Copy - Cycle Syncing, how does it work & how do I do it?

Written by: Eleanor Hoath


Healf Journal

As women go through our menstrual cycle, their bodies needs adapt and require different needs at each stage. It isn’t surprising when we consider of the hundreds of factors that change in our bodies throughout the month. 

Throughout your entire cycle, it is important to optimise whole food ingredients to support a healthy cycle, whilst managing blood sugar levels to avoid mood swings and energy crashes. 

Written by Eleanor Hoath - Registered Nutritional Therapist & healf Editor

So what? Do I need to eat differently depending on where I am in my cycle?

Short answer is – yes! Different ratios of hormones will thrive differently to the different macro and micro-nutrients. Whilst also prioritising different benefits throughout the month. If you notice that digestion gets a little stagnant after ovulation, your food choices can help to remedy this with simple tweaks.

Rather than rotating the same 5 meals each night, mixing up what we eat on a week-to-week basis is a great way to keep our hormones healthy.

The same goes for our workouts too. As your period cycle changes, so should your exercise routine, depending on how you feel physically and mentally. While it may seem obvious, it can be challenging for fitness fiends to take breaks when they need them, or to skip a HIIT class for a yoga flow. You can achieve your fitness goals while feeling better during each activity and phase of your cycle, however, if you pay attention to what your body needs at various points in the month.

Do I need to eat differently depending on where I am in my cycle? The short answer is – yes!


The Phases of the Menstrual Cycle


Beginning from the first day of your period to the final day of your bleed. Yep – this is the one where you’ll often want to reach for chocolate and carbohydrates. This is because during this phase, oestrogen and progesterone levels are low. 

The shedding of the endometrial lining is what creates a bleed that we know as 'a period'. Prioritising rest, mindfulness and nourishment are key to support the body as it sheds. Nutritionally dense meals that are reach in minerals such as magnesium to reduce cramping and PMS symptoms whilst replenishing and restoring energy. 

Opt for foods such as soaked oats, chickpeas, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds.

When wanting to move and take part in exercise, opting for slow and restorative forms of movement are preferred by the body in this time. Consider a yin yoga class, a grounding walk in nature or simple stretches. The last thing your body wants right now is to be pushed to it’s limit. Take time for yourself and treat yourself to some TLC, whether that is bubble baths, setting social boundaries or spending time with loved ones, your body will appreciate you listening to its ques.


Often beginning from day 6 until the day of ovulation, this is the time where we begin to see a slow and steady increase of oestrogen and progesterone following behind. 

Many women often say that this it the phase where they are full of energy and vitality, and rightly so as hormones begin to rise. Supporting the increase in oestrogen and nourishing the body for follicle development with foods such as green leafy vegetables, broccoli sprouts, nuts, legumes, sauerkraut and kimchi that are also oestrogen metabolising ingredients to promote this increase, pairing with lean protein sources and complex carbohydrates. 

Due to the increase in oestrogen and energy – light-moderate cardio exercise and/or gentle weight baring movement are seen as beneficial, but nothing too strenuous, your hormones are still relatively low – including testosterone which may lead to weakness in stamina. You may find that you become a child at heart during this time too! Cracking jokes and being a bundle of fun, a big tip here – EMBRACE IT, make plans with friends and family and set your mind at that looming to-do list.


This is exactly what you are expecting – the day of ovulation. The final push to reach ovulation as oestrogen peaks, LH is triggered and testosterone rises. In the run up to ovulation, your hormones have done everything in their power to let you enjoy yourself and have fun and now is the time to do so! 

Women often report of feeling on top of their game, smashing their to-do lists and optimising their athletic capabilities – maximising potential. High intensity workouts and strength training are enjoyable rather than a chore, but should be done with caution to ensure that the body is nourished enough to perform adequately. As oestrogen peaks, focusing on liver supporting nutrients is also key to support elimination of this oestrogen in preparation for the luteal phase – think foods such as cruciferous vegetables, beetroot, green tea, garlic as well whole anti-inflammatory foods such blueberries, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds.


This phase is experienced following ovulation, until the first day of your period. Following the surge in hormones, they begin to decline and we feel slightly more cranky, irritated and tired, but still embracing all the plans and commitments that we said yes to when we were loving life in ovulation. 

The fluctuation in mood requires us to keep on top of our serotonin (the happy hormone) production. So opting for serotonin promoting foods is essential – we’re thinking dark leafy greens, quinoa, buckwheat, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. If you find yourself feeling stressed or overwhelmed, optimising magnesium is best friend – welcome back the  dark chocolate, spinach and pumpkin seeds!

Embrace movement with strength style yoga such as Vinyasa and Pilates classes whilst being kind and listening to what your body is asking of you. You’ll notice your productivity is still strong, and you’ll be flying through your to do-list, but will often want to change things around to suit your own schedule, and that’s ok – reflet on what you need in order to work optimally and put your best food forward.