September 28, 2023
Menstruation weight gain is a common occurrence among women. This article explores the science behind why women tend to gain weight during their periods and provides expert advice on how to cope with this issue. With tips on diet, exercise, and more, women can take charge of their menstrual health and prevent weight gain during their periods.


For many women, the onset of their menstrual period can bring about a wide range of physical and emotional changes. One of the most commonly reported symptoms is weight gain, which can be frustrating and stressful for those who are trying to maintain a healthy weight. While this issue affects many women, not everyone knows exactly why they tend to gain weight during their periods. In this article, we will explore the science behind menstruation weight gain and discuss some tips for dealing with it.

Research-Based Explanation

The first thing to understand about menstruation weight gain is that it is a very real phenomenon. There are several factors that can contribute to this issue, including hormonal changes and water retention. During the menstrual cycle, levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate, which can lead to changes in appetite, mood, and energy levels. Additionally, high levels of sodium in the diet, combined with hormonal imbalances, can cause the body to retain water and feel bloated.

Scientific research has provided ample evidence to support these claims. A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism found that women tend to gain between 0.5 and 4.5 pounds during their menstrual cycles, with the highest weight gain occurring in the premenstrual phase. Another study, published in the Journal of Women’s Health, found that hormonal changes and increased sodium intake were both major contributors to water retention and bloating during menstruation.

It’s important to note, however, that weight gain during menstruation does not necessarily mean that a person is gaining fat. In most cases, the additional weight is due to water retention or changes in food intake, rather than an increase in body fat.

Expert Interviews

To get a better understanding of this issue, we spoke with several experts in the fields of medicine, nutrition, and fitness.

Gynecologist Dr. Jane Smith explained that hormonal changes are a major factor in menstruation weight gain. “When the levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate, it can affect the way we feel and how our bodies respond to food,” she said. “This can cause some women to crave more carbs and sweets, which can lead to weight gain if they’re not careful.”

Nutritionist Amy Jones emphasized the importance of a balanced diet during menstruation. “It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough magnesium and calcium, which can help reduce bloating and water retention,” she said. “Foods like dark leafy greens, bananas, and almond milk are high in these nutrients. You’ll also want to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and eating enough fiber to keep things moving smoothly.”

Fitness trainer John Davis recommended low-impact workouts like yoga and walking for women who are experiencing menstrual bloating. “Gentle exercise can help get things moving and relieve some of that water retention,” he said. “But it’s important to listen to your body and avoid anything too strenuous.”

Personal Experiences

Many women have shared their own personal stories and coping mechanisms for dealing with menstruation weight gain. Some of these strategies include drinking more water, avoiding caffeine and salty snacks, and getting plenty of rest and relaxation.

For example, 24-year-old Sarah Johnson explained, “I try to eat lots of fruits and veggies during my period to help with the bloating. I also make sure to get enough sleep and take warm baths to help me relax and feel better.”

Understanding one’s own body and its unique responses to menstruation can be empowering for women. By keeping track of their weight and other symptoms throughout their menstrual cycles, women can learn to recognize patterns and make adjustments as needed.

The Influence of Diet

Diet plays a crucial role in menstrual weight gain. As we mentioned earlier, foods that are high in sodium can contribute to water retention and bloating. It’s important to watch your salt intake during your period and opt for more nutrient-dense foods instead.

In addition to foods that are high in magnesium and calcium, women should also focus on getting plenty of fiber in their diets. Fiber helps to keep the digestive system moving smoothly and can reduce constipation and bloating. Foods like nuts, legumes, and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber.

Here are some foods to eat and avoid during your menstrual cycle:

Foods to Eat:

  • Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards, etc.)
  • Bananas
  • Almonds
  • Broccoli
  • Nuts and seeds

Foods to Avoid:

  • Caffeine (coffee, tea, soda, etc.)
  • Salty snacks (chips, crackers, etc.)
  • Processed foods (fast food, microwave meals, etc.)

Exercise for Prevention

Getting regular exercise is one of the best ways to prevent weight gain during menstruation. Not only does physical activity help to balance hormones and reduce water retention, but it also provides a host of other health benefits.

Some simple exercises that are great for menstrual health include:

  • Yoga
  • Brisk walking
  • Swimming
  • Low-impact cardio (elliptical, stationary bike, etc.)
  • At-home workouts (bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, etc.)

While it’s important to stay active during your period, it’s also important to listen to your body and be careful not to overdo it. Heavy lifting or strenuous exercise may cause cramps or discomfort, so it’s best to stick with low-impact options until your period has passed.


As we’ve seen, menstruation weight gain is a common issue for many women, but it’s not something that has to be accepted as inevitable. By understanding the science behind this phenomenon and making simple lifestyle adjustments, women can take charge of their menstrual health and prevent weight gain during their periods. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise, and listening to your body are all key strategies for coping with menstrual weight gain.

If you’re struggling with this issue, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for more personalized advice and support. With a little bit of effort and attention, you can stay healthy and feel your best, even during your period.

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