We need to talk…about aunt flow, or is it shark week? Whatever you call it, we need to clear some things up as it pertains to your weight and fat loss goals. We all know that we get the usual symptoms:
Bloated to the point of feeling like a balloon about to pop
Gassy, so much you just want to hide from people and seclude yourself from any possibility of embarrassment.
Cramps so bad it’s like a scene from Alien is playing out in your uterus.
Weight gain (“ugh! Seriously, how did I gain 5 lbs in just 1-2 days?!”)
Yeah, you get the point; we have all been there!
So, we know all of this happens to us but do we know WHY? No, I am not talking about why you get your period. I am talking about why you have gained weight out of nowhere and feel larger than life (not in a positive way).
Anyone? No? It’s cool, allow me to explain.
Before your cycle even starts your body begins experiencing an increase in Estrogen, the female sex hormone. Estrogen peaks at the latter part of our cycle, the beginning of it. High levels of estrogen indirectly lead your body to retain more fluid which causes an increase in water retention or water weight gain and bloating. Don’t worry this part doesn’t last too long because when you do start your cycle estrogen decreases.
But don’t get too excited…
Aunt flow’s weight gain roller coaster isn’t over yet *insert eye roll here*.
As much as you may want it, stay away from the overly processed salty and sweet foods like pizza, donuts, and candy. Sodium levels are high in these types of foods which mean further water retention, bloating and “weight gain”. But hey, if these foods are something you want and need then you do you, booboo! Enjoy these foods, but remember that as a result, you may have an extra pound stick around post cycle, and no – this is not 1 lb. of fat. (psst…a little side note: you would have to eat an extremely large amount of food in one sitting to add 1 lb. of fat to your body in one day. Like, A LOT.)
If your goal is weight loss, be sure to stay hydrated, choose lean proteins to eat AND implement mindful eating. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full or satisfied (no, I don’t mean binge. Listen to your body and your stomach. Take it from me, someone with a past with binging; don’t put yourself in more pain than you are already in.)
Exercise girlfriend! You may not feel like it … at all, but I promise you, not only can it make you feel physically better and help minimize cramps as you generate higher levels of endorphins BUT you will feel so accomplished after! Also, exercise causes sweating which helps shed excess water weight. (Time to hit the sauna, am I right?!)