Does losing weight make you taller? This is a question that can only be aptly answered by knowing which factors influence height in the first place.
WHAT INFLUENCES YOUR HEIGHT?
The biggest contributor to human height is the spine. It is the largest skeletal structure in your body and comprises a series of connected tissues and bones.
This includes the 24 individual bones commonly known as vertebrae that are used in our biological classification.
The spine, therefore, collectively hosts the growth plates attached to the long bones in your back. These growth plates are what primarily influence growth in height.
As such, when the growth plates close right after puberty, you stop growing taller. The majority of girls stop growing taller at the age of 16, while for boys, it’s mostly 19.
What these growth plates do is that increase the width and length of the bone. There are usually two growth plates attached to each long bone.
As a child grows, the growth plates make new bone elongating the long bones. This increases height.
How much more your height increases, however, is dependent on a few factors. They include:
Genetic traits are central in determining your height. Countless genes affect growth plates and even increase the production of growth hormone.
Hormones are responsible for neuro-transmitting instructions to the growth plates to make new bone. These hormones include the growth, thyroid, and sex hormones.
Males are generally taller than females and often grow for a longer period.
WEIGHT AND HEIGHT
Weight and height are directly linked to one another. This prompts the question, does losing weight make you taller?
Knowing what we now know about height, it is pretty easy to deny the existence of a link between weight and height. It is, however, not as straightforward as that.
Yes, it’s impossible for weight loss to change the physiological process of growth in height significantly. So, does weight loss affect height growth? No, it does not. At least not the physiological process.
However, weight loss affects your whole anatomy even in the slightest of ways. This includes areas key to human height, such as the spine.
There is, therefore, a chance that loss in weight and the resultant morphing of your body can affect aspects of your height.
For instance, being overweight creates a compression-like effect on certain joints such as the knees and the spine. This is in a bid to maintain balance as a result of supporting more weight.
So, when you lose this excess weight, the buckled knees are straightened because of the shed weight. As a result, you stand taller due to an increase in height.
The same principle applies to the spine. The spaces between the vertebrae are filled with cartilage, which allows the spine to flex and twist.
Due to excessive weight, the tissue within the spin is compressed, making you look shorter.
The regular and functional exercise done to lose weight might also unintentionally add to your height.
Regular exercise gradually facilitates the development of better posture. For instance, instead of slouching, you sit up straight, which adds elevation to your height.
Such practices come about as a result of weight loss. This, coupled with the freedom of uncompressed joints, leads to an increase in height.
Therefore, does losing weight make you taller? Even when you’re just a few pounds overweight?
Well, no. In the case you’re only a few pounds overweight, there won’t really be an effect on your height. If it’s there, it’ll be all but negligible.
This, however, isn’t the case for the obese. According to a recent study, the height gains in the morbidly obese are much more significant.
According to the study, an increase of about 2mm in just one of the growth plates can be observed.
WHERE IS THE FIRST PLACE YOU LOSE WEIGHT?
Once you’ve had experience in weight loss, there are some noticeable patterns you pick on. One of those patterns is that specific parts of the body are affected by it whenever you lose or gain weight.
These parts of the body are the parts most susceptible to fat deposits, a process that we have very little control over.
It is thus a gray area even scientifically. However, as it stands, the belief is that the areas where men and women lose weight first are different.
This is because the fat deposits found within the man and the woman’s body exist for different reasons. Research reveals that women have a higher level of the subcutaneous fat deposit than men.
Men are more predisposed to the accumulation of visceral fat deposits. This prompts men’s weight loss to occur around the belly first—an area predominantly occupied by visceral fat.
On the other hand, women shed weight a bit more evenly but hold on to the fat deposits in the gluteus, thighs, and hip areas.
The body biologically holds on to these fat deposits in constant preparation for childbearing duties. As such, it’s harder for women to lose weight in these areas.
In fact, studies indicate that women who had more belly fat than fat in the hips lose said weight faster. The belly fat was thus lost faster than the fat deposits in the things and gluteus muscles.
WHAT AGE DO YOU START SHRINKING IN WEIGHT?
The gift of life takes a lot from the body, especially during your golden years. One of the things that we lose as we grow older is height.
In fact, we start losing height a bit earlier than you might think. According to findings, we begin shrinking and losing height from the age of 30 through to 70.
Research reveals that, on average, men lose about an inch of height by the time they turn 70 and two inches by 80.
On the other hand, women lose about 2 inches between 30 and 70 and three inches accumulatively by 80.
This, however, isn’t the case for everyone, albeit it affects the majority. There are rare instances where people don’t shrink at all. Some actually shrink after turning 60 or 70.
WHY DO WE SHRINK?
What happens is as we grow older, the cartilage found in between the vertebrae in our spine wears out.
This, therefore, leaves room for the compression on the spine to shrink the spinal column reducing your height. As we grow older, our bones also reduce density and size, prompting shrinkage.
Shrinking in height is a natural phase for the human body. However, there are measures you can put in place to at least delay the inevitable.
Some of these measures include:
1.Avoiding extreme dieting
2.Reduce your alcohol and cigarette consumption (especially cigarettes)
3.Engage in aerobic exercises
All considered, we have to ask, does losing weight make you taller really?
Technically, growth in height means an increase in length compared to the last time you measured your height.
However, one might argue all weight loss does create an illusion of increased height rather than actually increases height that the height was always there, just compressed.
All facts considered, does losing weight make you taller than you were from an objective perspective? Yes, it does. Whether negligible or not, there is empirical data that shows a change in height.
Therefore, you cannot speculatively account for something that hasn’t proven to be there before unless with empirical data.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]