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How PMS can Increase Metabolism and Weight Loss

Apparently, PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome, so often a nuisance for many women, can be of benefit in helping you to lose weight. PMS is a 28-day pattern of recurring moods, behaviours, and physical symptoms that occur between ovulation and the end of the menstrual period and a result of cyclical changes in the levels of ovarian hormones .The effects become more noticeable as a woman gets older right up to the time of the menopause when they disappear.

Apparently, during PMS, hormones are released which can increase metabolism. Two weeks prior to commencing the menstrual period, women’s production of oestrogen and progesterone increases to their highest levels, which speeds up metabolism, helping to burn more fat, maybe up to 30% more than the norm. Some women may notice an increase in energy levels during this time, but it is a good idea anyway, to make the most of this phenomenon by doing some daily exercise which will increase the overall effect and help burn off more calories.

These benefits are not always obvious though if you rely solely on the scales to judge weight loss progress. This is because of water retention, which can increase during PMS, for some women more than others, but which can mask a progressive weight loss. The retained fluid is of course only temporary, but can add from 3-5 pounds to your normal weight, so needs to be taken into account when you are monitoring your diet efforts.

Another complicating factor, however, is the possibility of food fads or fancies during PMS, which again affects some women much more than others. If you have cravings for fatty foods or junk foods, then this can undermine your efforts to lose weight and you need to be aware and take measures to counter this. Some recommend taking 5 or 6 small meals a day during this time as a way of avoiding hunger and inappropriate snacking. Sticking to several small meals which are high in protein and fibre should get you through.

PMS is a possible complicating factor for women trying to lose weight, but, by understanding the mechanisms, you can take advantage of the positives and minimise the negative aspects.

Kevin Bender

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