Your calorie intake is what usually determines your weight. When you are menstruating, you must eat more calories than usual. However, there is more to tracking your calories than just eating a lot of food. Knowing more about your menstrual cycle will help determine if you need to consume more or fewer calories to maintain your current weight.
In this article, we’ll talk about tracking your calorie intake during your cycle, why it’s important to track your menstrual cycle, and how many calories you should consume daily.
Tracking Calories Using Your Cycle:
Your menstrual cycle affects how much energy you expend. As such, you may have to adjust your daily calorie intake depending on which phase of your period you find yourself in. Here’s your cycle and what it means for calories:
#1 – Follicular Phase:
This is the first 14 days of your cycle. During this time, your body is running smoothly, and you typically don’t have any cravings. Estrogen and testosterone levels are higher during the follicular phase, so you can see better performance in the gym. If you’re trying to lose weight, you should eat fewer calories during this time.
#2 – Luteal Phase:
The next 14 days of your cycle is called the luteal phase. During this time, you are most likely craving different kinds of food as your period is approaching. The luteal phase influences your resting metabolic rate, and you burn more calories during this period. Your hormone levels are fluctuating, so it’s best to increase your calorie intake by 200 to 300 calories.
#3 – Menstrual Phase:
The menstrual phase begins when the lining of the uterus sheds every month. This can last anywhere from 3-7 days. During this time, you will be more sensitive to hunger cues than usual, so you may eat more. Those who are on a calorie deficit are recommended to stick to their recommended calorie intake instead of eating less during this time.
Also Read: The Benefits of Keto Diet for Women’s Health
Why Is It Important to Track Your Cycle?
Knowing how your menstrual cycle affects your calorie intake is one way of biohacking wellness. It helps you understand how your hormones affect your appetite. You don’t want to question why you feel hungry all the time, but rather try to figure out where these feelings come from. By understanding your cycle, you can learn how to avoid overeating and feeling bloated.
Aside from weight loss benefits, tracking your cycle can also help you identify mood swings. Some women report having extreme mood swings during the week before their period. Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels can cause these changes in mood.
Other benefits of tracking your cycle include understanding skin changes, hair growth, and even acne. For instance, some women experience breakouts around the luteal phase. This is when progesterone levels are high, and your skin tends to become oily. If you’re tracking your cycle, it’s easier to change your skincare products accordingly to avoid different skin problems.
Different apps can help you track your menstrual cycle. These apps ask you about your cycles and then give you information based on your answers. You can even add your symptoms to the app to get an idea of whether they correlate with your cycle.
How Many Calories Should I Consume During My Cycle?
The number of calories you should eat per day depends on your age, height, weight, activity level, and other factors. The average adult needs between 1,600 and 2,400 calories each day. However, if you’re trying to lose or gain weight, you should increase or decrease the number of calories you should consume.
Another factor that influences your recommended calorie intake is your resting metabolic rate (RMR). The RMR is the number of calories your body uses to stay alive. An average person burns around 1,800 calories a day just by doing their day-to-day tasks. So if you’re an active person who works out regularly, your RMR will be higher than someone who doesn’t exercise.
Whether you’re trying to lose or add a few pounds, knowing your RMR will help you determine what amount of calories you need to consume daily. If you’re looking for a way to calculate your RMR, several online calculators are available. These calculators will ask you about your gender, age, height, weight, and physical activity level. They’ll then use those answers to estimate your RMR.
For women, factoring in their menstrual cycle is essential when determining their caloric intake. Women’s RMR varies throughout the menstrual cycle. In general, women with regular cycles tend to burn more calories during the luteal phase and menstrual phase than in their ovulation or follicular phase.
The Bottom Line:
Tracking your menstrual cycle is beneficial for many reasons. It gives you insight into your biology to know how many calories you need to consume to maintain a healthy weight. Through tracking your cycle, you’ll also understand your mood, skin, and other symptoms. This way, you can find ways to improve your overall health.