It is that time of the month again. By now, you know the drill all too well. A weird nausea, cramps, bloating, a backache, mood swings, and cravings are starting to take a toll on you. As if you have not had enough to deal with already, you get a bonus in terms of increased body weight.
Just the other week you felt slimmer and pretty good, and then overnight, you feel bigger. Some of your jeans trousers no longer fit too.
You feel more confused about what is going on in you as the scale confirms that you have indeed added on an extra couple of pounds. This is what we call period weight gain.
So, do you need to be really worried about gaining weight during your periods as a lady? There is a reason not to worry as weight gain during your period is an actual thing. Just as the other signs, the extra weight goes away after a while too hence leaving you as lean as before.
Perhaps your bigger concern is this question; “when does period weight gain go away?” Worry not. I have all the answers for you in this article.
Causes Of Period Weight Gain
I think a better way of referring to this sporadic weight gain would be weight fluctuation. Weight gain would mean a permanent change in your body weight. The extra is a fluctuation that goes away after a while.
First of all, when you wake up feeling a couple of pounds heavier than you were yesterday, do not panic. There is an explanation for the sudden hike in body mass. During the days leading to your period, there is a rise in hormonal levels in your system.
It is these hormones that trigger the weight gain and loss in the first place. The amount of fluctuation differs depending on one’s body. Nonetheless, most women report to have gained between 2-10 pounds before and during the periods.
But when does it start and what causes the upsurge in weight? This is the question that troubles most women at the mention of period weight gain. Typically, the fluctuation starts approximately five days prior to your periods.
The causes as I have mentioned before is down to hormonal levels and increased water in your body. Do not start panicking as these are normal processes that every woman goes through. To be precise, the hormone in question is progesterone that is usually crucial in the early pregnancy stages.
Ordinarily, if you were pregnant, the levels of this hormone would increase. But since there is no fertilized egg in you, progesterone hormone levels go down. This in the process triggers the onset of the menstruation process.
As a result, a condition called pre-period water-weight develops. What happens is that every cell in the body responds to the low progesterone levels by reserving water levels in them. The result is increased water content in your body, in preparedness for menstruation.
You would then feel bloated and heavier. Another cause of the fluctuation is excessive cravings typically associated with periods. All that junk food you rake up ends up packing additional pounds on your overall body weight. Of course, when the cravings stop, the weight automatically reduces.
An interesting fact is that not all women will experience period weight gain. If you don’t notice changes in the weigh scale reading in the days leading up to your periods, then don’t stress about it. You are perfectly normal the way you are.
When Does Period Weight Gain Go Away?
Now that we have established the causes of period weight gain and when it starts, the next fundamental question would be when does it go away?
Here is what happens. The causes of period weight gain stated above comprise what I call Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.
Since bloating and retention of water by cells in the body occurs prior to when your periods start, it would ordinarily mean weight gain stops as soon as the signs do. In essence, you can expect the weight gain to wade off as soon as your periods begin.
Just like everything else, you shouldn’t expect the condition to behave the same for every person. For some women, the pre-period water-weight gain continues all through the menstruation process. You would, therefore, have to wait until the cycle stops before you start shedding off the excess weight.
The excess weight still isn’t going away? Well, if you ever find yourself in a situation where even after the period cycle is complete and you still feel heavier, then you must have gained some real weight.
Remember the cravings you gave in to? They might be the cause of all these.
Therefore, if you don’t watch out what you eat, then be prepared for some actual weight gain. Some of these snacky foods with extra salts and sugar are not very good for you.
The good news for you is that you will have to quit a lot to actually put up enough fat within the short period to gain reasonable weight.
How Do I Deal With This Weight Gain?
I know the extra pounds you have put up can be a little of a problem at times. It, therefore, necessitates measures to manage the extra weight.
Since it’s all due to water retention, some of you might be tempted to cut on their water uptake as a result.
Listen, under no circumstance should one have to reduce the recommended 8 glasses of water a day. If the weight is really bothering you, then here are some suggestions that I believe will help you manage it better. That is, if you cannot wait until the cycle ends.
Some of the steps are similar to the ones you would take when you gain actual weight.
- Spare some time to work out
Working out not only helps you minimize your weight, it also eases your cramps. In case you are taking junk foods, then working out would in turn burn the extra calories you have added.
- Load Up More Water
Sounds counterproductive, right? Apparently, drinking more water helps your kidney flush out salts that facilitate water retention in the cells. 8-10 glasses a day would work great for you.
- Decrease Alcohol, Salt and Caffeine Uptake
Too much salt in cells aids in water retention, so does caffeine and alcohol. Increase the amount of water you drink as you tone down on these three.
- Take More Fruits and Vegetables
More vitamins in your body is good for suppressing the sudden weight gain, managing muscle cramps and sudden cravings.
- Have a Period Tracker in Place
In order to better manage your weight gain, I would suggest you track any changes using a period tracker (anticipatory calendar). In this way, you are better equipped to know when to expect the weight fluctuation, and whether it isn’t real fat in the first place.
To sum up this whole article, period weight gain goes away either as soon as the period starts or just as it is done. That is provided it is caused by the hormones produced by the body during the menstrual cycle and not real fat.
This occurrence is mainly due to water retention by the body cells triggered by a reduced progesterone level. However much it’s an inconvenience, the weight fizzles out in a couple of days.
If you want to combat it, then plenty of exercises are recommended. It is also advisable to eat healthy just in case you don’t want to gain weight for real.