Wonder why your monthly cycle sometimes suddenly changes in length? Meaning, instead of having a steady 28-day cycle (or however long your cycle usually is), it’s 24 days one month, then 29 days the next, then back to 24 days after that and so on?
Well, there are quite a few reasons a regular cycle can suddenly become irregular: Stress is a big one. Illness and certain medications are other common culprits.
Now new research in the journal Endocrinology and Metabolism has identified another cause of menstrual cycle irregularity:
Losing or gaining weight while you’re carrying around extra pounds or if you have an “apple” shape–where fat accumulates in your belly.
In their study, women in the overweight and obese range of their body mass index (BMI) and women with a waist circumference greater than 31.5 inches who lost or gained more than 6.6 pounds (3 kg) in the past year were far more likely to have irregular cycles compared to women whose weight remained stable.
These women were also more likely to have irregular cycles than women who gained or lost weight while in the normal range of their BMI or who had smaller waist circumferences.
Weight changes=hormone changes
Why would gaining or losing pounds when you’re overweight or have a a large waist make your menstrual cycle go out of whack?
It has a lot to do with hormones.
When you carry around excess pounds, it means you’re also carrying around excess fat cells that produce their own hormones and disrupt a wide array of hormones that impact menstrual cycle regularity, including estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, luteinizing hormone and insulin.
As a result, when there’s an abrupt change in body weight, it impacts how all these hormones are produced and function.
Where to go from here
As a longtime women’s health journalist who reads research about the risks of excess weight day in and day out, I know that finding and adopting the right weight loss plan to reach a healthy BMI boosts health and happiness.
And, as someone who shed 30+ pounds to reach my ideal BMI, I personally know about the struggle regarding weight.
That’s why I’m hoping if you have excess pounds to lose, you’re not discouraged by this new study that shows it can disrupt your menstrual cycle.
That’s because once you reach your ideal weight and level off, it will help resync the many hormones managing your cycle–making it regular again.
Lose weight faster with the Hormonology Diet
I finally shed my excess weight in about six months–all 30+ pounds!–by doing something super simple: I synced up my eating plan and exercise habits with my cycle.
You can read about how I used Hormonology to shed the weight and how you can adopt the same habits to help speed your weight loss here.
It costs nothing and you’re not asked to make dramatic changes to your lifestyle. The “Hormonology Diet” simply helps you sync your own weight loss efforts with your cycle.
If you find it helps you, let me know!
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