The Effects of TOM

This weeks Question of the Week  VLOG #3

How does TOM (Time of the Month) effect us and what can we do to limit the side effects of the hormonal imbalances it brings?  Today’s VLOG helps you sort through what you can do while dieting and what to expect from your menstrual cycle.


Your menstrual cycle can effect your weight. T.O.M. causes our bodies retain water around this “time of the month” (commonly referred to as TOM). The symptoms typically get worse in a woman’s late 30s and 40s as she approaches the transition to menopause. The weight will leave a few days into your period or right after. I do not recommend correction days for TOM and prefer you get the right balance of vitamins and minerals to help offset the symptoms. Symptoms of PMS can be found here, and as you can see with all this going on in our bodies this could cause some fluctuations in our weight: Below list from PubMed Website


  • Abdominal fullness, feeling gaseous
  • Bloating of the abdomen
  • Breast tenderness
  • Clumsiness
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Food cravings
  • Headache
  • Less tolerance for noises and lights

Other symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness (See also: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder)
  • Feelings of tension, anxiety, or edginess
  • Forgetfulness
  • 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

Here are some tips to help combat the PMS symptoms and minimize your weight gain.

The best dietary solution for PMS is to be sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D, magnesium, B Complex and Omega 3’s


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 one key to help reduce symptoms.

Omega 3

Only take this 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 formula. They are very effective and absorb well. B6 for PMS is the key to mood balance.


Get in light walking during PMS this will help to reduce stress and keeps the body active.


Limit your caffeine intake during PMS as this only exacerbates the symptoms.


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 chocolate during your period. Click Here for Recipes.


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.

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  1. Borage Oil and TOM « Miracle Skinny Drops on June 24, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    […] Other supplements and tips for your period (TOM) (Read full article here) […]

  2. Shawna Culp on July 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    yes it can.. it will regulate over a bit of time when you are off protocol

  3. Karla on March 12, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Still on P2. Well ovulation started yesterday and I was up by a pound. This morning up again by 0.6. I’m not happy. This is not my first time on this protocol and I’ve never gained on P2 before during ovulation. Any suggestions. Help!!

    • Shawna Culp on March 12, 2013 at 8:25 am

      Every round has its own personality and is different. It is lot unusual to gain a small amount from water retention during pms or ovulation. Your body is changing. Note the response so you can document for p3 and beyond. Knowing when to expect the rise on scale will keep you from struggling in p3 and beyond

  4. Virginie on July 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    First time doing the protocol.
    My last day of the VLC Diet is only a couple of days prior to TOM starting.
    I’m concerned that my LDW is going to be skewed by this.
    Is weight loss as much of a concern as weight gain during Phase 3?
    I tend to bloat, retain a lot of water and gain some weight every month. I had 1/2 lb gain 2 days ago and today was back to my weight 3 days ago. I have 2 days in phase 1.
    Any advice, tips, or suggestions would be great.
    Thank you!

    • admin on July 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      I will usually recommend waiting 7 days post tom and continuing protocol for phase 3 and adjusting ldw if necessary at that point

  5. admin on March 17, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Thank you link has been updated

  6. Audrianna Armstrong on February 19, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    My drops should be in the mail today or tomorrow. I just started TOM but I am excited to start loading. Will it be okay to start this as soon as I get the drops or do I need to wait till this cycle is over?

    • admin on February 19, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Wait until tom is gone or the last day to start loading.. it is to your benefit to not start the first week of low calories with hormones in play. 🙂

      • Audrianna Armstrong on February 19, 2015 at 3:48 pm

        Ah man!!

        • admin on February 19, 2015 at 7:20 pm

          I am sorry.. it really will work in your favor to wait

  7. Cynthia on March 26, 2015 at 4:47 am

    My TOM is fast approaching. I’ve been up two pounds this whole week, even after doing three days of correction (chicken day, and two steak and cheese days). I went down a couple of ounces after the chicken day and a few more after my first steak and cheese day, but I went back to 2 lbs over today! I know you recommend not doing correction days during TOM, and I can feel that mine is coming soon, but I’m afraid that if I don’t keep on a correction day I’ll go over a 2lb gain. If I start eating normally and go over more than 2lbs what should I do?

    • admin on March 26, 2015 at 7:13 am

      Cynthia add some midol which will help with the water retention. If you need menu assistance email it to me and we can make sure everything there is right. It is normal to gain 3-7 lb during tom on phase 3. According to Pounds and Inches gains from hormones are to be ignored.

  8. L on June 10, 2015 at 7:50 am

    I am finished taking the drops 5 days ago. During this time I had my period which was 3 weeks early. I am continuing to bleed for 14 plus days now. Is this normal?

  9. Antionette on August 19, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Hello, today is August 19th and it is my 12th day in P2 (you do include load days, right)…and I know TOM will begin roughly around Wed. Aug. 26th or Thurs. Aug. 27th…now this is only 2-3 days before I am to stop taking the drops anyway; so do I continue taking them?

    I’m assuming this is correct, because Aug. 28th should be my last day taking the drops, because I start P3 on Sept. 1st…(you are suppose to stop the drops 3 days before P3, correct)?


  10. Shannon Jones on May 1, 2016 at 8:48 am


    Im on day 3 of loading. I am alittle confused about what i should b eating during phase 2. Is it fair to say 2 fruits a day. 2 proteins a day and 2 veggies per day. A melba or grissini up to 2xs a day?

    • admin on May 4, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Shannon come join the support group so you can get detailed one on one help

      The phase 2 book has 23 days of sample menus for you- this is on the front page of the website, a free download on the right sidebar

  11. Ashley Jensen on June 26, 2019 at 6:07 am

    I’ve been on TOM For 7 days and still heavy. I haven’t lost any and gained 1 pound. Don’t know how long I will be on TOM because it came 2 weeks early. What should I do? I have at least 40 pounds to lose and have only been taking MSD for 9 days. Help!!!!

    • admin on June 27, 2019 at 5:37 am

      Ashley email or message Shirley in the support group and we can help you.

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