Although ideally when it comes to weight loss, the number one motivation for us should really be our health rather than how we look, if we cut to the chase and call things as they truly are, the reason why most people lose weight is so that they can look better and feel better about themselves. First and foremost, weight loss is a highly complex process that takes careful planning, preparation, self discipline, and a great deal of willpower. Now, for people that simply need to drop a few dozen pounds, once they lose that weight they’ll look much better, even topless. Some people however, allow themselves to become morbidly obese and as a result have to lose hundreds of pounds rather than simply just dozens of pounds. Some individuals do so via a combination of clean eating and exercise, whilst others opt for weight loss procedures. However they lose weight, the end result will be the same. The problem with people who lose extreme amounts of weight and who have been obese/morbidly obese for much of their lives, is the fact that once they lose a couple of hundred pounds or so, despite this being a remarkable achievement, their bodies will be left with pounds upon pounds of loose and saggy skin instead. Even some people that lose 40 – 50 pounds or so, can sometimes find certain areas of their bodies being affected by loose skin, but the good news is that it can be prevented, removed, and tightened. Here are six effective ways of tightening loose skin following weight loss.
Try not to lose weight too fast
Although it can be tempting to crash diet, force your body into an extreme calorie deficit, and exercise until you puke to lose as much weight as possible, as quickly as possible, the simple truth of the matter is that if you lose weight too quickly, you stand a much higher chance of being affected by loose and sagging skin, particularly on the lower abdomen, the chest, and the lower arms. The most effective way of helping to tighten skin as you lose weight is to lose weight gradually in a slow and controlled manner. Don’t starve yourself, don’t exercise until you feel like you’re going to collapse, and don’t force your body into such a calorie deficit that it literally starves. It can be frustrating just dropping 1 – 2 pounds per week instead of 4 – 5, but the end results will be much better for you, both physically and mentally.
Increase water consumption
Our bodies are comprised of over 70% water, so that alone should indicate how important it is that we get enough. Not only does water benefit the major organs and muscles, water also improves overall skin health as well. Staying hydrated helps keep skin smooth, moisturized, radiant looking, and most importantly of all, it helps to promote increases in elastin levels within the skin. Elastin is a compound responsible for a skin’s elasticity, so obviously the more elastin there is, the more elastic and firmer the skin becomes.
Use specially designed formulas
Currently the demand for skin firming lotions and creams has never been higher, and if you actually do your research and find a good quality product, you can most certainly benefit as a result. Always look for formulas that are loaded full of natural, healthy, and herbal ingredients such as vitamins and aloe vera for example. These nutrients can help to form the skin by replacing and increasing elastin and collagen, which are both essential for the firmness and fullness of your skin.
Another fantastic way of firming up loose skin is to regularly engage in weight training workouts to help you target and firm up certain parts of your body. Obviously by weight training you’re promoting the growth of lean muscle tissue, which builds up under the skin. Because of this, your skin naturally becomes tighter and firmer as your muscle mass increases. Think of a half empty balloon for example. The balloon will be loose, floppy and saggy because it’s half empty. If you were to fill it with air, or even water, it would increase in size, firm up, and get tighter. The same goes for your body, only instead of air or water, you’re using muscle to fill in the spaces instead.
Work your core
For people that do lose a fair amount of weight, their abdomens will be one of the most affected areas because that is where most of us store our excess body fat. To help reduce loose skin on the abs however, you should ensure that you incorporate plenty of core work into your weekly exercise routine. Look for exercises that work your entire core, including your obliques and not just your abs. Great examples of exercises include: stomach crunches, laying leg raises, hanging leg raises, side bridges, pelvic thrusts, and sit-ups.
Generally, people that lose around 100 – 120 pounds may just about be able to get away with dealing with loose skin without having to go under the knife, although obviously all bodies are different so sometimes the amount of weight may be more, and sometimes it may be less. Once you reach 150 – 200 pounds plus of lost weight however, there’s a good chance that you’ll then be left with a great deal of loose and sagging skin, especially if the weight loss was pretty dramatic and sudden. In these instances, unfortunately the skin will need to be removed surgically. The procedures are straightforward and pretty common, although your location (country) and insurance may be an issue because sometimes the procedure will need to be paid for by you. Many people who lose hundreds of pounds of weight still cannot stand to look at their bodies in a mirror due to all of the excess skin so look for various ways of funding the surgery if their healthcare/insurance doesn’t cover it for them.