Let’s face it. Everyone wants to be taller.
That includes the 7’4” giant who can do the ‘no-jump’ dunk in basketball, the white-collar worker who is working a 9 to 5, or the stay-at-home mom who likes to exercise from home.
If you ask them whether they’d like to get taller, they’d most likely respond in the affirmative. That’s because our society has different standards for what it considers tall.
So you can’t really blame the 5’5 ‘manlet’ (no offense) who wants to gain a few additional inches, can ya?
A quick search on google will show you thousands of websites that promise to show you secret ways in which you can increase your height naturally.
Is It Possible to Get Taller Naturally?
Well, first things first.
There’s no way you can gain height naturally after the age of 25. Sorry to be the party pooper.
For most people, growth stops at puberty which should be approximately 18 for boys and around 16 for girls. (1)
But some people continue to gain a little more until their bones continue to grow.
At around the age of 25, is when the bone growth stops completely and your growth plates get fused permanently.
Unfortunately, that’s as much as you’ll ever grow vertically. There’s always room for horizontal growth though. /*the writer put an emoji here*/
If I Am Younger, Can I Get Taller?
If you are younger than 18, you mean?
Well, technically yes, because your bones are still growing and there is a distinct possibility that your height can grow.
That said, it’s a natural process that depends primarily on genetics.
It is estimated that genetic DNA variants that you inherited from your folks determine up to 80% of your height. (2)
That leaves you with a 20% possibility of using external factors such as nutrition and exercise to increase your height naturally.
We will touch on those topics in a bit.
However, the best and only real way in which you can increase your height post puberty is by using artificial means, which will make you ‘appear taller’ rather than actually increasing your height.
How Can I Get Taller Artificially or Appear Taller?
There are multiple ways in which you can alter your appearance, as well as use external aids which will help you appear taller.
The thing is, you’ve got to be realistic about it.
All of the methods that we discuss below will work really well, but it will add two to three inches to your frame. That’s a sizeable difference, mind you.
A lot of people have unrealistic expectations, like being able to add 7-8” of height. That’s not possible.
If anyone claims to be able to do something like that, they are just bluffing or trying to rip you off.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive into the multiple ways in which you can appear taller.
#1 – Increase Your Height with Boosting Shoe Inserts
Shoe Inserts, also called ‘Lifts’ or ‘Elevators’ at times, are worn inside your shoes just the way you wear insoles for a better fit.
Only these are worn to increase your height by 1-3”, depending on the size of the insert and the number of these that you stack together.
If you have a 1” insole, you can stack three of these together to add 3” to your height. If your shoe has a 1” heel, then that’s 4” added to your height.
Inserts are a great way to increase height and as unbelievable as it sounds, are used by thousands of men and women around the world.
The best part about it is that it’s discreet.
There’s no way someone’s going to look at your shoes and guess that you are wearing height lifts.
However, not all shoe inserts are made equal. A lot of them are notorious for uneven designs, which can cause severe pain in your legs, primarily on the shin.
If you are looking to buy shoe inserts, ensure that you buy a quality product that’s tried and tested.
This is the one I recommend.
#1 – Mendez™ Premium Height Increase Insole
Mendez™ is a top-rated brand manufactures extremely comfortable height lifts.
That’s what it all boils down to, comfort.
How comfortably can you wear these insoles inside your shoes without losing balance when you walk, or without feeling a niggling pain creep up your heel every time you place it on the ground?
With Mendez’s insole, you’ll not even realize that you are wearing it. It just blends beautifully with your shoe without affecting gait or posture.
The insoles are made of high-density PU foam, which gives them some amount of shock absorption as compared to other harder materials like rubber.
However, there’s no ‘give’ to it. So, your feet are not going to sink into it, making a 1” insole a ½” one. Also, it has a very streamlined design which ensures that there’s no added bulk to your shoe. It weighs just 50 grams too, so it doesn’t seem like you are wearing ankle weights either.
Those are some of the problems that typically occur with cheaper shoe inserts.
Most users take around a week to get used to the base 1” insole, after which you can use additional ones which are called ‘Stackers’ to further increase your height.
Mendez Insoles are recommended to be worn with mid and high-top shoes. However, there are many customers who have worn it with low top shoes as well, with no problems whatsoever.
- Top rated brand
- Insoles made of high density PU foam
- Streamlined low profile design
- Does not add bulk or weight to the shoe
- 1” Base Insole. You can add additional insoles called Stackers to it
- Excellent shock absorption
- Extremely comfortable design
- Works well with mid and high top shoes
Some Tips for Buying Shoe Inserts
If you have decided to shop for shoe lifts, then here are a few tips that will help you select the right one.
- Check the material: Shoe inserts can be made either of high-density PU foam or rubber. PU Foam is the more popular variety for obvious reasons. It is lighter and offers better shock absorption. Also, foam inserts do not absorb odor as compared to rubber inserts which can absorb moisture, which in turn may allow bacterial growth.
- Comfort:Are the inserts comfortable? Are they stable? Check the design for the slant. It should be a very gradual slant that does not place your heel in a very elevated position. This can place unwanted stress on your joints, which will lead to pain and discomfort.
