A waist that seems to have disappeared and breasts that seem to have grown a cup size. Many women feel fatter than normal on their period. But are those feelings fact or fiction?
The answer is: a bit of both. The low oestrogen and serotonin levels in your body just before menstruation do create food cravings. Also, you do retain more fluids just before and during your period. This water retention leads to weight gain, sometimes as much as four to seven pounds. Small comfort: these extra pounds usually disappear directly after your menstruation.
Researchers of the Michigan State University, however, claim women’s minds trick them into feeling fat. The study (that was published in The International Journal of Eating Disorders) claims the extra hormones created during menstruation leave women with a heightened sense of guilt about their food intake.
‘We know that it’s not that women’s weights are changing dramatically as a result of this food intake,’ says Kelly L. Klump, a psychology professor from Michigan State University who co-authored the study. ’The problem is, because there’s this increased food intake and emotional eating in the moment, they feel really bad about themselves.’ According to the research this negative self-image is the reason you feel fatter during your period than you really are. Chocolate anyone?