Dealing with pre-period bloat

Dealing with pre-period bloat

I regularly get asked in nutrition consultations whether there is a way to reduce period bloating and ease water weight gain that can make people feel a little self-conscious/uncomfortable in their clothes.

What you eat and drink can make a big difference – and can also help minimise some of the other symptoms women get – including moodiness and fatigue. Here are my top tips to apply in the week running up to your period:

Reduce your salt intake

That bloated/puffy/soft feeling you get and the associated weight gain is cause by hormone fluctuations, which in turn make your body retain water. Reducing your salt intake and eating less processed foods like bread, bacon and pre-packaged food will help lower the amount of water retention you get

Pick potassium rich foods

Foods that contain lots of potassium help your body to get rid of excess water – include plenty of bananas, potatoes, cantaloupe melon, tomatoes and asparagus to naturally balance your water levels.

Include plenty of healthy fats

Salmon, chia seeds and nuts all help to lower prostaglandins – the hormones that cause bloating and period pains – including these in your diet will not only help you to feel better, but they’re healthy too

Stay away from foods that cause gas

This varies for everyone, but foods like beans, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, lettuce and artificial sweeteners are the general culprits. You don’t want to feel gassy when you’re already feeling bloated. Leave these out of your diet the week running up to your period and you’ll feel a heck of a lot better

Go easy on the fibre

We normally talk about the importance of getting enough fibre in your diet –  but overdoing it around your period can actually make you feel more bloated. Be sensible with what you’re eating and take note of anything that leaves you feeling sluggish and over full. Key culprits for most people are too many apples, pears and berries – all of which are very high in fibre. Opt for potassium rich fruit and veg like bananas, potatoes, squash and tomatoes, and pack in lower fibre veg like cucumber, mushrooms and courgettes. You’ll still get the goodness, without the bloat.

Cut back on caffeine and alcohol

Both dehydrate you – which will cause you to retain more water – but on top of that, alcohol can significantly contribute to PMS symptoms such as mood swings and breast tenderness.

Avoid carbonated and sugary drinks

These may make you feel better temporarily, but they can significantly contribute to water retention. Leave them out and drink plenty of water with fresh lemon, cucumber and mint and see if you can feel the difference

Prioritise sleep

Not only will this help you train better, but it will also help your body to flush excess water. When we sleep more our bodies are able to get rid of the excess water that tends to sit around your tummy. Winner.

Take a herbal diuretic

Taking an over the counter herbal supplement like water balance, and drinking dandelion tea can dramatically help how you feel – both are completely natural and encourage your body to get rid of water.

Give these a try, and book in to see me to see if food can help with any other issues you’re experiencing

Emma