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Calories needed to get period again

amej
Sep 01 2010 17:52
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Hi, I have never been officially diagnosed with an eating disorder, but from all that I have read, I would say that I have had symptoms of orthorexia for about 3 years. I am 5' 7 and 19 years old, and in 2008 went from about 130 lbs to 115 lbs in about 2 months and lost my period. After that, I lost 5-8 more pounds and maintained a calorie intake of 1600 or less per day, with an hour of cardio 7X a week. I was always hungry and cold. Then in Spring 2009, I started gaining weight and got to 128 by the end of the summer. Then I went to college and lost 10lbs. This spring I met with a nutritionist at my school and we set a goal for me to gain to 130-135. I am at 130 now, but still have not gotten my period. Even though I am back at a healthy weight now, I have read that weight restored anorexics should keep up an elevated calorie intake for 6 months after restoring weight in order to get their periods again. Would this apply to me too? I am still exercising every day, but only do cardio for 30 minutes at a time and do strength training instead 3-4 times a week. I guess my question is: how many calories I should be eating to get my period back? I have a huge appetite and can easily eat 2500 a day without feeling like I've gained (I try not to weigh myself anymore).

Thank you for reading my saga, and any advice or encouragement from anyone who has been through this would be much appreciated!!!

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My sister also had the problem of losing periods when she went from 125 to 115 (5ft 8in), but over approx 6 month time frame. She also lost her period, and it did not come back for 1.5 yrs. In that time period, she maintained her weight at 113-116, but one day decided to gain the weight to get the periods back because she was afraid of her bone health. Thus, she gained to approx 119-120lbs and after 40 days of slight calorie increase and slight activity decrease, she got her periods back. So I think it is different for different people. However, you can try eating more healthy fats, because I have heard that it might help. Try adding some olive oil and peanut butter to your diet, which is what my sister did. Maybe this is one of the things that triggered her periods, even if there has not been studies that prove of such a link. Hope this helps!

In my humble opinion, I think you're over complicating things. It's understandable (I was in the same position) but the answer is to relax. My periods were gone for 5 years and have recently returned and the main difference has been my attitude. Despite being 5kg lighter than I was for a while with no periods, they've come back because I eat what I want, when I want, no ifs or buts. I don't do any stressful exercise, just swimming and walking. I eat lots of red meat and fats, but I make sure I get my vitamins from fruit and veg. I eat from 2100-3000 calories a day, depends how I feel. Just relax and try listening to your body. And remember, your weight has been up and down for a long time...it needs to learn to trust you again. Good luck! x

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this is the best advice i have ever seen in a forum. no one ever says, "just relax and let your body learn to trust you again"; but it IS what we need to hear. I keep going back and forth with binge eating to gain weight, and getting so scared that I am going to wake up obese, that I go back to restricting (despite not having my menses return yet). I just need to be told to just relax, eat what i want when i want; not because I HAVE to; and to stop restricting because NORMAL women don't restrict, and they're healthy and gorgeous and THINK ABOUT REAL THINGS IN LIFE; not calories or body fat. So thanks for reminding us (me) to relax, to just let it be. Things will be ok in the long run. :)

 

amej
Apr 12 2013 00:22
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Absolutely. I'm so glad I just went back and re-read this; such a great reminder to put things in perspective. In the long run, consistency, and listening to your body are key. It really does take time!

Original Post by amej:

Hi, I have never been officially diagnosed with an eating disorder, but from all that I have read, I would say that I have had symptoms of orthorexia for about 3 years. I am 5' 7 and 19 years old, and in 2008 went from about 130 lbs to 115 lbs in about 2 months and lost my period. After that, I lost 5-8 more pounds and maintained a calorie intake of 1600 or less per day, with an hour of cardio 7X a week. I was always hungry and cold. Then in Spring 2009, I started gaining weight and got to 128 by the end of the summer. Then I went to college and lost 10lbs. This spring I met with a nutritionist at my school and we set a goal for me to gain to 130-135. I am at 130 now, but still have not gotten my period. Even though I am back at a healthy weight now, I have read that weight restored anorexics should keep up an elevated calorie intake for 6 months after restoring weight in order to get their periods again. Would this apply to me too? I am still exercising every day, but only do cardio for 30 minutes at a time and do strength training instead 3-4 times a week. I guess my question is: how many calories I should be eating to get my period back? I have a huge appetite and can easily eat 2500 a day without feeling like I've gained (I try not to weigh myself anymore).

Thank you for reading my saga, and any advice or encouragement from anyone who has been through this would be much appreciated!!!

talk to a doctor, none of us are qualified to give you medical advice.

if you lost your period from an eating disorder it can take a while for it to come back. i've been at a healthy weight for a year now and it still isnt heavy/ completly regular. when you starve yourself your body shuts down internally so the reproductive system is one thing obviously- it's not something you need, so it stops working in order to keep the other organs going. what i try and do is not too much activity, if you need to, do some yoga, its gentle and not crazy. even walking a lot can refrain your periods from returning. you know like professional gymnastics and stuff, many dont have regular periods..
i try and eat stuff high in healthy fat- fat is what you need for good oestrogen production..so nuts, peanut butter,houmous, falafel, avocado, salmon, mackrel, blue milk, cheese stuff like that, and dont restrict under 2000 calories of course!  best of luck ! xx

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