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Time of the month weight gain: Fact or Myth?



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RENATARUNS
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2/27/13 1:42 P

Seems to be fact for me, though it doesn't come during my period but rather a week after it. Two months in a row now I've "gained" 3-4 pounds overnight at that time and then stayed there for about a week before starting to go down again. It's obviously just water, so it doesn't bother me.

Right before my period, on the other hand, I seem to "lose" really fast. It all evens out in the end.



HEAT04
Posts: 115
2/27/13 1:25 P

I don't think it matters what you call it - the fact is that it will be different for every woman. It's the same reason you can't compare pregnancies...everyone is different.

I didn't feel any sort of hormonal changes until I had a baby and then I really noticed the difference. Hormones make people do crazy things. As long as they aren't taking it out directly on you or causing any major stress to you, I think it's more helpful to just be understanding.



PAMDAQTPI
Posts: 599
2/27/13 1:06 P

First off, please don't assume I meant that everyone uses it as an excuse to be mean people, but I've definitely seen people exaggerate their symptoms and act out because they have a scapegoat to blame it on.

And given that I'm not the only person who loses weight, or in the very least doesn't gain weight it is actually half myth, half truth. It is a myth that you will automatically gain weight no matter what you do during your period. It is a truth that "some" women gain via water retention. But that doesn't mean that it is a standard truth across the board for everyone which is what my post was all about.

There are many many ways to help ease symptoms of PMS, for those who were overly sensitive and easily offended by my post (perhaps currently going through PMS?) you could look into that a bit more.



VESUVIOUS
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2/10/13 3:03 A

i definitely gain the water weight.



ARANISIA
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2/10/13 2:07 A

I typically 'gain weight' a day or so before my period starts, and 'lose it' a day or so after my period ends. It's seldom more than 2-3 pounds, but I've learned to not look too closely on the scale during my perid. It should be said though that my weight can fluctuate as much as 4-6 lbs during a day even when I'm NOT on my period...that is why I've learned to not take the scale all that seriously and generally trust my general mood and/or how my clothes fit as measurement instead.



PAT4PROG
Posts: 652
2/9/13 6:19 P

For myself, the # on the scales can vary from morning to night and also during TOM.
I don't believe it's "true" weight, but rather as several have mentioned water retention.



35BYMAY
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2/9/13 5:20 P

healthyjen: I have heard st. john's wort helps... I have horrible, get out of my path mood swings when having PMS... I think I may try some based on a few ppl saying it helps on this site



ANGIE8975
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2/9/13 3:41 P

is a fact with me



HEALTHYJEN11
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2/8/13 5:22 P

I usually gain a few pounds the week before and then lose it during the week of my period. My emotions used to be all over the place the week before also, but now I'm taking St. John's Wort and that really seems to help.



SLYSAM
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2/8/13 3:03 P

My gain doesn't tend to be during TOM, actually I usually see a decrease in weight around the second day. It tends to be in the week or so leading up to TOM. And that extra weight drops during TOM. I didn't know this until I started weighing myself daily and also tracking my cycles. I thought I gained during TOM because I feel bigger. I am pretty certain my weight increase and drop is from fluid retention and release. My body fat scale also estimates my body fat percent is lower this time--which happens with those scales when you are retaining extra fluids. I do get cravings and if I give in that can also effect things, but even if I stay focussed there is some weight variation patterns. I think this might vary by the person though.

ETA: About suggesting exercise to stop this... I do exercise most days and it is not uncommon for me to exercise 2 or more hours a few days a week. Some people find exercise relieves cramps or pms symptoms so it is worth a try. I personally find that exercise temporarily relieves the pain from crams while I am exercising--but it does not make the problem go away. I have very bad cramps the first day--the kind that extend from lower back to the knees. Taking pain pills helps, but it is still there. In the past I had a couple days like this every cycle, I suspect my exercise or diet has decreased it and narrowed it down to one day (exercise can effect hormone balance according to my gynecologist). But I still have weight fluctuations and cramps even with a lot of exercise. I am fortunate not to have severe PMS. Different people do have different hormone balances and that effects all this stuff-diet, exercise, etc also can effect it to a certain degree. It is just difficult to judge for other people as their body chemistry just might be different than ours.

Edited by: SLYSAM at: 2/8/2013 (15:19)


BOB240
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2/8/13 8:29 A

yes -it's bad. Being around women with PMT always used to drive me to comfort eat. I used to put on pounds..



SHUPER5
Posts: 618
2/8/13 8:21 A

It's a fact for me definitely!When it is bad I could go up 4 pounds!I do not even bother to step on the scale anymore during this time because it could be so frustrating for me.I choose to stay positive about it and keep on moving! emoticon Exercise during this time for me HELPS so much,I feel so much better and my mood swings are under control.



