Petite and Small-Framed Women - Staying Slim

Hi everyone! I am 5'1", very small-framed, and yet have curves. I currently weight 106 lbs after having lost 55 lbs on a low-grade keto lifestyle! As a petite yet curvy woman, I find it difficult to maintain low body fat, and I feel like even when I'm closer to 100lbs, I look soft despite my weight training efforts. Any other shorties feel this way?

Replies

  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 260 Member
    Hi everyone! I am 5'1", very small-framed, and yet have curves. I currently weight 106 lbs after having lost 55 lbs on a low-grade keto lifestyle! As a petite yet curvy woman, I find it difficult to maintain low body fat, and I feel like even when I'm closer to 100lbs, I look soft despite my weight training efforts. Any other shorties feel this way?

    I used to. Until I saw a picture of myself and the realization hit me that I looked like a walking skeleton (I was 5 ft tall, 85 pounds). At 5 feet, around 105 tends to be my best place for me. And I promise you, I am at a low body fat. And at 5 feet 1, 106, you are almost certainly at a very admirable body fat percentage.
  • Seasonal_One
    Seasonal_One Posts: 42 Member
    Hi everyone! I am 5'1", very small-framed, and yet have curves. I currently weight 106 lbs after having lost 55 lbs on a low-grade keto lifestyle! As a petite yet curvy woman, I find it difficult to maintain low body fat, and I feel like even when I'm closer to 100lbs, I look soft despite my weight training efforts. Any other shorties feel this way?

    Congratulations on your weight loss! How awesome is this story!
  • ExistingFish
    ExistingFish Posts: 1,255 Member
    That is on the thinner end of healthy for your height. That may be why it's hard to maintain. Unless you eat at a slight surplus it will be very hard to add muscle - recomp is a long slow process that is hard - which is why people bulk and cut.

    I'm 5'0" and I weigh 125lb, I'm trying to get down to 115lb but I'm not sure I'll get that far. I don't want to lose too much lean mass.
  • tiptoethruthetulips
    tiptoethruthetulips Posts: 3,307 Member
    Is it your perception? I would think at your height and low weight/lowish bmi if you are concerned about a soft look/ body fat percentage it would be worthwile having a dexa scan. This wil more accurately determine your body fat percentage.
  • triuneagape
    triuneagape Posts: 2 Member
    Thanks for your responses, everyone! I don't think that it is a perception thing. I have a scale at home that measures body fat %, and while it shows 104-106lbs (I fluctuate between these), the body fat stays between 28-29% no matter what I do. I can weight lift, do cardio, have varying levels of water intake (usually between 60-80oz per day) and the fat percentage always seems high. This to me, confirms what I see in the mirror re. me looking "soft". I feel like my muscles are very hard to condition/keep conditioned. I dunno, doesn't sound like anyone here can relate to what I mean.
  • glassyo
    glassyo Posts: 6,545 Member
    You can't really trust scales that measure body fat so count me as another who thinks it's a perception thing. Or maybe post a pic so people have a visual to refer to?
  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 2,851 Member
    Ditto re: kudos for your loss, and ditto re: recomp. It is slow but it works.

    It was about 2 years after I started lifting that I noticed a visual difference. I'm also at the low end of "normal" BMI range, but I started lifting for bone density reasons (Dr.s had been suggesting that for decades, I'm embarrassed to admit), not for aesthetics. I wasn't necessarily looking for a visual difference, and I might have noticed sooner if I had been. A stranger at a party commented on my arm shape at about the same time I noticed visible abs when bathing. So it was eventually noticeable.

    About the difficulty of conditioning muscles, give it time. A lot of time. Lifting will make your muscles stronger (better coordinated electrical stimulation of existing muscle fibers) long before making them bigger (synthesis of new muscle fibers). Be patient and persistent with your strength training and you will do yourself a world of good.
  • Sumiblue
    Sumiblue Posts: 1,595 Member
    Body fat percentages on scales are B.S. I doubt at your weight that you are 29% body fat. If you want to look less soft concentrate more on lifting. Following a progressive lifting program is much more effective than using machines or doing random lifts at the gym. I don’t know if this is what you are doing but often when someone isn’t seeing muscle gains it’s because they aren’t going about it in an effective way. Also, diet is important for building muscle. I find I need to hit 30% for my protein macro. You said you lost 55lbs-you probably lost some muscle along with the fat-that’s normal. I am 5’2” and started at 140 a few years ago. I was pretty soft. I started doing Stronglifts 5x5 and eating at a small deficit. I wanted to preserve as much muscle as possible so I set my goal to .5 lb a week and made sure I got enough protein. I got to about 114 and had very low body fat but def had muscle. I’m working my way back to 120ish after gaining some weight during the pandemic following the same plan.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,736 Member
    "I have a scale at home that measures body fat %"

    No you don't!!
    You have a scale that measures electrical resistance in just part of your body.