Everything There Is to Know About Cycle Syncing
Everything There Is to Know About Cycle Syncing
Our cycles are just that - a cycle, which means they are constantly changing throughout the month. Knowing that our bodies go through so many different transformations through our monthly cycle, you’d think we’d have a better hold of syncing our health habits along with it.
The truth is, not many women are familiar with the concept of cycle syncing. While some are focused on syncing menstrual cycle with moon cycles, we’re here to talk about another type of syncing. We’re going to take a closer look into everything there is to know about cycle syncing to help you decide if it’s something worth implementing into your routine.
What Is Menstrual Cycle Syncing?
As a woman, it’s not uncommon to feel like your hormones rule your life. At least for a portion of each month. One moment we’re in tears from side-splitting laughter, and at the drop of a hat, it turns into tears of anguish. More often than not, our menstrual cycle is the culprit.
Not surprisingly, studies from the Journal Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics show that the hormonal fluctuations that happen across the month of our cycle are vital in determining our body’s responses, such as:
- Emotional well-being
- Thought processes
And that’s just the beginning of the list! Generally speaking, in this study, women experienced higher levels of self-esteem and overall well-being during the middle of their cycles. Then, just before their period, the same women began experiencing heightened feelings of depression, hostility, and anxiety.
Alisa Vitti Cycle Syncing
The term “cycle syncing” was trademarked by Alisa Vitti, Functional Nutritionist, HHC, AADP, who first brought this term to light in her book, WomanCode. Vitti is also responsible for the foundation of the FloLiving Hormone Center as well as the MyFlo app.
While there is not extensive scientific research backing the concept of cycle syncing just yet, it’s hard to deny the power behind learning how to maximize hormonal power through our cycles.
Who Is Cycle Syncing Good For?
Any female can benefit from cycle syncing as it helps to put you in control of your hormones as they fluctuate throughout the month. In particular, though, there are some groups of women who might see significant benefits, including:
- Women looking to conceive
- Women looking to increase their libido
- Women who are often overly fatigued
- Women who are overweight
- Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
Some compare cycle syncing to something as common as checking the weather before leaving the house for the day. The idea is that you want to know what to expect from your day to be best prepared. Cycle syncing is just like that. Best of all, it can be beneficial to women who have moments throughout the month that they don’t quite feel like themselves.
What Does Cycle Syncing Look Like?
Cycle syncing involves aligning your fitness and nutritional habits with your monthly menstrual cycle. But what exactly does that entail? Let’s take a closer look.
Standard Monthly Cycle
Before getting into the details of how to align your fitness and nutrition with your menstrual cycle, it’s crucial to have a firm understanding of how your monthly cycle works. The menstrual cycle spans across four weeks, in which there are three unique phases:
- Follicular: before the release of your egg
- Ovulatory: during the release of your egg
- Luteal: following the release of your egg
Specifically for cycle syncing, there is a fourth phase (which is a part of the follicular phase) which is your period. While the timelines can vary from woman to woman, here is a general breakdown of the different phases and what to expect during them.
Days Into Your Cycle: 1-5
• Low levels of estrogen and progesterone
• Uterus lining, or endometrium, is shed
• Bleeding occurs
Days Into Your Cycle: 6-14
• Rising levels of estrogen and progesterone
Days Into Your Cycle: 15-17
• Peak levels of estrogen
• Rising levels of testosterone and progesterone
Days Into Your Cycle: 18-28
• High levels of estrogen and progesterone
• Without fertilization of the egg, hormone levels begin decreasing, and the cycle starts over
Cycle Syncing Fitness
Using this information, you can begin cycle syncing your fitness routines. Since hormones impact your energy, mood, and general well-being, it’s essential to recognize that this can directly correlate with your workouts. If you don’t seem to have that extra push some days, it might be time to listen to your body and take it a bit easier.
Here is a breakdown of recommended exercises to begin cycle syncing:
Rest as needed and focus on lighter movements
• Meditative walks in nature
• Yin and kundalini yoga
With hormone levels low stamina is likely to be low, so it’s a good time for some light cardio
• Flow-based yoga
• Light runs
Hormones and energy levels are peaking, which means its time to maximize your potential with high-intensity workouts
• Circuit training
• High-intensity interval workouts
• Spin class
Energy levels are lower as your body prepares for a new cycle, so light-to-moderate exercise is best
• Intense versions of yoga
• Strength training
Cycle Syncing Diet
Similar to cycle syncing fitness, you can also use your nutrition to manage menstrual symptoms throughout your monthly cycle. Poor nutrition can mess with your already fluctuating hormones, so it’s essential to be mindful of what you are putting into your body during your different phases.
Whole foods are always recommended throughout your four-week cycles, and eating every three to four hours can help avoid mood swings and cortisol spikes. You can even consider creating a cycle syncing meal plan to have meals and snacks ready to go when you’re craving some of the hormone-impacting junk food.
Here are some recommendations for cycle syncing food:
Estrogen is rising, so do your best to eat healthily and avoid foods that are more likely to trigger cramps
Add to your diet: Chamomile tea
Avoid or try to limit: Salty food, Fatty food, Caffeine, Alcohol
Add foods to help metabolize estrogen, such as fermented and sprouted foods
Add to your diet: Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Broccoli sprouts
Estrogen is peaking, so anti-inflammatory foods help support your liver function. Not only do they provide health benefits, but they can also help prevent hormone impacting environmental toxins
Add to your diet: Almonds, Vegetables, Whole fruits
During this phase, you’ll want to focus on adding foods into your diet that help produce serotonin. Magnesium-rich foods are another great addition that can help combat your fatigue and low libido
Add to your diet: Buckwheat, Quinoa, Leafy greens, Pumpkin seeds, Spinach, Dark chocolate (yay!)
Avoid or try to limit: Added salt, Dairy, Red meat, Carbonated drinks, Artificial sweeteners, Alcohol
Sign Me Up
Unfortunately, discussing menstruation in open dialogue is as taboo as it is today, but we’re here to help break that cycle. Talking about our monthly cycles more freely allows us to truly understand what is going on with our bodies each month. From there, we can learn about important things such as cycle syncing, which only helps to benefit our well-being.
While everyone’s cycle syncing is bound to look a bit different, what’s important is that you listen to your body and what it needs and understand that that changes cyclically throughout the month.
Listen to your body. It will thank you.