Discover what's new & improved in the MyFitnessPal app!
We’re dedicated to helping you achieve your health and nutrition goals. And our newest features and updates? They do just that. Learn how we're making tracking your progress easier, faster, and more motivating than ever.

How to maintain: 5’3 young adult

I recently lost some weight (I don’t frequently weight myself due to a bad relationship with the scale) and last time I weighed myself, a couple weeks back I was 105 lbs. I’m 5’3 and 18 years old. As background, I struggled with disordered eating and rapidly lost weight while restricting unsustainably and was in “recovery” eating whatever I wanted. This caused rapid weight gain and though I never weighed myself during this time I was extremely unhappy with my appearance. I had lost all muscle mass and had gained nothing but fat, and couldn’t fit in any of my clothes, leaving me in a tricky spot because it fell during quarantine so I was forced to wear whatever I could make work!

I ended up embarked on a healthy, sustainable weight loss journey, adding in walking/jogs, and regular activity, while eating 2-3 meals + a low cal dessert everyday. I lost on 1200-1300 calories a day, with a couple days where I went to 1500 for dining out or friend time.

I’m at 105 (I’m a small framed petite woman who is a F cup and curvy at the weight I’m currently at giving the illusion of weighing More, I assume my BF% is around 24%) and now have achieved almost (not quite there) ideal body proportions without tipping into dangerous or unhealthy ways and I’m very proud of that! My biceps are solid and toned, my stomach is hard and flat (some ab definition) but my thighs could use work. They’re still very much problem areas for me, so my goal is to tone them up.

I want to switch to maintenance to alleviate some of the brain fog and lethargy the deficit has caused, though not severe, I’ve noticed a drop in performance as my weight loss has slowed. I want to maintain but I am in a weight grey zone of not wanting to increase my calories too high and gain, and not wanting to not increase them enough and staying in pseudo maintenance limbo where I’m still hungry.

Young short ladies- what do you maintain on?? Any tips??


  • Gigibabyyoda
    Gigibabyyoda Posts: 3 Member
    We are very similar I also struggle with an eating disoder I lost 27 lbs from 127 to 99. It was too thin now I'm 105 to 115. Five foot 3. My thighs are still the problem area. Outter but running has helped. I do keto. I was up to 115 this year but lost and got down to 105 but sometimes I go up to 110 cause I will have a cheat day. I do keto. I'm a long distance runner and with me it's all or nothing I'm thinking of doing maintenance calories too as I burn so much off and have no energy with keto. Best wishes.
  • julie3461
    julie3461 Posts: 65 Member
    edited September 2020
    I'm just starting to switch into maintenance (I have gotten close a few times), so I haven't put this into practice, but I hope these few thoughts help.
    - I think about 1500 is my maintenance without exercise and I am sedatary (desk job, no kids, no clubs etc.). I think 1800 with my daily exercise.
    - take measurements. To me, measurements are more important than weight. If i'm keeping the same size, who cares about the weight.
    - the point of above is find what is important to you and find a measurable way to track it
    - Expect a jump in the scale, but give it 2 weeks. It will lower back down and even out.
    - eat foods that make it easy for you to stick to your plan
    -to follow up on above, I have recently been focusing on plant proteins (beans). I've been staying full, have energy, feel light, and see more muscle definition

    I'm 5'3". 118lbs. My ideal weight range has always been 108-112, but again, maintaining a certain hip size is more important to me.
  • Strudders67
    Strudders67 Posts: 984 Member
    I'm a little shorter than you at 5'2" and am ranging between 48-50kg (105 and 110 lbs). My maintenance is 1340 but I deliberately eat around 100 cals above that (plus all my exercise cals) each day. I found that when I got to maintenance (at 53kg / 117lbs), that I continued losing on the number of cals that MFP set me. When I suddenly dropped a few more kilos I started getting alarmed and started eating more to ensure I don't lose any further. This all happened at the start of lockdown when both my eating habits and exercise regime changed drastically (not in the office where there are always snacks on offer vs gym closed) but for the last few months, I've been stable at around 49kg by eating that little bit more.

    It sounds more like you need to tone up and replace fat with muscle now. I suggest you look at strength training for muscle definition and toning, for which you can spot train as you could do more leg exercises - and if you're doing that, you should certainly be eating a little more, particularly protein.

    At 53kg / 117lbs, I was at the middle of Normal BMI, so adding another 200 cals a day (plus exercise cals) to your current daily intake would give more fuel for your strength training and would ensure you don't lose any more weight. You won't suddenly put on loads of weight at that rate either, as any increase would be at a rate of less than 0.5lb a week.

    A big difference between us is age though. I'm more than 30 years older than you. At 18, your body is almost certainly still developing and therefore you should be eating a little more regardless. On the BMI scale, the weight range for 'normal' is quite large and it wouldn't be unrealistic if you aimed to be somewhere closer to the middle. At 115-117lb, with toned muscles, I think you'd still have your ideal proportions and be a healthy weight.

    If you're currently feeling hungry on the cals allocated to maintain 105lbs, the number you'd need to maintain at 115 would be higher too, which would help considerably. Also, play around with macros. Some people find that they feel fuller by eating more fat, others with carbs and others with more protein. As a guide, at a minimum you should be aiming to eat 0.7g of protein per lb of ideal body weight which, for you, is probably around 80g a day - and that's before you add more on for strength training. Or try bulking up your meals with more salads and veg - volume eating of lower calorie foods.

    Having said all that, if you can talk to a medical professional, I agree with @ghudson92 that you should do so. In the meantime, please do increase your cals a little.