Hello, I hope you are feeling great. Today we will talk about a very interesting topic about the changes we can make according to the phases of the menstrual cycle.
The menstrual cycle is divided into two large phases that I describe below:
The follicular phase and the luteal phase.
The follicular phase is the first half of the cycle. If we take into account a normal period of 28 days, this would cover day 1 to day 14. During this phase, progesterone levels are low and as the days progress, estrogen levels gradually increase, this increase in estrogen prepares all the conditions for a possible pregnancy.
On the other hand, the luteal phase extends from day 14 to day 28. In this phase, testosterone increases a little and there is a considerable increase in progesterone, exceeding estrogen levels and increasing the basal metabolic rate a little. In the last phase, progesterone and estrogen levels begin to decrease and this is when premenstrual syndrome occurs.
As we can see in the following image:
The Women's Book - Lyle McDonald
And what does this have to do with diet? It has a lot to do with it, because these hormonal changes tell us what the most optimal diet would be depending on the phase of the cycle.
In the follicular phase, appetite and hunger are controlled, insulin sensitivity is high and in this phase we use more carbohydrates than fat as an energy source, therefore during this phase it would be optimal to have a diet high in carbohydrates and low in fats (without exaggeration) with adequate protein intake.
On the other hand, in the luteal phase hunger and appetite are increased, the basal metabolic rate increases a little, insulin sensitivity decreases and the body uses proportionally more fat as a source of energy, therefore during this phase the optimal thing is make a slight increase in calories, decrease in carbohydrates and increase in fat intake (this will help with cravings, hunger, satiety and food anxiety that occur during this phase.
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