How Your Menstruation Cycle Can Affect Your Weight

A woman’s menstruation cycle can affect her weight in many ways. One of the most common ways it can add pounds is through cravings and overeating. Another much more short-term way that a menstruation cycle can affect your weight is bloating, which only lasts for a short time.

Menstrual Cravings

It is more common for a woman to find that she wants to reach for something she would normally have no problem leaving behind when she’s on her period. These cravings can be for anything from candy bars to pastas, though the most common culprit of diet breaking cravings is for high carbohydrate sweets. With all the bodily stress brought on during a menstruation cycle it can be harder to say no to that extra little something that you want, or the tantalizing candy bar at the checkout counter in the grocery store.


Another side effect of your period is known as PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, and it has side effects as well. One side effect that can add to the need to eat something that won’t leave your mind is depression. Depression can affect women of all ages, whether they are menstruating or not, and one of the biggest side effects known is the act of overeating.

Eating Too Much

Another well known side effect of the menstruation cycle is overeating, and the average woman eats anywhere in between 100 and 200 extra calories when they are menstruating. This is less of an issue as far as weight gain is concerned, because it has been proven that during a period a woman’s metabolism rises in order to compensate for the body’s desire to overeat.


Bloating is the process of retaining water, and during your period your body will hold onto extra water weight. This can cause a minor amount of weight gain, but it is not permanent and will go away once your period ends. One way of fighting the symptom is through a sodium diet, and it is also recommended that you drink more fluids in the week before your period. You can also find over-the-counter pills that will combat bloating, as well as pills that will combat all of the symptoms of menstruation.
Though there are many things that happen during your menstruation cycle that seem to be pushing you to gain weight, if you maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise routine you can minimize the impact it has on your weight. Giving yourself one or two little treats is never a bad thing, but if you give in too often and slack on your exercise, you’ll find yourself falling victim to weight gain.

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