Alisa Vitti is an integrative nutritionist, hormone expert, and best-selling author of Woman Code. We’re so excited to add her to our incredible roster of instructors, and if you’re interested in learning more about how to regulate your cycle naturally, balance hormones, boost fertility, and kiss PMS goodbye, check out her newest mbg class offering!
We all have highs and lows when it comes to personal and professional productivity and success. Some days, it feels like we're conquering the world and looking chic and fabulous while doing it. Other days, it feels like we're just latte-spilling, meeting-missing, mismatched-shoe-wearing messes. Ups and downs are normal, but if you're experiencing a serious Jekyll and Hyde transformation from one half of the month to the other, then it's reasonable to assume a hormone imbalance may be to blame.
FYI, you're not alone.
Don't panic—hormonal imbalances are common, but you don't have to stay in this pattern forever. The solution to your up-and-down emotions and roller-coaster moods is to become an expert investigator and to start paying serious attention to your hormonal fluctuations. The best way to do that is to get familiar with the practice of cycle syncing.
Cycle syncing is something I take seriously—I even created an app to make this easier for every woman. Essentially, it's the practice of optimizing your natural hormonal fluctuations so that you can reap the benefits of each phase of your cycle. So often we're taught that female hormones are a liability, but they're absolutely an asset. It's just a matter of understanding how to play to your strengths all month long.
Balance the "productivity" hormones estrogen and progesterone.
To make the most of your hormones, it's first important to understand that your body needs to maintain a delicate balance of estrogen and progesterone all month long. These are the two major players in cycle syncing and productivity. When the levels of these crucial hormones are right where they need to be at the right points in the month, you'll experience moments of profound creativity and enhanced social skills thanks to estrogen, and times when your progesterone makes it easier to complete analytical, detail-oriented tasks. Knowing when these phases occur and how to eat and live in a way that supports your hormonal production will arm you to kick major butt all month long.
The follicular phase (the week after your period ends)
This is the time when estrogen is building up. Now's the time to initiate projects and make new plans. Eat healthy, get plenty of exercise, and schedule time for adequate sleep to gain extra energy that you can burn through this week.
The ovulation phase (mid-cycle for 3 to 5 days)
Estrogen is now at its highest point and you're biologically the most fertile you'll be all month.
Here's where you shine and use that natural magnetism, attractiveness, and confidence to your advantage. It's also a great time to show off your excellent verbal skills, so consider public speaking, writing, or simply being in social settings.
The luteal/premenstrual phase (10 to 12 days before your period starts)
Progesterone is now at its highest point, and this is the time to get stuff done. You'll probably be more prone to organizing and homing in on the details of certain tasks. If you're experiencing premenstrual symptoms, that could be a sign that there's more work to do to bring your hormones into balance or that a larger imbalance is at play. Use that information to guide your future food and lifestyle choices, and/or follow up with your health professional.
The menstruation phase (the 4 to 7 days of your period)
During your period, all of your hormones go to their lowest levels. It's the perfect time to reflect on the month and set goals for the future. It's also important to take the time to rest and recharge so you can prepare for the energetic shifts of your next cycle.
These natural hormonal fluctuations can be a huge asset once you become familiar with the inherent strengths unique to each phase of your cycle. The key is to first get your hormones in balance so you can take advantage of the profound power that lies in cycle syncing. You can get started right now by doing an audit of your period by taking this quiz. It'll help you better understand what kind of hormonal imbalance you're dealing with and how to start attacking it. Armed with the right information and tools, there's really no stopping you—no matter what time of the month it is.
Ready to learn more about what anxiety, brain health, and your diet all have in common? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Dr. Mark Hyman.