Contestants of NBC’s hit weight loss competition “The Biggest Loser” and thousands of other fitness converts who have achieved stunning body transformations through diet and exercise are often left with an excess of skin around their stomach, chest, legs and arms. If you’ve lost weight or are just embarking on a new diet or fitness routine, it’s important to keep your skin’s health in mind. Here are a few tips to tightening loose skin from drastic weight loss.
Many people don’t realize that skin is living organ full of layers of tissue, blood vessels, connective tissues, and fibers that stretch or contract depending how it’s treated. Our skin has a natural elasticity determined by genetics that begins to deteriorate as we age, but even if you’re dipping into your golden years, there are still ways to encourage skin tightening during and after weight loss.
Pace is the Trick
While it’s exciting to see your waist-line shrink, rapid weight loss doesn’t give your skin enough time to adapt to how your body shape is changing. Instead of a crash diet, experts recommend that people shoot for a steady rate of weight loss. With a proper combination of diet and exercise, weight loss should occur at a rate of one to two pounds per week in order give your skin adequate time to react.
70% of our skin’s mass comes from the moisture it holds, so it’s no mystery why skin functions to its fullest capacity when well hydrated. It is recommended that you drink at least sixty-four ounces (or eight cups) of water a day. If you’re exercising to lose weight, you might want aid your hydration with sports drinks containing valuable sodium, potassium, and electrolytes to replace minerals lost through sweat. Putting on moisturizers after showers can also make a huge difference in your skin’s health and elasticity. When possible, try to limit your consumption of overly salty snacks and alcoholic drinks that can dehydrate and damage your skin.
Diet is one of the biggest factors driving weight loss, but it’s important that you don’t throw out your good eating habits when you reach your weight loss goals. Fitness gurus suggest meals that are high in protein, low in fat, and are garnished with plenty of juicy fruits and vegetables can help keep weight off and give skin the nutrients it needs to bounce back from a drastic change. Specifically, salmon, Brazilian nuts, oysters, lean red meat, raw liver, and dietary gelatin have been shown to improve skin elasticity.
Endurance exercises like biking and running can do wonders the waistline, but once you have a little extra skin to fill, it’s time to build muscle. Personal trainers suggest that people incorporate resistance training and weight lifting into all weight loss programs. Building muscle doesn’t necessarily mean getting a hefty, superhero build either. Lifting lighter weights in sets of ten or more reps will build lean, toned muscle without the bulk.
Much of the saggy skin that people complain about right after weight loss is actually caused by subcutaneous fat that this still clinging to the dermis of your skin. When it is burned off your thin skin will more easily resume its former shape. But what if you’ve lost all you can and excess skin is still a problem?
Surgical body contouring is a set of procedures, including tummy tucks, arm lifts, neck lifts, and more, where skin and fat are surgically removed. While the procedures offer quick results, they are costly and complex procedures that involve sutures, rehabilitation, and some scarring. Experts suggest people reach a stable body composition, typically 10-12% body fat for men or 15-17% body fat for women, before electing body contouring surgery for excess skin.
Have you recently lost a significant amount of weight? Looking to trim your figure through cosmetic solutions? Contact us today, and we’ll schedule you a free consultation with one of our certified cosmetic clinics in your area.