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TOPIC: Burning more calories when you're on your period?

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August 16, 2011 4:23 PM
I heard that you burn more calories while you're on your period and so it's ok to eat more. Is that true? And how many more calories is it?

Thanks!
August 16, 2011 4:27 PM
I have no idea...but it will be interesting to see what others think.
  8605473
August 16, 2011 4:44 PM
According to nutritionist Mary Hartley:

"A woman’s basal metabolic rate rises by 5 to 10 percent during the week before the onset of menstruation. That would amount to burning 75 to 150 extra calories a day for a woman whose metabolic output measured 1500 calories. The metabolic rate returns to normal, or slightly less than normal, on the first or second day of menstruation. Every woman has a cyclical metabolic rate but the timing of the rise and fall is not identical for every women."
  5907925
August 16, 2011 4:46 PM
yes it is true...It isnt alot but you do burn more calories.
August 16, 2011 4:51 PM
QUOTE:

According to nutritionist Mary Hartley:

"A woman’s basal metabolic rate rises by 5 to 10 percent during the week before the onset of menstruation. That would amount to burning 75 to 150 extra calories a day for a woman whose metabolic output measured 1500 calories. The metabolic rate returns to normal, or slightly less than normal, on the first or second day of menstruation. Every woman has a cyclical metabolic rate but the timing of the rise and fall is not identical for every women."


If this is true then why is it every month since I started tracking- the week before my period my weight either stays the same or goes up by .5 to 1 lb then the week of my period I lose from 4 to 6 lbs. I have noticed this and I'm not sure how to counter act this. I keep my calorie intake the same and my exercise amount doesn't change, but it never fails that damn scale reacts the same way.
  6932075
August 16, 2011 5:00 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

According to nutritionist Mary Hartley:

"A woman’s basal metabolic rate rises by 5 to 10 percent during the week before the onset of menstruation. That would amount to burning 75 to 150 extra calories a day for a woman whose metabolic output measured 1500 calories. The metabolic rate returns to normal, or slightly less than normal, on the first or second day of menstruation. Every woman has a cyclical metabolic rate but the timing of the rise and fall is not identical for every women."


If this is true then why is it every month since I started tracking- the week before my period my weight either stays the same or goes up by .5 to 1 lb then the week of my period I lose from 4 to 6 lbs. I have noticed this and I'm not sure how to counter act this. I keep my calorie intake the same and my exercise amount doesn't change, but it never fails that damn scale reacts the same way.


You retain more water around that time of the month so the extra pounds are just water. You lose so much after it is over because you didn't change your diet or exercise during that time so you lost fat, hidden by the retained water. When the water is lost, it reveals your true loss.
  1101465
August 16, 2011 5:07 PM
QUOTE:



You retain more water around that time of the month so the extra pounds are just water. You lose so much after it is over because you didn't change your diet or exercise during that time so you lost fat, hidden by the retained water. When the water is lost, it reveals your true loss.


I like this plan :)
August 16, 2011 7:49 PM
I've been experimenting with this. Another MFPer did an experiment with this as well but I can't find the thread at the moment. I ovulated a few days ago so my cycle will start in another week or so. This week I changed my weight loss goals from 1.5 to 1 pound per week so I could have some extra calories. And as of this morning I was down another pound since Friday. Also last month, I made sure to drink more water than usual during TOM and I didn't have a gain for that week. So it seems to be working for me!
  3550285
August 16, 2011 11:48 PM
Im on day two, and I can say there is no way I was sticking to my calorie goal of the day of 1300-1400. Other days, Im ok at 1200-1300, but today I've been ravenously hungry. Almost to the point of getting light headed by trying to stick to my goal, so of course I ate something (healthy!) and went over. Today I clocked in at 1600 and change. Am Im ok with that :) So I think that it is true, the metabolism bumps up to burn an extra 100 calories or so, but I dont know if its every day during the time of the month. Im interested to know, is it one of the days? Two of the days? All week? Who decided this and how can we request additional calorie burn days? Haha.
August 16, 2011 11:50 PM
omg i'm so glad you said this!! because i'm soooooooo hungry this week and i thought i was failing....period due in 3 days so that must be it!! woooo!!
August 17, 2011 12:02 AM
I get RAVENOUS the week before my periods! Im glad the metabolism does rise- even slightly- it's a little comforting :-)
August 17, 2011 6:32 AM
This makes me feel so much better. I thought my body was just trying to get me to pack on the pounds in anticipation of a potential pregnancy. Or that I had crappy willpower.
  7554352
November 1, 2012 8:33 AM
i'm glad u all feel the same ! god ... its my second day and i am starvingggggggg , and i reached 1600 calories and i was depressed :S
November 1, 2012 8:46 AM
QUOTE:

