Weight Management with PMS  


Do men lose weight more easily than women? Yes, they do. Why? Simply because they don't have to face these hormone changes every week and every month as women do. Last week we talked about heaviness and premenstrual symptoms. I would like to enlighten you that for some women, many women, this discomfort may be seen for a few days to a week even in the middle of your monthly cycle. i.e. Close to the 14th or 15th day from the first day of the onset of your period, you may experience a feeling of heaviness and bloatedness and may also face all the food cravings similar to that faced just before the period. This time is the ovulation or the point in the cycle when the egg or ovum is released by the ovary.

This is caused by changes in hormone levels which are taking place and for some women we see a marked weight gain of ½ to 1, even 2 kgs at this time. This weight gain is only fluid retention and it will start 2-3 days before the ovulation making your abdomen feel heavy and distended. Tight trousers or jeans feel they are going to give way and you could feel depressed and irritated too. This will usually pass in the next 2-3 days. Some times indigestion and gas and migrane as well as pimples may break out on the face.

The worst part however is if you have started a diet at the beginning of your period and done it sincerely for 10 or 12 days and check your weight around the time of your ovulation, you will see no loss. Many get so disheartened, they say, "I tried this so sincerely its not working, let me quit it and eat". The truth is you could have lost ½ to 1kg but since there is a fluid retention due to the hormone changes you are not seeing the loss. Hang in there and stick to your diet strictly. In a few days the water will come out and the weight will show a drop.

Those who give in and indulge will put back the loss they actually did get, so after the ovulation you will be starting from scratch all over again. Say you are starting again on day 17 or 18 of your cycle and you stick to your diet for 10 days, then check your weight around day 28, just before the period, again you may see no weight loss as the PMS water retention may be on. Then you are totally disillusioned and feel it will never work for you. You give up on dieting altogether. We need to know this and beat this.

My first advice is to ensure that you are very regular about walking. We have seen that a very strict commitment to walk daily, 7 days a week, or surely, atleast 6 days a week is the best medicine for balancing the hormones in the body. We have observed that those who are regular walkers have all these symptoms at a minimum level.

The second is to keep strict records of your period dates and monitor your weight in correlation to your cycle. The best weight is usually 5th - 7th day from day one of your period. After that you may see all kinds of variations, some days down, some days up, but you stick to your diet regimen and wait till the 5th -7th after your next period. Then you look back and access whether you are loosing 2 or 3 kgs in one month or in 1 cycle. 2-3 kg loss per month is the ideal. Last but not the least, 2 1/2 to 3 liters water is a must as it helps to flush out excess water in the body. If you feel very bloated and uncomfortable then you may drink only 2 1/2 liters water. This is a minimum requirement to keep you fresh and fit.

If your water retention lasts for a long duration like one week at ovulation and one week at period time you may find that during that period you are slow and sluggish in all your movements. We then see that even though you keep your diet strictly and do your regular walk you don't lose weight during these 2 weeks. So in your case you may find that you are able to lose probably a kilo during those other 2 weeks and your monthly weight loss is only 2 kilos with difficulty. Another friend without this problem may easily lose 3-4 kgs per month. The key is not to compare, not to get disheartened and not to break the diet in between but work sincerely from period to period, month to month. I did this strictly, lost 2kgs a month and 25 kgs in one year.

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