Rapid weight loss 'becoming much more accepted' says Mosley
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A woman’s menstrual cycle can be a tricky one to figure out due to the countless hormone changes going on inside their bodies. Some women are lucky enough to experience shorter periods than others, but all these symptoms can have a big impact on their weight.
Nutritionist Arj Thiruchelvam, founder of Performance Physique, suggested there are specific times during the month when women should diet.
He said: “Women may want to diet only for the first two weeks of their menstrual cycle, when they are feeling stronger and need fewer calories.
“[They can] then go back to their normal, maintenance intake for the last two weeks.”
He explained this dieting method can work to shift the pounds, explaining: “You can certainly lose weight by adopting this strategy.
“And you will feel better for giving yourself a break when you are in the luteal phase, experiencing premenstrual tension (PMT) or menstruation itself.”
It’s not uncommon to begin to crave unhealthy food around the “time of the month”, as a woman’s body begins to produce increased levels of progesterone, which is responsible for the increase in appetite.
The body also starts to produce more cortisol, which is considered to be a stress hormone linked to sugar cravings in particular.
In order to help manage cravings and promote weight loss in general, Arj recommended increasing protein intake.
He said: “Don’t cut out carbs completely because they help you perform at your best when exercising, but instead focus on managing your protein intake so you stay fuller for longer and are less likely to snack.
“Protein also helps you develop muscle mass, which aids the burning of calories.”
He advised people to aim for 2-2.5kg of protein per kilo of body mass for weight loss.
“Whey is a good source of low calorie protein and will provide around 25g, as will a chicken breast or piece of salmon, whilst a tin of tuna is slightly less and a steak slightly more,” he noted, while adding the calorie and energy balance is not affected by what time a person eats.
While it isn’t possible to completely prevent people’s weight from going up and down during the menstrual cycle mainly due to hormonal changes, there are ways to try and minimise it by adjusting their current diet.
In order to help shift unwanted pounds, women can also eat foods high in:
Foods high in fibre have high levels of satiety and will keep people fuller for longer, fighting hunger and reducing unhealthy food cravings.
This nutrient can be found in beans and legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which are also low in calories.
Omega-3 fatty acids
These healthy fats are nothing to be feared and have been found to help weight loss in some people.
Not only that, but they can reduce inflammation in the body, which could alleviate menstrual pain.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in salmon, sardines, tuna, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil and other seeds.
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