According to nutritionist Mary Hartley:

"A woman’s basal metabolic rate rises by 5 to 10 percent during the week before the onset of menstruation. That would amount to burning 75 to 150 extra calories a day for a woman whose metabolic output measured 1500 calories. The metabolic rate returns to normal, or slightly less than normal, on the first or second day of menstruation. Every woman has a cyclical metabolic rate but the timing of the rise and fall is not identical for every women."


The extra burn is necessary for the extra chocolate consumption! smokin
  25631519
November 1, 2012 9:15 AM
I've heard that you burn 15% more while on your period.. But I wouldn't eat more. I would use that to your advantage by keeping up with your working out and clean eating. You might lose more weight if this is in fact true.

I am definitely more hungry the week before my period.
Edited by petiteLady89 On November 1, 2012 9:15 AM
November 1, 2012 9:18 AM
YEP! SO TRUE!!!!
  18764101
November 1, 2012 9:20 AM
QUOTE:

I heard that you burn more calories while you're on your period and so it's ok to eat more. Is that true? And how many more calories is it?

Thanks!


I don't think so, but your hunger hormones do turn on more.

Eating at a calorie deficit is hard on people; even a small deficit puts your body in a state of flux with hormones and such. Everyone is different. Some people can handle a deeper calorie deficit than others, this is not right or wrong, it just is. Stress in your life affects your hunger hormones; lack of sleep, fatigue, job stress, family stress, financial stress, etc. Add in emotional eating issues and it gets even more complicated. Most people can only handle so much change/stress at once, they try to do too much and fail. Sometimes it might be a better strategy to eat at maintenance and make some small changes first, it really depends on how much stress you are taking in at the moment.

When I was under stress or TOM I ate closer to maintenance (when I was still trying to lose). When dealing with hunger hormones you can't do this on willpower alone. You must set up your environment for success, get trigger foods out of the house, maybe say no to a few social events, have a strategy for adjusting your calorie budget sometimes, setting up a team of people around you in real life (not just online), etc.
  16440072
November 1, 2012 9:25 AM
I cant eat a thing on my period as it makes me so sick

But you are in weakened state (lack of Iron) so your body just might need more food during that time. I say eat closer to maintenance on those days and you'll be fine. You won't gain and a few maintenance days a month won't really effect your weight loss too much.
November 1, 2012 9:28 AM
Interesting. I think it's funny how we all go through (almost) the same thing. Like wanting to eat everything in sight. We are different, but so much the same!
November 1, 2012 9:34 AM
Hmm, had v old magazine diet from about 20yrs ago that cycled your calories up and down through the mnth, so 1500 wk before, and down to 800 after 1st day of period. These figures seem low to me, but working with your body instead of against it seems good advice. I find it's my macro's that change ( carbs gimme carbs!), but I can manage my calorie goal , eat back some more exercise calories.
  25435038
November 1, 2012 12:22 PM
Once I decided to do TDEE for my goal weight, the pre-period munchies monster has calmed down a bit (I have mine every three weeks for cryin' out loud!) There for a while though, oh my!
  6407516
November 1, 2012 12:27 PM
Nice to know I'm not alone in wanting to eat like a horse the week before. I do allow myself a bit leniency....I'm too grumpy and moody to fight it.....haha
November 1, 2012 12:31 PM
The scale goes up 4-6 lbs during my cycle. The bloating is unbearable. Men have it so easy. Just joined MFP, loving the posts ;)
November 1, 2012 1:26 PM
i feel like im the only girl who still eats the same during TOM.. i dont really crave anything but then again my periods are very very light and short (2 days) but the water weight is CRAZY for me
November 5, 2012 5:37 PM
QUOTE:

The scale goes up 4-6 lbs during my cycle. The bloating is unbearable. Men have it so easy. Just joined MFP, loving the posts ;)


I'm with you, marieeugene. I've maintained my exercise regimen and shoot for about 1000-calorie-a-day deficit and gained three pounds between Wednesday and Saturday -- TOM started on Friday. Thanks a lot, Mother Nature. But I figure it's water weight and will fall off as long as I keep eating right and exercising (actually, I'm down a pound from yesterday already).
  7300511

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