To my male readers out there: Consider this a warning. If you are squeamish about the inner workings of the female reproductive system, menstruation, PMS, or discussion of any related hormone changes, this may not be the post for you.


Ladies, have you ever noticed that around the time you are PMSing you are also craving everything bad for you and start putting on weight? Well, I certainly have and I often don’t even have periods (due to my PCOS) to account for the terrible PMS I get each month. I think I’d be more okay with this crazy PMS if I had a period following it and experienced the subsequent drop of water weight, but I digress. As I’m sure I’m not the only woman out there who had these troubles, I propose a change in nomenclature. We should make the change from Pre-Menstrual Syndrome to Putting-on Weight Syndrome, or PWS. Anyone with me?

Needless to say, last week I put on weight. I put on a lot of weight, actually. Five whole pounds. And I wanted to eat, quite literally, everything in sight. I went as far as to crave cakes and cupcakes, and if you know me at all, you know that I am NOT a cake person. I actually rather dislike most cakes I’ve had. At first I was beating myself up for eating those cookies and that pizza and not counting calories as well as I should have, but when I stopped and figured out what I had eaten for the week, I knew there was no way I could have gained 5 pounds just from the extra calories. (For those of you into the math, it takes 3500 extra calories over your BMR to gain a pound. 3500 by 5 is 17500 calories. I hindsighted what I ate last week, and it doesn’t come close to that.) There was just no way that my cravings would all of a sudden become so unmanageable and not have an underlying cause.

Then I saw it. The brand new box of tampons sitting on my patient’s wife’s counter in their bathroom. She is what some people refer to as a “cycle breaker.” For whatever reason, when women spend any significant amount of time around her (and I do, 33 to 44 hours a week), they tend to jump off their menstrual cycle and move towards hers. It’s insane how often her hormones and pheromones are able to do this to people, but it happens all the time. Now, I can’t say I’ve had a period for a while, but I’ve definitely noticed that I tend to have these PWSy type feelings a couple days a month regardless, it’s just never been so strong. So I think my body is feeding off the pheromones she’s putting out there and packing on the cravings and the water weight.

Good news is, now that I’ve figured out what was causing those cravings and the rapid water weight gain, I know what I can do to minimize their effects on me. Drinking tons of water and fluids – over and above that 8 glasses a day –  always helps me keep PWS weight off. I also know that I need to not keep sweets and treats in my house or lunch bag during that one week a month from now on because, while I am normally very good about portion control and eating just one or two small cookies or what have you, when I’m PWSing, I just can’t stop.

So ladies, I pose a question: What do you do in order to negate the ill-effects of your PWSing?


2 thoughts on “PMS or PWS?

  1. I have horrible water weight fluctuations of up to 5 pounds in a day; they can occur due to PMS, shifts in humidity (yes, really – ugh), and a number of other factors. I’ve found 3 things that help, in combination: drink a lot of water, extra fiber (fiber one bars are great), and reduce sodium intake.

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