During the menstrual cycle or just before the onset of the menstrual cycle, the body undergoes several metabolic changes. There are changes in the woman’s appetite and food intake, which may cause her to crave for comfort foods. This could lead to a temporary weight gain during menstruation.
Bloating and water retention is also an uncomfortable side effect of pre-menstrual syndrome. Some women complain that they actually gain about 2-3 kgs during their periods though this is not true for all women. Nevertheless, it can cause a lot of angst and unnecessary anxiety in figure conscious women. Here are some ways to dealing with weight gain and bloating during the periods.
Tips to To Deal With Menstrual Weight Gain
Watch the Salt
If you are already reeling from the effects of water retention, adding a generous dose of salt to your food will not help. On the contrary, going on a salt-free or reduced salt diet may just take the extra pounds off your waist. Go easy on the salt as soon as you start to feel the waistband of your favourite jeans becoming tight.
Until the cessation of your menstrual cycle, continue eating a reduced salt diet. In all probability, this will have an impact on your weight gain and you are not likely to feel fat and frumpy.
Drink More Water
While this sounds very ironical, drinking adequate water in turn will help to flush out harmful salts and toxins from your body and make you feel slimmer in the bargain. Keep sipping on ice-cold water throughout the day. This will help to reduce the water retention and weight gain.
Wear Loose and Comfortable Clothes
For the next 7-10 days, put aside your favourite Levis and switch to something more comfortable. A stretch fit trouser or loose tracks with tees will help you to breathe easy especially if you are suffering from water retention.
Wearing tight and restrictive garments on the other hand will pinch your tummy at the waist and make you feel uneasy.
Remove Food Allergens
Some allergens in the food like wheat, lentils, beans and oils can make you feel gassy and bloated. Avoid eating these foods at all. Stick to fibrous foods like oats, fruits and vegetables, which also have a high water content.
Avoid Spicy and Oily Food
Likewise, avoid eating very greasy and spicy food, which will again compound the problem of water retention and weight gain. Stick to bland food that does not have excess of spices, salt or sugar in it.
Get More Calcium
Calcium, the all-important mineral is very good for people who are trying to lose weight or are watching their weight. Try to fit in some extra calcium in your diet during your menstrual cycle.
This includes munching on a slice of low fat cheese or eating a big bowl of yoghurt. This too will help to eliminate the extra bloating and gassiness that you may feel in your stomach during your menstrual cycle.
Get Enough Exercise
There is nothing like a good workout to beat the PMS blues. Not only will exercise make you feel brighter and peppier but it will also reduce bloating significantly and assuage abdominal cramps. Moderate exercise done every day, just before the onset of periods, is very good for regulating your cycle and reducing the symptoms of PMS.
Supplements of magnesium are also aid to be effective in reducing bloating and excess water retention. In order to prevent an overdose, speak to your doctor first about taking a magnesium supplement.
Control the Cravings
It is very hard to resist the creamy chocolate cake especially when you are feeling cranky and depressed, but try to curb the food cravings by engaging in activities that will keep you distracted from food. Eating fatty food during your period will only exacerbate your bloating and actually make you put on weight which will then be difficult to get rid of. Fight the food cravings by regularly snacking on fruits, nuts and complex carbs like oats and sweet potatoes.
Eat Potassium Rich Foods
Take a diet that is rich in potassium. Potassium rich foods like apples, tomatoes and bananas help to regulate the excess fluid that has piled up inside the body. Eat ample quantities of foods that are a rich source of potassium.
Eat Regular Meals
Do not skip meals or eat them at bizarre timings. This is most likely to make you succumb to eating junk food, which in turn will lead to weight gain. Have regular meals that have been spaced out between 2-3 hours. Eating regularly will prevent hunger pangs and also keep you in a happier state of mind.
Limit the Intake of Caffeine
Caffeine will leave you feeling dehydrated and will undo all the good that you have done by drinking water to reduce bloating. Stick to green tea or herbal tea instead.
Avoid the Weighing Scales
Do not weigh yourself on the scale during menstruation as your weight is likely to go up by a few pounds during your periods and this is likely to send you into a depression. Stay away from the scale to avoid disappointment.
Drink a couple of glasses of cranberry juice daily. Not only does this juice help to keep your bladder healthy, but cranberries are also known to act as natural diuretics. They help to eliminate excess water retention from the body.
Chamomile tea is known for its calming and soothing effects on digestion. It can reduce digestive discomfort, gassiness and bloating. Sip on a few cups of chamomile tea throughout the day to get rid of gassiness and bloating during the menstrual cycle.
The good news is that bloating and weight gain are not a permanent feature during the menstrual cycle and these symptoms usually abate by the 8th or the 10th day of the cycle. You will find your weight returning back to normal by the time you are over with your periods. However, for women who suffer from severe water retention, the above tips should come in handy.