Let’s face it, when you hit that goal weight on the scale, your happiness knows no bounds. You jump up and down with glee, thinking of all the new outfits you can now wear and how easy life is going to be from that point on. And all that is certainly true.
But there’s something that bugs everyone at some point on their weight loss journey. If your target is to lose a considerable number of pounds, like say 40 pounds and above, then you might be worried about getting loose skin in the process. Or if you have already hit your goal weight, it might have formed already.
Either way, this one thing can put a dampener on your mood and bring you down. But we are here to get you out of that state of despair today. Because there is some advice for everyone in this article. Even if you have already lost weight or are currently in the process, today we will talk about how to lose weight without loose skin and how to get rid of any loose skin you might have developed during weight loss.
First things first though. Let’s educate ourselves a little bit about why loose skin happens in the first place.
Why do you develop loose skin after weight loss?
Your skin is perfect at stretching up to make room for any type of growth that might be taking place inside your body. Be it pregnancy or weight gain, your skin can expand indefinitely. But not without consequences.
When you gain weight and your surface area increases, your skin begins stretching and causes micro tears in the process. Those tears on the surface are called stretch marks, which also occur during weight gain/loss.
The collagen and elastin present in your skin give it the ability to remain firm and retract easily after the shape of your body changes. but if the skin remains stretched for prolonged periods, the protein and collagen inside it become damaged. This, in turn, lowers your skin’s ability to bounce back to its original shape.
This is why if you gained weight and lost it as soon as possible, you are less likely to develop loose skin than someone who has had their skin stretched due to excess fat for months or even years.
So, now the question arises –
How to lose weight without loose skin?
While it may not be possible for someone who is in his old age because of the naturally depleting collagen, the rest of you can certainly employ the following methods for safe weight loss and prevent or at least minimize loose skin.
Lose Weight Gradually
We know that it can be tempting to try to lose all the excess weight that has been bugging you at once, or at least as fast as possible, but you mustn’t give in to that temptation.
Losing weight, at any rate, faster than 1-2 pounds a week isn’t considered healthy and it won’t give your skin the necessary time to bounce back effectively. Your skin moves at almost a glacial pace when it comes to retracting to its original shape so a gradual weight loss, aiming at 4-5 pounds a month, is important to give it the time to acclimatize itself to the changes and effectively regain its earlier shape slowly.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Since more than 70% of your body is made up of water, it makes sense that you’d see this suggestion here. The fact is, well-hydrated and plump skin is much better at handling environmental stress, both inner and outer.
So if you keep your body well-hydrated by drinking at least 3-4 bottles of water a day (according to your BMI), it’ll keep your skin young and firm, not to mention it’ll also maintain the collagen and elastin levels in your skin. So, it’s impervious that you keep yourself well-hydrated at all costs.
This suggestion is for people above 28-30 years of age, specifically. From around 25 years of age, your body’s ability to produce collagen begins declining significantly. This means that your skin also loses its firmness and elasticity.
At such a time, taking good collagen supplements can help boost your skin’s health and help it recover from the weight loss ordeal easily and much faster than it would have otherwise. Collagen supplements usually pose no side effects either for your body.
Skin Care is A Must
We can’t tell you how often we see people only doing their skincare routines on the face (sometimes not even THAT!) and forgetting to give any attention to the rest of the body except by putting soap and water over it while showering.
And that is one of the biggest reasons why loose skin happens after weight loss. Soaps and environmental conditions are often so harsh that they strip your skin’s surface of all the moisture and necessary oils, leaving it dry and open to cuts and grazes, not to mention bacterial infestations.
So if you truly want to avoid getting loose skin, you must begin paying some much-needed attention to your body.
Incorporate Strength Training
It’s no secret that strength training is just what your body needs for almost all of its woes – from bone density issues to weight loss. It also has the potential to get your haphazard hormones back on track. But one thing that people don’t know is that including strength training in their routine can also help them avoid loose skin.
Strength training trains muscles to grow bigger and stronger. Muscles require much more energy to thrive so, as they grow, they begin using the surrounding blobs of fat as energy resources. This, in turn, helps remove al;l the fat while giving your skin the strength to retract fully, without any loose skin. Amazing, isn’t it?
What to do if you already have loose skin?
It may be that you began your weight loss journey without keeping any of it in mind, which may have led to you getting loose skin in the process. And while it’s a very frustrating situation, it’s certainly not irreversible.
More often than not, even someone who eats well works out in the gym, and hydrates their skin might get loose skin initially because the fat loss might happen faster while the skin takes its sweet time to retract to its original form. So just because you have loose skin, for now, doesn’t mean it’s going to be there forever.
And although it takes a little bit of time to it bounce back, you can make sure you aid your skin by doing the following.
A Balanced Diet
And this is not only for your skin. It’s also important for your body to eat healthily so that it can maintain your ideal weight without gaining it all back.
When you eat a properly balanced diet full of veggies and healthy fats from nuts and seeds and take proper calcium and vitamin D, you give your skin the nutrients it needs to bounce back in a healthy and efficient manner.
We don’t need to educate you on the harmful effects that smoking has on your lungs, heart, and overall health. But maybe you are not yet aware of its effect on your skin. Apart from turning your lips shades darker, it is also the reason behind dark and dull eyes and wrinkly skin. Smoking is very harmful to your skin health and makes you appear ages older.
This is why you must leave this destructive habit behind if you want your skin to bounce back to its original shape without undergoing any surgeries.
Nutrient deficiencies like Vitamin A, B12, Omega, and D often go unnoticed in the beginning. But they affect the way you lose weight and also have a very bad effect on your skin health. These deficiencies also affect the collagen and elastin in your skin, leaving it looking old and dry. So, get yourself checked for any deficiencies and fill those gaps by taking the right supplements.
Even if you get a little bit of loose skin during the weight loss process, don’t slight the progress you’ve made with all that hard work and energy. It’s really a great accomplishment to lose over 60 pounds of weight. And loose skin is not that big of a deal, now that you know how to prevent and take care of it. So, enjoy your body’s changes and make sure to maintain it with a healthy and active routine.
Frequently Asked Questions
You might and you might not. It all depends on your approach to weight loss and how you take care of your skin before and during the process.
Yes, loose skin can go away on its own. But you have to be patient and take care of yourself during the process because your skin takes a bit of time to heal after weight loss.