Weight Loss + Loose Skin, even though my later post Preventing Loose Skin During Weight Loss has more information on the topic.
I also wrote How to get Rid of Fat Lines as an expansion on that topic, as it goes hand in hand with loose skin.
The post below (are you listening up Toronto?) is the most expansive list of ways to get rid of loose skin that I've compiled thus far. Some of them I have already covered in the older posts mentioned above, but sometimes it is necesary to beat a dead horse (metaphorically, not literally!) in order to get your point across.
There are lots of ways to tighten skin after you lose weight, and many reasons to do so - mostly because its embarrassing and it looks bad. The real issue is that you've lost all that weight and you want to strut your stuff on the beach etc, but your loose skin is so unsightly after losing weight that you are too embarrassed to do so. You might even still feel bulky, and the culprit is that dastardly loose, sagging skin. So how do you tighten skin after weight loss, so you can fit into the clothes you want, and look as gorgeous and healthy and toned as you know you are?
Well keep reading because here are 20 Ways to Tighten Skin after Weight Loss!
If you haven't already lost the weight or are still in the process of losing weight, then keep at it. As we age, our skin naturally loses elasticity, but if you lose weight while you are younger you can prevent this problem from happening later. This means that the younger the age at which you lose weight, the faster your skin will rebound and reshape itself. So if you have a weight issue, lose weight now! The sooner you lose weight, the better the chances your skin will tighten on its own.
#2. SAY NO TO YO-YO DIETING
Yo-yo dieting is a big no-no. If you’re always gaining and losing weight, more than 25 pounds up and down each time, that’s ol' fashioned yo-yo dieting, and it is stretching out your skin like crazy. The constant growing and shrinking puts stress on your skin, so stop the yo-yo dieting. It is time to make some PERMANENT lifestyle changes, hire a personal trainer, hire a nutritionist if you have to and make permanent changes. Otherwise this problem will likely just continue since the only solution is kicking the habit and doing it long term.
#3. DON’T LOSE WEIGHT TOO QUICKLY
Slow and steady wins the race, and helps tighten your skin during weight loss. Aim to lose 2 lbs per week. No more! Your skin tightens slowly, so help the natural tightening process by losing weight safely and slowly, too. Losing weight slowly using permanent lifestyle changes also helps prevent yo-yo dieting. So #2 and #3 go hand in hand.
The reason using sea salt scrubs (or other body scrubs) helps tighten skin after weight loss is that they encourage increased blood flow, which in turn encourages healthy, elastic skin - and elasticity = tight skin! Which begs the question, would scratching and massages also help? Probably! Whatever the exact reason, it works for many people so try using a good scrub in the shower several times per week, up to twice per day, and see if it helps you!
#5. COLLAGEN CREAM
Another way to tighten skin and improve elasticity after weight loss is to keep it nourished with a collagen cream, one designed specifically to cope with loose, sagging skin. They can be expensive however, but well worth the expense if they work well. Some collagen creams won’t work for everyone, so ask family members or friends for recommendations before you invest any products. (And don't pay attention to paid reviews online. Look for first hand reviews.)
Remember what I said about massages and scratching? A weekly massage therapy session can help tighten skin after weight loss - or the DIY solution, get your partner to scratch you all over once per week and see what happens. Why not give it a go? At best, it will help tighten your skin… at worst, you get an invigorating massage - and quality time with your partner. ;)
#7. SEAWEED WRAP
You can also get a seaweed wrap at a local spa, and maybe go back every 6 to 8 weeks to enjoy its other benefits. Find a spa near you and check out the online reviews. Are their clients as happy or do they have negative reviews? If they don't have a single negative review they are probably worth the try.
You may have used weight training to help you get to your goal weight, but if not, it’s time to add weight training or increase the amount of weights you are lifting. The extra muscle girth will help give your skin a tighter appearance. If you are still losing weight doing weight training 3 times per week will help keep your skin tight and you won't end up looking overly buff or masculine (that only happens with steroids). Simply add weights to your workout three times a week, because building toned, lean muscle under your skin will help you look tighter and sexier!
If weight training isn't your thing you can also do exercises or sports that use either your body weight or use resistance training - such as getting archery lessons or taking up boxing.
