Can losing weight make you taller? At one point or the other in our lives, we may have asked ourselves this question – and perhaps those around us. Interestingly, the answer you would receive depends on the person you ask!
Even when you try to run a quick Google search to find answers to this seemingly straightforward question, you are bound to be faced with conflicting answers. The truth is that, neither of those who say yes – or no, are completely correct – or totally wrong!
How so? Well, weight and height are parallel attributes that complement each other. So, depending on the amount of weight loss in question, and the circumstances surrounding it, losing weight can make you taller – or may not.
It is important that you understand how this works in order to make sense of why you can get a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to the same question. In this article, we have simplified the explanation and provided you with the accurate answers to the question ‘Does Losing Weight Make You Taller?’ Let’s get to it!
Can You Lose Weight to Gain Height?
Let us face it – even though this is a direct question, we may not find a straightforward answer to it. For many people, losing weight is not going to make any difference in your height. For others, it would. But let’s get the fact right – at least once and for all.
Although losing weight may not make you gain height, a slimmer body structure appears – and is often perceived as taller. Also, the amount – and type of exercise you put into losing weight can make you taller.
Also, if you are suffering from obesity, losing a significant amount of weight could make you slightly taller than normal. Well, let’s take a break from perception. What does science say about weight loss and gaining height? Let’s find out!
What Does Science Say About Losing Weight to Gain Height?
The most significant scientific evidence of height gains after losing weight is attributed to an Israeli neurosurgeon named Zvi Lidar, who carried out a research with his colleagues.
According to a report they published in 2012, which they claimed was based on a study carried out to document the significant changes in intervertebral disc height in individuals who suffered from obesity and have experienced weight reduction.
As part of their findings, Zvi Lidar noted that “disc height restoration after weight reduction was significant.” They also noted that the majority of the persons profiled experienced an increase of about 2 mm in one intervertebral disc, between the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae.
Does Body Weight Affect Height?
In reality, weight loss in itself does not have a significant t effect on your height, but in terms of perception and appearance, body weight does affect height.
Weight and height go hand in hand, so if a person loses weight significantly and maintains a good body structure, they will likely get taller as they grow. How possible? This is possible because the growth the person will experience going forward will be an increase in muscles – not fat.
Also, because weight affects the length of a person’s abdomen and limbs, you are bound to appear taller when you lose weight because people will see a more trimmed figure. You are also bound to have the same perception yourself when you look in the mirror.
Majorly, it all depends on the amount of weight loss – or how overweight you really are. But basically, losing weight would not automatically make you taller in any way. Even an obese person can lose weight and still maintain the same height.
This basically means that losing weight can help you reduce the factors that will prevent height gain, both in the present and in the future.
What “Does” Affect Height, Then?
If we are told that, contrary to popular opinion that weight does not necessarily affect height, it is only fair to ask what then affects height.
Height is a significant cause of concern for a lot of people, but sadly, unlike many other physical attributes, it cannot be easily remedied. What are the factors that affect height? Let’s find out!
6 Factors that Affect Height
1. Gender: Yes, gender has a role to play in the height of a person. Naturally, girls mature faster than boys and tend to gain more height during puberty. So, likely, with all other factors being the same, a girl of the same age is likely to be taller than a boy of the same age – especially during the early stages of life.
2. Birth Month: It came as a shock to many people when it was discovered that your birth month has a significant role to play on what score you mark on the height scale. For instance, a person born in January is more likely to grow taller – and faster, than someone who was born in September.
3. Genetics: This has got to be the most proven factor that can affect the height of an individual. Genetics has a highly significant role to play in the height, weight, and structure of the human body. There is a high probability that a person would have the same body structure as other members of the same family.
4. Health Conditions: The health and well-being of an individual can affect the person’s body structure because a poor health can affect growth – including height. So, it is natural for a person with a good health to outgrow someone who has a poor health – even in height.
5. Physical Activity: Yes, a person’s continuous physical activity can contribute to their height. For example, through research, it has been discovered that an individual who exercises often from an early age is likely to grow taller in height than someone who is not exposed to routine physical exercise.
6. Diet: There are some foods that are known to stimulate growth. So, it is only natural that an individual who consumes more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables – especially from an early age, will grow taller than someone who doesn’t. Your diet choices can not only improve your health and well-being, but also your height! Now, isn’t that some interesting bit of knowledge?
Does Losing Weight Make You Look Taller?
If your question is about perception, as in, does losing weight make you ‘look’ or appear taller, then the answer is a definite yes. A trimmed figure will naturally appear to be taller than someone with weight – even if they are both naturally of the same weight.
When a person has less body mass or weight, their growth process is focused on muscle building, contributing to the person’s height. If the person is overweight, then their growth will contribute to more fat.
It is only natural for people to see a slim person as taller than a person who is overweight. Even the person in question will see it the same way also – so you can’t really blame anyone.
However, medical experts reveal that obesity can contribute significantly to weakened bone metabolism in the human body, which can also affect the body structure.
Since losing weight not only helps us to appear taller but also contributes to our overall well-being, it brings us to the question of what are the healthy ways to lose weight. Well, let’s find out!
Healthy Ways to Lose Weight for Height Gain
In everything in life – whether it is losing weight or gaining weight, commitment is key! So, regardless of the advice we give in this article, you must be aware that you need to be committed and work hard to achieve your set goals.
You need to set targets and accomplish them one after the other, while maintaining persistence and commitment every step of the way. Now, let’s go to the five healthy ways to lose weight. Check them out!
5 Healthy Ways to Lose Weight
1. Learn How to Swim
If you are one of the persons looking at losing weight to improve their height, then you definitely need to learn how to swim. Swimming helps to burn body fat, tone your muscles and maintain a good body metabolism.
Experts also reveal that swimming actively engages the spine, and this may contribute to the height of an individual. You should take swimming lessons – or swim some more, don’t you think?
2. Pay Attention to Your Diet
Making changes to our diet is one of the most difficult things to do as an individual, especially when the diet change involves eating more greens. Well, if you want to lose fat the healthy way, then you have no choice but to increase your intake of vegetables, beans, and fruits.
These foods are high in nutrients but low in calories and fat. They are also rich in important minerals, and not only are they high in minerals and vitamins, but they also reduce body weight and can contribute to height gain.
3. Learn How to Ride a Bicycle
Whether you choose to ride a conventional or stationary (exercise) bicycle, cycling is a good way to burn calories. It also helps to lose weight and gain height by strengthening and elongating the leg muscles.
You can also engage in some aerobic exercises. Aerobics is a form of physical exercise that focuses on stretches as a form of improving fitness. Apart from its ability to burn calories fast, it can also contribute to height gain.
4. Avoid Processed and Canned Foods
We cannot over emphasize how important it is to stay off canned and processed foods if you plan on losing weight. In fact, you cannot hear it enough!
To increase their shelf life, canned and processed food contain a high amount of salt, sugar, and other preservatives, which are detrimental to both your weight loss and height gain journey. So, you should try your best possible to avoid them as much as you can.
5. Include More Protein in Your Diet
It is very logical, really! When you increase your protein intake, you are automatically reducing your calorie intake – or you should! Foods that are high in protein also help to build muscles and increase growth in individuals.
Can Gaining Weight Make You Shorter?
Does adding some weight make you shorter? The simple and straightforward answer to this question is NO. As a matter of fact, weight in itself does not reduce the height of a person in any way.
However, when an individual gains weight, the abdomen, and limbs are affected – and bulge. Therefore, the person appears shorter than they naturally are. There is no need to blame this perception on others because even the individual themselves will see themselves as shorter than they were used to.
How Much Weight Do I Need to Lose to Get Taller?
Before you consider the amount of weight you need to lose to gain weight, you have to calculate your weight-to-height ratio. To determine this, you need to calculate your Body Mass Index, otherwise known as BMI.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is the result of the total body mass gotten when you divide your weight in kilometers by your height in meters squared. You can also know if you are underweight or overweight through your BMI score.
When matched with the BMI scoreboard, you will know the amount of weight you need to lose in order to gain more height. It will also reveal the possible health risks you are faced with considering your weight.
How to Calculate Body Mass Index (BMI)
The formula to calculate BMI is represented below:
- BMI (US units) = (weight (lb) ÷ height² (in)) x 703
- BMI (Metric units) = weight (kg) ÷ height² (m)
After you derive your BMI score, you would check your score on the approved World Health Organization’s (WHO) standard scoreboard to determine the category you fall under.
World Health Organization (WHO) Approved BMI Score Chart
- A score that is <16 is Severely Underweight
- Scores between 16-16.9 are Moderately Underweight
- An individual between 17 – 18.4 is Mildly Underweight
- A score between 18.5 – 24.9 is Normal
- Any score between 25 – 29.9 shows that the person is overweight
- The score of a Moderately Obese individual will be between 30 – 34.9
- A severely Obese person will score between 35 – 40
- Any score that is >40 is Morbidly Obese
Note: This chart only applies to adults.