ZOMBIEKILLER44
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2/7/13 2:46 P

Found this board & just had to read because not only do I deal with this but my 12 year old daughter does too. Her and I were talking the other day and I realized that I have been dealing with this for 34 years!!!!!!!! I started when I was 10 so I am like, wow! Can't I get off of this ride now???? Seriously! My daughter started right before Christmas 2011 so she has had a good year of it now and is starting to be more regular and my husband and son are learning to tell when she is getting close because she gets more emotional and gets a headache the day before. I know we have a family history of PMS issues because my aunt used to have to miss two days of work right before her period because she would cry constantly and nothing seemed to help her.
For myself, I have run the gamut between when I was a teenager have agonizing cramps down my legs so bad that I would curl up and cry to when I was in my early 20's and had my sons that it got better and I went from having my period every 23 days to 26 days. Then I had my daughter at almost 32 and my periods changed again, now they are every 27 days most times and I my periods most times are lighter. I have always gained about 5 pounds the day or so before and then on about day 4 it will start to go away and by day 5 it is usually gone completely. This has been tracked over 30+ years and so I am perfectly fine with it and know that it is gonna happen so I do not freak out with the scale because nothing changes this pattern. It does not matter if I excercise or don't, eat more or less, more salt less salt.....I will gain 4 to 5 pounds and then it goes away 5 days later, like clockwork.
One thing that I have found that works for me, and I do not know if it will work for everyone, because honestly we are all so different, but I have been trying it with my daughter and have told some of my friends about it. I hit a point where I went to the doctor for my regular check up and I mentioned to her how crazy I felt somedays right before my period.....I would go from a normally patient focused person to almost zero patience and my concentration was shot and I was afraid that it was going to interfere with my job because it got so bad some months. She talked to me about me trying an anti-depressant so I gave it a try and it made me not care about anything and almost suicidal so I said nah, nevermind, I will just keep trying to find something better. Long story short, I read an article in a natural foods magazine that talked about woemn who increased their calcium intake the second half of their cycle noticed a difference in mood swings and irribality and other symptoms. I tried it, started adding calcium chews or Tums into my diet the last half of my cycle and after the second month I really noticed a change! I have been doing this for over 5 years now and I rarely have PMS symptoms linked to moods or irritability, just the water weight gain and a low back ache the day before.




CALLMECARRIE
Posts: 1,594
2/5/13 10:12 A

Actual PMS is a genuine medical diagnosis, even though "PMS" is used in a colloquial way by most women to mean the tension, irritability and water weight gain they experience before a period. Of course it isn't a myth. If you're lucky enough not to have any of these symptoms, be grateful. Other women do suffer, and some suffer a lot, from it, even if there are a few hysterics out there.



DMKOEP
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2/5/13 7:48 A

wow...this made me laugh....I can relate to all of this.
emoticon



JENNILACEY
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2/5/13 7:35 A

I've been on both sides of the fence. When I wasn't on BC I could gain close 3-4 lbs 24-48 hours before my period start. After 24-48 hours after I started my weight would return to close to premenstral weight and by the time I was done it was back to normal. It was so consistent I could set a clock to my body. I also experienced horrible doubled over, whimpering for hours cramps and heavy periods to the point I couldn't move from the couch and no amount of midol, tylenol or advil could provide relief.

On the pill my PMS symptoms were decreased and I only gained 1-2 lbs. After my pregnancies I started mirena I barely have a period and almost no PMS symptoms and was gaining 1 lbs for the first 2 days before and 2 days during of my cycle.

Now my cycle is all over the place from a combo of weight loss, exercise and mirena and I just spot a couple times a month for 4-5 days. So I experience no weight fluctuation.

The vast majority of women most definitely retain water just before or during their cycle. It's no myth. I think it's related to your estrogen levels just like the severity of other PMS symptoms are.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 2/5/2013 (07:42)


REYNINGSUNSHINE
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2/5/13 3:15 A

While exercise IS beneficial, it is a HUGE over generalization to say that all somebody needs is some exercise and drugs. Before I started birth control, nothing would ease my pains. I was prescribed higher end drugs, actually, and I would start to get legitimately high before I stopped feeling the pain. Weirdest sensation and I hated it. I was taking so much pain medication (and STILL hurting even with 2+ hours of exercise) that I would wake up with new bruises randomly. After my cyst burst a couple October's ago, this problem was compounded and now I can't take any pain medication without risking major bruises. The birth control pills now keep me OK. I stil have cramps and I still can't take medication reliably for it (ever sat and watched a bruise form on your arm because somebody brushed it with a pencil?). I deal with it because in comparison to what I have experienced before, it is really light. And shockingly, I get really sick on any form of hormonal pills. I really have the choice between being high a few days a month, being in pain so strong I can hardly get out of bed, or being super sick every few mornings. I choose being sick because it also decreases risk of more hospital stays, clears up my skin, and lightens the flow- plus I am hopeful that we can tweak doses around to find one that doesn't leave me throwing up a couple times a month.

