When it comes to that time of the month, us women struggle with a range of different physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms. These symptoms can affect women for several days to two weeks before their actual period. These symptoms are not uncommon as they are caused by the hormonal changes during the cycle.
If you feel like your progress has been affected or you feel like you have taken a step back. You are not alone. It feels like no matter what you do nothing seems to work.
Being educated and knowing your body will help you to better control the symptoms and challenges that you may face.
So how can we overcome three of the most common problems?
Hormonal changes will cause weight gain by increasing water retention in the body. Therefore gaining 1-2kg in this period of time is quite normal. The retention causes puffiness and swelling which increases the body weight, not a result of fat.
Increasing your magnesium intake will assist in helping to reduce water retention. It is recommended that women take 200mg per day which can easily be achieved with a supplement. On the other hand, foods such as nuts, wholegrains, leafy/green vegetables as well as dark chocolate provide good sources of magnesium.
Many women experience specific food cravings and a general increase in appetite. Studies show that 97% of women experience food cravings during this time. So, what are women reaching for? Carbs, fats and sugars. No surprise there. There are direct 'happy' emotions attached to these foods or as we like to call them, endorphins.
Making sure you are keeping up with your protein will assist in keeping your blood sugar levels stable which therefore reduces cravings for sugary foods.
Stay away from foods such as caffeine or any stimulants, salty foods as well as sugars.
It's also important to remember that if you do indulge in some particular foods, not to beat yourself up about it, the best thing to do is get back on track. One healthy meal isn't going to make you lose weight, so why would one unhealthy meal make you gain weight?
Lack of Motivation to Workout
For many reasons, many women skip their workouts and exercise routines but there is no real reason to. In fact, there are many physical and mental benefits to exercising around this time. Studies show that continuing to exercise decreases fatigue, mood swings and cramps. A recent study also found that you can actually experience a gain in strength as well as power due to hormones changing and being at such a low level. Enhancing your mood from released endorphins is also a positive effect.
Just because exercise is beneficial doesn't mean you have to hold yourself to your normal routine. For example, if you ran daily you could change this into a brisk walk, if you did 60-minute weight sessions you could change it to 30 minutes.
Just because it's that time of the month doesn't mean that your results have to suffer or back track. You may not make the progress that you want to but it's important that you listen to your body and take the time to look after it. Being content that you are doing everything you can to look after yourself is more than enough.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.