You were dealt a short-hand (literally) and it sucks!
I know it, because I was too.
Since we’re not gonna get any taller, we gotta start thinking like a petite when it comes to our bodies.
In the past, you’ve probably followed a fitness and nutrition programs that were meant for the general public, which means people taller than you. And you probably have wondered why it worked for everyone else, but you. You might have had some minor success but ultimately ended up hitting that dreaded plateau (because if you didn’t you wouldn’t be here! #amiright?)
And while it seems like the entire universe is against us…. it’s not impossible to reach our goals.
Challenging, yes. But not impossible.
I’m 5’0″, so you can take it from me! But first, let me tell you 5 reasons WHY it’s so hard for us to get lean – and to STAY lean.
Once you understand WHY, the easier it will be to commit to a petite way of life!
#1 Being short means that we have less lean body mass. Lean body mass is everything but the fat on our bodies. So that’s our bones, our organs, and our muscle, etc. Everything about us is just a little bit smaller than everyone else. Since those things are smaller it takes a little less fuel to operate them. But before we get into calories, I really wanna talk about muscle. The less muscle capacity you have, the slower your metabolism is. Now, there are some petite girls with crazy fast metabolism but for a large majority of us, that’s not always the case. The simple solution is to build more muscle but the problem is this: The shorter you are, the harder it is to build muscle! Since our lean body mass is so tiny, there is really only so much weight that we can safely lift. We quickly reach our ceiling of maximum weight to use per exercise and that is naturally less than taller people.
You might be thinking, “oh well, I’ll just work a little harder at the gym to make up for it” but I bet you didn’t know, you already had to work harder than everyone else. That brings us to reason #2 that its so hard for us to get and stay lean… The shorter you are, the more energy you have to expend to burn the same amount of calories. Petites burn less calories doing the same amount of work as taller people. So that means we have to put in MORE work to burn more calories.
Let’s take an example of Kate who is 5’6”, 140lbs (not petite) and Nicole who is 5’1” and 115lbs (petite)… Both ladies do the same exact 30 minute workout. Kate might burn those 400 calories but Nicole will only burn 300 calories. So in order to burn the same amount of calories the Nicole has to either workout for longer or more intensely. Which means that Nicole is going to feel more exhausted, more fatigued, and more frustrated. Sound familiar?
So now let’s talk about calories. #3. The less lean body mass you have, the less fuel/food you need. Take this analogy… Think of a standard swimming pool vs and a hot tub. If you are under 5’4”, you are the hot tub, and everyone over 5’4” is the swimming pool. If both the pool and the hot tub were empty and we started filling them with the same pressure of water at the same time, the hot tub would overflow first, while the standard pool would still have room for more. Like the hot tub, it’s easy for petite women to quickly fill their bodies with food and thus get that overflow of fat. Unfortunately, you can’t eat as much as the big girls because it’s gonna spill over your pants. (And no, high-waisted leggings isn’t the solution – that’s a band-aid)
Remember how I said everything about us is smaller? Even our stomachs. Your stomach is about the size of your fist. Smaller hands = smaller fist = smaller stomach = smaller tank. Your stomach expands to assimilate the food you give it and if you’re body is use to getting a ton of food, you body continues to want a lot of food, and so even though you don’t need food, your habits have taught your body to want food and you’re often hungry.
Your tank is smaller and that leads us to the #4 reason its so hard for us: there is a lot less wiggle room. It’s simple mathematics. Let’s take Kate from our example above who is currently eating about 2600 calorie daily. Kate had a busy day, didn’t eat much and then was starving when she got to dinner with her man and she ended up splitting an appetizer, and enjoying her entre, and washes it down with a drink. All in all, she ate 3000 calories – which is only 400 calories over her maintenance. Now take Nicole our petite with about a 1700 calorie daily intake. Nicole also had a busy Saturday and found herself in the same situation where she also ate 3000 calories. But wait… that’s about double her normal intake! Kate ate 1 extra meal’s worth of calories. Nicole ate an entire days’ worth of extra calories. Same intake, much different result.
What it ultimately comes down to is that it is harder for petite women to create a caloric deficit for weight loss. Which leads us to #5 reason its so hard for us… It takes more time, more effort, more precision and more consistency.
But let’s look on the bright side…
- You CAN actually increase your metabolism through your actions and your habits of eating, working out and sleep.
- You are not a hot tub who can only hold a definite amount of water, you are a human and you have the ability to increase the size of your tank without overflowing with body fat.
- You don’t have to eat low calories everyday for the rest of your life because the more muscle you build, the more calories you can eat while staying lean.
- And it’s not about moving harder on the elipitcal, it’s about having a strategy to move smarter
That’s why I’ve created the Funsized Formula to help petite women master nutrition and fitness so that you can finally feel happy in your own body and your life!
Click here to see which piece of the formula you need the most! Share your results in your IG stories =)