Period weight gain: Why it happens and why it’s nothing to worry about

Period weight gain: Why it happens and why it’s nothing to worry about
Period weight gain: Why it happens and why it’s nothing to worry about

We are all familiar with the moment we step on the weighing scale and experience the surprise of our lives when we realize we have added a kilogram or two! However, before deciding to undertake a drastic diet, it’s essential to pause and check the date! If you are in the midst of your cycle or approaching it, this rise in weight may be entirely normal. Hormonal variations are typical during this period and these changes can lead to bloating during menstruation.

If you are wondering about the duration of period-related weight gain, here’s the good news: this increase in weight will naturally dissipate on its own! You might observe changes in the days leading up to your period, and once it concludes, your weight will return to normal. The same applies to bloating and other symptoms associated with your cycle.

What amount of weight do you gain during your cycle?

Be prepared because your weight may be up by 2 kilos during this phase! “Weight gain during the latter part of your menstrual cycle, as you approach your period, can vary from minimal to around 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds),” states Dr. Mamatha CV, Specialist – Fertility & IVF, BirthRight by Rainbow Children’s Hospital.

These fluctuations are due to hormonal changes and water retention that result in this sudden increase in kilos, she explains. “The primary hormone during this phase is progesterone. This stimulates the appetite, leading to increased food intake during this time. Keep in mind, these changes are a natural part of the menstrual cycle and typically resolve independently and temporarily,” she adds.

A woman experiencing Period pain
Pain and mood swings are common during periods. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

According to this research, published in the American journal of human Biology, alterations in body weight and composition occur in women’s bodies during their menstrual cycle. The study indicates that body weight was 0.450 kg higher due to the presence of extracellular water.

What leads to weight gain during your cycle?

A slight increase in weight during menstruation is a regular occurrence. You tend to eat more during this time. Hormonal shifts during menstruation lead to water retention, an increase in appetite, and changes in metabolism. “Indulging in emotional eating and craving salty or sweet foods is common and can result in higher calorie consumption,” explains Dr. Mamatha. Some of the symptoms one may experience include:

1. Water retention

An elevation in the hormone progesterone can cause water retention, often resulting in bloating and a temporary rise in weight.

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2. Heightened appetite

3. Metabolic changes

4. Emotional eating

5. Cravings for savory foods

What else occurs during your period?

A plateful of a balanced meal.
A balanced diet helps with period weight gain. Image courtesy: Freepik

How can you manage these symptoms for relief?

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