I’m 5’1 and petite. Considering my height I have to be creative with my diet and exercise, but it builds character. Being petite has plenty advantages: We look younger. We have more endurance. Our curves are emphasized. We are just as sexy as someone who is 5’7.
I recently came across The Petite Advantage Diet by Jim Karas. Karas mentions, “They make clothes for petites so why not a specialized diet plan.” Good point. While it’s not noticeable gaining a pound or two for my tall friends, it definitely shows for me in my midsection and thighs. There’s not a lot of room to go around. Everything grows horizontally for me, so I work with what I’m blessed with. I didn’t follow Karas book 100%, but took a couple pointers.
Based on my experience I have a few tips in addition to the book. It applies to everyone, but as a petite I try to make this my daily routine:
- Avoid eating out of the bag – Nibbling counts. I remember reaching my hand to grab a couple chips and before you know it the bag was empty. Ahh!! Portioning is important for everyone, but especially for petites. We don’t need as many calories as a tall person. A small handful here or there counts at the end of the day. A couple ideas on how to portion: buy snack bags to fill a portion on what you want to eat and only eat what’s in it. Another tip is to take your portion, put it on a plate, and eat at a table. This reminds you what you are eating and how much you are eating.
- Drink water – Water is essential. It cleanses your system and boosts your metabolism. If you are dehydrated it creates water retention. Your body is holding on to water because it thinks it’s in survival mode. Ironically to get rid of water weight you need to drink more water. Drinking water also curbs your appetite. I drink a big glass of water before I eat. I find that I’m dehydrated and not hungry most of the time. I actually count the amount of water I have a day to make sure I have at least 8 glasses.
- Yoga – Ok so yoga is not going to give you height, but it helps with your posture so you can look taller. It also builds endurance and strength so you can prevent injury and perform better with other workouts. I find that my legs get leaner with all the stretching and toning from yoga.
- Eat half and save for later – My grandma use to tell me as a child that if I don’t finish my plate my husband will be ugly. Obviously she was trying to get me to finish my meal because I just wanted to play. Wasting in the household was unacceptable, but not if you eat half and save for later. If you are full don’t force yourself to finish. It’s better to spread your meals out than eating all at once. I like to think I’m on an island – save half of my food so I can enjoy again later. This way it helps build your metabolism and you won’t eat as much throughout the day.
- Cardio – Karas talks about how cardio can be a factor to weight gain for petites. I don’t agree with that. I think we all should try different exercises to see if it works for you. Cardio was the number one reason for my weight loss. It’s good for your cardiovascular system (hence the word cardio) and endurance. I can see what Karas means on how cardio can increase your appetite. This is where balance comes in. It’s important to incorporate cardio in your routine, but don’t overexert yourself like 2 hours of intense cardio on a daily basis because yes it can make you eat more and sometimes more than what you burned. Cardio can be in any form of aerobic workout like zumba, kickboxing, dancing, or a competitive sport. Sounds like fun. To me the best workout is when you don’t feel it’s a workout. My advice is to experiment and have fun, but don’t overdo it.
To my fellow petites – remember to listen to your body and do what’s right for you. We can play in the big leagues.