If you want to keep your skin firm after weight loss, this article will show you how to prevent loose skin when losing weight.
Did you know that many people are unhappy with their bodies after weight loss?
Because sometimes losing weight causes loose skin on the stomach, arms, thighs, and chest.
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People who lose large amounts of weight tend to have loose skin. However, not everyone has loose skin after losing weight. Some of the factors that contribute to loose skin include:
Age: Our skin loses elasticity as we age. Therefore, older people are more likely to have loose skin compared to younger people.
Genetics: Your genes may affect the tightness of your skin after losing weight.
Body fat percentage: People with a higher body fat percentage are more likely to have loose skin after weight loss.
Before we look into how to prevent loose skin when losing weight, let me address the most common myth about loose skin.
Myth: Fast weight loss causes loose skin
Contrary to popular belief, losing weight fast does not cause saggy skin.
In addition, there is no scientific proof that losing weight slowly prevents loose skin.
Look at the before and after photo below. This man lost weight slowly over a period of 4 years. As you can clearly see, he has loose skin!
What makes more sense, though not proven by science, is that fast weight gain may cause loss of skin elasticity. The skin stretches as we gain weight (hence the stretch marks) and this reduces skin elasticity.
The skin loses elasticity as it stretches not as it retracts. Therefore, don’t lose weight at snail speed hoping to prevent loose skin.
Feel free to lose as many as 50 pounds in 2 months if you want to.
How to prevent loose skin when losing weight
1. It may not be preventable
I know this is not what you want to hear but it is the truth.
In most cases, loose skin is not preventable. If you plan to lose 100 pounds, chances are, you will have loose skin.
Most people who lose lots of weight have loose skin. The more weight you lose the more loose skin you may have.
The good news is you won’t have excess skin all over your body. The skin loses elasticity only in spots that carry excess fat.
For instance, if you have excess belly fat but your arms are slim, you may have loose skin on the stomach but the skin on your arms will remain firm.
Not everyone has loose skin after losing lots of weight. As I said earlier, age and genetics also determine skin tightness after weight loss.
You will notice that some women spring back to bikini body shape after several pregnancies, while other women have loose skin on the stomach after one pregnancy. It is the same thing with weight loss.
Now, if it happens that you have excess loose skin after weight loss, there is only ONE way to get rid of it – surgery.
You can’t diet off or train off loose skin. Loose skin can only be cut off.
The good news is surgeons are good at cutting off skin nowadays. The bad news is surgery is costly (6,000 to 12,000 dollars) and risky.
With that said, the strategies below can help reduce the appearance of loose skin when losing weight.
2. Build more muscle
Building muscle can stretch your skin and make it tighter. The muscles you gain will fill up the space that was covered by fat.
Increasing muscle mass is a great way to get rid of loose skin on the arms, thighs, and chest.
Focus on doing strength training instead of cardio to prevent loose skin. Use these bodyweight exercises to build muscle fast.
3. Do not smoke
If you needed another reason to quit smoking, you have it! Research shows that smoking causes loss of skin elasticity and wrinkles.
In fact, smoking can make you look 9 years older than you actually are, according to this study.
If you can’t quit smoking, reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day.
4. Drink plenty of water
Dehydrated skin tends to be dry, flaky, and wrinkly. Reason being skin cells are mostly made out of water.
Drinking enough water every day can improve your skin health and as a result prevent loose skin when losing weight.
Drink at least 2 liters or 10 glasses of water every day. Eating foods with high water content such as fruits and veggies can also keep you hydrated.
5. Get enough nutrients
Eating foods that are loaded with nutrients can improve your skin elasticity. Research shows that getting enough vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, and amino acids can improve your skin elasticity in 6 weeks.
It is also important to consume enough collagen, which is essential for healthy skin. Good sources of collagen include bone broth, aloe vera, spirulina, egg whites, and gelatin. Alternatively, you can take collagen supplements.
You can avoid missing any of these nutrients by increasing the intake plant-based foods.
6. Protect your skin from the sun
Excessive exposure to the sun can damage your skin.
Avoid working out outdoors during the hot season and remember to apply sunscreen when going outdoors.
As I said earlier, we lose skin elasticity as we age and loose skin is unavoidable in some cases. But don’t let that discourage you from losing weight. The benefits of losing weight definitely outweigh the effects of loose skin.
If you are having trouble losing belly fat, this customized plan can help you lose belly fat effortlessly.