This is a like hack for the girls and the girls only. Cycle syncing is going to change your life completely and you’re going to thank me. Never heard of cycle syncing? Let me give you the low down. This was a concept formed around the idea that because women’s hormones fluctuate over 30 days, tracking your hormones and your body’s reaction to the changes and making changes accordingly will help with the overall balance of your life. This is a super trendy (and helpful) way to optimize your cycle.
When it comes to a women’s cycle, it lasts for about 30 days and comes in four different stages: Menstrual, Follicular, Ovulatory, Luteal. It’s so important to listen to your body and giving it what it needs when it’s asking for it. Everyone can benefit from cycle syncing, however, this can be very helpful for more targeted groups of people like those with PCOS, who are trying to conceive, or even those trying to get their libido back.
The first five days of your cycle is known as the menstrual cycle. Technically this is the first part of the Follicular phase, but she truly deserves her moment. This is the stage where estrogen and progesterone are low. Your period occurs and you essentially hate your life… but you don’t have to. Maximize your fitness by listening to what your body is saying. Since those hormones are low take this time to rest. We know movement can ease discomfort during menstruation but rather than that intense HIIT class, do a yoga flow or take a long walk instead.
When it comes to fueling our body during these different phases, we want to take into account that everybody is different. Your body is working on raising your estrogen levels. Drinking soothing teas like chamomile to help soothe period cramps. Also, drink tons of water, incorporate more leafy greens and avoid fatty foods, caffeine, excess salt, and alcohol.
The follicular phase of your cycle is from around day 6 to day 14. At this point, your period is over and your estrogen and progesterone are on the rise. You’re beginning to feel a bit more human again. Implement some more cardio movements back into your routine. This process is the pre-egg release, so your body is back to its prep stages. Don’t push too hard, however. Your hormones are still fairly low especially in testosterone which may cause low stamina. Try lower intervals of training like hiking, light jogs, sweaty yoga flows, or mat pilates.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman from ….. “Imbalances in hormones are triggered by bad food.” Because the female body produces different ratios of estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone throughout the month, the body also requires different types of foods that offer more suitable nutrition than others. When in the follicular stages, incorporate foods that will help metabolize estrogen. Sprouted and fermented foods like kimchi and Ezekiel bread are great to start with. Broccoli, sauerkraut, and probiotic yogurts are great to add in as well and your gut will be thanking you.
Next, we’re off to the ovulatory process, or where your body is releasing the egg. Here your estrogen peaks and the testosterone and progesterone rise with it. Because of these hormones rising you will have more energy. Incorporate high-intensity exercises like HIIT or your favorite spin class. Your sex drive will spike because you’re ovulating wanting you to eat satiating foods like plant proteins and complex carbs. This is preparing your body to make and create a baby. Science!
Research shows that you can potentially lose your appetite slightly because of the heightened hormones so keep your diet balanced with an emphasis on magnesium. Veggies, cruciferous vegetables, turkey, flaxseeds, almonds, tofu, spinach, and dark chocolate are all great to add to your diet to give you ample fuel for all that baby-makin’. Because your estrogen is so high also implement foods that will support your liver. Anti-inflammatory foods like fruits and veggies. They have great health benefits like anti-aging and expelling toxins.
Ahhhh, we’ve made it to the end. A tad exhausting, but happy to be here. This is the last 18-28 days of your cycle. Your progesterone and estrogen levels are still fairly high. If an egg was not fertilized in that period, your hormone levels will drop, and your cycle will begin again. When it comes to exercising, your body is preparing for another menstrual cycle. You may be feeling more lethargic because of your low estrogen and testosterone levels. Focus on your strength with pilates and strength training types of exercises. Always do what feels good for your body.
At the start of the Luteal phase, your estrogen and progestogen levels are high and will wane during these 10 days. Consider implementing foods that will produce serotonin like quinoa, leafy greens, and buckwheat. If you’re experiencing fatigue or a low libido add magnesium-rich foods like dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds. Because this phase is before your menstrual cycle, stay away from foods that might trigger period symptoms like caffeine, red meat, dairy, and excess salt.
They make great apps that help track and monitor stages of your cycle. Clue, glow, and kindara can all be found on app stores. There you can track simple things like if you’re mensurating if you’re experiencing any period symptoms or energy levels. They also have options to track more meticulous things like hours of sleep, cravings, and discharge type.
This cycle syncing process goes much further than what you eat and the types of exercises you engage in. A women’s health specialist says, “Once women understand these monthly hormonal shifts, they can avoid becoming casualties to their hormones and begin to maximize their hormonal power.” Avoid burnout by working with it and not against it. Matching your cycle with your everyday life activities keeps you mindful of what your body is craving. Remember that all bodies are different. Before making great lifestyle changes thoroughly monitor your body’s natural needs.