5 things that can mess with your hormones

Hormones are tricky little devils.

It sometimes feel like we’re at their total mercy, and anything can set them off.

The chemical messengers buzzing around inside you pretty much rule your entire system – your appetite, weight, sex drive, cycle, and more.

But hormonal weirdness isn’t just a random occurrence over which you have no control.

Check out the habits that can mess with them.

1. Eating too much chocolate
Eating foods with too much added sugar is directly linked to weight gain and excess pounds can lead your body to become resistant to insulin, the hormone that moves sugar into your bloodstream so your cells can get the energy they need.

2. Stressing out late at night
Normally, levels of the stress hormone cortisol drop at night, which helps you wind down and sleep. But becoming anxious or tense in the p.m. means your cortisol levels keep surging, so you’re too wired to catch Zzz’s.

3. Drinking coffee after 5pm
Cortisol is the culprit again here! Caffeine signals to your body to boost production of cortisol, which can make you feel anxious and definitely not in a sleep-well mindset. Limit yourself to no more than two regular-size cups of coffee a day, preferably before 3 or 4pm.

4. Crash diets
A plunge in body-fat levels due to either a super low-calorie weight-loss regimen or intense exercise sessions lowers estrogen levels, halting your cycle until your body fat returns to a healthy level. Scary stuff.

5. Easing PMS with a sweet treat
Besides leaving you wired, sugar also does a number on brain chemicals that are already thrown for a loop during your PMS week. If your premenstrual symptoms leave you cranky, sugar will just make you feel more out of sorts.