What to Eat
Since both estrogen and progesterone see a precipitous rise and fall during your luteal phase, you’ll want to focus on hormone balancing foods like dark leafy greens, healthy fats from seeds and fish, and flavonoid rich berries. Magnesium-rich foods such as spinach, dark chocolate, sunflower and sesame seeds (which is why we included it in our seed cycling protocol) can help balance hormones and fight off fatigue during this time of hormonal fluctuation.
This is also a time when you should avoid alcohol, not only because it will make you feel more sluggish and low-energy, but because of the havoc it wreaks on your hormones. Studies have shown that alcohol consumption increases the effect of PMS symptoms, which you definitely don’t want when you’re already feeling low.¹ Same goes for junk food, so try to think about your cravings as cues for what your body needs, rather than mindlessly indulging and feeling worse afterwards.
How to Exercise
After the last couple weeks of exciting and high-intensity workouts, it’s time to start slowing down the pace of your routine. That doesn’t mean you need to stop working out completely, or take it all the way down to slow walks and restorative yoga (though if that’s what your body wants, by all means, do that!). Rather, adjust your pace day to day, and be willing to change course if you find your energy levels are higher or lower than expected.
This is usually a good time for workouts like pilates, yoga, or lightweight circuit training. These are workouts that will help you maintain the muscle tone and fitness level you’ve been building up during your follicular and ovulatory phases, before you start to move into rest mode for your menstrual phase.
As your energy starts to wane, you may want to start turning inward, leaving behind your busy social schedule in favor of a night in with a good book and a warm bath. This is a time to spend time with those close to you or to recharge alone, where you won’t feel beholden to a lot of social pressure. At work, it’s time to start taking those big creative ideas from your follicular and ovulatory phases, and work on mapping out a more long term plan for those ambitious goals. Your brain is ready for those administrative and organizational tasks, whether for work projects or rearranging your closet. This “nesting” phase will help prep your routine for the rest you’ll soon need as you approach your menstrual phase again.
That’s it! Use this guide on cycle syncing to start making some changes to your life wherever you are in your cycle today. Use it as a map to plan the coming weeks and make notes along the way so you can see what’s working for you. We can’t wait for you to see the amazing changes these lifestyle tweaks have to offer.
¹ PMID: 29661913