Trying to suck in your stomach with a period bloated belly should be its own sport. In this post Im going to give you my top secret tips on how to get rid of period bloating so you can officially retire! Number 5 is going to surprise you.
Bloating during PMS week and the firsts few days of your period is normal to some extent. However, feeling pregnant with your first child when your period comes around is not normal! It can be a sign there is a hormonal imbalance that needs to be addressed.
Bloating is one of the many PMS week symptoms women face every month. Others may be:
- intense cravings
- mood swings
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be as these are solely based on my experiences. Please consult your family doctor before considering any recommendations listed in this post. Thanks!
Why we bloat in the first place
The cause of period bloating is due to the hormonal fluctuations happening in your body. Particularly estrogen and progesterone can make your body retain water and decrease digestive function during PMS week.
PMS week occurs in your late luteal phase when progesterone is high and estrogen is low. When your period starts, progesterone drops leaving you feeling bloated and uncomfortable!
How to get rid of period bloating
First and foremost, we need to address any hormone imbalances going on within your body. An imbalance of hormones not only causes period bloating but many other unwanted PMS symptoms you may be facing.
I have done a full post on how to tell if you have a hormonal imbalance which you can read right here! After you read that, come back here for my top tips to beat the bloat fast and effectively!
Beat the bloat tip #1: drink, drink, and drink some more!
You may be wondering why you need to drink MORE water when you are already experiencing water retention. Drinking more water will actually flush out excess water your body is holding onto!
The more water you drink, the more water your body will let go of.
Beat the bloat tip #2: Exercise!
Moving your body and getting a sweat on will help your body speed up digestion. Sweating a bit will also rid you of some of the extra water weight your body is hanging onto.
If you are on your period and are not in the mood to go to the gym or do intense exercise (which you shouldn’t and you can find out why here) then try more gentle forms of exercise such as:
- walking – bonus if you have a walking buddy!
- sign up for a yoga class!
- dance around your kitchen while making a nourishing dinner
Beat the bloat tip #3: avoid gut inflaming foods
Inflammation of the gut can be a cause for stomach bloating. When a women is menstruating, the gut can be extra sensitive to these foods and cause period bloating.
Gut inflaming foods to avoid when you are menstruating:
- dairy products
- artificial sweeteners
- too much caffeine
Beat the bloat tip #4: be aware of fibre intake
Bloating may be due to too much fibre intake. Like any thing, too much of a good thing can also be a bad thing. Same goes with Fibre. Getting enough fibre in your diet is essential for hormone and gut health but when you have too much fibre it can cause constipation and bloating.
the average women should aim to get around 25 grams a day. If you follow a vegan diet you may be eating a lot of fruit and veggies which can put you way above your recommended dose of fibre for the day!
Beat the bloat tip #5: Cook your food
This tip may surprise you! Cooking your food breaks down the nutrients so that your body has an easier time digesting it. Eating raw veggies and meat are hard on the stomach especially in the late luteal and menstrual phases of your cycle.
Think warm and cozy food to help ease period bloating:
- roasted veg
are all great choices!
beat the bloat tip #6: manage stress
Stress is also a major gut disturber. Physical and psychological stress raises cortisol levels and can cause water retention or weight gain. Being chronically stressed is not a place you want to be so managing your stress levels will benefit you greatly. I know it’s easier said than done when work deadlines are creeping in but do your best.
Try stress relieving activities like:
- deep breathing
- talk to a friend
- go out with friends and let loose! Watch the alcohol though;)
The importance of gut health throughout your cycle
Even if you only experience bloating during your period, It is important to keep a healthy gut all the time. Your digestive system is like your second brain so feeding it the fuel it needs while avoiding aggravating foods is a great habit to have through your Menstrual cycle.
I have done a full post on the connection between gut health and hormones (why you are experiencing hormone imbalances) which you can read right here.
Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know what you think, what your learned, and what kind of content you would like to see in the future!
Does birth control make a difference?
YES! Being on birth control pills i.e the combination pill can mess with your gut and cause nutrient deficiencies. This directly effects your digestive track and may cause bloating and weight gain.
If you are currently on the pill and are looking for other options to get off – here are some resources for ya!
Natural cycles is a FDA approved app for birth control AND has just introduced the Aura ring as an option to track temperature. This means you do not have to take your temperature in the morning! ALSO it gets better – if you sign up for natural cycle here you can get $40 off your purchase of the Aura ring!
Even though bloating is a natural occurrence when your are menstruating, it does not have to be your normal! I hope you found this post helpful on your journey to hassle free periods and don’t forget to browse my blog for more helpful tips on birth control, hormone health, and nutrition!
Until next time my friends