Our sex hormones estrogen and progesterone have quite a profound effect on how our bodies respond to sugar.

Here’s what’s happening with your blood sugar during the different phases of the menstrual cycle:


Estrogen begins rising around day 3 of the menstrual cycle (aka day 3 of your period). Rising estrogen in the follicular phase correlates with increased insulin sensitivity.⁠

In other words, insulin works better, or we need less of it to control blood sugar in the first half of our cycle.⁠🎉⁠


Around ovulation, insulin sensitivity starts to decrease.⁠


Once estrogen drops post ovulation, progesterone rises.⁠ 

Higher progesterone appears to affect insulin sensitivity negatively.⁠

This means we are more prone to blood sugar swings (hyperglycemia to hypoglycemia) and more sensitive to drops in blood sugar in the second half of the cycle.⁠ 🥴 ⁠

This can partially explain the reason why we are ambushed by intense cravings in the second half of the cycle, particularly for sugar and carbs!⁠

And why those foods have a more pronounced effect on our physical and emotional health during this time.⁠

In other words, when we’re in a state of reduced insulin sensitivity, we tend to have heightened responses to these foods like anxiety, mood swings, energy crashes and disrupted sleep.⁠


Wait, is PMS the same as being “Hangry”?⁠

When you’re in a state of reactive hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, after a high-carb or high-sugar meal, the symptoms are basically identical to the more prominent PMS symptoms:⁠

☑️ insatiable hunger⁠
☑️ cravings⁠
☑️ anxiety⁠
☑️ fatigue⁠
☑️ irritability⁠
☑️ brain fog ⁠

This is why I always suggest cycle phase specific dietary adjustments!⁠ My clients reduce or eliminate their PMS and even PMDD all the time!

Here are some tips to accommodate for these hormonal changes and set yourself up for period success!⁠⁠

  • If you’re gonna eat sugar, then eat your sugar in the first half of the cycle before ovulation. Same for alcohol.
  • Focus on increased protein and fat in your meals in the second half of the cycle.
  • Eat your veggies first to stabilize your blood sugar in a higher carb meal.
  • Eat a protein-rich breakfast to set you up for balanced blood sugar each day
  • Drink coffee or caffeine after breakfast

I teach you more about this in my Harness Your Hormones 28-Day Program.