Weight and height seem to go hand in hand, which often leads to the question of whether losing weight can make you grow in height? Likewise, most people are wondering if gaining weight can make you shorter too.
The truth is, it depends on how much weight we’re talking about. One or two pounds is not going to have a significant impact on your height.
If you lose a lot of weight, it can help you become slightly taller, and gaining a lot of weight can make you shorter. Sometimes, losing a small amount of weight can still make you appear taller, even if you’re not.
The science behind this is pretty interesting. If you’re on a mission to get taller by losing weight, it’s important to understand how it’s possible.
In this article
The Illusion Of Getting Taller With Weight Loss
If you’re only planning on losing a few pounds, you will not actually get taller. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t look taller.
When we exercise regularly, we slowly begin to develop better posture. That means that instead of slouching, we sit up straight.
As you begin to stand and sit with better posture, you’ll notice that you appear taller even though you haven’t gained any additional height.
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The additional weight also causes compression in certain joints, such as the knees. This is because they have to support more weight when a person is overweight.
Imagine sitting one book on a pillow. It will make the pillow sink in a small bit. However, if you sit an entire stack of books on the pillow, there will be more weight on the pillow which will make it sink down more.
This is what being overweight does to your knees. So, when you lose an exceptional amount of weight, you will be able to stand taller and might gain a little bit of height due to there being less compression in the body overall.
Skinny people also look taller if they are already tall. If you’re under 5″5, this probably won’t work, but if you’re taller than that, you can expect to simply look taller.
It’s because people will be more focused on your height instead of your weight. Whether you actually become taller or not, people will probably think you did.
This is similar to how horizontal stripes make a person appear wider even though they haven’t gained weight, and vertical stripes make a person appear taller even if they are not.
Can Losing Weight Make You Taller If You Lose A Lot Of Weight?
Yes, it can! This is where the belief comes in that losing weight can make you taller. While a couple of pounds won’t, a significant amount of weight loss will. This typically applies to individuals that are in the obese category.
According to a study completed by Zvi Lidar and a few of his colleagues, losing significant amounts of weight can restore disc height in the back.
This means that your spine is less compressed, which can give you some extra height. The more obese you are, and the more weight you lose, the more inches you stand to gain by shedding the excess weight.
If you do combine this with the better posture you can get with exercising, you stand to actually gain height and to appear even taller than you already are.
Start sitting up straighter as much as you can. Over time, you will find that it comes naturally.
Can Gaining Weight Make Me Shorter?
Just like losing weight can make you taller, gaining a significant amount of weight can also make you shorter. This is because those that have more weight tend to slouch, which creates the illusion of being shorter.
The additional weight puts pressure on the discs in the back, resulting in compression which makes you physically shorter. Keep in mind that this isn’t for those that gain an extra ten pounds. It is more applicable to those that gain large amounts of weight.
How Much Weight Do I Need To Lose To Get Taller?
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This is where it gets tricky. There is no definite number you need to see on the scale to get taller. The more weight you lose, the more chances you gain of getting a little bit taller.
For example, losing 100 pounds will definitely have an impact. If you’re morbidly obese, losing 50 pounds might contribute because your body is not compressed.
However, if you’re already a healthy weight and drop ten pounds, you won’t see a difference. The end goal should be to be a healthy weight, and then you can enjoy being a little taller as an additional benefit.
How Much Taller Will I Get?
Most people who are wondering if they can get taller if they lose weight are hoping to gain inches in height. While this might be possible in extreme circumstances, it is not likely.
In fact, the height you gain will more than likely be measure in mm instead of inches. Overall, you can gain a total of half an inch or so from weight loss. It is not significant enough to make a difference when measuring your height at the doctor’s office.
On the other hand, if you combine that half an inch that you gain with a slimmer frame and standing up straight, you can achieve the illusion of gaining at least a few inches in height.
While this won’t matter at the doctor, it can make a significant difference in you’re feeling self-conscious about your height, or lack of height.
While you can get taller by losing weight due to your body having less weight to support, and therefore less compression, it’s important to note that this should not be your only motivation for losing weight if you’re obese or overweight.
Just losing a small amount of weight can help decrease the pressure put on vital organs, decrease your chances of diabetes, and certain types of cancer, and you can enjoy feeling better than ever before.
The health effects of losing weight will make you both look and feel better!