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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Missed/late period because of weight loss?

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Author Topic: Missed/late period because of weight loss?
Member # 48736

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I am sorry if this question is not right for this forum, but I don't know where else to go to ask (besides the doctor)! Also, I know weight loss isn't your guys' area of expertise, but here goes.

Anyways, I came back from my first year of college having gained the dreaded freshman 15 (probably closer to freshman 10, but I round up to motivate myself =O). I also knew from before entering college that I have high cholesterol. So, one of my main goals for this summer was to lose the weight while implementing a healthier lifestyle that I can maintain when I return to college. I haven't tested my cholesterol since entering college because I'm scared of the results -- I will test at the end of the summer.

Problem is, since starting my dietary changes 2+ months ago, my period has been wonky. Last month, it came about 2 weeks late, after I had a stretch of time where I overate. This month, it's late again (by only a few days as of now, but I have no signs that it's coming).

I know that sudden changes in diet combined with exercise aka 'drastic weight loss' can make periods disappear, but I do not think what I have been doing is drastic enough to do that. I have been working really hard to control my yo-yo dieting tendencies and establish long-term habits, but generally I alternate between a week averaging ~1200-1300 calories and then a few days of binging where I eat 2000 or more. Clearly, this cycle is not that great; I am trying to moderate to a point where I consistently eat ~1500-1600 a day. I began at 123 pounds (I am 5'3"), and after 8-9 weeks, I have lost 7 pounds. I exercise 1 hour a day (running a little over 6 miles a day), plus gym classes 3X a week or so.

Does this schedule sound like the path to 'drastic weight loss' that would stop my period? I know that even with my weight gain, I was not even near overweight, but I have been losing less than 1 pound a week -- which doesn't sound excessive to me. My body fat is around 18-19%.

Posts: 35 | From: USA | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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Were you exercising at all before the summer? If not, going from nothing to working out daily is certainly a big change.

If your period is really late again this time around, or you miss it altogether, you can certainly call a doctor and see what they think. But if we're just talking about periods starting a few days later than expected, I'd not be too concerned.

Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 48736

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I had not been exercising regularly for most of the school year, but I had started a few weeks before returning for the summer. I have always been moderately active on and off in high school, so when I started my regimen this summer, even though I was adding in a significant amount of exercise, I snapped into it pretty quickly with marginal soreness. If I had been too sore, I figure I wouldn't have been able to keep it up-- that's why I thought my exercise regimen wasn't too drastic of a change. But yeah, I guess I just wanted confirmation that my diet is not too extreme. Nothing to do now but keep waiting! Thanks!
Posts: 35 | From: USA | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Captain Girl
Member # 60279

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Our periods can get changed up for all kinds of reasons, and not all of them are physical. Travel can throw you off. A change in who you live with can throw them off. So it's possible that one factor making your periods irregular right now is that you're living at home instead of in the dorms.

In re: your diet, and speaking only mathematically - My iPod believes that it takes a 120 lb person more than 500 calories to run about six miles. So if you're generally eating 1200 - 1300 calories a day, after you burn up what you're burning running, you've got seven or eight hundred calories to work with. That's not all that many.

It might make sense, while you're home for the summer, to schedule a checkup and get a referral to a nutritionist who could help you figure out what's a healthy weight for you, and how to make sure that you're meeting your nutritional needs.

Posts: 129 | From: Boston | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 48736

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My period used to be as regular as the sun, no matter the other factors, such as stress or other lifestyle changes. That's why now I am inclined to believe my missing period now is because of my weight loss diet.

I know I'm running a large deficit -- the calorie tracker I'm using right now allows me to set a net calorie goal of 850 (to lose 1.5 pounds per week), any lower than that and it says it is unhealthy. I burn about 650 calories for my hour run, according to the machine calculator, which I take with a grain of salt. I run 30 min averaging about 6.75 mph, then I run a hill workout for 30 min at 6 mph.

I actually did speak to a nutritionist when I was at school, who had no comment about my diet other than to add in some protein for lunch (I usually just snack on some fruit or something quick to grab). I am at a healthy weight right now and have always been after a borderline overweight elementary school era; but I wish to lose weight to make my body more proportional and toned. My body type is such that I don't look as fit as my level of exercise might suggest (not flabby, but not muscular). According to BMI (again, taken with a grain of salt), I shouldn't go below 105, which I am far from. Also, I have always been disturbed by the stretch marks on my butt that developed a few years ago hehe. As far as nutrition goes, I take a multivitamin everyday and mostly graze all day with very little cooked food (and anything cooked uses olive oil only)-- mostly organic produce, low-fat diary (milk, greek yogurt), whole grains, and occasional seafood and white meat. But I will check up with the doctor if my period doesn't show up for another month.

My rule of thumb is just that if I'm not hungry, then my calorie restriction is not too stringent. I think that the median level for that equilibrium is around ~1500 calories per day, which I'm trying to implement as of now.

Posts: 35 | From: USA | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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