56 minutes | Nov 24th 2020

244: Eating and Training According to Your Menstrual Cycle w/ Dr. Stephanie Estima

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If You Want to Use Your Menstrual Cycle to Your Advantage You Should:
  1. Alter what you eat based on which phase of your cycle you are in to give your body what it needs to absorb
  2. Switch up your workout routine between heavy weight lifting, building lean muscle mass, and taking time for recovery
  3. Listen to your divine feminine power and give your body what it is asking you for


You might know that you can break down your menstrual cycle into four different phases, but did you know that how you eat and exercise in each of these phases can impact your health, fertility, and metabolism? Understanding how you are evolving throughout the month can help you use your menstrual cycle to your advantage and provide optimal functioning.


Optimizing Your Menstrual Cycle with Dr. Stephanie Estima

Dr. Stephanie Estima is an expert in metabolism and body composition. She has a special interest in functional neurology, brain metabolism, and the specific application of the ketogenic diet and fasting to female physiology. Using her framework, The ESTIMA Method, she focuses on distilling strategies in nutrition, movement, and mindset to actualize human potential, longevity, and achievement.


The Four Phases of Your Cycle

The four phases of your cycle can be broken down into menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. Each of these phases needs specific diet and exercise routines to help your hormones function optimally and play the long game when it comes to your health and wellness. 

By combining Dr. Stephanie's knowledge around fasting, the ketogenic diet, and the mensural cycle, you can reduce your inflammation, get a grip on your insulin, and give your body what it needs depending on where you are at in your cycle. Weight lifting, carbohydrates, and taking a much-needed rest can all help you see tremendous results if done correctly and at the right time for your body.


Listen to Your Feminine Power

Whether you want children or not, your body's process of creating life requires a level of energy that no other cell in the human body has to produce. This is why it is critical to do what feels right for you and lean into your feminine power so that you can listen to what your body is telling you. 

True sexiness comes from knowing who you are, feeling comfortable in your skin, and taking care of yourself in the ways you should. Understanding why your body is doing what it is doing can help you tweak how you eat and work out so that you can listen to your female wisdom and rest when you need to help your body function as best it can.

Do you switch up what you eat and how you exercise according to your menstrual cycle? You should! Share which of Dr. Stephanie’s tips you will implement into your monthly routine with us in the comments section of the episode page.



“All throughout your life, it is important to be connected to yourself, but I think as your body is starting to navigate that change with your menstrual cycle and your cyclicity and the cadence around that, it's such a wonderful time to get underneath the throat. Get out of your head, get into your body, and learn what your body is trying to tell you.” (7:19)

“It really wasn’t until I started tracking my cycle, understanding the different ebbs and flows of when estrogen is high, when progesterone is high, when testosterone is high, for me to start changing the macronutrient composition of the diet where I really started to have a deeper understanding of female physiology and its interplay with food.” (16:22)

“We have always been told ‘calories in, calories out’, we have to restrict it, we have to always be on some sort of diet. And I think in week four, this is really a time to just let all of that go because your body requires more food.” (25:44)

“Just soften a little bit and surrender into the idea that its what makes you uniquely and beautifully female.” (33:18)

“Allowing yourself the time to recover, surrendering to the rest, giving yourself permission to heal, saying you are worth it, you are worth waiting for, you are worth taking some time off and allowing your body the time to do what it innately knows how to do.” (45:27)


In This Episode

  • Redefining ‘sexiness’ by living your truth and having ownership in knowing who you are (9:55)
  • How to nourish your body and provide it with critical information according to your menstrual cycle (12:08)
  • Tips for modifying your intermittent fasting throughout your cycle for optimal results (20:35)
  • The importance of exercise training according to your cycle and creating lean muscle mass (34:11)
  • What to do if you are feeling burnout or seeing negative gains on the scale (41:33)


Resources Mentioned:

4-Week Cyclical Eating Meal Plan

Dr. Stephanie Estima Website

Better! by Dr. Stephanie Podcast

Estima Diet

Follow Dr. Stephanie on Instagram


Related Episodes: 

Episode 116: Is Long-Term Fasting for Women a Good Idea With Dr. Stephanie Estima

Episode 93: The Menstrual Cycle is the 5th Vital Sign with Lisa Hendrickson-Jack


Other Resources:

Check out the full show notes page

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Podcast production & marketing support by the team at Counterweight Creative

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