Looks like same situation happened to my wife, and we found the solution by chance, and it was very easy.
First, stressing yourself with tracking, logging, weighing, etc. elevates your cortisol levels that leads to water retention you experience. So, first step is to avoid any activity that will put huge stress (mentally). This will drop some water weight, and give you a relief from the stress. Your other hormones will start to regulate (dopamine, serotonin, leptin, etc.) and you mood will enhance.
Second, it is time to examine your nutrition plan. Three factors you must consider:
Start by eliminating all crap food from your diet. Stick to healthy choices, and real solid food. Try to make all of your food in home, and make it as simple as possible. Don’t complicate it. T-Nation is full of easy healthy recipes that you can follow without any obstacles and can fit any situation. Below I will give you samples of which me and my wife use.
Meal timing / macro timing
You should know exactly when to eat each macronutrient. For example, simple carbs come after workout, complex carb in the morning and before workout, etc. This topic discusses in many articles on T-Nation, but generally, here are my guidelines which we follow (and successfully losing weight on it):
- Don’t combine carbs and fats in a single meal
- Within one hour after workout eat simple carbs, lots of vegetables, lean protein like chicken breast or fish
- Breakfast should contain complex carbs and protein as well
- lunch is consisted of lots of protein, vegetables and small amount of complex carbs (This is our pre-workout meal)
- reduce you salt intake
- eat fruits (bananas, oranges, apples, dates, mangos, etc.) to compensate for sugar craving.
Change you training totally, drop the cardio at all as it will elevate cortisol levels. Opt for good powerlifting program. My wife was on SL5x5 and now she is on Jim’s 5/3/1, both worked very well. Limit training to maximum of 4 days per week and no more than 45 minutes of training including warming up. You may add two days of conditioning (light conditioning like walking or complexes) but not more than 20 minutes. I prefer to avoid conditioning for the first month.
Finally, don’t weigh yourself daily. Set particular day of the week for the scale and measurements. I prefer it to be after last workout of the week, and take you figures once each week.
Another point that worth mentioning is the relationship between menstrual cycle and nutrition. I did long research regarding to this issue (I’m not physician so make your own research or consult a doctor) and came to the following which worked best for my wife:
During Luteal Phase: your body is very insulin resistant, so try to avoid high GI carbs as much as possible and depend of fats and protein
During Follicular Phase: your body is very sensitive to carbs, so introduce simple and high GI carbs, this will help you perform better in training, and will regulates your hormones.
During Ovulation Phase: your body starts to lose its sensitivity to carbs (turns to be insulin resistant) and starts to retain water, so reduce high GI carbs gradually as you reach your Luteal phase.
Final word, make a small deficit, don’t go to extremes and let your body to relax.
I hope I could help. If you have any question don’t hesitate to contact.