Why and how much do you gain weight during your period? We clarify the most important questions about the topic – and how you can avoid it
Period days are not our most popular of the month. We have stomach cramps, we often feel moody – and the scales show a few pounds too much. But why is that actually? The good news is that it is very normal to gain weight during your period. Gynecologist Angela Chaudhari explains, “The fact that you feel bloated and heavier is related to the fact that the hormone progesterone dominates our body just before you get your days. This causes us to retain water.” Weight gain can vary between 0.5 and 1.5 kilos, some women even gain up to 2.5 kilos.
Tips against extra weight
Do you drink much
Once your period goes down, the extra weight on the scale should go away on its own. So you don’t (and should) do nothing to “stop” your body from gaining weight during these days. Anyone who still feels uncomfortable should – and that sounds counterproductive at first – drink a lot: “More fluid leads to better hydration,” says Dr. Chaudhari – and this can help you minimize the bloated and heavy feeling.
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Resist food cravings
However, the cravings that you get during or just before your period can actually lead to weight gain. The hormone progesterone stimulates our appetite, this has been proven. Reaching for chocolate and bags of chips is unnecessary, however, because our body needs neither more sugar nor more fat. If you still find it difficult to resist during your period: Reach for dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70 percent.
Don’t skip your workout
If we’re being honest, we like to skip our workouts during our periods. After all, we don’t feel particularly comfortable in our bodies, and extra effort sounds like an insurmountable hurdle. However, studies have shown that exercise can actually reduce abdominal cramps and other symptoms. If you still can’t bring yourself to the gym: Take a walk or a mini-workout in front of the TV so as not to get completely out of step.