Also, no matter how much water I drink, I cannot drink enough to balance it all out.

What works for you is great. It is always a good thing to get moving and drink some water! But it isn't a cure-all for every woman. We all have different levels of hormones in our system, and we all have different tolerances. But we should all try our best to be as happy and healthy as we can, even if we feel like death.

Edited by: REYNINGSUNSHINE at: 2/5/2013 (03:18)


LOOKINGUDIN2013
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2/5/13 2:20 A

I personally think that your cramps and water retention would go away with a little sweat and exercise. As you lose perspiration; replace with that much needed water to flush out those toxins that are causing you to bloat. Take a couple of Advil PMS and a Super Plus Tampon depending on your flow. You can even swim or sit in the sauna. I promise you as long as you stay upon your tampon flow; you should be fine. emoticon



200POUNDQUEST
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2/5/13 1:38 A

As many others have said, I definitely retain more water for the first few days into my period and then at some point i'll drop it all. I just ignore the scale numbers during that time, knowing that they are going to fluctuate due to fluid changes.

I also am generally more emotional. I cry at commercials, etc. I also tend to feel much more hungry the week before and then have much less appetite than normal during.

Some women have cramps and some don't. Some have mood swings and some don't. I wouldn't presume that because I don't have a particular symptom that no one does.



REYNINGSUNSHINE
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2/4/13 11:17 P

I would also like to chime in and say that while sure, SOME women use PMS as an excuse not to keep themselves in check.... most people I know aren't thinking, "hm, my period is due in a few days, i can get away with being a nasty b!tch to my SO!!! hahahahah yay!". No, it's more like, "The pain hurts so bad and STOP TALKING YOU ARE GIVING ME A HEADACHE *sobbing* I'm sorry for yelling at you, I am just so stressed and tired and hungry lately..."

I'm somebody who used to have HORRIBLE PMS and periods. The pain of it was SO BAD that I would whimper during my classes and people would ask if I was okay. No matter what I took, it was always the most painful experience. In fact, the only MORE painful thing I have physically experienced has been having a ruptured ovarian cyst. That one sent me to the hospital. I actually blacked out and couldn't move.

It isn't just an "excuse.' Some people use it as such, but honestly, why do you want to see the negative in the world? It only breeds animosity. Don't assume the worst in others. Give love freely. You'll be happier.



REYNINGSUNSHINE
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2/4/13 11:12 P

Fact. Some women gain weight. I am one of them. I gain now 2 or so lbs, and it "creeps up" during the month and then drops down. Reminds me of a sine curve!!

But you have to understand what weight is. Weight is the force in which the ground has to push up on you in order to keep you from falling through the ground. Seriously. This is called 'normal force' and that is all weight tells you.

But, from force, we can ESTIMATE mass. I say estimate because mass= (force)/(acceleration), and the acceleration ("gravity") isn't constant!! It changes depending on how far away we are from the earth's center... so yes, you do also "weigh" less on a mountain than at sea level. There ARE other problems (like if the scale is on an incline, it makes you "weight" less) but for all purposes, weight and mass are proportional.

Now, that said, the mass of you is everything inside of you. It is all of the fat, all of the water, all of the muscle, all of the tissues (skin weighs what, like 5 lbs on average? and the brain 3 lbs? I don't remember). So we 'gain weight' but where is that weight coming from? It isn't fat! It is mostly water!

So yes. We gain weight. The scale changes. But the fat in our body doesn't.



OFGREENGABLES
Posts: 513
2/4/13 10:16 P

if my gain you mean "different number on scale" then yes. but it's really not permanent, as everyone else has noted!



CASPIANSUMMER
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2/4/13 10:14 P

Belittling people's experiences is not big or clever



CASPIANSUMMER
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2/4/13 10:12 P

I find this thread upsetting for some women tom is a horrible experience which changes many things physically mentally and emotionally and none of it is a myth



SARAHANN01
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2/4/13 7:46 P

It doesn't really have anything to do with gaining weight (as in fat). It has to do with being bloated/retaining water. I am normally about 2 lbs heavier for 1-2 days. Does that mean that I gained 2 lbs of fat and then all of a sudden lost it again 2 days later? No, it's all water.



