Research indicates that premenstrual compulsive eating has a physiological component. According to a study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders , ovarian hormones appear to play a major role. The study showed that high progesterone levels during the premenstrual phase may lead to compulsive eating and body dissatisfaction. Estrogen, on the other hand, which is at its highest level during ovulation, appears to be associated with a decrease in appetite. “Another cause for the craving may be due to serotonin levels, which are generally lower during PMS. Serotonin is the feelgood chemical in your brain. When levels are low, we crave sugars and also carbohydrates like potato chips. This occurs because the body uses carbs to make serotonin,” says obstetric gynaecologist Dr Jayashree.