- Compatible: Many a time, you buy a height increasing insert only to realize that it’s only compatible with high top shoes, whereas you mostly wear mid-top ones. Look for inserts that are compatible with more than one type of shoe. The Mendez shoe insert can even be worn with low top ones.
- Stackable: Ideally, you need shoe inserts that can be stacked to increase your height by 3-4” at least.
#2 – Lose Weight
Weren’t expecting that, were you?
The fact is that if you are overweight, you probably look shorter than you are.
That’s because of two reasons.
- Lumbar compression: Lumbar compression occurs when the height between the vertebral discs get reduced due to the weight of a person. Imagine, if you were to place a 1 lbs. plate on a pillow. It will sink under the weight. But not by a lot. Now imagine placing 10 x 1 lbs. plates on the same pillow. That’s what being obese does to your spine. When you lose weight, the distance in between the vertebral disc increases, which in turn improves your posture and may help you gain a little height. Not to mention that it makes you more confident and most definitely improve your overall quality of life. It’s a win-win really. (3)
- People focus on your weight: Plain and simple. If you are overweight, that’s what people will notice even if you are 6’4 to begin with. Whereas, if you were to lose weight, you will look leaner horizontally, which makes you look taller vertically. Does that make sense?
The question is, how much weight do you need to lose to look taller?
Unfortunately, there’s no universal answer to it. The more overweight you are, more you need to lose to look taller.
For example, if a person is morbidly obese, even a loss of 25 lbs. won’t make much of a difference to their appearance.
But if you are not extremely overweight, even a weight loss of 10 lbs. will make a significant difference to your appearance.
How Much Height Will I Gain If I Lose Weight?
Again, there’s no one-size-fits-all here.
In some people, the height gain is as less as a few millimeters, which may seem to be insignificant on the face of it.
But when it comes to increasing the height, every single millimeter matters.
Club 4-5 mm with an erect posture, a leaner frame and a new haircut.
That creates an illusion of at least 3-4” of additional height.
Oh yes, you just read that right. We did mention a haircut.
#3 – Style Your Hair for Height
One of the most commonly used tricks in the fashion industry is to use haircuts to make a person appear taller than they are.
There are numerous ways in which this can be done. For example, women can create a high ponytail on top or use a shorter hairstyle with more volume on the top.
Men can just crop it from the sides and spike it up.
If you are looking for more specifics, then here are the top 5 haircuts for men and women that can make you appear taller.
- Asymmetrical Bob: An asymmetrical bob draws attention to your long, lean neck as opposed to your height. It also makes you appear leaner than you are and that folks, is the secret to magically add a few centimeters to your height. Pair it with some long earrings and you are all set to rock.
- Pixie: The Pixie is a catchall phrase for different short hairstyles. Guess what? They all work. Pick one that suits you.
- Deep side parts: This is pretty simple. You divide the volume of your hair into two, with one thicker side having the bulk of it and one thinner side that has scant hair which is then tucked behind your ears.
- Buns: If you aren’t looking to go the pixie way, opt for high ponytails and buns. A top knot, a teased one, anything works.
- Color: Believe it or not, playing with hair color works phenomenally well to make you appear taller. Speak to a hairstylist about lowlights and use it on certain parts of your hair.
For men, the rules are a lot simpler. Pick hairstyles that keep volume at the top, while keeping the sides trimmed.
- Short Blowout: This is a very neat and contemporary hair style that makes you look sharp. The tapered sides will add to the lean and tall appearance you are trying to create.
- Pompadour: It’s 2021 and the Pompadour continues to look as stylish as it did in the 50s. The undercut with the top-heavy waves will make you look taller than you are. Add some taper fade on the sides for enhanced effect.
- Short with finger waves: Men with wavy or curly hair can try the finger waves on top to add an inch to your frame.
- Spikes: The good old spike always works. You can customize it in a million ways as well. Add some fade to the sides or do a side part. It never fails to create an illusion of height.
- Quiff: The modern take on the quiff also uses the fade to great effect to create some volume on the crown. Great choice for shorter men.
#4 – Fix your posture
It is said that your spine can hide up to 3” of your height. A lot of this is due to poor posture, which can worsen with habit and with a sedentary desktop job.
It starts with slouching as you clack away on the computer.
But in extreme cases, it can lead to a condition called thoracic kyphosis, where the slouch becomes so pronounced that it forms a reverse C shaped curve of the chest and spine.
Not only does this place tremendous pressure on the spine, it also makes you appear shorter than you are, which could result in you being wrongfully labeled as short by other people as our society has standards to what it considers short, and it also greatly increases the risk for bone fractures, chronic lower back pain and even digestive problems.
Thankfully, the condition is fully reversible with exercise, stretches and in some cases casting or bracing.
In normal circumstances, even switching to a standing desk instead of a normal work desk can do wonders for your posture.
Some experts recommend tying a string around your midsection so that when you subconsciously slouch, the string tightens automatically reminding you to correct your posture. Believe it or not, this simple technique is quite effective.
