How to Do a Nutrition Self-Assessment for Hypothalamic Amenorrhea

A nutritional self assessment is a great tool if you’ve been wondering any of the following:

  • How do I know if I’m eating enough?
  • How do I know if I’m eating the right things?
  • I’ve been ‘All-In’ FOREVER and nothing is working
  • I’ve been progressing with my recovery and now I’m ready to dial it in further
  • I have a period but my cycles are acting weird – how can I make changes to improve?

There is a huge emphasis in the hypothalamic amenorrhea community about “eating more” and “eating all the things” and there are even recommendations to focus on cake, sodas, fast food and the like…

Don’t get me wrong, we should be rebuilding our relationship with those foods and getting them in for the calories, joy and connection that going out to eat them provides, but FOCUSING on them? I don’t think that’s super wise.

So, when my ladies ask me for help around why their period isn’t returning, I coach them through a nutritional assessment (I also do this in 1:1 calls for my coaching clients).

Today, I share that assessment with you so you can do it yourself. Grab a pen and paper and answer these questions honestly. Remove any bias you have from your answers of “but that should be fine” (this is honestly why I recommend you do it with someone else who understands but I trust you can be unbiased here.)

  1. Food Frequency
    Do you eat breakfast within 30 mins of waking up?
    Snacking frequently so you don’t go longer than a couple of ours?
    Do you eat lunch at lunch time, or does it get pushed back late?
  2. Food Intake
    Do you eat at least 3 square meals?
    Do you have at least 700 calories in each square meal?
    Do you have snacks?
    If snacking, are you choosing snacks that are nutrient dense?
    If snacking, are you choosing snacks that are calorie dense?
  3. Vegetable Intake
    Do you eat vegetables in at least two meals a day?
    Do you eat vegetables that are mostly green (cucumber, celery, broccoli, asparagus, green beans etc) or do you incorporate colourful vegetables? (pumpkin, carrots, beets)
    Do you eat mostly lower calorie vegetables (cucumber, celery, broccoli) or do you incorporate denser calorie vegetables daily? (potatoes, sweet potatoes, root vegetables)
  4. Protein Intake
    Do you eat meat? How frequently?
    Do you eat eggs? How frequently?
    Do you favour poultry or fish or do you change it up?
    Do you eat red meat weekly, if not a couple of times a week?
    Do you favour leaner cuts of meat, or do you seek out fattier meat?
    If you don’t eat meat, where does your protein come from?
    If you don’t eat meat, do you think you are eating a comparable amount of other sources of protein?
    If you don’t eat meat, are you supplementing with B12s?
  5. Fat Intake
    When you eat poultry, do you eat dark meat? How frequently?
    When you eat poultry, do you ever eat the skin? How frequently?
    When you eat fish, do you focus on white meat or do you incorporate fatty meat like salmon?
    Do you cook with butter or oil regularly or do you avoid it?
    Do you use full fat dressings or do you opt for fat free?
    If you were to eat avocado, would you eat ¼ of an avocado, ½ or the whole thing?
    Where else do you get fat from? (nuts, egg yolks etc)
  6. Caffeine Intake
    Do you drink coffee daily? How much?
    Do you drink it before you eat first thing in the morning, or after you eat?
  7. Movement
    Do you eat BEFORE being active?
    Do you eat 2+ meals before being active?

Now reflect on each of your answers – what can you see that is standing out to you?

Maybe you’ll notice “oh, wow…yes…I am getting a walk in BEFORE breakfast” or “yeah…I do actually only eat chicken breast…”

These small observations, of which at least a few you can spot for yourself, are going to be an amazing place to get started dialing in and making slight changes to move you forward in your hypothalamic amenorrhea recovery.

I regularly see great progress with clients when we do this assessment and make changes. We find that their basal body temperature starts to rise, blood tests come back with more positive results and of course, we see cycles return. We regularly see women with irregular cycles have them normalize, too!

We definitely take for granted the power of these small actions.

Completed the assessment but unsure exactly where to spot opportunities? This is what I work with clients on daily. Learn more about coaching with me here, and book a free consult call.

Published by Dani Sheriff

Host of The HA Podcast and Founder of The HA Society

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