It’s a tough question. There’s a whole lot of factors that play into this one, so this is what the experts recommend you focus on:
How long after your cycle you stopped breastfeeding
How long it took for your period to return
Any other hormonal changes during the time you stopped nursing
How much more calories you burned during your cycle than you got from breastfeeding
The best way to measure weight loss, then, is to measure your changes in weight—not your intake of calories or nutrients . You can use a simple food scale, or a caliper . You can check the calorie content of the foods you consume—so you can be more confident in the amount you are eating.
There are a lot of ways to measure food intake—some of which would include a finger-stick in both the palms and the soles of the feet. However, those tools can be cumbersome, and don’t measure well enough to get the most accurate picture of your intake.
A better method is to count calories. Your body contains a lot of water—about one-quarter of your weight is water. A small piece of plastic taped to your clothes (or a cloth and cotton bag on its side) contains 1,600 calories. If you lose one tablespoon of water at a time, that’s about 400 calories in calories each day.
This scale can help you count your daily calories correctly. On this scale, each number represents one gram of food—so the larger the number, the bigger your serving size.
What about the menstrual cycle?
You’d think that we’d have to count menstruation, but actually, your hormones take a big chunk out of your daily calorie intake during that time. A study from 2008 found that women who experienced regular menstrual cycles had lower calorie and nutrient intakes that were about 30 percent lower than would be expected without menstruation.
Even if you do experience bleeding, you can measure your intake of nutrition through urine tests. For example, in one study, researchers measured urine levels of calcium and phosphorus in a group of healthy women and used those to calculate a monthly intake for each group.
The best way to think about losing food is through calorie-deprivation theory. Basically, you’re going to lose weight the more calories you need to reach your goal weight. But why should this make any difference?
You will eventually lose weight because you have to eat more than