Updated: Nov 14, 2022
Diets may have some benefits, but only IF YOU HAVE TAKEN YOUR HORMONES INTO ACCOUNT AND HAVE PAIN FREE PERIODS (sorry to yell). Let's explore how diets affect us:
🥗 Vegan/ Vegetarian Diet:
Hello Vegans! First of all, I’d like to start by saying that I, Martina the founder, am vegetarian myself and I LOVE IT! However, Sasha, our resident biz adviser and hormone coach was Vegan and it destroyed her hormones – it really depends on YOU and how your hormones are at currently.
Vegan diets aren’t necessarily bad for periods, but if your gut is out of whack (if you have period symptoms then it is), it is harder for your body to absorb the nutrients which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and more imbalanced hormones.
However, it is possible that eating less dairy before and during your period can reduce cramps and hormonal acne. If you don’t have a problem with dairy, try switching to Jersey Milk as there is a protein (A2) that is more easily digestible.
ALSO PSA, stop using plant based milks that are loaded with gums, oils, stabilisers and other hormone disrupting gunk. We will talk more on this in a later post, but if you drink any plant based milks, CHECK THE LABELS!! If you see anything like sunflower lecithin, stabilisers, gums, guar, etc… run away!! Almond milk should have almonds, water, salt and maybe vanilla bean.
🐮 If you want to be more plant based
Focus more vegan/veggie meals during the first half of your cycle (follicular and ovulatory) phases as since oestrogen is increasing, including more veggies and fruits help in metabolising this hormone – preventing oestrogen dominance or an excess that leads to PMS and other period disorders. Plus your body temperature rises, so a more plant based, veggie focused diet is perfect
Tip: If you’re vegan and having trouble with your periods, try increasing zinc, iron, Vitamin A, taurine and iodine during your ovulation period in a “cocktail for vegans,” which we’ll include in our nutrition tips in one of our future lessons. Go to our shop page and subscribe to get notified of the drop!
🥩 Keto Diets -If you’re a keto enthusiast, this is for you!
The ketogenic, or “keto,” diet — the high-fat, very-low-carb lifestyle has become incredibly popular lately. However, quickly enough, some people on the keto diet report having irregular periods, while others say their monthly cycle vanished altogether (called amenorrhea) after trying out the keto diet. This is because the Keto diet was never intended to be a mainstream diet (especially for menstruators) and was never tested in a clinical setting on female hormones.
Burning fat is not the goal for menstruators. Animal protein heavy diets can put excess stress on the liver and cause oestrogen dominance (aka the backbone of hormonal imbalances).
While filling up on protein and fat can help you feel more satisfied, reduce sugar cravings and eat a more whole food diet, it can negatively impact the thyroid which is essential in weight loss. Just ask Sasha, after dieting, restricting calories and under-eating, she developed a thyroid disease and underactive thyroid and lost her period for 4 years (which she reversed through nutrition, stress management and cycle syncing)!
If you want to lose weight, message us, and we can help guide you in how cycle syncing can help you achieve your happy body weight (the threshold in which you are able to produce the right hormone levels) with our team of nutritionists and personal trainers.
If you want to up your protein and fat intake – try the keto or paleo diet during your menstrual phase. With your hormone levels and body temperature at their lowest, stick to warming foods that are nourishing, filling and replenishing.
⏰ Intermittent Fasting
If we hear one more menstruator tell me they “intermittent fast” with a tone of pride in their voice, We. Will. Lose. It.
I’m sure you’re gonna guess what I’m going to say – IF has not been tested on women with natural periods in clinical studies, and when there were tests conducted, they found that Intermittent Fasting took a large toll on their hormonal systems + lead to more weight gain and stress responses.
Don’t believe us? Here’s the research
A 2005 study in Obesity Research concluded that IF enhanced insulin sensitivity in men but worsened it in women while another 2013 study on IF in rats found that female rats had reduced size of ovaries, stopped ovulating and had sleep problems.
Even the main proponent of the Keto and Intermittent Fasting diets, Mark Sisson, concluded that “as it stands right now, I’d be inclined to agree that pre menopausal and perhaps peri menopausal women are likely to have poor, or at least different, experiences with intermittent fasting as a weight loss tool.”
If you want to fast, stick to a 12 hour window like 8pm to 8am where you get the benefits but don’t stress the body out. This can be extended to 14 hours in your follicular window as appetite is suppressed in this phase so your body naturally can handle a slight decrease in calories.