Fear of Under Shooting Calories (or Even Over Shooting)

This article is based on a recent podcast episode I did on The Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Podcast. If you’d like to listen to the episode OR learn more about myself and my services, as well as The HA Society, a membership that I run for women with HA, click here.

A common question for Hypothalamic Amenorrhea: How do I eat 2500 calories and how do I know how much I need to eat?

This is when you’re worried that if you pop, you won’t stop. I was SUPER afraid of this. Everyone talks about “set point theory” and your hunger calming down, but it’s still terrifying.

We want to be eating in a surplus when recovering our periods BUT it can be scary and we can often want to go in the other direction.

Here’s my experience.

I’ve found that when I stopped restricting, I almost immediately stopped thinking about food. It was the flick of a switch for me. But I do want to talk about what specifically happened when I stopped controlling my intake.

I tracked calories for about a month and a half to ensure I was eating ENOUGH calories and enough fat specifically.

I found that on the days that I wasn’t very hungry and maybe ate less, say, 2000 calories, the next day I was more hungry and would eat 2600 calories.

Then I would eat about 2300 the next day and the following day, 2300 again. Then Maybe 2600 but back down to 2100 and then the following day, 2500. I noticed this constant theme in averaging around the same amount of calories over the week.

It felt counterintuitive because I FELT like my eating was erratic but really it was just ebbing and flowing and averaging out.

So, when you worry about the feeling of over and undereating, I’m curious if you track that, could you notice that your numbers are evening out? Or, could you not track it but just trust that they’re evening out and you’re eating the amount that’s right for you?

There are people that this may not work for immediately, and intentionality behind eating in a surplus will be super important, but over time, you should be able to trust that what you’re eating is enough for you!

Published by Dani Sheriff

I draw digital images and my passion is in drawing diverse women, promoting body acceptance, and improving our body image. Because we can't do our greatest work when we're so busy being focused on bodies.

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