My HormonologyWhich week are you on in your cycle?

Week 1
First day of period to Day 7
Today’s hormonescope: On some days, things just seem harder and on other days some things seems easier. Of course, we’re more apt to notice the days when things are harder since, well, we’re using a lot more swear words to vent our frustration, making it pretty obvious. So, I just want to give you a heads up that things may be a bit easier today as rising estrogen and testosterone boost your mood, energy and dexterity. This way you can appreciate all those times when a car door didn’t slam your fingers or a coworker didn’t passive-aggressively insult your project or a partner didn’t forget to bring home dinner.

Week 2
Day 8 to Day 13
Today’s hormonescope: Your answer to Tyra Banks’ famous question, “Do you wanna be on top?” is so “Yes!” today. Achievement-loving high testosterone is pushing you to gain the upper hand on virtually everything you do. Now, a slightly controversial yet interesting new study in the journal Nature suggests that this doesn’t mean you’ll go after what you want by only being cutthroat about it. Instead, researchers found in some instances women will actually be nicer to get ahead. This flies in the face of what we know about testosterone, the hormone infamously known for spurring aggression. But, if you think back to all the times you were nice to someone to get what you wanted, it may actually make sense.

Week 3
Day 14 (or ovulation) to Day 22
Today’s hormonescope: Today’s rising progesterone amps up your hunger level. And if you’ve got “brain work” to do, you’ve got more reason to worry about your waistline: Researchers at Laval University in Quebec have found that intellectual tasks increase your appetite. In their study, women who worked on memory and attention tests for 45 minutes downed a whopping 253 more calories at a buffet than women who spent the same amount of time resting up. Turns out, the stress of brain work causes an imbalance in glucose and insulin, which drives up your hunger level. Looking to cut down on cals? No problem: Taking a brisk 10- to 20-minute walk or doing another activity that gets you moving before you do your brain work will level out your glucose and insulin, reducing hunger, the researchers say.

Week 4
Day 23 to the end of cycle
Today’s hormonescope: With estrogen on the decline, you may get sick of stuff this weekend—your messy closets, the ugly color paint on your walls, the half-dead garden—that launches you into a humungous project. Just be sure you pace yourself. Plunging estrogen and testosterone are lowering your energy levels, giving you less oomph to finish in a single day like you probably expect to.


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