WomanCode: A Guide to Health and Your Hormones

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Thursday September 3, 2020

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Most of us have experienced varying levels of frustration with our hormones. From hormonal acne to more serious conditions like PCOS, women are affected by fluctuating hormone levels every month. 

Alisa Vitti wants to help women better understand their cycle. WomanCode is all about learning how your hormones work, and what you can do about it. From diet, sleep patterns and exercise routines, she provides guidelines on how to improve your health, simply by paying closer attention. 

Vitti, a functional nutritionist and hormone expert, is a graduate of John Hopkins University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. After struggling with PCOS for years, she became passionate about discovering new ways to help women deal with hormonal imbalances.

WomanCode dives into how to address these issues by being more in tune with our body’s natural processes. While Vitti is not necessarily anti-birth control, she does encourage women to pursue more natural methods to control their hormones. Some of her suggestions include dietary changes based on your cycle, a new sleep schedule, and exercising at different times of the day. 

How Your Cycle Affects Your Hormone Levels

Rising and falling progesterone and estrogen levels can affect our productivity at work, our workout efficacy and our cravings for chocolate ice cream. In more serious cases, hormone imbalances can cause autoimmune disorders, infertility and other chronic health problems. 

A woman’s cycle is divided into four distinct phases: follicular, ovulatory, luteal and menstrual. We are most familiar with the menstrual phase, though the other phases can have just as much of an effect on our daily life. There are five hormones that fluctuate throughout the cycle, and they can play a huge role in mood, fatigue and skin health.

Lifestyle Changes for a Healthy Cycle

The main hormones responsible for these responses are estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, testosterone, and follicle-stimulating hormone. According to WomanCode, a diet rich in fiber, B vitamins and magnesium can be a game-changer for women looking to balance their hormones naturally.

While WomanCode advocates for a healthy and balanced diet, the book also provides details on how your metabolism is affected by your cycle. For instance, during ovulation and the luteal phase, your metabolism is faster. This change may increase your calorie intake by up to 16%.

Concerning exercises, WomanCode advocates for switching up your workout based on the time of month. While you can certainly continue to run on a schedule as long as you have the energy for it, there is some evidence that certain workouts may be more advantageous. For example, women who did high-intensity leg workouts throughout the two first weeks of their cycle grew stronger more quickly than women who worked out during the second half of their cycle.  

For women seeking more information regarding their personal health and hormones, WomanCode can be a great resource. It takes complicated health issues and explains them in a way that is easy to comprehend. Actionable steps that are not unrealistic encourage women to take back control of their own hormones. 

Can Cycle-Syncing Work for You?

The book has not been without controversy, and Vitti has been met with some criticism from the medical community. For example, recent studies found that fluctuating hormone levels cannot be entirely to blame for a bad mood. Some of Vitti’s dietary instructions have also been met with skepticism since individuals can vary in their response to inflammatory foods like dairy and gluten. However, on the whole, WomanCode has received a positive response from women all over the world. If you want to learn more about what simple steps you can take to balance your hormones naturally, WomanCode is a great place to start.

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