Hormones

Did you know there’s a link between your weight and menstrual cycle?

Do you feel heavier and more bloated during your period?

During your menstrual cycle, you may notice your weight fluctuate. It’s actually quite normal to feel like you’re retaining water and have cravings during this time of the month. These changes may cause you gain up to two kilos, but generally it will go away after you’ve finished bleeding.

But you may also be surprised to learn that your weight may also affect your menstrual cycle, and this is due to hormonal fluctuations.

Did you know there’s a link between your weight and menstrual cycle?

The link between your weight and menstrual cycle

A woman’s ovaries produce oestrogen, which helps line the uterus – this is what sheds each month and causes you to bleed, unless you are pregnant of course.

However, women who are overweight may notice problems with their periods, as extra fat cells create more oestrogen and this could cause them to go months without having a period.

On the flip side, women who are underweight may also see an impact on their menstrual cycles. Extreme exercise, stress and under-eating may cause their bodies to stop making oestrogen.

There are also other conditions, such as thyroid issues, diabetes, hormonal balances and those on medication for serious illnesses that may also notice a considerable change in their menstrual cycle.

More facts about menstruating

Law allows women to have paid 'period leave' every month

There are two hormones that play a part in your menstrual cycle. Oestrogen and progesterone.

Oestrogen

This sex hormone has many roles in your body. It helps grow and repair the lining in your uterus, to make it thicker. When your oestrogen rises, it helps you ovulate (this is when an egg is released) and if you do not fall pregnant, this is what causes your lining break down.

Too much or too little of this hormone can have a huge impact on your period.

Progesterone

This is another hormone linked to your period. Progesterone prepares your body for the potential of pregnancy after ovulation. It also triggers the lining of your uterus to thicken to accept a fertilised egg.

What’s more, progesterone can also cause you to have those pesky cravings during your time of the month – especially for carbs and sugars.

What is PMS?

Did you know there’s a link between your weight and menstrual cycle?

Your menstrual cycle is brought on by changing levels of hormones in the body and when you are on your period, it decreases the amount of serotonin in your brain. This chemical helps improve your mood, so when it decreases, it can lead to you feeling moody, hungry and emotional, which is why it’s called premenstrual syndrome.

How to stop yourself from overeating during your period?

The best way to stop yourself from overeating during your period, is to log everything you are eating on your Healthy Mummy app. This will help you keep track of your calories.

Also, if you are craving sugary foods, stick to fruit – which is a natural sweetener – and eat regularly to help keep your blood sugar levels up.

If you can, try to sleep more during your period and eat food to help keep you energised.

Ever wondered why you crave chocolate when you’re on your period?

Sugar cravings seem to go into overdrive at that time of the month – you know what we’re talking about… when you feel like eating a WHOLE bar of chocolate to yourself?!

Not only do we feel grumpy, lethargic and sore, but our diet tends to change when we’re on our period. Check out the recipe for our Healthy Chocolatey Weet-Bix slice recipe (pictured above).

But why does this happen, and how can we stop ourselves from falling off the bandwagon? We’ve endeavoured to find out…

The science behind it..

Scientists believe the high hormone levels during the early part of the menstrual cycle cause an increase of insulin in the body.

Insulin regulates your blood glucose levels, and the high level of insulin in your body may result in low blood sugar. And this is why most women crave something sweet, with chocolate usually being the go-to snack.

chocolate lava mug cake

For healthier chocolate options, try our Healthy Chocolate Lava Mug Cake – which is super easy to make!

What’s more, we also crave magnesium on our period, which is ALSO in chocolate.

Top up your magnesium levels

The best thing you can do is put down the chocolate bar and instead reach for a cup of cocoa tea or even try adding cocoa to your smoothies in the morning to help top up your magnesium levels.

Or we suggest, giving our Healthy Mummy Chocolate Smoothie a go! To purchase yours, click here.

Well, there you have it! 

The mystery behind WHY we crave chocolate on our period…SOLVED! 

Join our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Want to shift your baby weight but feel like you have NO TIME in your day to exercise and eat healthily? That’s where the Healthy Mummy’s 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge can help.

Our Challenge entails: 

  • 28 days of at home exercise routines (no gym needed) – with video instruction
  • Customisable and breastfeeding friendly meal plans
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  • Home to thousands of EASY-TO-MAKE recipes.

To find out more on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge click here.