Do you gain weight before or after period?

Periods are a part of every woman’s life, and along with periods, many uninvited problems come towards us. One of them is weight gain.

Weight gain is one of the PMS (Premenstrual symptoms). More than 90% of women get PMS, but the symptoms might differ from person to person. You might gain weight before periods, and within a week after menses, you will be back to your actual weight. An individual might gain 3-5pounds (1.3-2.2kgs) during the period.

weight gain

Let’s understand the weight gain in periods in detail.

Reason

During menses, your body goes through many things, and PMS becomes an add-on.

Hormones

The hormone level (estrogen) fluctuates a lot during the whole cycle, and estrogen is at its peak before you ovulate and then gradually comes to the normal level.

The high estrogen and progesterone indirectly make the body retain more fluid. The fluctuation of these hormones makes the tissues accumulate more fluid/ water, which leads to water retention.

This water retention leads to bloating/puffiness in the stomach, breasts, and other body areas, which leads to weight gain, but there is no fat gain in this weight gain. Water retention is a common symptom in women; it affects almost 92% of menstruate women.

Periods during bloating lead to the misconception that you’ve gained weight because the cramps and the bloating makes you feel tight and uncomfortable. So, you might think that you’ve gained weight, but that is the discomfort. The reason for the cramps is the hormones (prostaglandins) secreted by the uterus as it helps shed the uterus lining.

The bloating may start 4-5 days before and can last up to a few days after periods.

Apart from water retention, even an increase in the gas in the gastrointestinal tract can lead to bloating. About half of the gas is swallowed air in the digestive system, and the bacteria produce the rest in the gut that helps us digest food. So, when our gastric tract doesn’t move efficiently, gas builds up in the intestines, which causes bloating.

Also, gastric issues can cause diarrhoea, constipation and abdominal pain.

As we know, the Progesterone level increases one week before your periods. It impairs intestine muscle contractions which slows down digestion and lead to constipation.

The increase in the prostaglandins (released by the uterus) causes muscle contraction in the uterus and gut, leading to the diarrhoea by disrupting electrolytes and fluid balance in the small intestine.

Excess caffeine

During periods we feel tired, so to keep ourselves charged up, we start consuming caffeine. And the increased consumption of caffeine leads to gastrointestinal issues, which further causes bloating and discomfort.

caffeine

Apart from caffeine drinks, people tend to have carbonated drinks assuming that they will hydrate the body, and that’s not the fact. Instead, it increases the chances of gastrointestinal issues double that of caffeine drinks.

Moreover, carbonated drinks are loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners, which can be a reason for bloating.

Reduced magnesium intake

When periods start approaching, your magnesium level tends to fall because our body produces hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) and the higher the level of hormones lower will be the level of magnesium.

Decreased magnesium in the body makes you crave sugar, due to which you eat more. Moreover, reduced magnesium can cause dehydration.

We should take enough magnesium so that the level in the body doesn’t drop, as it helps relieve cramps pain during periods.

Missing Workout

You might skip workouts during your periods as you feel uneasy, fatigue, discomfort, cramps, bloating, sore breasts, mood swings, and probably multiple other factors.

workout

These factors might increase weight as you might start consuming more sugary things than usual and, on top of that, 0 calories burned. Hence, if you can stay stick to your exercise routine, that will be good for your health.

How long does this weight last?

This weight gain is also known as PMS weight gain. The weight usually starts increasing when your other PMS symptoms begin to emerge. The weight gain happens due to bloating, water retention and hormonal fluctuations in the body.

This weight gain goes away after 3-5 days your period ends. 3-5 pounds of weight fluctuation is normal for a human being, but PMS makes them fluctuate more than regular.

Will I lose weight after periods?

As the periods go away, along with the bleeding, the water retention in the body would decrease, and then you won’t get bloat or won’t get cramps or any discomfort. Moreover, your hormones will start coming to the normal level, which will reduce the cravings, and after periods you may continue workout as well.

When is the best time to weigh me on periods?

The best time to weigh yourself is at least 14 days before or after your menses, as the impact/effect of menses on the bodyweight will be the least.

Prevention

preventions

The weight gain can’t be stopped by any means, but you may take some preventive measures to maintain the weight or decrease the rate of weight gain. You may:

  • Consume more water because if the body is hydrated, then your body won’t retain water.
  • Start looking for healthy alternatives to your cravings.
  • Try to consume diuretic drinks as that might help you flush out the water, but too much consumption can cause cramps.
  • Consume food, fruits and, if required, multi-vitamins rich in magnesium to cover the decrease of the vitamin.
  • Try to exercise and burn calories to make you sweat and get rid of excess water.

Conclusions

Weight gain(3-5lbs/1.3-2.2kgs) during periods is normal. Due to some PMS symptoms, you feel like you’ve gained weight. On the other hand, there are few which make you gain weight. Hence, it is recommended not to weigh yourself when periods are approaching.

If you still feel that the bloating, gastric problem and other symptoms aren’t faiding, you may consult your doctor.