The menstrual cycle is different for all women; some notice no changes at all before their periods, while others feel tired and irritable, and may even gain weight. If you fall in the weight-gaining category, don't despair. Any added pounds are only temporary, and some lifestyle changes can help you reduce the bloating significantly.
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The Hormone Effect
Just before menstruation, estrogen levels spike, which can cause your body to retain water. You could gain several pounds of water weight during this time, but you will lose it in the next few days. If the water retention bothers you, avoid foods and beverages that contribute to bloating such as salt, sugar and alcohol. Also drink plenty of water and eat water-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables and broth-based soups, which will help your body expel more water naturally.