35BYMAY
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2/4/13 7:38 P

absolute fact! I go up about 5 lbs for a full week before TOM, and as soon as it starts, I go down 5 lbs... one thing to love about starting TOM :)



CHRISTINA791
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2/4/13 6:35 P

That's one of the cool things about being okay with weighing daily - you get to see some pretty interesting patterns.

I noticed some gain/loss patterns specifically tied to my birth control (and TOM along with it, of course). For me, I experienced only a little bit of weight loss throughout most of the month, followed by rapid loss during placebo week/TOM. I was averaging about five pounds lost per month, and 3-4 of those pounds would drop during one week (and stay off, thankfully). It was kind of nice to pick up on that early on as I started losing so that I didn't panic about not losing weight evenly from week to week.

I'm another lucky person who only occasionally gets PMS cravings (which I can usually swat away) and almost never any cramping or pain. While I don't think you're off in your theory that poor eating and lack of exercise around TOM can contribute to weight gain, hormonal changes can definitely have an effect, even if they don't perfectly fit the pattern.



NAUSIKAA
Posts: 4,848
2/4/13 5:28 P

PAMDAQTPI - as far as paying close attention to figure out my body: I've been tracking my weight every morning for 6 years on a spreadsheet program. I can give you any kind of information you could possibly dream of asking for emoticon



TACDGB
Posts: 6,015
2/4/13 5:20 P

I usually gain 2 lbs. of water during my cycle. And yes I do battle PMS........you are just lucky not to deal with that and being grumpy.



MELJONES3478
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2/4/13 2:41 P

Interesting question. Until I started on my "life changing journey" I did not weight myself, I would only get weighed when I went to the doctor. I have not noticed a change during my cycle since I have been losing weight but I only get weighed in the 2nd and 4th week of the month. So you think that supplementing iron has helped you lose weight during your cycle and curb your mood swings?



JENMC14
Posts: 2,707
2/4/13 2:35 P

I'm a little heavier, typically, but it's not weight gain. It's bloating and water rentention. Sometimes I eat at the higher end of my ranges or give into a few cravings, but I'm usually pretty good. The gain goes away a day or two in. I'll second what dragonchilde said, "your mileage may vary". Good for you that you don't gain, but that doesn't mean the rest of us who do see a scale increase have no willpower.



LOUNMOUN
Posts: 1,215
2/4/13 1:11 P

Experiences vary.

In the past I have experienced up to a 5 pound weight gain with my menstrual cycle and I don't really eat differently. It goes away when my period is done and I just don't count my weight that week. Since I've been exercising more the weight gain during that time seems more like 1 to 2 pounds. I have never lost weight faster during my period.

I absolutely do get more moody. I cry much more easily or get irritated more easily. I don't use it as an excuse. I try extra hard to keep my mouth in check but I do feel the increased moodiness.



DRAGONCHILDE
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2/4/13 12:55 P

It's absolutely true. It's not fat gain, but water retention, although in some cases women do overeat because of lack of control over cravings. You do tend to burn a few more calories during that time, but it's usually offset by other things.

Hormonal shifts absolutely can and do affect your water retention and ability to lose weight. Your experiences may be different, but I assure you, that doesn't mean that everyone else simply lacks will power. ;) I don't get off of my plan (exercising and eating right helps e feel better) but I absolutely gain a couple of pounds, just as if I'd had too much sodium.

For those having trouble, there are things you can absolutely do:

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
icles.asp?id=1159




PAMDAQTPI
Posts: 599
2/4/13 12:53 P

I think you could be right about a minor gain before a period and then a loss during it. But I don't think it's as extreme as some make it out to be. It's interesting that you've paid close enough attention to figure that out. :)



NAUSIKAA
Posts: 4,848
2/4/13 12:30 P

I think it's true that the hormonal cycle can influence water retention. I ALWAYS gain about 1 lb in the 2-3 days before my period starts, and I ALWAYS lose that 1 lb plus at least another 1/2 lb once my period starts. Period = automatic weightloss for me. It's the most reliable way for me to lose weight actually. But it's almost impossible for me to see weight loss in the 2-3 days before it starts even if I eat 500 calories/day.



PAMDAQTPI
Posts: 599
2/4/13 12:07 P

A lot of women claim they gain during their time of the month. Well mine started yesterday morning (in the last 2 days) I'm down 2.2lbs. If anything I'm losing faster! I'm also sticking to my exercise plan, not giving into cravings and I've increased my iron intake to balance out the loss.

So is it true or is it a myth that women have no choice but to gain at that time of the month? Or, is it that they give into cravings and then blame it on their cycles, that is the real reason for the gain?

Interesting thing to note, I don't get moody either. My husband is quite happy about that. Again I think some women use it as an excuse to be nasty.

Edited by: PAMDAQTPI at: 2/4/2013 (12:08)


 
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