There is nothing worse than the symptoms of PMS, symptoms can vary, but at least 85% of the female population suffer from the dreaded side effects. These range from mild to severe cramps, headaches, fatigue, mood swings, water retention with general feelings of bloating, depression and anxiety.
It’s no surprise that some of these side effects can wreak havoc with your weight loss goals. So being aware of this impending time of the month can help you cope with the symptoms, limit the damage to your weight loss goals and keep you focused and motivated.
Here are my simple tips to get you through.
DO NOT STEP ON THE SCALES!
I advise to all my clients to avoid weighing the week prior and during their menstrual cycle. We tend to feel bloated and puffy around this time which can reflect in the scales. Carrying extra fluid at this time is also very common which can show fluctuations of up to 5lbs on the scales and let’s be honest nobody wants to see that!! If you do make the fatal mistake of weighing-in, please remind yourself this IS in fact just water and not 5 pounds of dreaded fat.
REDUCE SODIUM INTAKE
A diet high in salt will make any bloating and water retention worse. Use herbs, spice and other seasoning to foods to add flavour. Reducing sodium intake will also help lower blood pressure.
REGULATE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Keep your blood sugar levels regulated and stop any energy slumps by keeping snacks on hand to stop cravings and ultimately reaching for the largest bar of chocolate you can lay your hands on!
DRINK PLENTY (Water not Wine!!)
Drinking plenty of water will help flush out any retained water. Adding celery and cucumber to green juices will also act as a natural diuretic.
GET PLENTY OF EXERCISE
Exercise releases endorphins which give you a natural high. Although you might feel your energy levels have dropped, staying active will help distract you from food cravings, ease the bloating along with any emotional symptoms.
We all know the importance of a healthy balanced diet on our overall health and wellbeing. No less than during your menstrual cycle. A healthy balanced diet can reduce symptoms of PMS. The key to staying on track during your menstrual cycle is to avoid foods high in bad fats and simple carbohydrates, these tend to be the foods that we crave during this time and will unfortunately undo all your weight loss efforts and set you back.
Instead avoid the cakes and increase the amount of foods containing complex carbohydrates such as oats, sweet potato, leafy greens and fresh fruit. Opt for oily fish and foods high in calcium and magnesium.