Maximize your Metabolism Throughout your Cycle

The menstrual cycle can seem complex at first. Still, educating yourself on your menstrual cycle will only advance you and your metabolism.

Understanding yourself can maximize your metabolism, productivity and improve your well-being.

You can make your life fit your needs as a woman. 

The Pregnenolone Steal

The pregnenolone steal alters your body’s ability to produce hormones.

The pregnenolone steal can be seen during the luteal phase of your cycle. Here, there is a reduction of insulin sensitivity and a temporary increase in metabolism. 

This causes a hormonal imbalance which has an effect on your day to day life. Examples of this are: a reduced libido, fatigue, irregular periods, and more.

The Menstrual Cycle — A Short Summary

Your menstruation cycle begins on Day 1. The unfertilized egg results in the uterus lining to shed (your period).

A woman’s menstrual cycle lasts on average 28 days. Throughout these days, a woman reaches three different phases. Each phase has a different effect on your body.

To learn more about the menstrual cycle and metabolism, as well as what foods are best to eat when, read this article.

Top 5 tips to Maximize your Metabolism around your Cycle

1. Understand You

It all begins here. It goes without saying that you need to understand your cycle, duration, and phases.

You should keep track of your performance to better understand you. Take note of your sleep, exercise intensity, and nutrition. Flo is a great app to digitally track these parameters.

2. Keep on Moving

Keep your body active!

Exercise helps you with cramping and headaches, because it releases endorphins which help you feel better overall.

Exercise has positive effects on you. It improves your immunity and sleep, helps resist craving, and revs up your metabolism. 

It’s important to be in tune with your body. On days where you have an excessive flow, or major cramping, it’s best to avoid strenuous exercise. You don’t have to stop moving all together, even taking a brisk walk can relieve some of these symptoms and keep your metabolism up.

3. Exercise According to your Cycle

Now you understand your cycle, you know when you are at your best and when you are not.

Use this information… knowledge is power!

The (general) rule of thumb is this:

  • Your period – This is the time for gentle movements. Therefore, you should try yoga and walking during this short time. 
  • Follicular phase – This is the time to work up a sweat, therefore aerobic exercise is recommended. 
  • Ovulation – Here testosterone and oestrogen are peaking. Consequently, now is the time to maximize your metabolism’s potential. High-intensity interval workouts work best for this phase.
  • Luteal phase – Here, progesterone begins to peak and testosterone and oestrogen deplete. Therefore, this is your time to shine, it is time for strength training. 

Take note that every woman is different and menstrual cycles duration vary. Use this general knowledge and adapt it to suit you.

4. On that Note… Utilize the Window to Burn Fat

The luteal phase of your cycle is a great opportunity to work your metabolism in a way to benefit you. This is a time where your body is at its best to shed the most fat

Read here to find out what are the top 5 exercises to give your metabolism the boost it needs

5. Eat According to your Cycle

It is recommended to eat whole foods throughout your cycle, helping balance your hormones. Make sure to eat every 3 hours to maintain your blood sugar levels. Eating every 3 hours will also avoid spikes in cortisol and mood swings. Not to mention, it helps maximize your metabolism to its full potential.

During your period it is recommended to avoid:

  • alcohol
  • red meat
  • dairy
  • carbonated drinks, and
  • added salt

The (general) rule of thumb is this:

PhaseFood portions
MenstrualOestrogen is on the rise. Drink tea, such as green tea/chamomile, to combat cramps. Avoid or limit fatty foods, alcohol, caffeine, and salty foods.
FollicularIncorporate foods that metabolize oestrogen. Focus on sprouted and fermented foods like broccoli sprouts, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
OvulatoryOestrogen is at an all-time high. Eat foods that support your liver. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods like whole fruits, vegetables, and almonds. 
LutealOestrogen and progesterone both surge and then dip during this time. Eat serotonin producing foods such as leafy greens, quinoa, and buckwheat. You should also focus on magnesium-rich foods that combat fatigue and low libido, such as dark chocolate, spinach, and pumpkin seeds.

In summary:

Every woman’s body is different. Before making any lifestyle changes, it’s important to track your cycle and understand your personal patterns. It can take roughly 3 months before you can identify successful different phases. 

Understanding you and adopting lifestyle changes to suit you, can help eliminate hormonal blips for good. 

Take note of your body’s response to these changes and remember, knowledge is power!

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