If you feel that you need medical assistance, speak to a physical therapist about ways in which you can improve your posture.
How to Get Taller Naturally
If you are younger than 18, then you are in luck.
At least you have a 20% probability of improving the prospects of adding a few inches to your height before your growth plates close forever. (4)
There are two primary things that you need to focus on.
An inadequate intake of nutrients can lead to deficiencies that can potentially affect growth, thereby affecting your height.
In most cases, it’s as simple as eating a healthy and nutritious diet. But modern day diets are anything but.
So, here are four things that you need to focus on including in your diet, in case you already aren’t.
#1 – Protein
Protein is one of the most critical macronutrients in your diet that’s associated with a host of important biological functions. Amongst them is promoting tissue repair, muscle growth and boosting your immune system. (5)
The best part is that American diets are usually protein heavy. If you need more specifics, then here are the best sources of protein that also have other added advantages.
- Beans: Not only contains a healthy amount of protein, but may also help increase levels of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1, a hormone that’s associated with growth in children. (6)
- Chicken: Loaded with protein and Vitamin B-12 which is one of the most important vitamins for increasing your height. (7)
- Red Meat/eggs:There are clinical studies that confirm that populations that consume quality protein, such as red meat and eggs are taller than the ones that don’t. You’d want to consume it sparingly as part of a healthy diet though. (12)
- Dairy: Along with protein, a regular and adequate consumption of milk and milk products has been associated with increased height in children. Milk is high in calcium which also strengthens your bones by the way. (13,14)
#2 – Bone Vitamins
Along with increasing your height, you should also focus on maintaining good bone density and bone health.
There are a bunch of bone-friendly vitamins and minerals such as Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, D and K.
Vitamin D and K are known as the bone vitamins and for good reason too. They help maintain bone density and prevent the risk of fractures.
The best part is that you can get all the Vitamin D you need with a few minutes outdoors every day.
Leafy greens are a great source for Vitamin K and the other Vitamins we mentioned. (8)
Spinach, Cabbage and Kale are some of the best options you have.
So is Greek Yoghurt, which also contains an abundance of protein by the way.
#3 – Sleep
Growth Hormone is one of the three hormones that regulate normal growth in children.
If the child has a growth hormone deficiency, then it may affect the rate of growth, eventually affecting their adult height. (9) Doctors may prescribe synthetic growth hormone therapy to restore the levels to normal. However, GH therapy in kids is controversial and is only used in very rare cases.
A lot of people are unaware that chronic sleep deprivation affects growth hormone pulses, since most of the GH is produced when you sleep. (10)
An easy way to bio hack your body to produce more GH is to get some shuteye.
Children aged 6-13 need at least 9-11-hours of sleep whereas teens aged 14-17 need at least 8-10 hours of sleep.
If you are not sleeping well, or are addicted to gadgets that emit blue light that wrecks your body’s circadian rhythm and sleep patterns, then it is something that you may want to address if you are looking to grow taller naturally.
We are all aware of the perks of exercising regularly.
But what a lot of people do not know is that exercising before puberty can have a plethora of beneficial effects on your body, one of them being an increase in Growth hormone production.
While any type of activity can be beneficial, there are some specific ones that are highly recommended.
#1 – Cycling
Bikes are kids’ best friends. If you haven’t spent a copious amount of time on your bike in your childhood, it might not be too late. I personally can be found riding my GTX 3 most days of the week because I just simply enjoy the exercise and it has become a hobby of mine. Cycling helps improve your posture (increased height), cardiovascular health and works the large muscle groups of your legs, which are like a foundation for your body. Strong and toned legs make you look taller. An added perk is that it may also stimulate the release of more growth hormones. (11)
#2 – Swimming
There’s no other exercise that’s as beneficial for improving overall fitness, as swimming. You are utilizing almost every major muscle group in your body and that’s not all. You are also stretching these muscles every time you make a move in the water.
Your arms, legs, back, shoulders, everything looks toned and lean. The benefits of swimming when it comes to height are too many to list here. Just know this, if you are aged 11-16, there’s no better time to take a dip in the water. It will definitely help you increase your height, or at least appear taller.
#3 – Stretching/Yoga
Stretching helps prevent injuries. But by incorporating regular stretches into your fitness routine, you can help elongate or lengthen the spine. This alone can add up to 2-3” to your height. If you find stretching to be boring or mundane, try Yoga.
There are tons of poses that help stretch your spine as well as help you achieve balance, improved posture and a toned physique. All factors that contribute towards your appearance. They do get pretty challenging as you progress. But that’s the fun part. It is also important to make sure to keep your legs stretched either with a leg stretcher or by doing various other leg stretching exercises.
The bottom line is that if you are an adult, there’s no natural or medical way in which you can increase your height.
But you don’t really need to. There are enough methods, both natural and artificial which can make you appear taller than you are.
Use them to your advantage. Correct your posture. Focus on your spinal health.
Dress to look taller. Get a new haircut. Lose weight.
If you are still under 18, focus on eating right and get the right amount of nutrients. Spend some time in the sun and exercise regularly.
It will help you grow in confidence and improve your quality of life as well.
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