Weight Gain During Period: 4 Ways to Combat That Time of the Month

You know what I’m talking about. That time of the month when you burst into tears for no reason, get totally annoyed by the tiniest things, or can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. That time of the month when you’re not in the mood for anything.

As if that wasn’t enough: That time of the month, when anywhere from 1 to 6 or as many as 10 mysterious pounds suddenly appear on your body. Overnight. And those extra pounds can be soooo discouraging, especially when you’ve been doing your best to eat healthy and work out.

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If you’re lucky enough to be among the 15% of women who don’t get to experience any of these wonderful things, that’s amazing…and we’re all just a tad jealous! 🙂 But for the rest of us who do, this post is especially for us (and those who love us!).

Why do you gain weight during your period?

You already get to deal with so many other not-so-nice things during that time of the month. Gaining weight just seems like salt in the wind. You’re probably wondering if it’s normal to gain weight during your period and why does that happen? Here are reasons some why you can experience weight gain during your period:

All of this causes water retention, bloating, food cravings, and/or emotional overeating. The problem is when you do see those extra pounds of fluid, or give in to those cravings, it’s tempting to say, “To heck with it!” and overindulge even more!

Top 4 ways to combat weight gain during your period

It’s easy to forget that those pounds are temporary, and in a few days they’ll go away just as mysteriously as they appeared. Repeat that to yourself and remind yourself: This is all temporary.

Focus on nutrition + eat healthy

Fill your days with whole grains, lean meats, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats like we do in Carb Cycling. Studies have shown that eating complex carbs can raise serotonin levels, which helps improve your mood. Amen to that! Here are a couple of other tips when it comes to what you put in your mouth!

  • Watch your salt and sugar intake: Stay away from those processed, junk foods. Sodium can cause bloating, and sugary foods can actually increase your insulin levels, which can make those potentially problematic cravings worse. That’s the last thing we want to happen!
  • Drink plenty of water: Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces each day (150 pounds = 75 ounces of water). While this might seem counterintuitive, you’ll want plenty of water in your system to keep things running smoothly.
  • Add in supplements. Supplements are a great way to enhance your diet and give your body all the important things it needs, especially during that time of the month. I bet you didn’t even know that things like fenugreek and fennel seed can reduce bloat. If you’re thinking, “Well where the heck do I get that?,” let me introduce you to one of my favorite supplements: Bye Bye Bloat. This magical supplement that every woman needs helps reduce water weight, aids the digestive system, and tackles hormonal and food-related bloating. While you’re at it, and if you experience mood shifts during that time, grab some Mood Pills (yes that’s the name), another great way to supplement your diet with ingredients that will help you take on the world (even when you gosh dang don’t feel like it!).
  • Eat 5 meals a day: Doing so will help control your blood sugar levels and fend off those cravings

Keep a food + feelings diary to look for patterns

You guys know how much I If you’re able to pinpoint when that time of the month is going to strike, you can plan for stressful situations (or avoid them entirely) and have a concrete strategy in place so you won’t add permanent pounds to those temporary ones.

Exercise (especially when you don’t feel like it)

In fact, you can get some pretty awesome benefits from simply getting your heart rate up for as little as 10 minutes. Any type of cardio can help raise those serotonin levels, and you’ll feel better, burn calories, and handle all those crazy emotions more effectively. And get this: Inactivity can actually contribute to bloating! Yeah…that makes you want to get up and move right now, right? 😉 If those cramps make you want to curl up in a ball and do nothing, try some easy stretching, yoga, or swimming. Anything gentle and relaxing can help!

Get as much sleep as possible.

Fatigue adds to your already increased irritability, makes it more difficult to want to exercise and eat healthy, and can cause other issues that can affect your health and make you feel not as good as you’d like to, even when it’s not that time of the month! Obviously, this can be tricky since women who experience PMS are twice as likely to have insomnia before and during their period. If this sounds familiar, I have to introduce you to a gift from the sleeping gods: Sleeping Beauty. This supplement, yes another game-changing supplement, is filled with great ingredients known to promote sleep like:

  • Valerian Root Powder
  • L-Theanine
  • Melatonin

So prepare yourself to sleep like a baby because this is the real deal and you need that sleep during that time of the month, and just about any time of the month really!

So hey, that time of the month? Bring it! We’re ready!


Related reading:

Please Pass the Salt? How Sodium Impacts Transformation Success
5 Foods to Avoid That Can Cause Inflammation
Can I Carb Cycle as a Vegetarian?
How to Drink Water When You Don’t Like the Taste
Keep It Simple: Health + Nutrition Tips for Everyday Living

16 Responses

  1. Carb cycling has been one of the best things to happen in terms of PMS and that time of the month. The high carb days are great, and Sundays are when I gather every single thing on my cravings list and go to town.
    I always gained weight during my period, but since carb cycling I’ve lost weight during my period, and my cramps and bloating have been significantly better.

  2. I’m so happy you posted this I am one of those women who gets all the unfun time of the month stuff BAD, I was just struggling with this and couldn’t have read it at a better time! Thanks! ?

  3. Thanks for the article, Heidi! I love how you brought this issue out there and gave us some good tips, especially reminding us that it is temporary and the pounds will disappear as quickly as they came.

    I don’t agree with calling these emotions crazy. They are normal and prevalent in many women as your article has highlighted, and although we might feel crazy, it is better to recognize and validate the emotions, not brush them aside as crazy and give others and ourselves the perception that women are crazy that time of the month.

    I sent this article to my boyfriend to help understand and support me with your strategies, especially during that time of the month! Thanks!

  4. I feel like I needed to read this today! I am so thankful for this post. I am currently dealing with these issues and I feel like I have to start all over after my period and I get so discouraged. It doesn’t make me feel as crazy 🙂 Thanks so much! I am going to read this every month to remind myself what is going on with my body.

  5. There is something so comforting in being reminded that it is a shared struggle! Thank you Heidi for just being real, yet again. 🙂 xoxo

  6. The older I get the worse it gets. I don’t seem to loose the 10 pounds. So every month, gets worse. I start loosing then bam.

  7. Thank you so much for the info. It seems to me that the closer to the change I get, the worse that time of the month gets for me. I use to be one of those lucky few that had no symptoms but not anymore. Now I get them with a vengeance. The last thing I want to do is be anywhere near a gym. Thankfully I don’t get cravings though.

  8. I am in awe of everything you do. This article came at just the right time for me (if you know what I mean). My husband and I have been on a very good health streak this past week, eating healthy, exercising, packing lunches for our day and eating dinners as a family, and I knew my Aunt Flo was on her way. I always have a hard time for those 5 days and I desperately did not want to go back on the progress I have made. This gave me the push I needed to stay healthy when my mind thinks I shouldn’t.
    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being so inspirational. My husband and I both admire you and your beautiful family ?

  9. Thank you so much for this article Heidi! I’ve always had a wicked time with THAT time of the month, and was recently hospitalized because my hemoglobin/blood levels dropped so low they were going to transfuse me.

    Now I’m trying to break old ‘junky’ habits by doing the carb cycling, and going for short walks until my blood gets back to where it should be (2-3 months, ack!), so I really appreciate this article. Much love to you and your family!

  10. I am going throw that now and soon there will be candy in the house with 2 kids trick or treating this year I have 90 lbs to lose by june so I need all the help with weight loss I can get

    1. Hi Jill: All that Halloween candy definitely can make it harder! You might find some great tips and tools to help you reach your weight loss goals in this other blog post: https://heidipowell.net/9060. It outlines the basics of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, and it works! Be sure and follow all the links within the post too – there are some awesome things! You can do this! 🙂

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