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How Your Menstrual Cycle Impacts Weight Loss

In this article, we'll delve into the connection between your menstrual cycle and weight loss, providing actionable insights to help you achieve your fitness goals in harmony with your body's natural rhythms.
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By Samir Dar, Personal Trainer at Prahran

A woman's body may experience a variety of effects from her menstrual cycle, including changes in her weight. Changes in hormone levels that take place throughout the menstrual cycle have an impact on these consequences. The menstrual cycle can impact weight in the following ways:

  • Water Retention: During specific menstrual cycle phases, hormonal changes, particularly an increase in oestrogen and progesterone levels, can cause water retention. In the days preceding menstruation (the luteal phase), this is frequently when it is most noticeable. Although it can lead to weight gain in the short term, water retention is typically not a sign of true fat accumulation.
  • Changes in Appetite: During various times of their cycle, some women report changes in appetite and desires. For instance, in the days leading up to menstruation, desires for sweets and carbohydrates may be more prevalent. These dietary adjustments may result in an increase in caloric intake and, as a result, brief weight fluctuations.
  • Variations in Metabolism: Throughout the menstrual cycle, the metabolic rate can change. The luteal phase (the second half of the cycle) may see a modest rise in metabolic rate, which may result in a marginally higher calorie burn. The overall effect on weight, though, is typically negligible.
  • Energy Expenditure: Depending on the stage of the menstrual cycle, different physical activities may require varying amounts of energy. Due to discomfort or cramping, some women might find it more difficult to perform vigorous exercise while they are menstruating.
  • Bloating and Digestive Changes: Hormonal changes can impact gut motility and digestion, resulting in bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort. This might affect how people perceive their weight or body type.
  • Individual Differences: It's vital to keep in mind that not all women will see a major difference in their weight as a result of their menstrual cycle. There are many different ways that people react to hormonal changes, and some women may not notice any substantial changes in their weight.

It's important to understand that weight changes brought on by the menstrual cycle are normally brief and frequently connected to changes in eating patterns and water retention. Keep note of these swings across a few cycles if someone is worried about weight changes linked to their menstrual cycle in order to spot trends and comprehend their body's reactions. If there are consistent, considerable weight changes or any additional unsettling symptoms, it is advised that you seek advice from a healthcare provider.

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