Is it normal to miss period due to overexercising? A nutritionist answers
Your menstrual cycle is the best indicator of your overall health and any abnormality should never be ignored as it could indicate health trouble. Missing period during your weight loss journey is a sign that the process of shedding kilos may be taking a toll on your well-being. Women may experience ‘amenorrhea’ or absence of period due to natural reasons like pregnancy, breastfeeding or menopause. (Also read: Infinity walk to pranayama: Yoga expert on tips to manage asthma)
There are also lifestyle factors that may lead to period loss. Exercising too much is one of them and which may lead to irregularities in periods. While women may feel there is no harm in missing periods once or twice, Nutritionist Bhakti Kapoor in her recent Instagram post says it’s a sign of a serious problem with one’s diet and explains what overexercising does to the body.
“You’ve lost some weight, and you’re dedicated to shedding those last 10 pounds. So you step up your workout, hitting the elliptical machine four to five days a week for 45 minute increments. You’re watching calories, too. And then suddenly, you skip your period. Is this normal?” writes the nutritionist.
Kapoor goes on say how during athletic training, many people think amenorrhea, or halting of menstrual cycle is normal, but she adds that it’s not and it can actually indicate a serious problem with one’s diet.
“It doesn’t necessarily depend on expending a high amount of calories. But when someone’s exercise expenditure causes them to tap into the energy they need to run their body’s day-to-day processes, it can cause a problem.
Kapoor says when the body doesn’t have enough energy to keep the system going, it shunts energy away from nonessential ones like reproduction and growth, including building bone. The nutritionist says that because of this, the hypothalamus, a region in the brain, slows or stops the release of the hormones that control ovulation.
“The changes may be subtle or extreme depending on how your body reacts to your increased activity level. Exercise itself doesn’t cause menstruation to stop. It’s the mismatch between energy consumed and energy used, resulting in what’s called low energy availability,” the nutritionist adds.
Kapoor reveals 3 reasons behind your missing period and what can be done about it.
No real rest days: A missing period is a direct cause of an energy deficit, so even walking on rest days is not helping your problems
Solution: Try scheduling in times you can rest during your week, and giving yourself grace for not doing anything
Constant calorie deficit: Contrary to what you hear – your body might need calories
Solution: Try focusing on more nourishing meals
Being more worried about looks than actual health: Thinking this way may push you to exercise more and more and it’s not good for you.
Solution: Your period is missing and that is not healthy – no matter what you look like.