There’s no getting around it — sugar in the form of refined carbs or alcohol leads to vitamin deficiency, suppresses your adrenals, disrupts your blood sugar levels, and exacerbates estrogen-dominant hormonal issues like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, and endometriosis.
But I’m not here to make you feel bad for having a glass of wine! Really!
What I want is for you to have your period be easy, instead of getting a visit from the period monster or spending a week in cramptown because of too many cocktails, chips, and cookies! Fortunately, I’ve devised a “sugar rehab protocol” — and it only takes one day.
In the spirit of body awareness and self observation, I’m going to fill you in on how alcohol impacts your hormones, and then provide you with some useful survival strategies for cutting back and balancing out its effects on your body.
The FLO Science: How alcohol and sugar impact your hormones
Women process alcohol at a much, much slower rate than men. This means the physical impact of alcohol is much stronger for women.
When you drink alcohol, your liver has to use your store of antioxidants to break the alcohol down. Alcohol also causes you to lose hormone-balancing magnesium and B vitamins, and it also raises your estrogen levels (worsening symptoms of PCOS, fibroids, and endometriosis, as well as any other estrogen-dominant hormonal health issue).
Sugar and refined carbs disrupt your blood sugar function by spiking insulin and desensitizing you to your appetite-controlling hormones ghrelin and leptin. Often, we will find ourselves making unhealthy food choices when we drink (not to mention the day after), which further exacerbates the problem. We tend to eat more of these foods when we’re experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Sugar also disrupts ovulation and can make your cycles irregular. Sugar and refined carbs create inflammation in the gut and disrupt the microbiota, making you a poor absorber of vitamins and minerals. All of this makes keeping a healthy weight impossible.
Try out the following meal plan for just one day to help reduce inflammation, restore lost micronutrients, and restore balance to your microbiome. (Note: During this day, avoid caffeine.
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