Having Trouble Maintaining My Lost Weight & Haven't Gotten My Period

Published: December 15, 2014
Dear Having Trouble Maintaining My Lost Weight & Haven't Gotten My Period,

I am a fourteen-year-old girl weighing about 100 pounds, and am 5'4" tall. I have lost about twenty pounds in the past four or so months as part of a planned and carefully followed diet, where I tried to eat a healthy amount of food while still losing weight. Now, I like the weight I am at -- however, I have two problems. 1) I am having trouble maintaining where I am now, and seem to continue to loose or gain, never staying consistent. How should I begin to find a steady amount of food to keep myself at my current weight? 2) I am most concerned about this one -- I have not gotten my period in about three months. Before this, it has almost always been completely regular. I have told my parents and my doctor, and none of them think it has anything to do with the weight loss. I have never been sexually active, and (as a lesbian) there is absolutely no chance that I am pregnant. What could be the reason behind my not getting my period? How might I fix it? Can you help me?

Dear Having Trouble Maintaining My Lost Weight & Haven't Gotten My Period,

Even though you lost weight at a healthy rate, TeenHealthFX is concerned about the amount you lost as well as your current weight. Right now you are only at 83% of what we like to call your Ideal Body Weight. Ideal body weight is a healthy weight based on your current height. Your Ideal Body Weight is about 120 pounds, which was your previous weight. It would actually be helpful to your growing body for you to return to closer to this weight. As a teenager, your body is growing and changing in so many different ways, and these are dependent on your maintaining a healthy weight.

There are many ways you can do to get your body back to a healthy weight and maintain your weight once you are there. Eating "healthy" fats with such as avocados and olive oil in healthy portions are great for this. It is also important to not over-exercise. You know your body best- if it feels like you're over-exerting yourself, you probably are. Doing some light exercise such as walking your dog after dinner is easy and fun.

As for your menstrual cycle, it sounds like you may have had a temporary loss of your period because of your weight loss and current weight. As mentioned before, there are so many things in your body that are dependent on your weight. Some examples are your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The hormones in your body also depend on your weight. Some of these hormones control your period. If these hormones are not properly functioning, you may see irregularities in your menstrual cycle, such as an irregular cycle or even loss of your period, which is called Amenorrhea. FX used the word "temporary" earlier because once you are back to your Ideal Body Weight, it is likely that you will restart your menstrual cycle. Using some of the tips mentioned before for healthy weight gain are the first step in this process.

If you feel that you cannot gain weight or continue to lose weight, or if you are either eating too little or trying to rid your body of food in unhealthy ways, it is important to tell someone, such as a family member or school counselor. A trusted adult can connect you with your doctor and/or a nutritionist who can work with you on determining a healthy weight range and then guide you in developing healthy eating habits and healthy exercise habits that will get you there.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.