Balancing Training & Nutrition Around the Menstrual Cycle

Updated: Jan 22

Your cycle is unique.

Irregularities can occur from factors such as stress, dieting, extreme emotion, drastic weight changes, excessive physical activity and even travel.

Hormones regulate the menstrual cycle. They are mainly GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone), FSH (follicle-stimulationg hormone), LH (leutenizing hormone), progesterone and oestrogen.

The magnitude of these hormone secretions fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle.

You can see from the diagram specifically when oestrogen and progesterone are in play while they fluctuate through the cycle. *Note- for those on HRT, the pill, or any other hormonal birth control, oestrogen and progesterone will not fluctuate in this way. They remain rather balanced.

Oestrogen and progesterone affect the body in ways which can affect fat loss. Primarily in the follicular phase when oestrogen is high in comparison to progesterone when it is easier to gain muscle and lose fat. While in the luteal phase the opposite is true for most women.

So if you were wondering why sticking to any kind of food plan is easier on one week of the month and you are an emotional food craving wreck in the week leading up to your period then this is why.

There is a lot to it physiologically and it can impact your behaviour too (especially when you see the scales fluctuating and emotions start to run high). As stated at the start - your cycle is unique and if you want to be informed by your body then I would advise you track your cycle and your symptoms, your eating habits and your training capacity for a few months and take this info into consideration when planning what you might want to eat.

Consistency is key and by taking control of your habit tracking then you can have a bit more control over how you feel and how eating and training might be different around your cycle.

These are also some reasons why I advise that you don't become obsessed with the scale or how many calories you are eating but instead learn to become attuned to your body and it's needs.

If you want to know more then book in a free call to find out how I can help you.

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