Have you heard of cycle syncing? Here’s a guide on how to work with your cycle to feel your best throughout each phase.

woman lying on couch
Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

*I have the more in-depth version of this cycle syncing guide over on Medium – You can read the full Beginners Guide to Cycle Syncing here.

However, don’t go away just yet! You can still get a ton of information inside this post.

I will cover the basics such as what Cycle Syncing is, what to eat during your cycle and how to exercise throughout different phases of the menstrual cycle.

(Please consult a healthcare professional before making any choices on cycle syncing, especially if you have irregular cycles or existing problems with your menstrual cycle. It is also listed in this post about a 28-day cycle, however, the cycle length can vary for each individual.)


Are you tired of feeling tired all the time? Hormonal and lacking control? Being a menstruating human means you deal with a constant flow of hormones which have an impact on your mood, appetite, energy, motivation, sleep and brain function.

There are four/five phases of the menstrual cycle, meaning your body feels different a total of five times within around 28 days…

In this guide, we will quickly go over the basics of cycle syncing, what it is, and how to ease yourself into working with your menstrual cycle to feel better and improve your hormone health.


💭 What is Cycle Syncing?

Alisa Vitti of FLO Living created the Cycle Syncing Method as a framework for women to follow to help them match foods, exercise and lifestyle with the four-cycle phases.

I do have a more in-depth article about the different phases of your cycle here.

To run through the phases quickly;

  • Menstrual phase — This is when you have your ‘period’.
  • The Follicular phase — Estrogen will begin to rise again after the period.
  • Ovulatory phase — This is when your body is releasing an egg.
  • The luteal phase — Comes in two halves, a rise and fall of hormones.
The complete menstrual cycle for the cycle syncing method.

Throughout each phase of the menstrual cycle, the body goes through many changes on the inside, which also affect how you feel on the outside. As you can see in the image above, the lines represent the hormones going up and down throughout.

All of this makes changes to your brain function, your sleep quality, your metabolism, your moods and much more, we just don’t even realise it, we also don’t realise that living in sync with these changes can make the world of difference.

That’s when the Cycle Syncing Method comes in handy. You can learn how to work with your body to feel your best and achieve the most.

The Benefits of Cycle Syncing

There aren’t many stats or much support to back up whether cycle syncing does make a difference, however, it’s becoming a trending topic and people are willing to try it to lead a more fulfilling and better-balanced lifestyle.

I have gathered some information from the official Cycle Syncing website: They are as follows:

  • 70% of women experienced weight loss after cycle syncing.
  • 85% of women developed better moods.
  • 91% of women feel way more energised.
  • 83% of women reduced their PMS symptoms.
  • 90% of women are now eating better.

Others have also claimed these benefits.

  • Reduced stress levels.
  • Improved sleep quality.
  • Increased sex drive.
  • Boosted mental clarity.
  • Stabilised blood sugar levels.
  • Improved metabolic health.
  • Clearer skin.
  • Healthier hair.
  • Better moods.

Please note, that these benefits may not appear if you are taking hormonal birth control. The Cycle Syncing method is best used when not taking anything that unnaturally disrupts your hormones.


🧬 The Science-Stuff That Happens During Your Cycle

Right, so we need to know a little about what happens inside a menstruating human body to further understand how the cycle-syncing method can help. Don’t worry, we don’t go into too much detail full of confusing words here.

During the menstrual cycle, many changes happen which cause your hormones to change, your mood to dip, your appetite to skyrocket and your sleep patterns to go out of whack.

Infradian Rythm

This clever little thing that changes our brain chemistry throughout the month is only given to women, so along with the Circadian rhythm both men and women have, we also have the Infradian rhythm.

This changes the way your brain works throughout the month, like a constant wave of ups and downs, rather than a straightforward 24-hour hormonal clock, 7 days a week.

Metabolism

Most of you will know what metabolism is, probably because you think your metabolism will never be the way it was when you were a child! This is probably true because now you have all these hormones flying around, and your body has changed A LOT since then.

The metabolism manages the way your body uses up food, those with a too high or too low metabolism can struggle to maintain a healthy weight.

