Do You Burn More Calories on Your Period? We Asked the Experts

I'd like to take a moment to compare the female menstrual cycle to the fourth-grade mile run: dreaded, sinister, and full of ups and downs. And apparently, a stealthy calorie burner. (See! A silver lining can be discovered just about anywhere.) But back to the main discussion point here: the relationship between our metabolism (specifically, calorie burn) and our periods. Considering our uptick in cravings and hunger paired with simultaneous fatigue and grumpiness, it would only make sense, or at least seem fair, that our body's natural metabolism would increase a bit as it puts in some extra hours. But does it actually? Or is that thought process simply wishful thinking?

Curious to know more, and because our Google search seemed a bit inconclusive—people have many opinions on the matter in question—we called in the experts: Lisa Moskovitz, CEO, RD, CDN; Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN; and Alisa Vitti, HHC, AADP, functional nutritionist and founder and CEO of FloLiving.com. Keep reading to find out how our calorie burn changes depending on our cycle and to learn some other helpful tips for making life a bit more bearable during our periods.