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iVillage.com: Your Most Annoying Weight Loss Issues Solved

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Is my menstrual cycle wreaking havoc on my weight loss attempts, or is that just a cop out?

Maybe. “If you’re bleeding abnormally, spotting between periods or having heavy periods those could be signs that your hormones are out of whack, and that can contribute to problems with weight loss,” says Stanton. And then of course there’s good, old-fashioned bloating. Estrogen and progesterone fluctuations cause you to retain water, and that will push the scale upwards as far as four to five pounds. The other culprit could be those PMS cravings. Brain production of serotonin, the so-called “feel good” hormone, falls right before Aunt Flo’s visit. Eating carbs triggers the brain to produce serotonin, which is why that chocolate bar can be so hard to resist. But there are calorie-free ways to boost your serotonin. “Doing things that relax you and make you feel good will go a long way,” says Stanton. “Take a walk or a bath, read a book, daydream, talk to a friend or write in a journal.” If a long walk just doesn’t do it for you, indulge in the chocolate but opt for heart-healthy dark variety.

(Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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