You’re enjoying the fruits of your labor—the last few weeks, your diet has been on point, you’ve been crushing it at the gym, and you’ve been getting quality sleep. Great job!
But when you step on the scale, you are horrified to see, despite these successes, the number has crept up, resulting in a five-pound weight gain! “This can’t be accurate,” you say to yourself incredulously. You step off and back on to let the scale recalibrate, but there is no mistake; you’ve definitely gained weight.
It’s that dreaded time of the month, and you’re feeling like an emotional wreck with an insatiable appetite for carbs. To add insult to injury, the added weight makes you feel like giving up because it’s not working anyway.
Before you break up with your diet, inhale the chips, and settle for a life of elastic waistbands, check out this list of hacks to prevent you from self-sabotaging during your period.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
We all know that water is a vital component to our health; it keeps us feeling full, forces out toxins, and promotes regularity. We naturally retain salt during that time of the month, so making sure you are getting plenty of water will help. It may not make a difference on the scale, but it may reduce the annoying bloat around the middle.
Load up on Protein
Getting adequate amounts of protein is incredibly important to prevent blood sugar levels from spiking and dropping. While you may want to reach for that slice of bread or muffin, 3 ounces of chicken or half a cup of a plant-based protein will keep you fuller longer and likely steer you away from reaching for more carbs when you crash.
This is even more critical during that time of the month because your hormones are all over the place. You’re tired and cranky and looking for comfort—not to mention your body is likely low on iron. A boost of protein will elevate those depleted iron levels and keep you from giving in to that sugar craving.
Make Sleep a Priority Over Exercise
Sleep or exercise? You know both are pillars of health and a crucial part of maintaining a healthy weight, but it may be beneficial to take that rest day during the first few days of your cycle. You may feel like you want to push through that CrossFit class, but listen to your body; if you’re exhausted, skip the workout and opt for the extra sleep.
When you’re feeling depleted, you may reach for carbs and sugar-laden treats to give you energy. This could lead to some significant overeating, a diet disaster! If you take the time to rest, it will prevent you from overconsumption of calories.
Break-up With the Scale—for the Week.
A scale is a useful tool for measuring progress—weighing yourself every day forces you to be accountable. It allows you to recognize the natural fluctuations that happen on a day-to-day basis. With that being said, weighing yourself on the days leading up to/during your period often leads to frustration and ultimately feelings of defeat, leading to emotional eating.
If you must weigh yourself during that time of the month, keep in mind that the number will likely be inflated.
Waiting until the third or fourth day will provide a more accurate reading.
Be Kind To Yourself
Menstruation is ubiquitous for causing feelings of sensitivity, irritability, and overwhelming feelings of sadness, and this can be amplified if you’re trying to lose weight. Don’t judge your accomplishments (or lack thereof) too harshly during this time.
Remember that weight-loss takes time—it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, right?
Hopefully, these tips have been helpful. By incorporating them into your daily routine, especially during your period, you will have the confidence to keep crushing your goals—and staying away from the chocolate!