3

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Ladies: Does VLC/LC Paleo versus "regular" Paleo make a difference with PMS?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 05, 2011 at 6:18 AM

Ok, yet another VLC Paleo question/inquiry, here goes: Prior to VLC Paleo, I became very bloated each month before my period and I could gain 5-7 pounds of water weight. After VLC, I barely knew it was coming and would only gain 1-2 pounds, if any.

About 1 month ago, I started adding carbs to my VLC diet. Just about 1/2 a sweet potato a few days a week, along with a couple of pieces of 88% chocolate a day. I gained 1.5-2 pounds, which did not bother me too much and I thought it was well worth the fabulous additions of sweet potatoes and chocolate.

The problem is this: My first period since adding carbs is fast approaching and this past Tuesday I was officially tagged as a water retaining sea cow after I gained 4-5 pounds within 24-hours (no change in diet). I am absolutely miserable and wondering if the higher carbs are promoting the higher weight gain? Either that, or is it possible I am one of those VLC'ers who cannot successfully add carbs? I hope it is the former because that means it is temporary. If it is the latter, I will have to go back to VLC, because this isn't worth it. Please advise.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 07:57 PM

So, Dragonfly, sounds like it goes away for you?

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Thanks Rose, this is what I am worried about, that if I stay higher (not high by any means) carb, I will just keep gaining.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 07:54 PM

Thanks Rogue, I might have to go back to VLC, this is yucky.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on September 05, 2011
at 07:26 PM

When I am strict low carb, I barely notice pms at all...when I am eating more carbs, I have much more irratibility and bloating.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 05, 2011
at 06:15 PM

I eat more carbs the week before my menses (hormones, woohoo!)and I get a little bloated from water weight (I don't have a scale.) It used to bother me, but now not so much, since it all comes off once my menses start!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 05, 2011
at 03:12 PM

Annie, yes, that's what happened to me. A couple caveats: 1) Some folks tried to tell me it was just water, and maybe it was. As a lifelong easy-gainer, very-hard-loser, I chose to cut the experiment short rather than find out the hard way who was right or wrong. 2) I did a lot of thinking & research into my own family history (not easy, as an adoptee) -- it's clear that I was destined for morbid obesity w/o a VLC/ZC intervention. That may not be the case for you; people vary (my husband doesn't need to be VLC at all, and for weight reasons, not even LC, for instance).

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 03:06 PM

Worth a try, thank you!

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 03:03 PM

So you just gained and gained? Not good.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 03:03 PM

It does make sense that the extra carbs would make me gain extra water weight. Wondering if others have experienced this?

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 03:02 PM

Thanks Julianne. I did go back to VLC as soon as I gained the weight. No results so far in 5 days.

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4 Answers

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4
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 05, 2011
at 06:27 AM

According to Phinney and Volek (Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living):

Removing carbs from the diet causes your kidneys to aggressively secrete sodium (and along with it, extra fluid).

So it makes sense to me that carbs would, conversely, retain water. Or at least, more water than you're used to on VLC. I wouldn't give up on adding carbs back yet. I didn't give up trying until I gained over 15 pounds -- I figured at that point I was a fat retaining sea cow, lol.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 07:57 PM

So, Dragonfly, sounds like it goes away for you?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 05, 2011
at 03:12 PM

Annie, yes, that's what happened to me. A couple caveats: 1) Some folks tried to tell me it was just water, and maybe it was. As a lifelong easy-gainer, very-hard-loser, I chose to cut the experiment short rather than find out the hard way who was right or wrong. 2) I did a lot of thinking & research into my own family history (not easy, as an adoptee) -- it's clear that I was destined for morbid obesity w/o a VLC/ZC intervention. That may not be the case for you; people vary (my husband doesn't need to be VLC at all, and for weight reasons, not even LC, for instance).

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Thanks Rose, this is what I am worried about, that if I stay higher (not high by any means) carb, I will just keep gaining.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 05, 2011
at 06:15 PM

I eat more carbs the week before my menses (hormones, woohoo!)and I get a little bloated from water weight (I don't have a scale.) It used to bother me, but now not so much, since it all comes off once my menses start!

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 03:03 PM

It does make sense that the extra carbs would make me gain extra water weight. Wondering if others have experienced this?

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 03:03 PM

So you just gained and gained? Not good.

4
0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on September 05, 2011
at 07:25 AM

Perhaps you just need to drop carbs in the last week before your period. You could also experiment with supplements. I find omega 3 is good and contributes to less PMS and menstrual pain, as does magnesium and zinc.

Robb Wolf recommends a little GLA / evening primrose oil in the last week.

For me though evening primrose oil has the opposite effect - lots of bloating prior to my period, the response seems individual. If you are taking it - try cutting it out.

Check your vit D levels are good. Iodine too is good for menstrual issues

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 03:02 PM

Thanks Julianne. I did go back to VLC as soon as I gained the weight. No results so far in 5 days.

2
279493cd0b85ed78595dec94b93d1d31

(155)

on September 05, 2011
at 07:35 AM

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 05, 2011
at 03:06 PM

Worth a try, thank you!

0
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on November 30, 2011
at 03:52 AM

I seem to do better on lower carb Paleo (50-100 grams/day) during my time of the month.

Red meat and greens go a long way for me. I used to have carb cravings, mood swings, muscle aches, and mild cramping pre-Paleo but no longer!

The rest of the time I do moderate carb Paleo about 100-150 grams a day mainly from safer starches like sweet potatoes, potatoes, plantains, and sometimes even white rice.

I've heard deficiencies like magnesium, manganese, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin B (especially B6). and zinc aggravate PMS so Paleo works well. Supplementation may also help.

Minimizing sweeteners and caffeine also helps.

Exercise always helps me - pumping weights at the gym!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premenstrual_syndrome

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