An expert has explained shorter women actually find it harder to lose weight.
There’s upsides and downsides to being short. While you might be able to wear heels without towering over anyone, there’s the disadvantage of having jeans reach half way down your feet as they fail to accommodate for shorter legs.
I actually have a short friend who claims it’s harder for her to run far because she has to take twice as many steps to keep up with lengthy-legged companions. While unfortunate, I suppose it’s a good way to get double the exercise at half the distance.
According to the Office of National Statistics, the average height of a woman in the UK is 5ft 3in, but whatever your height, I’m sure we all face difficulties at one time or another.
Yet, according to Craig Primack from the Obesity Medicine Association, smaller women have drawn the short straw (excuse the pun) when it comes to losing weight.
The expert explained to Cosmopolitan, the average woman has a basal metabolic rate (BMR) of 1,400 calories per day. A BMR is the number of calories your body would burn if you did absolutely nothing for 24 hours.
So if you’re 5ft 3in, chances are you could eat 1,400 calories worth of food – which, FYI, is about one and a quarter Chocolate Oranges – while in bed and burn it all off on the same day.
Unfortunately for shorter women, it appears they don’t quite have this same luxury.
Short women have slower metabolisms. If [the average woman] lays in bed for 24 hours, she will burn 1,400 calories.
But I see women who are shorter than five feet with BMRs of 1,200 calories, and some who are 5’10” or so at 1,750 or more per day.
Mr Primack explained shorter women have less lean mass, which is the biggest factor in how many calories you burn.
Lean mass is made up of pretty much everything in your body which isn’t fat or water; including muscles, organs, bones, and connective tissues.
Basically the smaller your body, the less energy it needs, and therefore the less calories you burn.
While it does seem a very unfair result of something you can’t change, I have a silver lining for any shorter women out there; 1,200 calories is still about one and a half Chocolate Oranges!
Of course, everyone’s body is different, so it’s important to take into account what’s right for you rather than just the average person.
Speaking to The Sun Online, nutritionist Helen Bond said:
A lot of people blame excess weight on having a slower metabolism. We all have slightly different metabolisms so it’s important to keep it revved up so we are burning calories.
Although this is excellent advice, if you’re like me, you’ll find it hard to keep ‘revved up’ while in this strange festive period, while there’s still lots of Christmas leftovers and chocolate lying around. Why do you think I’ve made so many references to Chocolate Oranges?
I’ll begin my revving in the new year, I think.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.