There is a new wellness movement that Vogue thinks every woman should know about, The Cycle Syncing MethodⓇ. How you eat, exercise and spend your time needs to vary based on which phase of your 28-day cycle you are in. The Cycle Syncing MethodⓇ is beloved by celebrities like Gabrielle Union and Freida Pinto, by female sports pioneers like Gabby Reece and Danica Patrick, and by influencers like Hannah Bronfman and Emily DiDonato.
This method was created by functional nutrition and women’s hormone expert, Alisa Vitti, a two-time bestselling author and founder of FLOliving.com. Vitti has done her extensive research into the Infradian Rhythm, a second biological clock that only women in their menstruating years have, but that you have likely never heard about. Until now.
FLO Living is a modern hormonal healthcare company dedicated to helping women navigate hormonal issues from their first period to their last. Why is this a major upgrade in our wellness routines? Well, here are some key facts:
● 80% of women suffer from a hormonal imbalance
● Fitness programs never seem to get women the long term results they want
● Diets fail women and make their period problems worse.
The problem, Vitti says, stems from two things:
1 - Women are left out of medical, fitness, and nutrition research.
That means all of the studies that you have read about that say intermittent fasting or doing daily HIIT workouts should be your goal have only used men as research subjects. Vitti dug up new research that shows that not only do women in their reproductive years not get the same benefits as men following this daily routine, but also that they can also experience the opposite results.
2 - Women don’t know they have something called an Infradian Rhythm and are disrupting it.
If you aren’t supporting your Infradian Rhythm with your diet, fitness and lifestyle, you are disrupting it, causing your brain, metabolism, immune system, stress response system and reproductive system to perform suboptimally.
By synchronizing calorie intake, types of food, workout intensity and other lifestyle habits, we can naturally balance hormones, increase productivity and energy levels, and feel our best all month long. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is the Infradian Rhythm?
The Infradian Rhythm is one of two internal timekeepers experienced by people with female biochemistry. It is a 28-day cycle that regulates the menstrual cycle and it powerfully affects six different systems of the body:
● Immune system
● Stress response system
● Reproductive system
These are the four distinct phases within the 28-day cycle:
● Phase 1: Follicular (the 7 to 10 days after your period)
● Phase 2: Ovulatory (the 2 to 4 days in the middle of your cycle)
● Phase 3: Luteal (the 10 to 14 days between ovulation and your period)
● Phase 4: Menstrual (the 3 to 7 days of your period)
The Cycle Syncing MethodⓇ 101
Here’s a breakdown of the three Pillars of The Cycle Syncing MethodⓇ and how to start syncing them to each phase of your cycle :
Food: Your metabolism changes depending on the phase you’re in and so you must match your caloric intake to that phase. Eating the same calories every day is only good for the guys! And, in addition to getting the calories dialed in, you can also use specific foods that will support optimal hormone balance in each phase. You can find more detail here, and there is the famous food chart in Chapter 4 of In the Flo, which is packed with biohacking advice and meal plans.
● Menstruation Phase: Focus on protein such as fish, lentils and red meat for Omega-3s, iron and zinc. Incorporate dark chocolate for its magnesium benefits.
● Follicular Phase: Foods high in Vitamin C and Vitamin E such as citrus, sweet potatoes and leafy greens to nourish our ovaries and protein and vegetables for estrogen support.
● Ovulation Phase: Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts to flush out extra estrogen. Foods with gut supporting benefits such as lean protein, oats and sauerkraut.
● Luteal Phase: Grounding foods such as soups and root vegetables like ginger and healthy fats from protein like salmon. Organic berries to curb cravings.
Exercise: Since your metabolism speeds up and slows down predictably across the month, you need to change the intensity of your workouts each week in order to optimize your fitness.
● Menstruation Phase: Gentle movements such as walking, yoga and pilates
● Follicular Phase: Energy overload! Running or other cardio
● Ovulation Phase: High-intensity interval training or body-weight circuits
● Luteal Phase: Light workouts such as pilates and yoga
Productivity: The research confirms that you, as a woman, can do Anything, anytime. But when we plan our schedules accordingly — for example when we schedule important meetings or interviews when we are primed for communication — we may find even more success and, more importantly, experience less overall stress on our bodies.
● Menstruation Phase: Rest, look inward, reflect through journaling
● Follicular Phase: Set goals, start planning, create new initiatives
● Ovulation Phase: Communicate, connect with others, socialize
● Luteal Phase: Take action, create, stay focused, complete projects
Some other ways you can use this method for your benefit:
Sex: Sixty-seven percent of women are sexually unsatisfied because we don’t understand how our Infradian Rhythm affects our sexual desire and changes our requirements for physical stimulation in each phase. Once you get the right key, the ignition will work every time and you don’t ever have to think something’s wrong with you again.
Relationship: From trying new things to going out with friends, to romantic date nights, to Netflix and chill nights at home, timing these according to your biological rhythm increases pleasure, positive connection, and decreases stress!
“The cycle syncing method can give us the correct strategy to optimize our health, but it’s also giving women the validation to listen to their bodies and follow their own needs instead of trying to force their body to do things that it isn’t designed to, and that’s going to be a really good thing,” says Vitti.