As if we need more frustration during hormonal cycles, it is true that our menstrual cycle can affect our weight. Fluctuations on the scale occur due to water retention that can be caused by hormones during TOM or “time of month.” Symptoms typically get worse in a woman’s late 30s and through her 40s as she approaches the transition to menopause. Although it is temporary and the weight will usually leave a few days into our period, it is still unnerving, especially while dieting. During MSD, correction days for TOM are not recommended. It is, instead, best to focus on getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals to help offset your symptoms.
Here are some of the many symptoms PMS brings. As you can see with all this going on in our bodies, the scale could be a bit temperamental.
- Abdominal fullness, feeling gaseous
- Bloating of the abdomen
- Breast tenderness
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Food cravings
- Less tolerance for noises and lights
Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of sadness or hopelessness (See also: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder)
- Feelings of tension, anxiety, or edginess
- Irritable, hostile, or aggressive behavior, with outbursts of anger toward self or others
- Loss of sex drive (may be increased in some women)
- Mood swings
- Poor judgment
- Poor self-image, feelings of guilt, or increased fears
- Sleep problems (sleeping too much or too little)
- Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
Combat PMS symptoms and minimize your weight gain nutritionally, by taking care of yourself, and by using natural supplements.
The best dietary solution for PMS is to be sure you get enough calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, B Complex, and Omega 3’s
Magnesium – The last two weeks of the menstrual cycle cause magnesium levels to drop. When you are low on magnesium, you will bloat and retain water. Taking a Magnesium supplement before your period is key to helping reduce symptoms.
Omega 3 – Only take in supplement form during Phase 3. You can get this naturally from fish sources during phase 2.
B Complex Vitamins – B vitamins are essential as they help balance out your serotonin levels. Look for a healthy sublingual B12 formula. They are very effective and absorb well. B6 for PMS is the key to mood balance.
Exercise – Get in light walking during PMS. This will help reduce stress and keeps the body active.
Caffeine – Limit your caffeine intake during PMS as this only exacerbates the symptoms.
Dinner – My doctor recommends eating a big steak and spinach for dinner right before I start. This has helped me for years reduce the urge to eat the refrigerator. Steak is high in iron. If you do not eat red meat try to increase your iron from another protein source.
Chocolate Cravings – Stick with chocolate delight recipes. This will keep you from eating “bad” or unhealthy chocolate during your period. Click Here for Recipes.
Sleep – Make sure you get your 8 hours of sleep during this time. Your body needs time to repair itself and it will help with the symptoms if you are well rested AND have the right nutrition.
Another important aspect of surviving the ups and downs of hormones is staying positive. It is uncomfortable during cycle changes, but keeping a positive attitude and nurturing our bodies is very helpful in getting through it and staying strong.