No one wants to deal with loose skin on their body. Excess skin is a reminder of our imperfections and is usually not thought about until it becomes a problem. Yet, it is inevitable that our skin changes as we grow older. Most of us accept that one day we will get wrinkles and sagging skin. On the other hand, loose skin is a harsh reality after fast weight loss and often unavoidable with extreme weight loss from being obese (30 pounds over weight or more). This is something that you may not have thought about as you were gaining weight, though the excess skin can become quite an issue depending on the certain factors that affect your body. If you are planning to lose a large amount of weight, it helps to understand what causes the loose skin on your body as well as the fact that it may happen to you. Some people can avoid loose skin by understanding why it happens and taking control of their fat / weight gain; others by learning what it takes to tighten excess skin while losing weight. The rest of the population at risk cannot avoid getting bat wings, belly flap and sagging skin in different areas of the body. This is the harsh reality of extreme weight loss that you need to learn how to avoid, deal with prior to stretching out your skin or learn to accept with or without corrective surgery.
If you are struggling with weight gain because of hunger, emotional or health issues, I am hoping that the Obesity information on this blog will help you change what you are doing to your body. I invite you to learn How Skinny Fiber Can Help you take control of your weight issues, too!
Is Loose Skin Fat Or Just Excess Skin After Weight Loss?
Skin goes through numerous transformations throughout our lives. Different external factors like the sun, cold, chemicals in the environment, gravity and bad habits contribute to how well your skin ages over time. Internal factors like how drinking alcohol and smoking hurts the body, dehydration, stress, poor sleep habits, the way you eat (diet), age and genetics contribute to skin health, too; including elasticity (how your skin can stretch and bounce back in shape). Proteins called collagen and elastin are extremely important to skin health. Collagen makes up about 1/3 of the protein in your body. It is a protein that causes the toughness needed in your connective tissues like ligaments, bones and tendons. Collagen is in the connective tissue in the lower layer of your skin. It helps with new skin cells, flexibility and firmness. Elastin is an elastic / rubbery protein that helps your skin stretch and return to it's original size (elasticity). Both collagen and elastin are vital to the elasticity in your skin; they contribute to whether you can avoid or tighten loose skin after weight loss.
Loose skin is cause by the loss of collagen and elastin ... Gaining and Losing Body Fat causes loose skin ... Building and Losing Muscle can do the same!
The loss of collagen and elastin (they become disconnected causing "free radical" damage) contribute to why your skin gets stretch marks when you gain weight. This also contributes to why people have excess skin after weight loss, but the real culprit is fat stretching the skin to the point that it sags after you burn it off through exercise / lose weight. The same can happen to bodybuilders that let themselves go. They can stretch out their skin as they increase the size of their muscles; they can have stretch marks and / or saggy skin if they don't maintain and let their muscles shrink back to normal size (fat can develop during this time, too).
Excess fat stores in fat cells under the skin. They become greedy and make your body fat. Your organs increase in size; your skin stretches out. You are at risk for excess skin once you get the fat cells back under control and are at risk for getting just as fat again.
Loose skin is the result of losing weight too quickly and excessive weight loss ... RESULT is the key here. Losing to fast or so much does not cause excess skin; it is what happens when you burn off the fat that stretched your skin.
How To Avoid Loose Skin
The most common answer would be ... Don't get fat! Unfortunately, that only holds true but so long as sagging skin comes with age (we lose our youthful plumpness in areas you don't even realize store fat), therefore this only works but so long. Not getting fat helps, but caring for your skin, body, health is a holistic solution if genetics permit. Bodies stop producing collagen and elastin as they age, therefore contributing to why it is extremely important to take care the body from the time we are children. It is difficult to restore the elastin and collagen as your skin gets older. You cannot completely "take back" all of the damages from the sun, gravity, bad habits and how you care for your body. There are different creams and skin treatments that can help, but the reality is that the different factors damage these proteins in your skin also determine how quickly as well as how much elastin and collagen are replaced in your body; if it is truly correctable at all! Eating a diet rich in plant proteins, omega 3, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, hormone therapy or phytoestrogen are helpful to the elastin and collagen in your body. Most importantly, by protecting yourself of the external risks and internal risks (mentioned above), and exercising can help you can avoid elasticity issues.
Dealing With Loose Skin After Extreme Weight Loss
Loose Stomach Skin | Extreme Weight Loss of 180 Pounds
This video is of a young woman that lost over 180 pounds by counting calories and exercising until her body ached. She went from a morbidly obese 341 pounds and size 24 clothes to a snug size 8 Old Navy jeans. Normally her videos are very upbeat, but she is not happy about her weight loss in this one. She shares feelings of depression, defeat and how difficult it is to adjust to such extreme weight loss. In addition to some examples of how hard it is to let go of her old self, she shares what it is like to deal with the reality that she cannot afford cosmetic surgery for the excess skin on her stomach, she also realizes that no matter how long it takes her to get her body fit, exercise may never tighten loose skin. She is angry that she let herself get so obese and unhealthy.
Excess Skin On The Legs | Extreme Weight Loss Of 165 Pounds
Video of a middle age woman that lost 165 pounds - she went from 293 lbs to 126 lbs in 75 days - by eating right and exercising. She shows what her body looks like in a swimsuit and you can see the loose skin. She is struggling with whether she should get a lower body lift because she has so much sagging in her legs. This is to be expected after such extreme weight loss, but it still does not make it any easier.
How To Correct Loose Skin / How To Tighten Excess Skin
Proper hydration, clean eating, caring for your skin, cardio and strengthening exercises are natural ways to tighten loose skin. Quite simply the good ole 64 ounces of water, moisturizing with coconut oil, low fat, burn fat and muscle building are natural remedies for getting rid of excess skin.
Cosmetic surgery / tummy tuck is one of the most common ways to deal with excess skin after losing weight. If a tummy tuck is not an option for you, then refer to the category above on how to avoid loose skin. Those are how to stop and potentially correct the issue w/ cardio and strength training exercises helping to make the greatest improvements.
Other non-surgical methods include decompression massage, professional herbal wraps and even the newer non-invasive contouring techniques can help you lose inches and tighten your skin.
Dealing with loose skin is hard; especially after you have lost an extreme amount of weight.
You work so hard to burn the fat and get in shape but certain factors control whether the elasticity in your skin will live up to your expectations. It is devastating when it does not; especially for those who do not have money for a tummy tuck or other type of cosmetic surgery. Now that you know better, you can avoid having loose skin or tighten excess skin correctly instead of spending the rest of your young years dealing with it.
I know this was a lot of information, but I hope that you've found this blog post helpful in planning your weight loss journey. The goals is to lose weight naturally and at a healthy pace, as well as a fitness routine with your final results in mind.
I like hearing from you, so please make sure to share what you think as well as your personal weight loss experience.
Hugs & Blessings!