Do women burn more calories while on their period?

Annemarie says:

I saw a bulletin board with weight loss facts at the Y and it said that women burn an extra 300 calories during menstruation.  Have you heard of this?

To be honest, I’d never heard that! But I did a little bit of research and this is what I found from BodyBugg:

A few days before and during the time you are menstruating, you do burn more calories due to the additional cellular activity taking place internally. Some female metabolisms may increase up to 15% during this time due to hormonal changes and loss of blood. The increase in metabolism can lead to an increase in appetite in order to compensate for the greater calorie burn (in the same manner that as exercise can lead to an increase in hunger), which is why some women tend to eat more or crave different foods during this time of the month. Cravings can also be caused by the hormonal changes that affect taste or thought processes. Additionally, certain foods can help sooth difficult times, thus leading to different or unusual food choices.

So it seems our bodies naturally compensate for the slight increase in calorie burn by craving a bit more food. But I wouldn’t recommend purposefully eating more while on your period, though often it seems that happens unintentionally! Our bodies are great at knowing when we need to eat more and when we need to eat less, we just need to listen (carefully!).

My more general advice is this: Whatever eating plan you choose to follow, be as consistent as possible, regardless of what life circumstances arise (period, vacation, new relationship, etc.). If you can do this, you’ll be well equipped to maintain a healthy lifestyle as long as you live.

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