If you’ve done any sort of dieting before, you’ll know that it can be so easy to get sucked into obsessing over the number on the scales. Do you gain weight on your period? Can you lose weight during your period?

Although using scales is obviously a great indication of weight loss or gain, it’s vital to remember that there are a huge amount of variables that can affect your weekly weigh-in.

One of those variables that have been known to dramatically affect your weekly weigh-in is your menstrual cycle. Here’s what to expect when losing weight on your period.

Lady in pyjamas with a hot water bottle for period pains

What happens to my weight during my period?

It’s perfectly normal to gain weight on the lead up to, and during, your period. During the lead up to your period, you may find that you start putting on a few lbs, no matter how strict you’ve been with your diet, or how often and vigorously you’ve been exercising.

The Slimming World diet, like WW, Second Nature, Noom or even calorie counting is no different, so don’t panic if you notice some weight gain in the lead up to your period.

Gaining body weight over the week before and the week during your period isn’t a sign of failure – so don’t feel disheartened if the numbers on the scales change just because you are wearing your period pants!

The average weight gain during this time is between 3lb and 5lb, however, everybody is different so don’t be dismayed if you end up putting more weight on during this time.

A few days after your period starts, you should start to see the numbers on the scale decrease once more. 

To put it simply: during your period, your weight will most likely fluctuate and this is normal.

lady holding a sanitary towel behind her body

A regular period is a sign of good health.

By following a diet and advice, you should be losing weight at a consistent, steady rate.

It’s okay to have a few ups and downs during your weight loss journey, as long as you continue to lose weight at a safe rate. 

Losing weight too quickly, or equally – putting on weight too quickly – can play havoc with your menstrual cycle.

Having a regular period is actually an indication that you’re managing your weight loss journey at a safe and sensible rate.

Therefore, no matter what the number on the scale says when you weigh yourself, you should feel secure knowing that a regular period is a sign of good health. That has to be the silver lining, right?

selection on ladies sanitary products

Why does my period affect my weight?

Weight gain during your period is usually put down to a combination of grazing on sugary foods more often, skipping regular exercises due to cramps and pain, hormone level fluctuations, and water retention.

During your weight loss journey, you will probably become really good at watching what you eat and keeping your syns under control.

However, no matter how great your diet discipline is, it’s hard to ignore those pesky sugar cravings when you’re on your period.

Don’t worry though, because scientists believe that a change in hormone levels is to blame for food cravings!

Craving carbs and sugary treats isn’t a sign of weakness but are actually down to your hormone levels changing and causing your blood sugar levels to drop, therefore increasing your cravings for high sugar content foods. 

Hormonal fluctuations are also to blame for water weight, bloating, stomach cramps and other common PMS symptoms.

So the good news is if you experience any of these symptoms while on your period, you can now rest assured that it’s got nothing to do with your weight loss journey, but it is just your body doing what it’s naturally built to do.

Lady holding her stomach with period pains

How will this weight gain affect my weekly weigh in?

For a variety of reasons, some people choose not to weigh themselves during the week of their period.

A lot of dieters can feel disappointed in the weigh-in results and find the fluctuation in weight to be difficult to deal with on an emotional level.

This is completely understandable, after all, you’ve put in so much hard work and it can be hard to watch the numbers go back up.

That being said, there’s something very satisfying about weighing yourself during your period and then the week afterwards.

A big drop in weight can make you feel great about yourself and boost your motivation to jump back onto the diet once more. 

My advice would be to not be too hard on yourself if you gain or maintain the week of your period. It’s perfectly natural and the week after, you’ll be back to dropping the lb once more. It is only temporary weight gain.

Calendar with tampon on top

On the subject of periods

Have you tried reusable sanitary towels or pants yet? I only tried them for the first time around 6 months ago and was pleasantly surprised at how much more comfortable they are.

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