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Can Fat Burners Affect Your Period?
We’ve Got the Answer

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: April 16, 2021

Almost every woman has experienced an irregular menstrual cycle for various reasons at least once in her life.

If you’ve hit a plateau trying to get rid of stubborn belly fat and consider adding fat-burning pills to your restrictive diet and vigorous workout routine to lose weight faster, you need to know whether and how diet pills affect your period.

That’s why we’ve done thorough research and sought expert advice.

Here’s what we’ve found out.

How Diet Pills Affect Menstrual Cycle

Besides pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, and some medical conditions, several lifestyle factors possibly indirectly related to taking diet pills may result in irregular menstrual cycles (secondary functional hypothalamic amenorrhea). [1]

1. Poor Nutrition

woman thinking and a table with different food on top

A female body needs a particular amount of fat, vitamins, and minerals to menstruate regularly.

Many diet plans for women who’d like to burn stubborn belly fat and keep their weight fluctuations under control are rigorous and eliminate certain foods.

Instead, ladies tend to use appetite suppressant and fat burner diet pills as alternatives to balanced meals when struggling to cut fat.

Although some dietary supplements may be high in specific healthy vitamins and minerals, they might lack other micronutrients essential for healthy periods.

Plus, diet pills can block the absorption of dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins.

By restricting the intake of certain food groups and substituting balanced, nutrient-dense meals with diet pills, you risk experiencing nutritional deficiency that may lead to irregular periods and many other harmful side effects.

2. Rapid Weight Loss

woman wearing undies with a measuring tape around her waist

Besides eating disorders (binge-eating, anorexia, and bulimia nervosa) [2] and nutritional deficiencies that result from any crash, extreme diet, losing weight excessively and rapidly may severely affect your menstrual cycle, causing irregular, early, or missed periods.

Why does weight loss affect periods?

Women are not consuming enough calories to lose weight.

So, they may lose too much deposited fat and become underweight (with a body mass index under 18.5), which messes up the hormone production necessary for ovulation. [3]

How weight loss affects your period?

If you lose too much weight too quickly (with or without using a weight loss pill), your fat level drops, your body enters starvation mode, saving energy for breathing and other vital life functions.

As a result, your body stops producing reproductive hormones, your estrogen levels decrease, ovulation stops, and period irregularities occur.

3. Drastic Weight Gain

Just as extreme and abrupt weight reduction can cause irregular periods due to hormonal disbalance, so can being obese and gaining too many pounds fast.

“As women become more overweight, the excess fat can produce hormones that increase insulin resistance, which can cause irregular periods.” Dr. Jessica Chan, OB/GYN

According to research, young overweight girls experience their first period later and often have late or missed periods.

4. Excessive Exercise

woman tired in workout clothes

Starting a new vigorous workout routine suddenly or following a regular extreme exercise routine for longer (training for a marathon, doing HIIT workouts, and similar) may stop your period and cause other long-term side effects, including osteoporosis. [4]

“Excessive exercise can lead to skipping periods or light periods because your body needs a certain amount of body fat to ovulate.” Dr. Carolyn Alexander, MD, F.A.C.O.G.

Experts say that too intense exercising increases stress on your body and results in lightened or disrupted periods. [4]

When training too hard, exercise-related hormones like beta-endorphins and catecholamines that can affect your estrogen and progesterone production get released.

Burning more calories than you take in, you may lack the energy to produce reproductive hormone

Doctors’ Tips

woman with a towel on her shoulders outdoors, woman drinking water from a glass

To ensure regular periods and ease the pain, discomfort, and other pesky PMS symptoms while trying to lose weight:

  • Consume enough calories, protein, and other essential nutrients (especially Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamins B6, E, etc.) from healthy sources like lean beef or chicken meat, fatty fish, avocados, eggs, coconut oil, lentils, nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens, and other veggies and fruits.
  • Stay hydrated - drink enough water, avoid smoking, refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine from coffee, or any other dehydrating beverages.
  • Stay away from foods that give you gas and bloating (e.g., Sodium causes water retention, so reduce salt intake to prevent it).
  • Don’t skip meals (especially breakfast).
  • Avoid using diet pills that contain stimulants.
  • Get regular moderate aerobic exercise and avoid over-exercising.

FAQs

Do Fat Burners Affect Hormones

Yes, fat burners can affect your hormones.

Potent stimulants and other ingredients of weight loss pills increase the stress hormone cortisol and a male sex hormone, testosterone derivative dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Weight loss drugs may also influence some other gut and brain hormones that help you fight carb and fat cravings, suppress appetite, increase satiety, regulate energy metabolism, etc., such as ghrelin, leptin, insulin, glucagon, epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and a few others.

Can Diet Change Your Period?

Yes, diet can change your period.

Overeating spicy foods, skipping meals, too low daily intake of protein and calories, nutrient deficiencies, long-term ketogenic and other low-carb diets, restrictive, crash and other types of extreme dieting, rapid weight loss or weight gain, or any sudden change in your diet can disrupt your hormonal balance and affect your menstrual cycle. [5] [6]

Does Body Fat Affect Menstruation?

Yes, body fat affects menstruation.

Menstruation can cease in underweight women with a low percentage of fat stores, whereas obese women with excess fat stores often experience irregular and heavy menstrual cycles and are at a higher risk of other menstrual cycle disorders.

Can Losing Body Fat Stop Your Period?

Yes, losing body fat can stop your period, causing amenorrhea because a female body cannot initiate and maintain regular menstrual cycles below a particular percentage of fat tissue (17%, i.e., 22% if you’re older than 18). [7]

Can Taking Diet Pills Affect Your Period?

In short, certain diet pills affect your period directly or indirectly as they can disturb your hormonal balance.

Not all diet supplements are adequate for your specific weight, age, and health condition.

To achieve optimal results, avoid period absence and other health risks, consult your doctor before taking a fat burner supplement to reduce your appetite and burn calories faster.

Also, talk to a professional when making significant changes in your diet and workout routine to speed up your fat-burning process.

Good luck, and make sure to share your progress with us!


References:

  1. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/amenorrhea/conditioninfo/causes
  2. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml
  3. https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/period-problems
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3946734/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1983897/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22004525/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12790900/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/4053451/

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