7 Major Causes of Weight Gain During Periods and How to Avoid It

7 Major Causes of Weight Gain During Periods and How to Avoid It

Every woman can testify that apart from the painful cramps, uncomfortable bloating, and mood swings, menstrual periods can be quite frustrating when it comes to measuring your weight on a scale. The feeling can leave you deflated when you notice an increase in your body’s kg than what it used to be.

Well, it’s pretty normal and not uncommon for many women to gain an extra pound during their menstrual period. However, it’s not that hard to get rid of these unwanted pounds as there are quite a few simple and easy tricks you can use to get rid of the extra weight gain.

But first, let us educate you on the:

7 Reasons for Weight Gain During Periods

1. Water Retention

One of the common and major reasons for weight gain during periods can be attributed to water retention in the body. When there is an increased production of female reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone can cause changes in the body’s sodium levels and cause water retention.

To this, the body tissue retains water that the body has absorbed from various sources. This condition is referred to as edema. However, it is not out of place for any woman to feel bloated when she’s on her period.

2. PMS

Premenstrual syndrome, popularly known as PMS, begins a week or two before the day your monthly bleeding starts. Among the symptoms of PMS includes food cravings, bloating, anxiety, depression, and also weight gain. As a result of these cravings, there is an increased appetite for sweet, and salty foods. This, in turn, increases your weight by about 5 pounds by the end of the PMS phase.

3. Skip Workouts

Most women would rather skip the gym when experiencing the symptoms of PMS. This could be as a result of mood swing caused by PMS.

However, it will interest you to know that when you skip workout routine/sessions, you will gain weight because the water retention we talked about earlier will start storing as fat.

4. Gut Problems

When going through the hassle of PMS, most women experience gut imbalance like constipation, bloating and indigestion. And when the digestive system does not function like it’s supposed to, it reduces the rate of metabolism. However, this can cause everything you take in to store as fat in your body. Also, your body stress level will increase which can lead to inflammation that can cause weight gain.

5. Food Cravings

Craving and eating food more than you usually would is another reason you are gaining weight during periods. Remember that when you are having PMS, you get mentally stressed which can cause you to binge-eat foods that are high in sodium and sugar. This alone will cause water retention in your body and also increase your blood glucose level.

6. Decrease in the Level of Magnesium

A drop in your body’s level of magnesium can lead to lower levels of insulin. This increases your cravings for glucose and also heightens appetite for highly sugary foods. Usually, this leads to weight gain during your periods.


3 out of 5 women will experience PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS is a fluctuation of a woman’s reproductive hormone which causes metabolism to slow down.

It is recommended that Obese women with PCOS lose weight so that their menstrual cycle can be regulated. Also, if you have PCOS, it won’t be hard to gain an extra few pounds during your period.

Having provided seven primary reasons that could cause weight gain during periods, we have also compiled some plans to help you curb this condition:

Ways to Prevent Weight Gain During Periods

1. Be Prepared

I know this may sound non-feasible, but when you take time to study your monthly cycles and how your body responds to hormonal changes, you won’t find it much of a big deal to avoid weight gain during your period.

Better yet, stock your fridge with a healthy set of snacks like fruits so that you don’t end up making unhealthy food choices.

2. Drink Water

Water is underrated! Drinking more of it will keep your body cells hydrated, purge out toxins from your system while keeping your metabolism running. This will also help you avoid weight gain before and during your periods.

3. Do Not Skip Meals

To keep your metabolism from stalling, feed your body with at least 5-6 meals daily. Also, you can even snack twice daily.

4. Cut Down on Salt

Highly processed foods like junks are high in sodium. Limiting your consumption of these types of foods during periods will help prevent weight gain induced by water.

5. Do Not Skip Your Workout Sessions

I know you may not feel up to hitting the gym or doing some workout routines from the comfort of your home. The good thing is, working out can cheer you up to feel better. This, in turn, can make you turn your back on unhealthy food options, help you sleep well and make you feel less stressed.

6. Supplements

Supplements containing calcium, magnesium, omega-3, etc. are helpful when it comes to dealing with PMS symptoms. Nevertheless, you should consult a medical expert before taking any of these supplements.

7. Vitamins

Consuming vitamins like Vitamin B6 can help lower estrogen levels and increase progesterone levels in the body. Asides that, it will help balance the fluctuating hormones that are responsible for weight gain.

8. Recognize the Triggers

Lastly, keeping a PMS journal will help you keep track of that time of the month when you start and end your PMS period. It will also help you understand how you feel, and aids in taking the right steps.

We hope by now, you understand the reasons behind your monthly period weight gain, and you can apply these tips to help you experience a better lifestyle during your period.

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