Change in women's eating habits during the menstrual cycle

Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2017 Feb;78(1):33-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ando.2016.07.001. Epub 2016 Sep 12.


Objectives: During the menstrual cycle, the influence of hormonal variations on dietary habits in women has been suggested by several studies. In this context, our work aimed to assess the spontaneous food intake and the anthropometric parameters of women at different periods of their menstrual cycles.

Methods: This prospective study included 30 healthy women with regular periods (28 to 30 days), aged between 18 and 45. We assessed the spontaneous food intake and the anthropometric measurements (weight and waist circumference) of the participants, during the follicular, peri-ovulatory and luteal phases of their menstrual cycles.

Results: Our results showed a slight but significant increase in body weight during the luteal phase (P=0.022) and the follicular phase (P=0.017) compared with the peri-ovulatory phase, without any significant change in waist circumference. The caloric intake increased during the peri-ovulatory (P<0.001) and the luteal phases (P<0.001), compared with the follicular phase, with a significant increase in carbohydrate (P<0.001), lipid (P=0.008) and protein (P=0.008) intake.

Conclusions: Our study showed a significant decrease in women's weight during the peri-ovulatory phase, with a significant increase in caloric intake during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Divergent results have been reported by other authors and the physiopathology of these changes is still poorly understood.

Keywords: Cycle menstruel; Eating habits; Femme; Habitudes alimentaires; Menstrual cycle; Poids; Weight; Women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Diet Surveys
  • Eating / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menstrual Cycle / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult