Small Women - how do you maintain your weight?


I know everyone is different, but I would like to start a thread about weight maintenance for women with a BMI < 22. What is your eating and lifestyle like to maintain your weight and how long have you been maintaining? Were you ever overweight or obese? I am trying to come up with a maintenance plan for myself for once I get to goal again. Thank you!

(hottie turned hag) #2

Hi I fit in here for sure; I am barely 5’2" and 116lb, goal is 110. Was overweight for just around 3yr (2014-2017) after menopause hit, never prior to that. Lifestyle is SEDENTARY (sit at desk, only exercise is walking dog ~2h/day). Started keto Aug 2017. I count NO CALS, measure NO MACROS and test NO KETONES. I eat to satiety and that varies greatly day to day, i.e. one day may be 3000 cals (guessing) and another 300.

I ate once/24h (NOT 20:4, once/24h) from the start but last week went to once/48h to get to goal faster.

I’ve made posts about how I did it but in summation I now eat very low carb, just meat, eggs and butter (eliminated cheese and veg) and shall add them back just weekly instead of every day as formerly, when at goal weight (maintenance) :smiley:

(Empress of the Unexpected) #3

5’4”, hit my lowest keto weight of 107 this morning. Small-boned. When menopause hit eight years ago I found myself at 147 after a few years. That was a shock since my normal adult weight was 105. Sat around reading diet books while eating chips!! Had never had to diet so I felt the weight gain was just part of getting older. Started keto just over a year ago and I love to eat all the good stuff and lose weight. I backed off the fats for a while but am now craving them again. Hopefully I can add them back in and not gain too much weight.

(Bacon is the new bacon) #4

I would recommend continuing to keep carbohydrate intake under 20 g/day and continuing to eat to satiety. The body pretty much knows how to take care of itself, once we stop working at cross-purposes with it.


I think one of my fears in that in order to maintain my ideal weight I will need to eat carnivore and only once per day or once every other day for life. I haven’t been able to do either for very long so I worry if that is what it takes, I am going to keep regaining.


I gain weight when I eat to satiety unfortunately.

(Bacon is the new bacon) #7

Do you gain weight or do you gain fat? Perhaps your body thinks it needs more muscle and denser bones? Just curious.

Personally, I couldn’t stay keto if I had to stay hungry all the time.

(Empress of the Unexpected) #8

If I had to do that I would just give up. I have stomach issues and can’t/don’t fast, but I will have a run of days where I only eat meat - which I love. But I need to eat two solid meals a day. And so far, so good, my body apparently wants to get lighter. Breakfast was kinda junky but consisted of three hotdogs, a big salad with blue cheese dressing with nuts, and cottage cheese. Dinner will be two smallish pork chops and vegetables with butter. That’s what keeps me full, and sane. When I do test I am always in ketosis. I don’t eat nuts and dairy every day.

(hottie turned hag) #9

I sure hope that isn’t how it goes for you. My frame is VERY SMALL; I’ve never owned a bracelet I didn’t need to have customized. I am postmenopausal and sedentary af. These all contribute.

Until I stalled at 122 I just did as I describe above; “loose” keto, no micromanaging, eat to satiety, once/day. I did it that way for simplicity; I have an obsessive disorder and knew if I started recording and measuring I’d get nuts if I was off by a few grams and would obsess so I just didn’t go there.

I was eating a LOT of cheese. 16oz per DAY, five days per week. Eliminating it and all the veg broke the stall immediately. I miss the cheese like mad! So shall add back when at goal as I said but in far lesser amounts as I know I shall gain otherwise.

Now that said I can attest that eating once/day is FUN :heart_eyes: I LOVE it and here’s why. I get to eat a crapload at once, and that feels great. I put on a favorite film or show and gorge. It’s really enjoyable, not a negative at all. I enjoy the gluttony of it far more than were I to eat several small amounts all day.

I love that I can eat (actual intake from yesterday): entire stick pepperoni, salmon salad w/lots mayo, two Italian sausage, and still lose weight.

The once/48h thing I thought would suck; I had done it many many times but well spaced apart; now I’m eating literally every other day. To my amazement I like it and may continue when at goal, or may go back to the once/24h.


Well, since you’re talking BMI, I’ll reply though am not often considered small as a tall 5’10 female :slightly_smiling_face:.

It’s not about weight, it’s about fat/muscle ratio - the healthier our muscle tissue is in quality and quantity, the more it protects all our joints, and our circulatory system - and the more metabolically agile we are. And, the fact that around 99% of muscle development is through nutrient density, LCHF/keto and IF is wonderful for it. Am also a huge fan of co-creating with the body’s intelligence - using superfoods/superfats and intense slow physical training to activate other energies. I did weekly super slow/slow burn weight lifting for about 9 months, and then moved on to focusing on restoring belly connective tissue by doing 30 minute sessions of daily belly strengthening exercises (Tuper Technique, an intense 18 week program). And soon I’ll be returning to a rigorous but short standing daily chi gong routine, as another way to challenge my body and mind. Throughout the day, I also continue ongoing training in vipassana/mindfulness of sensations and mental/emotional states, which makes everything very interesting and rarely ever boring or despairing.

At 5’10" and large-framed (shoulders and hip bones) my body comp can vary wildly without being super obvious in clothing. The midlife fat/water gain that started to hit after I turned 49 was distinct though - and as I started to lose my figure and worry about metabolic health I went deep into LCHF/keto with great success.

Another point is that 22% with healthy organs, glands, and good muscle mass is a different weight and “look” than 22% without them. I look better with more muscle at a higher weight, than a flab-city ten pounds less (and I don’t know how much I weigh, but am now curious and will be weighing in a week!).

It can look really different, esp for women who are short in height. I’ve not had a DEXA and calipers are kind of pointless for certain body types imho, but I do know my waist shrinkage would indicate I’m about the same fat level as when I was in my 30s - but with more muscle mass. At that time, I did get hydrostatically weighed and BMI measured and was told it was 23%, and more fat than now, so there’s that.

For me, it’s always been about self-cultivation on behalf of health for the highest good in this world. Who do I want to be when I’m 55, 65?

And I’d say my biggest recomp & maintenance allies have been:

  1. Coconut oil/Homemade Ghee in some amount one or the other or both - in my morning caffeine beverage and in cooking (so I take in a minimum of 1 tblsp per day). Their MCTs help optimize everything in my experience.

  2. Ginger supplementation - dry capsules. Excellent for digesting all dairy (I eat 4-6 ounces many days, with no stagnation or bloat - which I used to have if I didn’t have enough Ginger or Red Wine with the heavier cheesy dishes. Red wine is another helpful digestive (gastrin producer among other things), a few times a week - and chilled White wine with ice cubes for diuretic help when waiting for a swoosh. Just 1-1.5 small glasses, with pertinent foods. I only drink wine just before and with a fatty protein meal that involves, so it depends on cuisine, but the wine is also lovely for blunting blood sugar peaking. If I’m dealing with extra stress/higher cortisol, I’ll take a Ginger capsule with my wine.

(The book French Women Don’t Get Fat is fascinating on the wine front. The combo of small carb portions along with steady protein, wine, plentiful butter, regular clarified butter/ghee, and leeks and restricted desserts has meant that menopausal French women have been much leaner than most other europeans…)

The short answer though is that I prioritize antifragility, keep a degree of randomness to avoid ruts, naturaly do IF 4-5 days a week, generally keep to TMAD, and stay carb conscious aiming for only whole food carbs or resistant starch carbs - around 75g max total carbs per day which is very easy at about 2 years into keto - and am still steadily recomposing which surprises me sometimes.

I maintain my ongoing body fat loss by taking measurements every month. Sometimes the measurements don’t change for 2 months, then the 3rd month a whole inch is gone. The measuring tape does not lie. If my measurements were to go up though, I’d change my strategy. For me, self-care and reducing cortisol & insulin spiking through varying superfoods tactics and high MCT fats makes ‘maintenance’ so much more than the word lets on. It’s joyful and mysterious, despite life’s usual ups and downs and stresses. :butterfly:

(KCKO, KCFO) #11

You might find some interesting information in the Maintenance threads:

(KCKO, KCFO) #12

I really like that book. Leeks are part of my allowed carbs, if I get to feeling bloated, adding leeks to things like cauliflower soup, seems to take care of it very quickly. I only have them a couple of times a month, but when I feel I need them, I eat them.

(Empress of the Unexpected) #13

I’ve never had a leek but note they are part of the onion family. Do they taste like onions?


They are mild, and have their own indescribable greeny creamy taste.

The French simply simmer them then eat them straight as a simple delicacy - and then also use the pot broth for soup.

Leeks can also be chopped and sauteed in tons of clarified butter - they make a great base for any cream sauce. I esp love them sliced in half lengthwise then salted with fat poured on them, for oven-roasting in winter, it smells divine.

The thing about leeks that takes a bit of getting used to is the washing of them. Home grown/farmer’s market ones tend to have lots of dirt in their layers. The commercial ones, not so much, but one still has to unfold and check in a dedicated way - because it’s terrible when grit sneaks in to an otherwise lovely meal.

(Patti Herson) #15

5’, typical weight between 110-115. I fought with my weight constantly in my 20, 30s and 40s. I was always battling pudgyhood. Fifteen years ago I switched to higher protein and have been consistently been able to keep it off. I used to get frequent severe post-prandial hypoglycemia down to (30s and 50s) pre-protein lifestyle that resolved with that plan. THEN I turned 53 and gained 10 lbs. YIKES. My BMI is now 24 and so I started the Keto diet and have been really strict on it. I’ve lost 5 lbs in 2 weeks and am now feeling sane again. All the fats in these really kinda freaks me out but it seems to be working. I just can’t believe all the fat I’m eating along with 3 meals a day + 2 snacks and losing weight. For the first time in my life I feel like I’m gorging on food and pretty satiated! lol!

(Natasha) #16

This has been a leek game-changer for me: Slice them through the middle lengthways, twice… into quarters if that makes sense… stop half an inch from the root. You end up with long strips, still attached at the bottom and then the whole leak can be rinsed under running water.


Wow! Thank you for that brilliant tip!!! I love learning new things like this :heart_eyes:

(Kaitlynne) #18

Well I’m a gymnastic coach so that helps. The thing I love about gymnastics is it varies in intensity. Beam work usually starts off slow, careful and delicate. Trampolining is more intense.

(hottie turned hag) #19

@Patti_Herson heckyeah to gorging :heart_eyes:

(KCKO, KCFO) #20

I was just about to make the comment on cleaning. Leeks are so great. And they wash so easily this way.

Cauliflower soup instead of potato soup with leeks instead of onions is my go to comfort food. I make my bone broth, pan roast the cauliflower and leeks with some olive oil with a pat of butter, salt and pepper added, then simmer it all together in the pot. I let it simmer for a long time or do this in my instant pot, then use a stick blender to make it sooooo very creamy. So simple and so good.