Weight Gain During Periods: How To Avoid It?


Most of the women around the world know that weight gain can take place during periods. Despite knowing this fact, weight gain during periods is often ignored by most women. Over the years, there have been several reports which suggested an increase in weight gain during periods. Now, the question arises why does it take place? Well, there are some logical reasons for it. Let us check them out.

# Appetite change: During the menstruation-cycle, women notice significant changes in their appetite. And, this somehow contributes to weight gain. Though the changes in appetite are noticed at different stages of menstrual-cycle called the follicular phase and the luteal phase. The first phase, i.e., the follicular phase begins when the person starts bleeding and this ends before ovulation. Estrogen is found during this phase, which contributes to a lower appetite. Whereas the luteal phase begins after ovulation, and the secretion of progesterone hormone leads to overeating during the phase. During the luteal phase, women tend to crave more for food items, including chocolate and sweets in general.

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# Water retention: According to several studies, women tend to experience water and salt retention in their bodies. This because of a hormone called progesterone, which also activates aldosterone, which causes water and salt retention from kidneys. This results in bloating and swelling in arms and legs. Though this is not exactly a weight gain situation. During this time, the clothes become tighter and the feeling of uneasiness remains.

# Decrease in magnesium: According to studies, a person’s body sees a constant decrease in magnesium. This leads to sugar cravings, which leads to weight gain. Dehydration is also a bi-product of low magnesium and it can cause cravings to eat sugary foods.

# Constipation: It is without a doubt that the gastrointestinal tract is affected a lot during the periods. The process of pushing out waste becomes complex. “Progesterone causes some relaxation of smooth muscle, leading to a reduction in gastrointestinal motility, which may lead to bloating and constipation in some women,” says Dr Huddleston.

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Now that you are aware of the reasons, you must also know the number of days it can last. According to reports, this can last for about 5 days and the symptoms end within 4 days.

Weight gain is problematic and frustrating no matter what the situation is and it is quite essential to treat it before things get out of hand. So let us take a look at how to avoid weight gain during periods:


One of the things that has an impact on almost all of our body-related issues is what we eat. It is important to keep your diet in check during periods. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, you should include complex carbohydrates and calcium-rich foods in your diet. It is also recommended to reduce salt and sugar intake and avoiding caffeine and alcoholic beverages.

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It is most likely that when you take this problem to your doctor, then they might recommend diuretics, which helps in limiting the amount of water our body can store. It was also found in a study that some contraceptive pills can also help in reducing water retention.

Magnesium supplements:

If the above doesn’t work for you, go for magnesium pills as well. But, do remember to get it checked from your doctor. Magnesium supplements can help in decreasing water retention, bloating, and sugar cravings.

Reduce salt intake:

Another factor that can lead to water retention is salt, and when you reduce its intake, you are bound to feel lighter. Sodium can be avoided if you don’t opt for processed food items and adding salt in already prepared food.

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Hormonal changes are bound to occur when you are on periods. It is quite essential to keep them in check. The bloating appearance and excessive weight gain during periods is avoidable if you follow the above-mentioned tips. Keep track of what you are eating and do exercise regularly if possible, it will definitely help.

If you are concerned a lot about fluid retention and experiencing it more than expected, then do visit your doctor for perfect advice.