Many people are curious about intermittent fasting and its effect on your period. Several individuals have asked, “Can changing your diet affect your period?”. Yes, diet changes can mess up your menstrual cycle and make it quite irregular. Studies show that extended periods of intermittent fasting also influence the regularity of your period.

Learn more about intermittent fasting, weight loss, period irregularities, and the role that diet plays. 

Table Of Contents

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Over the years, intermittent fasting has grown increasingly popular. It is a pattern of eating that focuses more on when to eat instead of what you eat. It helps women consume fewer calories, lose weight, and improve reproductive health. 

Does Intermittent Fasting Change Your Period Cycle?

Yes, extended periods of intermittent fasting can alter your period cycle. Usually, periods come with the urge to snack on sugar and other junk; if not controlled, you may experience irregular menstruation. Another reason for changes in your cycle could be a deficit in your calorie intake.

Should I be Fasting on My Period?

Done right, intermittent fasting has no major negative impact on your period. For an easier transition, begin the fast at least two days before your period is scheduled to start. That way, you can get the hang of the mood changes and feelings before your period starts.

Are you wondering if intermittent fasting and the consequent weight loss cause irregular periods? A couple of women have reportedly experienced irregular menstruation while doing intermittent fasting. A reason for this may be the calorie and vitamin deficit or hormonal changes. 

Also, read – The Complete Guide to Effective Fasting

What Can Change Your Period

Several things can change your menstrual cycle and even lead to irregular periods. Some factors that affect your period include diet change, exercise, sleep cycle, stress, weight gain, and weight loss. In subsequent sections, we will delve deeper into the effect of diet and fasting on your period.

Diet and Menstruation Cycle

Diet and Menstruation Cycle

Your menstrual cycle is regulated by several hormones like testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. But did you know that the food you eat can affect these hormones and, consequently, your menstrual cycle? Yes, diet changes can affect your cycle.

High-fiber diets in moderation can help improve your overall health. On the other hand, high saturated fat diets worsen period pains and make them irregular. There is also a link between a low-carb diet and the menstrual cycle. So, always remember that you are what you eat.

Can Diet Affect Your Period?

Yes, diet can affect your period. For one thing, artificial sugars, caffeine, and alcohol disrupt your body’s sugar balance. Eating healthy helps the rest of your body stay healthy and keeps the pesky pounds away. 

Also, read – The Female Stages of Weight Loss

Can a Diet Affect Your Period – Opinion of the Scientists

A regular menstrual cycle is a crucial indicator of good health, signaling that your hormone levels are regulated. Estrogen and progesterone play an integral role in regulating your menstrual cycle, and when their levels change, it can affect the exact timing or severity of your period. However, there’s something even more surprising: recent research has shown that our diets could impact our hormone production. 

There is increasing evidence that women prone to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms can reduce their risk by adopting dietary changes. For example, eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamin D can be beneficial. In contrast, high animal fats, salt, and caffeine consumption should be avoided as these can worsen PMS symptoms. 

Dietary salt has been associated with fluid retention, abdominal bloating, breast swelling, and pain, while too much caffeine can cause irritability, sleep deprivation, and menstrual cramps. However, a healthy diet can work harmoniously with medication and other lifestyle modifications to combat PMS.

This means that if you’re looking at how can eating healthy affects your period through non-medical methods, changing your diet might be one way.

  • Having a well-balanced, nutritious diet is crucial to maintain health and well-being. Nutrition experts recommend consuming five daily servings of vegetables, two serves of fruit, a variety of wholegrain foods, good proteins such as fish and legumes, low-fat dairy foods, and foods that are rich in omega-3s such as flax or chia seeds. These foods include brown rice, traditional rolled oats, buckwheat flour, rye bread, wholemeal pasta, couscous, amaranth, and millet. 
  • A healthy diet should include a wide range of these nutritious food items to reap their numerous benefits.
  • Lean meat is essential to any healthy diet, providing critical iron and protein to help balance nutritional issues, particularly in women with heavy periods. However, to ensure these nutrients are used most effectively, it’s essential to limit the intake of saturated fats such as butter, cream, bacon, and potato chips.
  •  Additionally, it’s prudent to reduce your salt and caffeine intake while increasing your water consumption and herbal teas such as chamomile. To further bolster nutrition intake for those with heavy periods, aim for calcium-rich foods such as nuts, low-fat dairy products, fish with bones like salmon or sardines, tofu, broccoli, and bok choy. 

