The menstrual cycle itself doesn’t seem to affect weight gain or loss. But having a period may affect your weight in other ways. Many women get premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS can cause you to crave and eat more sweet or salty foods than normal.4 Those extra calories can lead to weight gain. And salt makes the body hold on to more water, which raises body weight (but not fat).
Just to be clear: if you’re struggling with a chronic hormonal issue like PCOS, infertility, or amenorrhea your best bet is to go find a good endocrinologist who can run blood tests and give you specific advice. Diagnosing yourself over the internet is not a substitute for a doctor! But while you’re waiting for an appointment, here are some studies that point to possible avenues for normalizing estrogen levels.
Since insulin sensitivity is at its lowest in the final two weeks of the cycle, and carb intake is also at its lowest, exercise should be more anaerobic (this means hard and fast, really getting your heart pumping). It should be focused more on high-intensity interval training, with short bursts of high intensity work, either from brief sprint exercises or from weight lifting. This is an excellent way to sharpen insulin sensitivity while simultaneously burning fat, increasing muscle mass, and spending calories. It also helps the body stay healthy and as stress-free as possible during this time in which the body is gearing up to menstruate and the least capable of handling stress.
Keep a food journal of everything you eat and drink for the first week. Plug the specific type and quantity of each food and beverage into an online food calorie counter. On a separate page, record the type, intensity and duration of each of your exercise sessions. Plug your exercise descriptions for the week into an activity calorie counter. Compare your totals. You should be burning more calories than you consume. If you eat more than you work off one week, make a specific plan of action to succeed at creating a calorie deficit for the following week.

Annamarie Rivera’s weight loss transformation has been 10 years in the making. In early 2010, Annamarie weighed 400 pounds and wore a size 28 in pants. Today, she is over 230 pounds smaller and has an entirely new outlook on life. Her blog, Weight Loss With Annamarie, shares her incredible weight loss journey along with the joys and struggles that come along with it. Whether you’re just beginning your weight loss journey or trying to lose those last few pounds, Annamarie’s inspirational blog will help you persevere through the ups and downs.
About: Meg’s blog is a primary example of the two sides of online blogging: the challenges of knowing what to share (and how much of it to share), mixed with the benefits (the inspiration and encouragement bloggers get from their readers). Meg used to blog in private, but eventually morphed into a public blogger, where she shares not just her progress losing weight, but also recipes she’s tried, fitness that worked (and didn’t work) for her, stories, rants and so much more. Plus, her cat is really cute.
Kickstart your morning—and your metabolism—with this warming spice. Cinnamon contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols that are proven to alter body composition and improve insulin sensitivity (which means it keeps blood sugar stable, preventing hunger-inducing spikes and crashes). Japanese researchers found that mice who ate a daily helping of cinnamaldehyde (the ingredient that gives cinnamon its flavor) lost belly fat, while those who skipped the spice did not. Add it to your overnight oats or sprinkle some in your coffee to reap the benefits.
We’ve all seen the ads for weight loss programs promising 10 pounds of weight loss in a week or extreme weight loss in a month. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably also seen or heard of television shows, like "The Biggest Loser", where contestants are losing insane amounts of weight quickly and shrinking before your eyes week after week. The thing is, these examples are not realistic for everyone and usually not sustainable in the real world. In fact, most "Biggest Loser" contestants gain the weight back after the show (21).
While it may seem like moderate intensity, commonly referred to as your "fat burning zone", is the optimal level of intensity for fat burn, total calorie burn skyrockets at high intensity and you may actually end up burning more fat overall. Some research even suggests short duration workouts at high intensity can burn as many calories as a much longer moderate training (7,8,9,10). Part of this is due to the after burn effects from increased metabolism that continues well after high intensity training.
Emmie's blog is about her journey to find her “Skinny Emmie,” the person inside her who feels healthy and great and doesn’t let external appearances slow her down. Emmie is open and honest with her readers and engages in conversation with them in the comments section of her blog. You can tell that she really cares about her readers and how her blog affects them.
I love the idea of carb cycling and I tried it in the spring when I bought weight loss unlocked. With my Hashimoto’s condition, though, I really suffered during the low carb part of the cycle. I might try it again, and just do a lower carb diet during my last two weeks, but still keep it at 100-150g per day. It’s always a work in progress. Thanks for shedding more light on this!
Nice Article. I do however have a couple questions. 1. You say each gram of carbs pulls in 2.7 grams of water, I was always taught that protein takes the most water to digest. 2. Do have the figure for how much water each gram of water ulls into the body or is needed for digestion? 3. And iif you can give those numbers for consumption, it would be great!
About: Christine’s blog is something really special — and not just because she put herself out there while she works to lose weight, but because she’s overcome a lot to get where she is today. A brain stem surgery survivor, Christine’s blog started in 2012 as a way to stay motivated on her path to an emotional recovery. Recently, it’s morphed into a weight loss blog where Christine is focused on losing weight all naturally and making it a lifestyle change. As she puts it, “I am changing my life for the better, forever – not just my body.”

I’m newer to your blog, and all of your pictures screamed to me “effortlessly thin chick”, so imagine my open-mouthed surprise with your post today. At risk of sounding weird, i love your blog and you even more for having been so transparent! Weight is something i’ve struggled with my whole life, and in the last 8 years, i’ve also been dealing with an underactive thyroid. Some of the blogs i read have such beautifully thin bloggers pitching things like s’mores, and i think to myself, yeah right. So thanks. Thanks for being so real and relatable! Honesty is the best policy, and you will have helped so many for just laying it all out there truthfully. For many, if not most, it’s a struggle. God bless you!

So, what should you do? Make sure you are consuming enough calories to avoid the starvation mode, yet you are still able to lose weight. According to Harvard Medical School, women should consume no less than 1200 calories per day for weight loss. Men should consume no less than 1500 calories for weight loss. Consuming less than these amounts may put your body into starvation mode and deter weight loss.
For example, you might not realize just how much you eat when you go out to happy hour with friends. But if you take the split second to take a step back and make yourself aware of that fact, you’re more able to make a healthy decision. “The awareness and then planning and coming up with strategies for what else I can be doing—that might give me the same benefit of eating those comfort foods that make me feel better,” says Gagliardi.
A very long time ago, during cave-dwelling years, these areas of stored, stubborn fat in the thigh and hip area helped women survive without much food or water. The pear-shaped women were better-equipped to survive and have babies and pass down the tendency to store fat in a similar way. This is why, throughout most of their lives, females tend to have a higher body fat percentage than males.
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