointestinal issues like period bloat.
A study in BMC Women’s Health found that both emotional and gastrointestinal symptoms tend to occur in women due to PMS.
When Will Your Weight Return To Normal?
Many women have asked, “When does period weight go away?’ and they are looking for a definitive answer. It tends to drop back down to normal after your time of the month is over for most women, but this is not always the case.
So, if you consume excess calories during your period due to cravings and over-snacking, some added pounds may remain. You’ll have to exercise and diet a little extra if you want to lose the additional weight gain during period time.
It may be difficult to motivate yourself during your period, but exercise and other health habits can ease other PMS symptoms, such as mood swings. Exercise boosts endorphins, which improves overall wellness and positivity. A boost in mood may also decrease stress overeating, and snacking, for less weight gain during period time.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that a 6-month diet and exercise program specifically adapted to the menstrual cycle was successful in promoting weight loss in overweight premenopausal women.
Will My Weight Decrease After My Period?
In most cases, your weight will go back down within a couple of days, as we’ve said, but you may also speed up the process with some tips for how to lose water weight. These include taking magnesium or potassium supplementation to balance electrolyte levels, limiting your consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and eating complex carbohydrates.
In addition, use limited salt, as it can lead to additional water retention and bloating. Other ideas for how to lose water weight include drinking plenty of water before and during your period. It can also help suppress appetite and help you take off those extra pounds.
A review in Frontiers in Nutrition examined the research showing that increased hydration is associated with weight loss through decreasing appetite and increasing lipolysis for fat burning. They also found it may lessen the risk factors for some chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.
There’s some evidence that supplementing with Vitamin B6 may decrease period bloat, so consider adding it or a multivitamin that includes B6 to your daily regimen.
The Prevention And Treatment Of Period Weight Increase
Of course, the most important question most women want the answer to is, ‘When does period weight go away? While we’ve already given you the short answer, you should also know that there are lifestyle habits you can incorporate which can significantly improve your chances of dropping weight fast after your period is over and maintaining a healthy weight.
Although you may not think that taking in more liquid is how to lose water weight, on the contrary, keeping well hydrated can decrease retention. Your body tends to hold in liquid when it’s dehydrated, so when you balance your levels by taking in plenty of water, the propensity to hold onto the liquid dissipates.
Besides fluctuating hormone levels, mood changes may also lead to snacking and taking in too many calories during your period. Consider implementing techniques to decrease stress levels, generally and especially before and during your period. It may include an online yoga class, a relaxing day with a friend, or a revitalizing massage. Mindfulness and meditation techniques could move your thoughts from issues like “when does period weight go away?’ to focusing more on the present moment.
Following a regular exercise schedule throughout the month will help you maintain a healthy weight generally, and it will also promote faster calorie burning. If you take in extra snacks during your period, the exercise should help to keep your weight in check. When does period weight go away? A trip or two to the gym, and you should be back to normal.
Following A Healthy Diet
To maintain a healthy weight all month, try to follow a balanced, nutritious diet high in fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats, fish, lean meats, some dairy, nuts, and seeds. Avoid processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats, which you may crave during and before your period, and be moderate with alcohol and caffeine.
Are you wondering how to lose water weight? Refined sugar and salt can lead to water retention, so avoiding them, especially at this time of the month, can reduce the added bloat.
Some foods are recommended for PMS symptoms, such as nutrition with high fiber, like broccoli, berries, and whole grains, which can ease digestive symptoms and cravings. Foods high in magnesium like spinach or potassium like avocado may help balance electrolyte levels for less fluid retention.
There are also foods with natural plant-based estrogens, which help balance hormonal levels, decreasing some symptoms of PMS, including those related to weight gain. Try adding soy, cabbage, berries, onions, or grapes to your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Period weight gain most often disappears after your period is over. However, if some weight gains are due to overeating or snacking during the week you menstruate, you may have to work a little harder to get rid of it.
Although it varies from person to person, most women experience an approximately 2-5 pounds weight gain during period time. However, it may fluctuate based on some factors. While it may show up this way on the scale, most weight is not added fat but due to water retention and bloating.
For the most part, this ‘weight’ is not actual fat, it’s water weight and gastrointestinal bloating, which are PMS and menstruation symptoms. When does period weight go away? When your period is over, the corresponding weight should go with it.
Weight gain during period time will vary somewhat from person to person, depending on individual biological factors, as well as your eating habits during PMS and menstruation. Most commonly, women gain about 2-5 pounds during their periods.
Generally, weight is highest in the 2-3 days before your period, called the premenstrual phase. PMS symptoms include water retention, period bloat, and mood swings which could lead to overeating. All of these factors can add a few pounds, usually temporarily.
It’s very unlikely that you would put on this much weight during your period. Although it could happen due to extreme water retention and overeating, the average period weight gain is about 2-5 pounds, and it tends to drop off after your menstruation ends.
The Bottom Line
Among the symptoms that may occur before and during menstruation, period weight gain is one of the most bothersome to many women. Although most realize that the added pounds on the scale are due to water retention and bloating, it can still be very discouraging to see the number increase.
Your best method for preventing or minimizing period weight gain is to follow a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, hydration, and rich nutrition all month long.