#9. DRINK WATER + COLD SHOWERS
Healthy skin is hydrated skin. Some people even argue its best to drink 64 ounces of water per day to help keep skin healthy and happy. Plus if you’re drinking that much water, you’re not drinking soda or coffee. Caffeine dries out your skin and prevents proper sleep (and sleep increases your skin's softness / elasticity). While you are it you should also avoid hot baths or hot showers. Hot waters robs your skin of moisture, whereas cold water moisturizes your skin. Ever noticed how your fingers look like prunes after being in a hot bath too long? That is the hot water stealing moisture from your skin and stretching out your skin in the process. Whenever possible try to take cold showers. Hot water strips away natural oils which moisturize and nourish your skin.
Yoga will help you relieve stress, be more flexible, lose weight (at 175 calories per hour!) or maintain your current healthy weight, and even help your skin rebound after weight loss. Being more flexible will stretch your skin out and give it more elasticity, encouraging your body to tighten up that skin in the process.
There are plenty of yoga studios in Toronto so you have no shortage of places to choose from, or you can even do yoga at home by subscribing to various yoga channels on YouTube.
#11. BE PATIENT
A lot of these things require patience. It won't happen overnight. Maybe you've had significant weight loss and your skin will take up to six months to tighten to the new, slender you. If you lost a LOT of weight it is going to take awhile. Be patient and if your skin doesn’t rebound immediately, keep in mind that it may take a little time. Set realistic skin loss goals, encourage your skin to tighten up by treating it well and pampering it and your skin will return the favour.
#12. DO CALISTHENICS
Calisthenics are great for building lean muscle, great for your heart, and they’re also good for tightening skin after weight loss. Add calisthenics to your weekly routine, up to three or four times a week, and enjoy jumping jacks, push-ups, windmills, etc. Combined with stretches or yoga and you will see faster results.
#13. EAT LEAN PROTEIN
Adding lean protein to your diet will also help tighten skin after weight loss. How? First of all, it helps build lean muscle, which will make you appear more toned (and goes well with weight lifting and calisthenics). Lean protein also contains the collagen and other nutrients your skin needs to stay elastic. Consuming lean protein or whey protein after a workout will help boost the muscle-building effect.
Foods that are high in fat are a dieter’s worst nightmare. First they can wreck your diet. Second, they do your skin no favors and threaten you with yo-yo dieting. Try to avoid foods that are high in fat and only treat yourself on rare occasions.
#15. FIVE SERVINGS OF FRUIT AND VEGGIES
The USDA recommends we eat five servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day, to give us nutrients we need, and to help us maintain healthy weights. However fruits and veggies have a high water content and lots of nutrients, which your skin needs to rebound. So its a bit like taking a multivitamin. If you are getting enough water and vitamins your skin will rebound faster.
Sulfates are used in lots of body washes, soaps, and shampoos because they’re good, cheap cleansers and they make for lush lather. However sulfates can also over-dry and irritate skin, stripping it of vital moisture and making it less elastic. Shop around for sulfate-free products. L’Oreal, Oil of Olay, etc. Look for quality moisturizers.
#17. DON’T TAN
The tanning process is horrible for your skin and dries it out, especially when using a tanning bed to boost your melanin. You might think it makes your skin look smoother and healthier, but it doesn’t. Wear sunblock with moisturizer in it when you’re outdoors, and be patient about getting a tan. (Besides, loose skin will create funny looking tan lines...)
#18. RINSE AWAY CHLORINE
Excess chlorine from swimming pools and hot tubs can dry out your skin, making it less elastic, and less likely to rebound after weight loss. A quick solution is to wash your hair and skin with club soda. I know, weird, but it apparently works really well against chlorine. If you swim to keep fit, be sure to shower immediately after, and use cleaners designed to remove chlorine and moisturize your skin. Also, remember that you don’t need HOT water to rinse chlorine away, use warm water or even cold water instead, which will also help keep your skin hydrated.
Even the skinniest girl can have a "muffin top" out the top of her pants if the jeans she’s wearing are too tight. Wear clothes that fit better and don't try to squeeze into pants that pinch your skin. You will still be the same size, but at least you won't look ridiculous by trying to wear clothes that is too small for you.
#20. CONSIDER SURGERY
This should always be your absolute last option.
If all of the above tips fail to tighten your skin after severe weight loss (eg. losing 200+ lbs) and you’ve waited six months since you dropped that last pound, you may want to consider surgery to remove the excess skin. Losing an extreme amount of weight can often mean you have a lot of excess skin. With surgery, there are risks, but for some, those risks are outweighed by the benefits. Talk to your doctor before deciding anything.
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