The Connection Between Menstrual Cycle and Weight Loss: How Cycle Syncing Can Help
The menstrual cycle is a natural, cyclical process that occurs in women of reproductive age once a month. It not only affects the reproductive system but also can have an impact on the pathways to reaching our health goals, including weight loss and hormonal balance.
The menstrual cycle is a natural, cyclical process that occurs in women of reproductive age once a month. It not only affects the reproductive system but also can have an impact on the pathways to reaching our health goals, including weight loss and hormonal balance. It is important for women to understand how the menstrual cycle affects their weight loss journey and how cycle syncing can help achieve their goals.
The Connection Between the Menstrual Cycle and Weight Loss
Weight loss is a complex process that involves multiple factors such as diet, exercise, and hormones. Hormones play a crucial role in weight loss, and the menstrual cycle is no exception. During the menstrual cycle, hormonal fluctuations can affect the way the body burns fat, which can have an impact on weight loss. Through a better understanding of the cycle, we can know what actions are helping and hurting our goals!
If you’ve fallen into the wellness algorithm on social media, it’s likely you're no stranger to the recent term “cycle syncing.” Cycle syncing is a way to work with the natural hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle. It is a process of adjusting diet, exercise, and other lifestyle habits to align with the different phases of the menstrual cycle. For example, women can focus on strength training during the follicular phase and do more low-impact cardio during the luteal phase when burning fat is harder. Likewise, during the luteal phase, it's advisable to focus on nutrient-dense foods that promote satiety and well-being, such as lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs.
The Phases of the Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is divided into four phases: the follicular phase, ovulation, the luteal phase, and the menstrual phase. During the follicular phase, the body's estrogen levels are high, which can promote fat burning. This is a good time to focus on strength training, HIIT, and building muscle. However, during the luteal phase, the body's progesterone levels are high, which can make it harder to burn fat.
- Follicular phase: This phase typically lasts from the first day of menstruation to ovulation. During this phase, estrogen levels are high, which can make the body more responsive to strength training and high-intensity workouts. This is a good time to focus on building muscle through weightlifting, resistance training, and bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, and push-ups. Cardiovascular exercises such as running, cycling, and swimming can also be effective during this phase.
- Ovulation phase: This phase typically lasts around 5-14 days and is the time when ovulation occurs. Hormone levels are relatively stable during this phase, so workouts during this time can be similar to the follicular phase. It's a good time to continue to focus on strength training or to increase the intensity of your cardio workouts if you have been feeling stronger.
- Luteal phase: This phase typically lasts from ovulation to the first day of menstruation. During this phase, progesterone levels are high, which can make it harder to burn fat. This is not the best phase to focus on strength training, but it's still important to maintain muscle mass. This is a good time to focus on low-impact workouts such as yoga, swimming, or cycling, as well as balance exercises such as pilates to minimize muscle loss. Also, this is a good phase for flexibility training, such as stretching.
- Menstrual phase: This is the last phase of the female cycle and is a natural biological process in females that occurs roughly every 28 days and prepares the body for pregnancy. It is regulated by the release of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which cause the thickening of the uterine lining and the release of an egg from the ovaries. It’s important to take time to rest during this time during your cycle and focus on recovery.
It's important to remember that everyone's body is unique and different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional or a nutritionist/dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet or exercise routine. If you’re curious about cycle syncing and overall health support but aren't sure where to start, feel free to book a complimentary consultation with our Health Coach today.