We all know when that time of the month comes the scale usually likes to skyrocket, generally from fluid retention. However, during another phase in our cycle (ovulation) some women also experience water and fluid shifts in their bodies. As a result, we might mistake the scale telling us we have actually gained weight despite any efforts we are making to shed body fat. As our hormones change so can our weight. Understanding how your body might be affected by ovulation will help you keep your head up and continue your dieting and training program with optimism!
Ovulation occurs somewhere in the middle of your menstrual cycle. Usually about 14 days after your last period. Prior to ovulation our bodies have a surge in oestrogen which is an umbrella term that covers the major female sex hormones (estrone, estradiol, and estriol). The rise in hormones can cause water retention which contributes to moderate to severe bloating as well as increased appetite with cravings, especially for salty foods. If you already have an existing hormone imbalance, the surge in oestrogen in relation to progesterone can cause symptoms to be more severe. Some women have no symptoms at all.
If you are someone who experiences these symptoms, rest assured that the number the scale is picking up is likely skewed from your body holding water. It’s not actual weight gain, it’s temporary. You can diminish the symptoms by avoiding foods that tend to cause inflammation, (refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and dairy). You can also drink a dandelion root tea to help flush your system, but usually it’s something that is going to have to run its course for 2-3 days.
If you ever find yourself scratching your head as to why the scale is up and you’ve been killing your fitness program, check the calendar to see if you may be ovulating. Even if you have unexplained short-term bloating it could very well be the culprit as to why the scale is not cooperating at times. The female reproductive system is very intricate and complex with many things impacting; hormones, water balance, cravings, and of course moods! Just remember your body will have fluctuations on the scale as your hormones shift, so keep pushing and giving it your all with your fitness goals! It will all eventually catch up on the scale when hormones aren’t as active in your monthly cycles.