Ketogenic Diet and Menstruation: The Effects

Ketogenic diets are great for weight loss, but they may affect the menstrual cycle. Many people have reported cases of irregular periods after they start the Keto diet. The irregularity is most likely influenced by rapid weight loss. 

How Can Diet Affect Your Period?

Eating a diet rich in flavor, such as spicy food, isn’t affect your menstrual cycle in the short term. However, significant and sustained nutritional changes can undoubtedly impact your period. While some women report heaviness and increased frequency, others experience irregularity due to changes in their diet. Nutritionist Sullivan encourages people to focus on achieving balanced nutrition with adequate calories to reduce the likelihood of disruption to their cycle.

Can a poor diet affect your period? Of course, especially if you have not excluded smoking and alcohol! Understanding your menstrual cycle and its associated rhythms can help indicate when something isn’t quite right. Frequently, changes in lifestyle or even certain medications can affect this regularity, making periods erratic and altering the times that they occur. 

However, the essential element is recognizing what’s normal for you, as everyone has a different individual baseline. That way, any change that occurs stands out more clearly so that it can be discussed with a doctor if necessary.

Let’s look at some main ways diet can affect women’s cycle.

Restricting one’s diet

Understanding your menstrual cycle and its associated rhythms can give you an indication of when something isn’t quite right. Changes in lifestyle or medications can affect this regularity, making periods erratic and altering the times. The essential element is recognizing what’s normal for you so that it can be discussed with a doctor.

Consuming vegetarian food

A vegetarian diet can bring many positive health benefits if all nutritional requirements are met. This is especially true for individuals who experience heavy menstrual bleeding. For example, iron is an essential nutrient required to maintain intense iron levels and ward off anemia. Vegetarians might be particularly prone to deficiency if their iron intake is not monitored and actively replenished. Therefore, it’s worth taking a closer look at one’s diet to ensure that all micronutrients are consumed and balanced for overall well-being, particularly for those with more frequent blood loss.

Changes in the dietary isoflavone content

Isoflavones, also known as plant estrogens, are naturally occurring phytoestrogens in plants. Examples include soy products like tofu and soy milk and legumes like lentils and chickpeas. While some research suggests that isoflavones might aid in relieving the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes and night sweats, the impact on the regularity of the menstrual cycle has yet to be completely determined. 

Many studies support the notion that the typical diet containing isoflavones has little effect on cycle length, bleeding patterns, and hormone levels. However, if other treatments are not proving fruitful enough upon investigation, it could be worth exploring adjusting isoflavone consumption to watch for results.

Weight variations

Both being underweight and overweight can lead to menstrual issues such as irregular or absent cycles. In addition, when the percentage of body fat is too low, the body may cease production of estrogen, resulting in amenorrhea; however, gaining weight safely with the help of a health professional may help restore sufficient amounts of estrogen to resume menstruation. 

On the other hand, having too many fat cells or being overweight can also cause irregularity or absence of cycles due to excessive levels of estrogen that prevent ovulation. When this happens, the uterine wall can still build up with blood, and if it goes untreated could result in a heavier period when it finally does arrive.

Can a Low-Carb Diet Affect Your Period?

Nutrition experts have long touted low-carb diets as a safe and efficient way to lose weight, but research has shown that they can have significant drawbacks. 

One of the major drawbacks is that it can throw your period out of whack, disrupting the hormones responsible for ovulation and menstruation. This can lead to longer or shorter periods or even skipped ones altogether. 

Keep reading to learn how it affects your health:

  1. Eating a low-carb diet may have some drawbacks regarding your menstrual cycle. Healthline stated that consuming too few carbs could lead to irregular periods. Following a ketogenic diet for extended periods can further disrupt your cycle, causing additional health concerns. All individuals need to be aware of their impact on their menstrual cycle and keep it regular.
  2. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is an essential component of overall wellness. However, severely restricting calorie intake to do so can have a negative impact on the body. When a woman begins to limit her energy intake significantly, it can disrupt her natural hormonal cycle, resulting in irregular menstrual cycles. These irregularities could include the onset of periods before or after the expected date, changes in duration, or even complete cessations of the cycle altogether. Therefore, monitoring your caloric intake closely to maintain health and normal hormone levels is essential.
  3. Amenorrhea, a condition characterized by an absence of menstrual periods for three months or longer, is an issue caused by many lifestyle factors and can be especially concerning for women. Sudden changes in a low-carb diet, extreme weight loss, excessive physical activity, and increased stress levels can directly affect this condition and cause irregular or complete stoppage of one’s period. Unfortunately, amenorrhea can lead to reproductive health problems and other medical issues if not addressed. Therefore it is crucial to seek medical attention if you experience the tell-tale symptoms of amenorrhea for any extended period.

