Do women gain weight while on their period?

Reader Jess asks:

Can you address whether it’s true that you really gain weight when it’s your time of the month?

Short answer: No, menstruation itself doesn’t cause weight gain.

Longer answer: You might experience temporary weight gain while on your period due to a few things:

  • Water rentention. Women retain water leading up to their period and during it. That can act as temporary weight gain (see my post about weight fluctuations due to liquid retention for more info).
  • Food cravings. Some women get hormonal-related cravings that can cause weight gain if they’re not careful. However, research shows that these cravings usually don’t translate into large increases in calorie intake/weight gain.

Bottom line: If you see the scale go up while on you’re period, it’s most likely temporary. If you’re the type of person who can get a little obsessed with the number on the scale, the best thing to do is avoid weighing yourself while on your period since water retention is more likely to be a factor in weight during this time.

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