You’re in bed scrolling on Instagram, wishing there was a healthy way to lose some weight. You see your friends sharing their meal plans and documenting results on keto, paleo, #MeatlessMondays, whole 30, and intermittent fasting, but it’s hard to know which is the best fit for your body.
With all the trendy diet options on the market, you may be wondering if they’re all considered to be safe. On top of everything, if you’re getting a monthly period, it can be challenging to find a meal plan that won’t negatively affect your menstrual cycle.
Is Doing Keto, Paleo, or Intermittent Fasting During Your Period Safe?
Whether you’re for or against “trendy” diets, it’s important to know how changing your diet changes your period. It’s surprising for some people to find out that the foods they eat can actually change your hormones and body makeup, especially if you’re not getting the right amount of nutrients. The problem with many fad diets is the fact that they ask you to drastically change your daily portion sizes and/or what types of foods you are consuming. As a result, this new change to your diet can change how often you get your period or how heavy it tends to be.
Tracking your period can be a helpful tool in case you notice changes you need to inform your doctor about. If you’re experiencing heavy or prolonged periods, give us a call anytime at 855.455.5262 or contact us online to learn more about women’s health conditions like adenomyosis and uterine fibroids.
Can the Keto Diet Affect Your Period?
The ketogenic diet, keto for short, is known as a low carb, yet high fat diet. It often lowers blood sugar and insulin levels which evidently shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and toward fat and ketones. Reaching this metabolic state is referred to as ketosis, when your body is at its best to burn for energy. If you choose a keto diet, your meals will typically contain 70% fat, 20% protein, and less than 10% of cards. It is important to note that the keto diet has numerous benefits, but also numerous risks.
You should always consult your doctor before going on a diet like keto. Now, you may be wondering, “can the keto diet affect your period?” the answer is yes, it can. If you begin to lose weight at a faster rate, your period may skip or vanish altogether. One of the most common effects on how the keto diet affects your period, is the decrease in estrogen. Hormone changes can make your cycle more irregular and even cause period spotting on a keto diet. In addition, PMS symptoms may intensify if you follow a keto diet and period cramps could worsen.
Paleo Diet and Period Changes
Some may think following a Paleolithic diet, paleo for short, consists of cutting out grains, but it’s a lot more than that. The paleo diet asks people to mimic a similar diet to those of our previous generations living in the Paleolithic era. Many people choose to follow the paleo diet because it can help relieve symptoms of abdominal bloating or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) issues.
Similar to the keto diet, the paleo diet and period changes may go hand in hand. This is because the drastic changes in weight and estrogen production.
Can Being Vegan Cause Anemia?
Becoming a vegan requires you to cut out all animal-made products including honey, cheese, and other byproducts. This is a strict form of vegetarianism and can have harmful effects if you don’t supplement with the correct nutrients. Vegan and anemia is a common occurrence because you are not getting red meats that supply your body with enough iron.
If you’re wondering, “can being vegan cause anemia?” the answer is simple: yes it can. For people with uterine fibroids and other similar conditions, getting enough iron (due to immense period blood loss caused by the uterine tumors) is extremely important. However, you can avoid “vegan anemia” if you supplement the iron shortage with other foods like spinach and legumes that are rich in Fe. Another period change you may encounter is losing your period on a vegan diet. This is because your body may not be getting enough fat storage to have a regular period. Losing your period on a vegan diet is usually temporary as long as you choose nuts and legumes that have healthy fats.
Intermittent Fasting and Periods
Intermittent fasting typically involves 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week to reduce body fat. Unlike other diets that focus on which foods you should or should not eat, intermittent fasting highlights when you should be eating throughout the day.
If you’re wondering, “can intermittent fasting affect periods” you’re absolutely right. Intermittent fasting during your period can cause abnormal cycles that include either extremely heavy or light bleeding. Some women may experience numerous skipped periods as their bodies try to regulate their hormones. Intermittent fasting and irregular periods are common and can become frustrating for some women. If you’re planning to try intermittent fasting during your period, make sure to notify your doctor before beginning.
Why You Should Be Safe Trying Diet Trends
Before changing your diet, you should always consult a doctor or nutritionist. They can help teach you which foods you need to eat to get enough nutrients. It’s also important to write down all symptoms including any period changes you may experience. Due to the fact that your hormones play such a major role in your body’s ability to lose or gain weight, your period and overall menstrual cycle will also be affected. In addition, drastic changes in your diet could lead to fertility issues. In addition, if you’re dealing with severe PMS symptoms, changing your diet could positively impact your cycle. Learn what foods make your period heavier or lighter or how they affect your cramps. For example, if dairy products tend to increase bloating or cramps, find a meal plan that reflects that change.
Mindful eating, where you analyze how your body feels when consuming food, is one of the healthiest diets that can lead to natural weight loss. If you’re staying away from potentially toxic “diet culture” and calorie restrictions, mindful eating could be for you. Taking short breaks to digest during meals and putting away distractions during dinnertime can help improve mindful eating.
Another Reason for Period Changes
Whether you’re trying a new food trend or not, period changes should always be reported to your doctor. Going on or off a new diet isn’t the only factor for irregular cycles. If you’re experiencing heavy or lengthy periods lasting for more than 10 days at a time, pelvic pain or cramping, anemia-related fatigue, or other symptoms, inform your doctor immediately. These common symptoms may be indicators of uterine fibroids.
Don’t take period changes lightly. Give us a call at 855.455.5262 or contact us online to learn more about your period and fibroids.