In addition, some people following diets high in fat and low in carbohydrates may experience other side effects such as headaches, fatigue, irregular blood sugar levels, and dehydration. As such, discussing any dietary changes, you plan on making with a dietician before going ahead is essential. 

Can Diet Pills Affect Your Period?

Weight changes, whether they occur naturally or intentionally, can have a significant impact on your menstrual cycle. For example, diet pills are infamous for leading to irregular periods, as the low percentage of body fat caused by these drastic measures can also disrupt menstruation. 

The effects of most diet pills and supplements on the human body are primarily unproven and, in many cases, are considered to pose a potential risk to medical well-being. 

Even if they do promise short-term weight loss, users should be mindful of their long-term effects, as irregular cycles and other changes to the menstrual cycle often result from chronic consumption. As Mayo Clinic recommends, it is best to consult a physician before using any over-the-counter supplement or medication for weight loss and other lifestyle changes.

This is why many female Olympic athletes often lack periods due to having a body fat percentage below 17%. Therefore, monitoring sudden weight changes is essential to maintain optimal health and regulate hormonal balance. Understanding these checkpoints can help minimize unwanted effects on our menstrual cycle and overall well-being.

Also, PMS, experienced by some women leading up to menstruation, can significantly impact daily life. As a result, many women supplement with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to support symptom relief. 

If considering supplementation for PMS relief, there are some options with scientific evidence of potential benefits; however, not all supplements may be beneficial or safe

A few where studies have suggested positive outcomes include magnesium, vitamin B6, and evening primrose oil. It’s important to note that further research is essentially better for understanding optimal doses and the safety of long-term use. 

As each individual’s health needs can vary greatly, it’s best to speak with a doctor before trying these supplements to ensure no risks or interactions are associated with any existing medications.

3 Foods That Can Delay Your Period

Although periods can accompany uncomfortable symptoms such as cramps, mood swings, breast tenderness, and bloating, many women wish they could delay their period a bit. 

Besides exercising and drinking vinegar water, can changing one’s diet alter their menstrual cycle? Studies have proven that eating a balanced diet can reduce the intensity and duration of your menstrual cycle. Paying attention to what goes in the body can lessen unpleasant PMS experiences, thus lessening the need to push back one’s period.

Here are 3 foods to delay your periods naturally:

Lemon juice

Lemon juice has long been touted as having a range of health benefits, and it is not surprising that some believe consuming zesty fruit might affect their menstrual cycle. 

While no medical evidence supports this claim, many women swear by citrus fruit’s powerful and potent effects. It isn’t certain precisely why lemon juice may be said to delay one’s period, but anecdotal studies and reports often suggest that this natural product can help push back bleeding. 

Cinnamon tea

Cinnamon tea is a popular homemade remedy for women who need to change their period date by a few days. It works by pushing the menstrual flow away from the uterus and reducing inflammation, cramping, and other uncomfortable side effects of menstruation. 

Additionally, its warm and spicy aroma makes it a delightful layer to any typical cup of tea while providing plenty of health benefits. Cinnamon tea is convenient and easy to make, but its natural ingredients can be safely consumed without worrying about adverse effects. 

Therefore, you can use it as an alternative method for delaying your period to fit your schedule accordingly.


Watermelons are a great way to keep cool. But did you know they can also be used to delay your period? 

Eating a cold, fresh watermelon a week before your period could help push it back. This is because watermelons are high in Vitamin C, which helps to regulate hormones and contain natural diuretic properties that can further help delay periods. So by adding more watermelons to your diet, you may benefit from their biological effects and enjoy some extra days of being period-free!

Final Thoughts

Intermittent fasting and dieting can be excellent ways to lose weight, stay healthy, and reach goals. But many don’t realize how can changing your diet change your period – including inhibiting its regularity or causing it to stop completely.

While this can be unpleasant, it can be avoided by following the proper processes and protocols with intermittent fasting and dieting. The best way to get the most out of intermittent fasting and dieting while mitigating the adverse effects is to partner with experts who can help you find success. Then, all you have to do is take our quiz today and begin reaping all the rewards of taking control of your wellness journey with these powerful tools!

Copywriter and Researcher

Emmanuella Uka is a passionate researcher, creative writer, and SEO expert. She prides in delivering top-notch content that effectively fulfills the writing purpose. She is versatile across a wide range of niches, and topics. Emmanuella Uka is currently married with 2 kids and lives in the United States of America.

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