As someone who is 159 cms tall, I know that being petite can often make you feel like you’ve drawn the short straw in life (I’m sorry—I couldn’t resist!). People constantly pat you on the head, we can’t reach the equipment at the gym and your tall friends always walk at least 10 steps ahead of you.
Oh, and there’s the fact that if you happen to gain even half a kilo, it’s so much more visible on your small frame than it would be if you were tall. And according to new research, us shorties now have yet another thing to complain about—it’s officially harder for us to lose weight, too!
According to a study published in the medical journal PLOS ONE, the size of people’s kidneys, brain, liver, and muscles accounts for 43% of differences between peoples’ basal metabolic rates. And given that organ size is proportional to overall body size and height—short people have smaller organs and thus, slower metabolisms.
“Short women have slower metabolisms,” says Craig Primack, M.D and president of the Obesity Medicine Association. “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.”
Couple that with the fact that the vertically-challenged among us generally have less muscle mass (it takes less muscle to power shorter limbs) and you’ve got yourself a recipe for serious injustice! But the good news is, there is a way us pocket rockets can game the system and outsmart our metabolisms. By making sure we’re consuming the right combination of macros, lifting heavy, getting plenty of protein and trying these metabolism-boosting hacks, we can level the playing field with our taller friends.