Tuesday, May 25, 2010

That explains a lot

I just read this article about smart snacking and in the middle of it was this:
Is it that time of the month? Women are most likely to binge or overeat in the two weeks prior to their periods if they've ovulated (most women on the Pill do not ovulate).

Menstrual flow is triggered by the secretion of progesterone, which is thermogenic, or calorie burning. Thus, without so much as lifting an extra three-pound weight -- or finger, for that matter -- your body burns more calories than it does during the rest of the month, and your hunger kicks in to compensate.

In a study at the University of British Columbia, women ate an average of 260 extra calories a day when they were ovulating.
As I read this, the light blub went on! That's why I have a "feeding frenzy" every couple of months or so -- always around when I'm supposedly ovulating -- where I frequently end up eating about 200-250 more calories than my online food journal says I've burned, yet I don't gain any weight.

No wonder I'm hungrier and eating more. I'm burning more.

It doesn't happen every month but I'm pretty sure I don't ovulate every month. (At my age, I probably shouldn't be ovulating at all. Which begs the question: is this why a lot of women gain weight after menopause? Because they aren't burning an extra 260 calories a day for a week or so every month?)

On a related note: Can you imagine how much more effective their programs would be if places like Weight Watchers gave you more points the week you ovulated? Instead of having all these women beating themselves up about how "weak" they are because they can't stop snacking during that time, they'd be able to take advantage of what's going on to either lose extra weight (not eat the extra points) or to indulge themselves a bit so they don't feel so deprived.

I wonder what other crazy things our bodies do each month that aren't accounted for in the current theories of calorie processing and weight management.
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