What is cycle syncing? And can it make your period easier?

Photo by Sora Shimazaki / Pexels

If you experience a menstrual cycle, you’re probably all too familiar with unpredictable mood swings, low energy levels, and, of course, very unpleasant cramps. Unfortunately, there’s no magic spell that will make all these symptoms disappear, but perhaps there is a way to make the experience a lot more bearable. It’s called cycle syncing.

What is Cycle Syncing?

In 2014, nutritionist and women’s hormones expert Alisa Vitti introduced the concept of ‘cycle syncing’ in her book In The Flo in 2014. Cycle syncing means adapting how you exercise and eat to suit each phase of your menstrual cycle.

Although this method has not been clinically tested, it is believed to ease hormonal symptoms and correct hormone imbalances, as well as ease symptoms of conditions such as endometriosis and PMDD (it is important to note that cycle syncing is not a clinically proven way of relieving symptoms, and it is recommended to discuss relief methods with a medical professional). 

Our hormones have a massive impact on our emotions, energy and appetite, and each stage of the menstrual cycle leaves them at different levels. Listening to our bodies and giving them exactly what they need could help us feel a lot better. 

The Benefits of Cycle Syncing

Some experts believe that there are a variety of potential benefits to following the cycle syncing method. Here are just a few:

  • Higher energy levels
  • A more balanced mind and less mood swings
  • More effective workouts
  • Fertility support 

If these benefits have caught your attention, it’s important to understand each phase of the menstrual cycle and to track them. Allow us to give you a little crash course.

The menstrual cycle is centred around the shedding of the lining of the uterus. Over the course of this cycle, hormones cause the organs of the reproductive tract to respond in different ways. The menstrual cycle is split into four phases:

Menstrual Phase

This is the first phase of the menstrual cycle, and it is when you get your period. During the menstrual phase, the lining of the uterus sheds and progesterone levels decrease.

Follicular Phase

The follicular phase follows after menstruation. It occurs while the follicle is developing in the ovary. During this phase, oestrogen and progesterone levels rise, causing the uterine line to thicken.  

Ovulatory Phase

The ovulatory phase is usually the shortest phase in the menstrual cycle, lasting around three days. Ovulation (the release of an egg) occurs in this phase, and oestrogen levels peak and progesterone continues to rise.

Luteal Phase

The luteal phase is the final phase of the menstrual cycle. During this time, oestrogen and progesterone levels begin to decrease and the body prepares to go back into the menstrual phase. 

It is also important to note that hormonal contraceptives can suppress ovulation and therefore affect the phases of the menstrual cycle, making it difficult to attempt cycle syncing. 

Cycle syncing revolves around adjusting your lifestyle to help you become more connected with your body’s natural cycles and rhythm. Let’s take a look at how you can fit your diet and exercise to match your body’s flow. 


Of course it is important to make sure you are eating enough nutrients to support your body at any stage of the menstrual cycle, but adjusting your diet to the different stages of the cycle means getting the nutrients that your body may lack due to hormonal changes. 

During the menstruation phase, try foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, iron, and other anti-inflammatory properties. These include salmon, lentils, spinach, turmeric, dark chocolate and bananas. 

During the follicular phase, opt for foods containing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein and fibre. For example, leafy greens, beans, avocados and whole grains. 

The luteal phase is a time to include foods rich in fibre, protein and healthy fats in order to balance blood sugar levels. Why not treat yourself to some dark chocolate and berries?


Syncing your exercise routine to your cycle not only supports hormonal balance, but can apparently increase energy levels and enhance performance. 

The menstrual phase is a time of rest and recovery (phew).

During the follicular phase, engage in cardio workouts such as running and dancing to boost endurance. 

During the ovulation phase, challenge yourself! Your body is more likely to break personal records at this stage than any other, so why not try HIIT or weightlifting?

During the luteal phase, energy levels tend to fluctuate and progesterone rises, so cycle-syncing coaches recommend workouts that promote relaxation and stability, such as yoga and pilates. 

Remember that although some swear by cycle-syncing, the journey to feeling connected with your body is different for everyone, and cycle-syncing is just one way of many. It is always a good idea to discuss any questions or concerns regarding your menstrual health with a medical professional. 

Words by Aicha Chalouche


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