Weight Loss

Is It Normal to Gain Weight on Your Period?

Key Takeaways

Key takeaways: 

  • Gaining weight on your period is normal and usually falls within a range of two to six pounds depending on the individual.
  • Hormonal changes are often the root cause of menstrual weight gain. They cause your body to retain water and then lose it after your period ends. Changes in your exercise routine or eating habits can factor into how your body weight changes during menstruation.
  • Regular exercise, increased water consumption, eating fruits rich in vitamin C, and taking probiotics can help regulate your weight while on your period.

Menstrual weight gain is caused by shifts in your hormones – which affect your body’s water retention, eating habits and levels of tiredness. These internal fluctuations may impact how you look or feel during menstruation and it’s normal to keep tabs on how your body changes on a regular basis.

Is it normal to gain weight during your period?

Yes, it’s perfectly normal to gain weight during your period. According to Women’s Health, typical weight gain ranges from two to six pounds, but the amount varies  depending on the individual. 

Menstrual weight gain before your period is usually temporary and most will notice a reduction in their weight shortly after menstruation ends. This happens when the body naturally passes the excess water it has been retaining.

It’s also important to remember that, on average, an adult’s body weight naturally fluctuates up to five pounds on a daily basis. Some of those fluctuations that you might put down to menstruation or pre-menstruation are actually just your body’s normal ebb and flow.    

What causes period weight gain?

Your hormone levels fluctuate all month long. They usually peak twice: once around ovulation (for those with regular 28-day cycles) and again just before bleeding starts. 

The hormone affecting this is called progesterone, which is produced by your adrenal cortex and ovaries. When it peaks in your system, you’ll notice water retention before period — which can lead to bloating around your abdomen, arms, legs and breasts. 

The rise in progesterone can also affect how your body metabolizes food and actually slows it down as it moves through your gastrointestinal system, leading to constipation . And when things aren’t moving normally, we tend to weigh a bit more.  

When does period weight gain start — before or after your period?

Ironically, weight gain associated with menstruation isn’t perfectly cyclical. It can vary from person to person, but typically starts in the weeks leading up to your period and ends three to five days after it begins. Period weight gain is usually temporary, and you will likely notice a decrease in weight as soon as menstruation ends.

How much weight do you gain on your period?

On average, you will typically gain around two to six pounds in the days leading up to and during your period. This isn’t universal, though. Some of you may gain more, some may see no shift from your baseline weight, and some… just don’t care. (That’s cool too.) 

It all depends on your body and lifestyle. The extent of your menstrual weight gain can vary quite a lot, based on things like diet, physical activity, stress levels, sleep, and genetics. No two cycles are the same.  

Do you lose weight after your period?

As progesterone levels peak just before bleeding begins — causing water retention and temporary weight gain — after a few days of bleeding, your body naturally flushes out the extra water and returns to its baseline weight. 

As your PMS cravings release you from their sweet/salty grasp, the amount of weight you lose after your period ends will usually even out to how much you gained while on it. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay too. If weight gain does worry you there are things you can do to help regulate or stop it. 

How to avoid period weight gain

There are many factors in understanding how period weight gain occurs differently for different people. If you are worried about gaining weight, or if your bloating gets uncomfortable and affects your…movements (ya, those ones), these are some things that can help:

  • Reach for more wholesome snacks when dealing with the sweet/salty PMS cravings
  • Drink more water (your skin will thank you)
  • Exercise regularly and eat plenty of fruits and veggies (especially those rich in vitamin C)
  • Prioritize sleep, always — (we tend to make better food choices when we aren’t tired)
  • Take a probiotic to keep it moving
  • Try magnesium supplements (with the sign-off from your healthcare practitioner)

Exercise and eating lots of fiber, protein and fruits & veggies can help fuel your body and keep it at its normal weight. And when you stay hydrated, it can help regulate your body's sodium levels (which flush out the excess water weight you put on while on your period). 

Fruits rich in vitamin C help act as a natural diuretic — making you pee more — which also helps to flush out the excess water, while taking a probiotic can help with both constipation (and uhh the opposite thing) and regulates your gastrointestinal tract.

With the sign-off from your healthcare practitioner, taking a magnesium supplement or increasing magnesium-rich foods in your diet can also help to relieve bloating and the discomfort associated with it. 

Final thoughts

However, if you're experiencing rapid weight gain, your PMS symptoms are impacting your quality of life or are lasting past the end of your period, seek advice from a licensed Canadian healthcare practitioner who can give personalized recommendations regarding your period and overall health.

Medically reviewed by


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