We have been pro­grammed to believe that any weight loss is fat loss and that any weight gain is fat gain. But it is not always the case. Espe­cial­ly for women.

For many, the process of weigh­ing has a sig­nif­i­cant (and not always healthy) impact.

How to assess changes in the body

Weigh­ing is an objec­tive mea­sure of changes in body weight, but there are oth­er objec­tive and sub­jec­tive meth­ods that can be used to eval­u­ate progress in com­bi­na­tion with weigh­ing: mea­sur­ing waist cir­cum­fer­ence, girth of dif­fer­ent parts of the body, progress pho­tos, cloth­ing.

How do hormonal fluctuations affect a woman’s weight?

A wom­an’s weight can be sig­nif­i­cant­ly affect­ed by hor­mon­al fluc­tu­a­tions dur­ing the men­stru­al cycle. Dur­ing this peri­od, weight can fluc­tu­ate in the range from 0.5 kg to 4 kg or more. This is often due to water fluc­tu­a­tions dur­ing the cycle. That’s why.

3 reasons for weight gain

  • Chang­ing lev­els of sex hor­mones dur­ing the cycle can lead to flu­id reten­tion, espe­cial­ly in the late luteal phase. The cause is usu­al­ly a prog­es­terone defi­cien­cy. As a result, weight increas­es, regard­less of changes in body fat lev­els.
  • Changes in food intake, espe­cial­ly car­bo­hy­drates. One study showed an increase in total ener­gy and car­bo­hy­drate intake in the luteal phase com­pared to the fol­lic­u­lar phase. This occurs due to hor­mon­al changes, in par­tic­u­lar due to a decrease in estro­gen lev­els, as car­bo­hy­drate intake increas­es dur­ing this phase of the cycle.
  • Changes in intesti­nal motil­i­ty. Often, “bow­el habits” change notice­ably dur­ing the men­stru­al cycle. While this is not con­sis­tent with all stud­ies, one study sug­gests that small intesti­nal func­tion may be inhib­it­ed dur­ing the luteal phase of the cycle. There­fore, this may con­tribute to weight fluc­tu­a­tions due to the pres­ence of a larg­er vol­ume of feces.

When to weigh yourself?

It is for these rea­sons that it is not rec­om­mend­ed to weigh your­self even once a week — because of this fre­quen­cy, the fluc­tu­a­tions that accom­pa­ny the female cycle are not tak­en into account. The best way to mea­sure progress is to weigh your­self cycli­cal­ly.

For exam­ple:

  • week 1 / month 1
  • week 1 / month 2

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