How should you eat AFTER you have recovered from Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and Metabolic Burnout?
Check out this course to learn more about how to recover: https://kerstenkimura.lpages.co/burnout-recovery-spectrum-later/
This 5-day video course is a must for you if you are currently suffering from loss of period due to overtraining and under eating, aka Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, or if your metabolism has significantly slowed down because of the same reasons (even if you haven't lost your period but have other signs of metabolic unresponsiveness).
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Watch today's video here:
In this video, I'm talking about how to eat after you have successfully overcome Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and Metabolic Burnout.
When you first started losing weight, you probably under ate severely and trained too hard, which is why you created many metabolic issues — and loss of period may have been one of them. I call this period of time the Burnout Phase.
Then you learned that in order to start feeling better, you have to start eating more. Sometimes it's necessary to eat 2500-3000 calories a day to completely restore your metabolism and also get your period back. I call this period of time the Healing Phase.
Eventually, your period comes back, you start sleeping better, you feel more rested and relaxed. Your sex drive is back, your workouts feel great again, your hair is growing back too! This is the best place to be. I call this the Balanced Phase.
This is the Burnout Recovery Spectrum in a nutshell. You can learn about each phase HERE: https://kerstenkimura.lpages.co/burnout-recovery-spectrum-later/
But how should you eat once you reach that Balance Phase? Should it be any different from the Healing Phase?
Of course, it goes without saying that you should never go back to your old ways of eating, that you practiced in the Burnout Phase.
But you also don't have to keep eating 3000 calories a day like you maybe did in the Healing Phase.
4 Tips For Eating After Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and Metabolic Burnout Recovery
1. Know that your appetite and cravings slow down already naturally.
Every woman that I have worked with has found that once the metabolism is restored (Balance Phase), they don't want to eat quite as much as they did while repairing their metabolism (Healing Phase).
Most days, intuitively you would not want to eat 3000 calories a day because your hunger and cravings have normalized.
Here's how it goes for me, for example: There are days when I feel like eating 2500+, but there are also many days when I don't. And if you're in the Balance Phase, you likely feel the same way, unless you're very active.
Which brings us to my next point…
2. You CAN continue to eat 3000 calories a day if you want to and need to.
Yes, you can eat 3000 calories (or whatever the number was for you… 2500-3000 are quite common) if you want to! If your calorie needs are this high, then by all means, eat this way.
Maybe you are quite active, maybe you did more workouts this week, maybe it's this time of your cycle… Yes you absolutely can eat 2500-3000 calories a day if you want to and need to. No problem!
But do you necessarily have to?
3. You don't HAVE TO eat 2500-3000 calories a day.
If you don't have appetite for this many calories, no one can tell you that this is what you must do.
Couple of clients have told me that they thought they have to eat 3000 calories a day forever and as a result, they gained much more weight than what was comfortable for them. Note the difference: This is not about shaming larger bodies or telling anyone how much they should weigh, but if you are otherwise healthy, then continuing to gain weight may not be necessary or comfortable.
Someone just told me that she continued to eat 3000 calories a day out of the fear that otherwise her amenorrhea will come back, and as a result, she ended up gaining weight to the point where she was really uncomfortable. I don't think anyone wants that.
4. It is OKAY to want to change your body and change the way you eat, responsibly.
This is worth repeating: It is okay to change your body even after recovering from Hypothalamic Amenorrhea and metabolic burnout.
If you choose to do so, please be sure that you give yourself enough time after healing, and don't do anything extreme to change it. Some change, given that your hormones are healthy, is possible and wanting to change is not a crime! I see that so many women are scared of going against the body positivity idea, but changing your body doesn't mean not loving yourself or shaming anyone for their weight.
It's about YOUR body.
If you wish to change something, please do it in a responsible way. If you choose to track your calories, I really recommend also tracking your macronutrients to make sure that you are getting everything that you need. Tracking isn't forever, it's for a period of time, and you have to be able to be flexible when doing it. Please watch this video that helps you understand how to do it in a healthy way.
Don't just follow any random number combination that My Fitness Pal or another online calculator tells you. Work with a nutrition coach who understands your past with your hormonal issues. I am currently enrolled in G-Transformation Academy Macro Coaching program, and I'm going to share more what I learn as I go through this certification. I'm happy to help you with your programming!
The bottom line is this: If your energy demand is high and you need 2500-3000 calories every day also after your recovery, please, by all means, eat it.
If your calorie requirements are not that high, you do not have to eat as much after your recovery.
You don't ever have to track any calories and macronutrients if you don't want to, but there's also nothing wrong about doing so. You have choices and you have options. Trust yourself and do what feels best for you!
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Super helpful arricle and video! This just answered my questions as i am recovered and asking myself how to continue 🙂
Kersten Kimura says
I am glad to hear that! Make sure you eat enough during your recovery 🙂