Young Calorie Counters
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5'3, 98 lbs, am i underweight?

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I lost weight from last year, a good 35 lbs. but i lost my period also, i think its because i eat much healthier now then ever. but my mom says i need to gain weight, and my sister says i look like a stick. im 14 and i looked up how many lbs i should be and its 110-115. i am no where near that. im scared that ill end up looking fat when i do gain it.  i need motivation because i dont think im eating enough of the healthy stuff. help, please.


and if i do gain the weight, how do i maintain it?

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If you've lost your period, your body is telling you that you're not getting enough nutrients.  You may be eating healthier, but you're probably not eating enough.

Your mom and your sister are concerned because they care about you.  I think you should ask your mom to take you to your doctor or a nutritionist because you need to see someone who can address your concerns and make sure that you're healthy.  They can talk to you about the proper amount of calories you should be eating so that your body doesn't go into survival mode -- i.e. you not getting your period -- but also help you figure out a healthy, maintainable weight.

When I was 14 I had no idea about nutrition either, so it's good that you are taking an interest in your health.  Remember though that having fat on your body doesn't make you fat.  Women can be extremely healthy and fit looking and still have hips, breasts and thighs. 

Thanks, you didnt really answer my question.... am I underweight and should I gain it?

I only have 15% body fat, 83 lbs muscle (body water, muscle, whatever) and the other 10-15 is fat.

Have you used the teen BMI tool - there's probably a link in the FAQs - if not in this forum, I know it's in the weight loss forum faq.

I'm not a doctor and so I'm hesitant to make a judgment, but I do think you're underweight.  I think you know that though and you're coming here for support.  While Calorie Count is a good support tool, I think you also need the help of a doctor who can give you a medical opinion and who can help you decide how much you need to gain and the healthiest way to do that.

Gaining weight does not mean you're going to look fat.  For example, if you put on muscle you will gain more weight but still look extremely toned and fit.  (Don't worry about looking too muscular -- there's no way you can accidentally start looking like a body builder.)  However, to build muscle you need to be eating a lot of protein and other nutrients so you definitely need to up your calories.  You want to get to a point where you're getting your period again, where YOU feel good about yourself, and most importantly, a place where your body is healthy. 

There are so many messed up images in the media that will lead you to believe that it's healthy to be stick thin, but most of the time it isn't.  Even beautiful models and actresses get airbrushed to look "Perfect." 

Let me know if you want to chat more about this but I just want to make sure that you're not using this site as your only source of help!

Obviously you are self conscious which is  normal.  But, you are underweight.  Being underweight also is linked to health risks, especially if it is caused by malnutrition. A diet with too few calories may not supply the energy or nutrients needed for growth and development. Too little food energy leads to fatigue, irritability, and lack of concentration. Being underweight can decrease immune response to infection and disease. It also can interfere with normal menstrual cycles, increasing the risk for osteoporosis in later life. I am also 5'3 and have always been rather active and healthy conscious.  When I was in my teens I avg. 115 lbs.  With muscle during competition I am 124 lbs. (A National Figure Competitor- Ms. South Carolina, Ms. Delaware, Ms. New York  titles).   I can't imagine how thin I would look if I were to lose 26 lbs.  You need to put on some weight.  I suggest taking in more protein and light lifting (weight training).  Stay away from cardio.  Cardio will only work against your goals.  Set a calorie intake of about 1500 calories (to build up to and maintain 110lbs.)  Only an overweight sedimentary women in desperate need to losing weight should take in 1200 calories.  If you find that you can't forgoe cardio then you should off set it by taking in just as many calories as you burn.  That could mean taking it up to 2000 calories. 

Ok, thanks for the advice. Im going to the doctor on august 5th, last time she said i was 100 lbs and i was on the lower side of healthy but if i lost anymore weight shed be worried. She said come back in a few months. I asked her if I needed to gain weight but i dont think she understood. So I might ask her again if I need to gain weight for my periods sake. Or if I can get BC or something.

 I am also a dancer, most of what I do is cardio and I will be doing hard dances this year which means practice. One dance is 20 minutes long, the other is half but is hard also. So I have to practice 3x a week at home.

If anyone wants to know what kind I'm doing Bharatnatyam, a classical south indian dance from Tamil Nadu, and there is a position called aramandi and you squat the whole time, it really works the thighs, but i dont know if that counts as strength. I live in the US, I am indian. Most of my indian friends are skinny naturally and skinny from dance. I just dont want to gain weight and people saying "Looks like you gained weight...".

My mom was actually happy I went from 96 to 98... I dont know how I did...

My cousins have all noticed, one older cousin said "Wow... you've lost soo muchj weight...I mean you look prettier but... you lost so much."

It made me wonder, did I really look that bad before or are they just concerned?

Original Post by xnithyarx:

I just dont want to gain weight and people saying "Looks like you gained weight...".

My mom was actually happy I went from 96 to 98... I dont know how I did...

My cousins have all noticed, one older cousin said "Wow... you've lost soo muchj weight...I mean you look prettier but... you lost so much."

It made me wonder, did I really look that bad before or are they just concerned?

Hi xnithyarx,

One thing that is really hard to learn, especially when we are teenagers and very self-conscious about our appearance, is that it really doesn't matter what other people think about our weight. What matters is that we find a weight that is good and healthy for us based on parameters like age and body type. If you are moving toward that goal, whether it be by losing or gaining weight, it should not matter if people notice that you are 'losing' or 'gaining' weight. You are moving toward a goal of having a healthy weight and learning about all the healthy foods and how much of them you need to eat to feel good and do all of the activities, especially the awesome dancing you described, you want to do and do them well.

Blessings to you as you visit your doctor. I hope you are able to take the above advice of talking to a nutritionist as well. They can be really helpful in showing you exactly what kinds and how much of each kind of food to eat.

losing your period doesnt mean your underweight, theres many reasons for losing a period.


i already had my thyroid check, my mom has hypothyroid we thought i had hyper but i dont...

i still gotta check hormones. but i mostly think its nutrition.

There is definitely the possibility that it could be something else, but most likely considering your low weight and the fact that you started not getting your period AFTER losing weight...well cause and effect would point to lack of nutrition.  You're going to a doctor though, so they can definitely check out other possibilities. 

Lee118 is right on and said more articulately what I was getting at.  You need to fuel your body so it can perform at its best!

But you know whats really weird...

I'm getting PMS symptoms.

Last month I broke down crying for no reason on july 4th, that same day I had some (tiny dot) blood and discharge and my lower back was hurting.

I had discharge like crazy!!


.... sigh. its really hard being a girl, much less a dancer.

and ive learned that our bodies are SO sensitive. the slightest schedule change, food or body change, even stress can make things go haywire.

Even a few days and the month before that I had cramps, and bad ones.




And food cravings, omfg, dont get me started. PEANUT BUTTER WAS MY BFF FOR A WHOLE WEEK AT ONE POINT....

Hi again xnithyarx,

Talk to your doctor about your period. She will be able to give you the best help about that. I hope she is good and takes time to both listen to your story and explain to you what might be happening.

As for the food cravings...

Many people have emotional food cravings, where they crave sweet or salty foods to comfort them because they hurt inside (and may not even know it) and find comfort in the food.

There are also cravings that we experience because our body is lacking in nutrients the food we crave provides. If you have been undereating, a craving for peanut butter makes sense - it is full of protein and fat - and your body obviously needs protein to help build healthy muscle and it also needs some fat to function properly. I don't know offhand what else might be in peanut butter that might be useful, but I think your body was trying to tell you something. I hope you can pay attention and listen to it!


The following article might be interesting to you. end-food-cravings.htm

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