This guest blog post was written by Dr. Beth Westie, DC.
Disclaimer: the information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not designed to replace individualized recommendations from a practitioner. Always check with your doctor before adding supplements or making changes to your treatment plan.
If you have ever struggled with your weight, felt the wrath of PMS, or suffered from other hormonal imbalance symptoms, this blog is for you.
Women have been led astray for far too long. For years and years, women have been trying to fit into a model that was designed for a man. When it comes to weight loss specifically, most programs were designed, developed, and tested on men. How do they then come up with parameters for women? They base them off of a 140-pound man.
"When it comes to weight loss, it’s important to have a program that is designed to not only keep hormones balanced, but to account for their natural function."
Where to Begin?
I don’t know about you, but from everything I know, women’s bodies are nothing like men’s. For instance, our hormones are shifting and changing every single week, while men’s hormones generally stay the same.
And those female hormones that are constantly shifting are responsible for different functions within the body. When estrogen is higher and more dominant during the first two weeks of your cycle, your body is naturally burning more carbohydrates. Whereas, the last two weeks of your cycle, when progesterone is higher and more dominant, your body is naturally burning more fat.
So, let’s start with the basics before we dive in.
Day 1 is the first day of your period; this is also the start of the estrogen or follicular phase.
Day 14 is typically marked as the day you ovulate and your body turns over into the progesterone or luteal phase.
I also want to mention that you have a hormone cycle for your entire life. It does shrink in scale as we age, but it’s always there.
Start Understanding Your Cycle
Maybe you are thinking, “I have no idea where I’m at in my cycle.”
Totally fine! There are a few things you can do to get started.
The first is to track your basal body temperature to figure out where you’re at in your cycle. This is the temperature of your body upon awakening BEFORE any movement has occurred.
The second is to track from the first day of your period (count this as Day 1) and just dive in with eating for your cycle and seed syncing/cycling. Your body and hormones are super impressionable and will sync up! Have you ever lived with girls and all of a sudden you’re all getting your period the same week?
If you’ve had a good experience with seed syncing/cycling, you are going to love eating for your cycle.
Benefits of Eating For Your Cycle
Experiencing the symptoms of hormonal imbalance— fatigue, cravings, weight gain, an inability to lose weight, cramps, headaches, PMS— may be common, but they are actually not normal.
It is possible to have a symptomless period. It's true! And I’ve helped hundreds of women do it. It really comes down to balancing that hormone cycle. The best part: it can be done naturally!
When you start eating for your cycle, you allow your body to optimize the dominant hormone’s function during each phase of your cycle. You will start to notice improvements such as increased energy, better sleep, less mood swings, less bloating, losing inches, more mental clarity, and so much more.
How To Eat for Your Cycle
Eating for your cycle is a simple protocol that has you focusing on foods that will enhance the dominant hormone’s function during specific times of your cycle.
1. Estrogen (Follicular) Phase
During the Estrogen Phase (first two weeks of cycle), we want everything to be cooling and calm.
Foods to Focus On:
- Raw Fruits & Veggies
- Cooling Spices (Mint & Basil)
This is also a great time to add in carb cycling to help boost metabolism.
2. Progesterone (Luteal) Phase
During the Progesterone Phase (second two weeks of cycle), we want everything to be warming.
Foods to Focus On:
- Cooked Fruits & Veggies
- Warming Spices (Cayenne and Cinnamon)
When it comes to weight loss it’s important to have a program that is designed to not only keep hormones balanced, but to account for their natural function. Eating the same thing all month long, counting calories, cutting carbs, adding extra exercise… all of these things work great for men.
For women, it’s so important to fuel our bodies with the nutrients they need, specific to each phase.
Have you ever gone on a diet with your male counterpart? If you have, I’d imagine you experienced results along the line of him losing 20 pounds while sticking with it 50% of the time and you lost a pound or two, despite following the diet to a "t".
It is not because you failed or weren’t trying. The program was flawed for your body. It’s no wonder women are left frustrated and disappointed in their results.
If you are ready to start seeing the benefits of a regular cycle, you’re going to want to start eating for your cycle.
Dr. Beth Westie (DC) is the author of the Best Selling book, The Female Fat Solution, the creator of the 12 Week Female Fat Solution Challenge, and the host of The Female Health Solution Podcast. She has made it her mission to change the way women view their health. Traveling the country to educate and empower women to take their health into their own hands. Using nutrition to help women work with the natural cycle of their bodies to achieve lasting weight loss results.
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