How meal timing & frequency can help to get your period back

I’ve already talked about nutrition and giving some tips on how to improve your diet to recover from amenorrhea in a earlier YouTube video and blog post.

Before diving into why you should have a look at your meal timing and meal frequency throughout the day and the week to get your period back, I want to quickly summarize some general nutrition tips for amenorrhea.

  • eat enough calories and make sure to eat a balanced diet
  • don’t restrict yourself in any way, diet rules like counting macros, low carb, low fat, raw vegan, keto, paleo or whatever rules you might follow can be an additional stressor on your body
  • make sure you are not only getting all your macros but also micros
  • don’t skip meals and always eat when hungry

Apart from those tips, I already talked about, it might also be important to have a look at meal timing and meal frequency!

A scientific paper displays two key findings when it comes to nutrition in amenorrhea recovery.

Scientists where comparing the weekly and daily energy balance (total energy intake minus total energy expenditure) of female athletes dealing with amenorrhea with women with regular cycles.

The average time the female athletes in the study with regular periods spent in a negative energy balance was 17.6 hours whereas it was 21.8 hours in athletes with no periods. Those females with no periods were having a negative energy balance for four more hours per day than athletes with regular periods.

What does this mean for amenorrhea recovery?

Woman eating enough calories every day are more likely to recover from amenorrhea fast than woman who are under-eating on some days and making up for it on others. This is due to the fact that their energy balance is negative on some days because they are more active and spending more calories than they take in on those days which leaves them in an energy availability deficit.

The same applies to energy intake throughout the day. Woman who are eating consistently throughout the day and mostly have a energy balance > 0 are more likely to restore their periods than woman who are not eating throughout the day, having a negative energy balance most of the time, and then making up for it at night. 

Especially, if you don’t stop exercising meal timing and an adequate caloric intake is important.

Supporting your training with food is essential if you want to get your period back and still do some sort of exercise.

Another study just proves this theory.

Make sure to have a proper meal or at least a snack before your workout and never skip refueling immediately afterwards.

Ideally, you aim for a balanced meal before and after your workout. However, sometimes you might need a snack to tie you over if you train first things in the morning and have breakfast afterwards or if you have to run some errands after your workout. In such cases, I recommend you having a snack mostly carbs & protein and around 200 calories.

I‘ve never been under-eating and even been eating in a constant surplus for over a year buuut I often only ate in the morning and then had most of my calories in the evening cause I was busy. I also didn‘t pay too much attention to eating immediately after my workouts. After reading the paper and starting to consistently throughout the day and making sure my post workout nutrition was on point, I got my period back.

I can not say that this was the missing piece BUT it might be worth a try if you are guilty of not having frequent meals and proper pre & post workout nutrition.

I hope this could provide you with further information when it comes to restoring your period and nutrition. 

If you prefer watching over reading, then make sure to watch my video on YouTube.

And if you are looking for more content about amenorrhea and how you can get your period back, then check out those posts:

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea – what is it, causes & symptoms

How I got my period back – the 4 areas to focus on

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