Cortisol

Managing your cortisol levels is also a new women’s health trend on the rise. Cortisol is a stress hormone, when your body secretes too much of it, of course, you then feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious and so on.

Throughout the cycle, cortisol can spike causing you to feel tired and irritated. It can also dip and be better managed making you feel better, have more strength and be able to focus.

How cortisol levels can impact your mood during cycle syncing.
See how levels of cortisol impact levels of energy and mood. (Battery symbol)

Female Biology

Those with female biochemistry have a more complex sleep system than males due to having a more complex brain (haha). So as a female, you need to make sure you are getting enough sleep to help the body rest, heal and repair.

Along with a rubbish sleep cycle you can expect to notice higher levels of moodiness, a decrease in productivity, and weight gain.


🍽️ What Should I Eat During Cycle Syncing?

Now let’s get into what you came here for.

What to eat during your menstrual cycle to work with the cycle syncing method.

Your diet will impact your hormones and the way your brain communicates with the rest of your body. You need to be fueling your body with the good stuff to feel your best, failing to do so and you’ll find yourself feeling pretty rubbish.

So, what should you eat during each phase of your cycle?

Menstruation

This phase typically lasts 3–7 days.

  • Soup, smoothies, and stews.
  • Animal proteins, beans, and green veggies.
  • Vitamin B such as nuts, eggs, mushrooms and dark chocolate.

Follicular Phase

This begins the day after your period ends and lasts around 7–10 days.

  • Flax seeds, beans, and pomegranates.
  • Healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds and butter.
  • Vitamin Ccitrus fruits, berries, broccoli and cabbage.
  • Grains like oats, millet, and lentils.

Ovulation

Ovulation usually happens around days 12–17 of your menstrual cycle.

  • Cruciferous veggies like kale, turnips, bok choy and Brussels sprouts.
  • Leafy greens, fish, quinoa and brown rice.

Luteal Phase

The luteal phase lasts around 10–14 days, it’s pretty long and lots of things happen during this time, some people even like to split this phase into two due to changes in hormones later on.

  • Foods high in zinc such as nuts, seeds, beans, and oysters.
  • Vitamins C and B6 like bell peppers, citrus, salmon, bananas and walnuts.
  • Eat nutrient-dense meals full of protein, fat and fibre, you’ll also be craving some sweet treats so eat in moderation.
The foods you can eat throughout your menstrual cycle according to the cycle syncing method.

🏋️‍♀️ How Should I Exercise in Tune With My Cycle?

It may seem slightly strange to think you must change the way you exercise throughout the month, but think about it. So much is going on inside your body, your energy changes constantly, and so does your mood.

Working with your body with specific exercises for each phase of the cycle can help you create healthier hormones, and manage your cycle better.

Exercise During Menstruation

During your period you feel pretty crappy, so stick to soft, easy movements like;

  • Yin Yoga/pilates.
  • Steady walking.

Exercise During The Follicular Phase

During the follicular phase, you should hopefully begin to feel more energy, you can push yourself now by doing the following;

  • Cardio/running/swimming.
  • Power pilates/faster workouts.

Exercise During Ovulation

During the short ovulation phase, you might still be feeling pretty strong and pretty sexy, try doing exercises such as;

  • HIIT workouts.
  • Heavy lifting/CrossFit.

Exercise During The Luteal Phase

The luteal phase comes in two halves, you can still hold onto that energy to begin with, but then it will dip in the second half, try to pace yourself with exercises such as;

  • Yoga/pilates.
  • Strength training.

Conclusion (Taken from Medium Post):

If you want to start cycle syncing start by figuring out when each phase of the cycle happens for you.

Do this by tracking your cycle and symptoms for a couple of months, including details such as your BBT (basal body temp), cervical fluid, mood swings, skin health, appetite and so on.

There are many apps you can do this with such as the MyFlo Period Tracker Calendar and Natural Cycles.

You can then plan out certain meals to incorporate the right foods, and then plan your workout routine around each phase.

Even if you don’t experience all the benefits you supposedly can, it’s worth a try in my opinion. You will only create a healthier body by doing so!

I would love to know if you already use the Cycle Syncing Method and what benefits you have found.


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