I’ve recently noticed that my appetite has been off the charts these last few weeks. I was thinking it was because I’ve started back with Pilates, Zumba and Booty Blast workouts. Usually I eat more because I’m burning more energy, but Nope! That’s not it either… and NO I am not carrying a bun in the oven just yet. It suddenly dawned on me that I get this way every month before my menstrual cycle. Anyone else experience an increased appetite too?
I decided to go online and do a lil research as to why I’m so dang hungry. I’m trying to keep it under wraps because 2 weeks of cravings and binge eating will certainly thwart my fitness and weight goals. I refuse to lose. *chuckles*
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Our good and true hormone friends, progesterone and estrogen cause drastic hormonal fluctuations and spikes metabolism, creating and increased appetite. *Sadly enough, my cravings aren’t for fruits and veggies. I’m wanting late night PB& J sammies… okay, okay maybe 2 sammies at a time and fudge brownies from Publix w/ a Coke.* Usually, our monthly cravings require a sweet snack or something loaded with carbs. *Shux*
While the appetite is increased medical practitioners remind us that should be wise in in our food selection simply because foods that contain salt, sugar, alcohol and caffeine can aggravate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The estrogen hormone works to suppress the appetite will decrease in number, whereas progesterone levels will increase which makes a faster metabolism of 5-10 percent.
Those 2 weeks before your cycle starts can cause you to gain weight especially if you are a snacker like the person who typed this post. LOL! So what’s the remedy you ask?
How Much Weight Gain is Normal During PMS?
In general, most women gain between three and five pounds. This weight gain usually begins at the same time as their menstrual period, but it may start slightly sooner. It generally goes away a few days after the period has ended. Note that three to five pounds is just the average. There are some women who may gain less weight each month, while others may gain more.
How Can You Reduce Premenstrual Syndrome Weight Gain?
It is important to keep in mind that the main reason women gain weight during PMS is due to water retention. Women who gain a significant amount of weight during their monthly period are likely experiencing this problem because of the choices they make. Here are some tips on how to reduce PMS-related weight gain.
1. Stay away from foods which are high in sodium. Lunch meats and soy sauce, which are both very high in sodium, should be avoided until after your menstrual period is over. *basically no processed goodies*
2. Reach for water instead of soda. While Sprite or Ginger Ale may seem to relieve cramps, the high levels of sodium and carbonation can cause you to retain more water. If you drink water instead, you’re likely to feel much better.
3. Don’t pig out on chocolate. Most women crave chocolate when Aunt Flow comes to town, but this doesn’t mean that you need to overindulge. If you do want to eat chocolate, consider making healthier choices – such as chocolate yogurt or chocolate covered strawberries. *faints*
4. Eat foods which beat belly bloat. Pineapple, bananas (and other potassium-rich foods), yogurt, parsley and peppermint tea can all help reduce belly fat. Since peppermint tea can help treat an upset stomach, it may help relieve your stomach cramps.
5. Exercise. Working out can help relieve your cramps, give you an endorphin boost and may help reduce PMS-related weight gain. Exercising at least 30 minutes three to five times a week – even during the week of your period – is ideal.
While weight gain due to PMS is never fun, it is something that every woman can cope with. If you make healthy choices and still continue severe water retention, it is ideal to talk to your doctor. For some women, the birth control pill can help reduce this and other PMS-related symptoms. There may also be another health problem to blame. Hypothyroidism can cause symptoms which seem like PMS, while endometriosis causes women to experience severe cases of Premenstrual Syndrome.
I hope this post helped someone. It sure helps to know that I can control this greedy inner monster that takes over my body and eats the fridge bare. It’s funny because when Aunt Flo packs her bags and goes away, I can’t stand to eat sweets.
I still say MEN are so lucky not to experience the symptoms, but on the other hand they do experience the backlash! *chuckles*
Thanks for reading! ❤
Sources: MayoClinic.com, “Water retention: Relieve this premenstrual symptom.”
WebMD.com, “Your Guide to Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS.”