Shorter girls really DO find it harder to lose weight – and it's all to do with your metabolism
29th December 2018

You struggle to reach the top shelf, can't find jeans that aren't too long and now it turns out it's harder for you to lose weight.

And an ever bigger kick in the, well, stomach? Taller girls can lose the same amount of weight much faster.

So while you may be struggling to shed five pounds before summer, your 5"10 friend will just shake it off like it's no big deal.

It all comes down to your metabolism, according to Craig Primack of the Obesity Medicine Association.

"Short women have slower metabolisms," he told Cosmopolitan.

"The average woman has a basal metabolic rate (BMR) of 1,400 calories per day.

"That means, if she lays in bed for 24 hours, she will burn 1,400 calories.

"But I see women who are shorter than 5 feet with BMRs of 1,200 calories, and some who are 5’10” or so at 1,750 or more per day."

Your BMR is the number of calories your body needs to survive each day – it is essentially what you would burn if you did nothing but rest for 24 hours.

In a nutshell, your body needs calories to function properly and cutting out calories unnecessarily is not healthy for your body and won't help you maintain weight loss in the long term.

"A lot of people blame excess weight on having a slower metabolism," nutritionist Helen Bond told The Sun Online.

"We all have slightly different metabolisms so it’s important to keep it revved up so we are burning calories."

And the more lean muscle you have the faster your metabolism is.

The reason shorter women have a slower metabolism is they tend to have less lean mass, which also includes your bones, organs and connective tissues.

Plus, if you are shorter you tend to have less muscles mass, purely because it doesn't take as much muscle to get you around.

Life really is unfair sometimes.

But there are ways you can trick your metabolism into running a little faster.

1. Lift, and lift heavy

You know how we said you need more lean mass for a faster metabolism?

That means lifting weights to boost your muscles.

You might not see your muscles bulging, but you will see your metabolism speed up to that of a taller person.

Lift weights two to three times a week , prioritising heavy weights and exercises that work several muscle groups at once, Primack suggests.

"It is better to lift a 10kg dumbbell once than a 3kg dumbbell 20 times," he said.

Helen added: "For the ultimate fat burning boost you have to look at aerobic exercises and strengthening exercises.

"You really need to do strength training along with that – lifting weights and using your own body weight to build muscle.

"The more muscle you have the fast your metabolism is going to be, you are going to burn more calories, even at rest."

2. Eat for your needs

Yes, it is always tempting to eat that little bit of extra dinner after a long day but, no, it won't help you lose weight.

You should be matching your meals to your personal hunger levels and needs, meaning you should only eat the amount of calories your body is burning.

"I’d also recommend you don’t crash diet because when you crash diet your metabolism actually slows down," Helen said.

"The process of eating regularly, little and often and the process of digestion burns about 10 per cent of calories."

If you're not sure how to work out your BMR you can follow our handy guide here.

And studies have shown that if you pay attention to your hunger levels and eat when your body tells you to, you tend to eat less

The hungrier you are the higher your BMR usually is.

3. Protein, protein, protein

You've heard it all before, protein is good for weight loss.

Protein not only keeps you fuller for longer, but it helps your body build and repair muscles – those things you need for a higher BMR.

"Lean protein is also really important," Helen said.

"We know protein is one of the more satiating nutrients but it also takes time to digest.

"Protein rich food can actually cause a 20 to 30 per cent rise in basal metabolic rate compared to something like five to 10 per cent for carbs."

A 2018 review published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that, to get the most out of your work out, you need to be eating 0.4 to 0.55 grams of protein per kilo of your body weight.

So if you way 60kgs (9st) you should be eating at least 24 grams of protein a day.

4. Get the most out of your food

We hate admitting it, but to lose weight you have to cut back on calories, there's just no way around it.

But when you cut back it's easy to accidentally eat less vitamins and minerals each day.

So you need to pay attention to what you are eating to make sure you are getting the right nutrients every day – without these nutrients your body simply doesn't function as well.

You should speak to your doctor or a dietitian about whether you need to be taking a multivitamin supplement while you are on your diet.


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