Thursday, February 16, 2012
P.M.S. - My Body's Other Cruel Cycle
Yes, that's right - I'm going to talk about that time of the month, because - for women - it can really tend to throw a monkey wrench into weight loss efforts if you don't understand the weight implications. It has been a bit challenging for me to deal with this over the course of my weight loss, though I have heard of women who have had much more difficulty than I have. Quite frankly, it sucks to be trying to lose weight during your time of the month because of the weight gain associated with it. Not only do I gain weight as a matter of course during P.M.S., but I crave salt, which makes me retain more water, and I take Ibuprofen for my cramps, which can also make me retain water.
After my first frustrating step onto the scale during my period and after reading up on this issue, I decided to take the advice of those who have been doing this far longer than me, it is best not to even step onto the scale during that particular span of the month. I usually don't gain a lot of weight - maybe a pound or two - but I certainly do not lose it either. I have heard of women gaining up to seven pounds - so it is just way too frustrating and discouraging to step onto the scale at all. Add to that the general crappy feeling and the fussiness I experience (okay, so "fussy" may be understating it a bit)...and stepping onto the scale could be a disaster in the making.
That said, I still stick to my lifestyle changes. I exercise every day - if I don't feel up to going to the gym or doing Zumba, I'll go for a nice walk. Walking, particularly during this time, helps my mood immensely, and it gets me moving. I avoid caffeine and sodium (though I crave olives like crazy) and I eat fruit, which seems to help a little bit with my cravings for sweets (though it doesn't quite quell them). That said, I will allow myself some Kalamata Olives (I generally eat these with hummus and veggies on a pita) to help with my salt cravings and I allow myself a bit of chocolate to deal with my sweet cravings (weight watchers makes really good ice cream treats - but they are not THAT low in calories, so I have to watch it, just one ice cream bar AND chocolate contains caffeine, so there is that). Also, since I have been eating more healthily, my PMS symptoms are not as severe as they used to be. They have not, by any stretch of the imagination, gone away, but there is some improvement.
This is what I do, but I think that everyone is a little different. For some more information on this particular issue, here are some websites. I will warn you that when you do research on this, you will come up with differing information - like I said, everyone is different, and ultimately you have to find what works for you:
The PMS-free Diet
Eat to Beat PMS
Food, Mood, and PMS
Prevent PMS from Destroying Your Diet
Is PMS Sabotaging Your Diet?