It Might not be Fair…but There are Metabolic Advantages to Being Tall

I will tell you that my height is anywhere between 5’10” and 5’11”, depending on who is asking or depending on my mood.

If I were to be honest, I’d have to say that I’m 5’10”, but who doesn’t want to be a little taller?

Tall people get all the good stuff. They have better jobs. They’re better at sports. Girls like tall guys. Guys like tall girls. Of course you know I’m stereotyping, but you get the idea.

To top it all off, tall people get to eat more without gaining weight.

Your metabolic rate is closely connected to your lean body mass. Foods don’t boost your metabolism. What determines the number of calories you burn in a day is the activity of your internal organs and muscles.

Your lean body mass is most closely connected to your height.

I once obtained the use of an exercise physiology lab. From experiments I performed there, I learned that, for men who are approximately 6’ tall, lean body mass changed by approximately 7 pounds for every inch gained or lost. A 6’1” man will have about 7 more pounds of lean body mass than a 6’0” man.

This fact has a huge effect on how much you can eat.

Let’s take a 175 pound man with 12% body fat. This man has around 154 pounds of lean body mass.

According to the Katch and McArdle method of estimating resting metabolic rates, we can estimate that this man’s resting metabolic rate is 1,882 calories in a 24-hour period.

If we add in a daily activity factor of 1.2, we can estimate that this 175 pound man would need about 2,258 calories in order to maintain his current weight at his current activity level.

Now, let’s take the same man, with the same body type, but let’s make him 6’2”. The extra 6.6 pounds of lean body mass per inch will yield you a 205 pound man with 12% body fat and 180 pounds of lean body mass.

This 6’2” man would have a resting metabolic rate of 2,141.2 calories per day. Using the same activity factor, he would need about 2,570 calories in order to maintain his current weight at his current activity level.

Simply because he is taller, the 6’2” man gets to consume an extra 310 calories per day.

If you’re a 5’2” woman who is amazed at your 5’10” female friend who can eat anything she wants and still stay thin, this example should help you understand why that happens.

It may not be fair, but it’s true. Your height plays a role in how much you can or can’t eat.

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