We often feel less than our best when our periods roll around. But do you gain weight on your period? We’ll take you through the details.
We rarely feel our best when we’re on our period.
For various hormonal reasons — and sometimes just to comfort ourselves — we tend to eat more before and during our period.
But how much weight do you gain on your period?
And how long is this extra weight likely to stick around?
Here’s everything you need to know about period weight gain.
In this article: 📝
- Do you gain weight before or during your period?
- How much weight do you gain on your period?
- Should you weigh yourself during your period?
- How long does period weight last?
- How do you prevent weight gain during your period?
Do you gain weight before or during your period?
Our hormones change a lot over the course of our cycle, not just while we’re on our period.
The time leading up to actual menstruation is called the luteal phase.
It’s the second part of our cycle and takes place just after ovulation.
It’s at this time that we’re most likely to experience premenstrual syndrome or PMS.
This is because the hormones estrogen and progesterone peak at this point, causing mood swings, fatigue, headaches, sore breasts, and bloating.
Many of us find that we want to eat a lot at this stage in our cycle and that we crave sweet, salty, or fatty foods.
Low energy and sometimes a bit of moodiness might mean that we’re also less likely to stick to our exercise regimes.
These listless feelings can linger until after our period starts.
And if this isn’t enough, high progesterone levels can cause our gastrointestinal tract to slow down, making us feel constipated and bloated.
So, yes, all these different factors combined can make you gain a bit of weight in the week or so before your period.
How much weight do you gain on your period?
Everyone is different, but the average weight gain during your period (or just before) is between 2 and 6 pounds.
Should you weigh yourself during your period?
This one’s really up to you.
It’s natural for our weight to fluctuate as adults, and we shouldn’t worry about it too much.
Especially when there’s a good, hormone-based reason behind it, and we’re already feeling a bit rough!
How long does period weight last?
The good news is that as soon as we get our periods, our estrogen levels start to drop, which means the bloating we’re experiencing should also decrease.
Most women find that the worst of their weight gain goes away a few days after their period starts.
Keep in mind that regularly gaining weight and experiencing irregular periods is a sign of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
This is an imbalance of reproductive hormones that can cause a resistance to insulin and, therefore, weight gain.
Speak to your doctor if you’re worried about PCOS or any other symptoms you experience during your period.
How do you prevent weight gain during your period?
It’s hard to prevent period weight gain completely, and since it’s a natural part of our cycle, it’s probably best to relax and trust that it’ll eventually settle.
But there are a few things we can do to make ourselves feel better.
While there’s absolutely no shame in indulging in our body’s cravings around our period, eating too much fatty food can cause us to retain water and make us feel more sluggish overall.
Instead, opt for food that is both nice and nourishing.
Citrus fruits are packed with fiber and vitamin C, which helps reduce bloating.
Supplements containing vitamin B or magnesium can help, too.
Working up a light sweat (nothing too strenuous) is also a good idea.
Not only will exercise likely help to shift water weight and boost our mood, but it also tends to help with period cramps.
Unless you’re in serious pain or discomfort, try not to worry too much about changes to your weight during this time.
Your body is just doing what it’s meant to do.