Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance & Weight Loss
I’ve been meaning to write a post about seed cycling for hormone balance and weight loss for a long time. It was something I did when my hormones were crazy in 2015 after being put on estrogen to get my periods back. As many of you know, I suffered amenorrhea for several years due to a low estrogen birth control pill.
Since sharing my story, many readers have asked me two questions repeatedly. One, if my amenorrhea was due to my weight loss and two, how I balanced my hormones after being put on estrogen. Answers are as follows.
My amenorrhea was due to a low estrogen birth control pill. A known side effect of these birth control pills is amenorrhea. My OBGYN never told me this until it happened to me. After I was put on a high dose estrogen pill to gain my periods back, my hormones were a wreck. I gained weight, I had severe inflammation, and nothing I ate or did in the gym helped.
I sought the help of a naturopath who I was reluctant to see, especially when she put me on a protocol for seed cycling for hormone balance. I’d never been into holistic health before because to me it seemed hokey.
But from 2013 to 2015 I went through so much trauma going from doctor to doctor trying to get answer to my bizarre symptoms, I was so desperate that frankly, I was willing to try anything to regain control of my health, mental state and my body. I’m glad I did because in the end, seed cycling is one factor that helped me balance my hormones and lose the weight I gained from the estrogen imbalance.
Seed Cycling for Hormone Balancing
Phase 1: Days 1-14 (first day of your period): Seeds that support the estrogen part of your cycle
- 2,000 mg EPA/DHA from fish/cod/algae oil
- 2 tablespoons ground hemp seeds
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds or chia seeds
Phase 2: Days 15-28: Seeds that support the progesterone part of your cycle
- 1,000 mg EPA/DHA from fish/cod/algae oil
- 500 mg Evening Primrose or Borage oil
- 2 tablespoons of raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons of raw sunflower (or sesame seeds)
Why seed cycling helps
Seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids which are a critical component of healthy hormones. The majority of women are deficient in getting enough omega-3’s in their diet. This is why many women have cravings before their periods. It’s their body’s way of telling them something’s out of balance. Consistent seed cycling can help bring hormones into balance.
I’ve seen other seed cycling protocols different from this one, and I know this one is effective. It worked for me. I’ve also used it on several of my clients, and recommended it to an RD who now incorporates it into her clients’ protocols as well.
Common Questions About Seed Cycling
I don’t have a period so how do I know when my cycle is?
If you don’t have a cycle, follow the phases of the moon calendar to know what to eat when. New moon is phase one and full moon is phase two.
This is a lot of calories, I’m worried about eating too much?
When you’re not having a period, something is out of balance in your body. It’s your body’s way of telling you something is off. Healthy fats promote hormone balance and they are built from fat. If you don’t have enough of the right kind of fat in your diet, your body has no way to build hormones.
Generally speaking, you are not going to gain weight if you’re following a balanced macronutrient diet, have no chronic stress or other health conditions. It’s more likely you will gain weight when your hormones aren’t balanced then when they are. Additionally, if you’re too low in body fat, you may gain weight but this is necessary to regain your cycle. Regaining your cycle is a sign your body is healthy. Not having one is a sign you are not.
How Do I Incorporate Them Into My Diet?
Eat them anytime of day. Add them to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, eat them by hand, or here are a few recipes you can put them in.