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Showing posts with label Loose Skin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Loose Skin. Show all posts

20 Ways to Tighten Skin after Weight Loss

The most popular blog post on this website thus far is one titled 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!

#1. LOSE WEIGHT NOW!

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.

#4. SCRUB AND SCRATCH

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.)

#6. MASSAGE THERAPY

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.

#8. WEIGHT TRAINING

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.

#10. PRACTICE YOGA OR STRETCHING

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.

#14. AVOID HIGH-FAT FOODS

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.

#16. AVOID SULFATES

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.

#19. DRESS THE PART

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.


How to get Rid of Fat Lines

Wrinkles in the skin on your stomach are caused by extra fat over a long period of time.

When body fat accumulates in the belly area, rolls form when you sit down or crunch up. If you repeat this movement often, fat lines will start forming in the area in-between where the rolls are. To get rid of fat lines, you need to attack not only the lines themselves, but also the fat that causes them.

Ergo, to get rid of fat lines you first need to shed the fat causing them. That means doing a lot of cardio exercises, possibly combined with weight training. Some trainers will tell you it can be done with weight training alone, but I recommend doing both with approx. 80% cardio and 20% weight training in order to shed the necessary fat while maintaining muscle tone. Trying to do it with only weight lifting will be more difficult if you lack motivation because you will tire easily due to low endurance.

Once you've shed the necessary fat then you can follow the steps below for getting rid of those ugly fat lines on your stomach.

Step 1

Shed the necessary body fat until you have "six-pack abs". If you have difficulty performing this step I recommend hiring a personal trainer to get the necessary advice. Its cheaper than expensive surgery and you will feel better knowing you've done it the natural way.

Step 2

Steps 2 and 3 are optional. They will speed up the reduction of fat lines, but they will disappear on their own if you do Steps 1, 4 and 5.

Treat fat lines as you would wrinkles or stretch marks. Apply moisturizing cream to them or massage with Vitamin E oil. Massage the chosen product into the skin and along the whole length of the lines. Repeat two or three times a day for as long as necessary. Creams and lotions that contain vitamin E will help soothe and regenerate the skin and with time will help get rid of stretch marks and fat lines, and even reduce the appearance of old scars.

Step 3

For best results apply creams containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) to your stomach lines. You can find body lotions with AHAs in the ingredients list, but if the lines are deep and quite noticeable, you should try a face cream, as the concentration of AHAs will be higher. To use, simply apply over the lines and massage until the cream is absorbed. Creams containing AHAs can be combined with topical steroid creams to reduce inflammation of the skin and improve the appearance of stretch marks.

Step 4

Remember for any of these steps to be effective you first need to lose the necessary fat and maintain your new weight once you've lost it.

Thus it is very important to maintain the same level of body fat otherwise the lines will keep happening (and returning) as long as your body fat is too high and you have rolling skin when you sit down. Maintain a healthy diet and continue to exercise regularly.

Step 5

Perform abdominal crunches and ab exercises on a regular basis to tighten up the muscles in your stomach and firm up the skin above it.

No belly fat + firm skin = no rolls + no fat lines.

Preventing Loose Skin during Weight Loss

Loose Skin is a common result of weight loss programs (or liposuction / gastric bypass surgery), especially ones that make you lose a lot of weight at a faster rate.

If you are trying to lose weight, you probably want to improve your appearance and enhance your attractiveness. However, even when you do achieve your ideal weight, you can end up with a new worry when you see loose and sagging skin all over your body. Thus learning how to prevent loose skin from weight loss becomes just as important as the weight loss itself, because as you can see from the photo on the right it can be pretty embarrassing.

Lose Weight Gradually

Sagging skin usually afflicts people who have undergone a rapid weight loss method, sometimes due to gastric bypass surgery or liposuction. This is because when you lose weight at such a rapid rate, your skin becomes unable to keep up with your sudden weight loss. Despite its elasticity, your skin retains its former shape even after you’ve lost many pounds. The same thing happens to pregnant women after giving birth.

The best way to prevent loose skin is to try and lose weight gradually. Aim to lose 1 or 2 lbs per week. Less if you are over the age of 40.

Instead of going on a crash diet or under the knife to lose weight, try healthier weight loss methods like eating a well-balanced but low-calorie diet and doing regular exercise. Even though the results are not as fast, your skin will have time to adjust and will remain firm and younger looking. AVOID YO-YO DIETS, they will only stretch out your skin more. A slow and healthy weight loss and diet plan ensures that you keep the pounds off on a long term basis.

Avoid going super gungho at the gym and losing 10+ lbs in a month. If you lose that much in a hurry you will end up with sagging skin.

Increase + Maintain Muscle Tone

Another reason behind loose skin after weight loss is the decrease in muscle mass that sometimes comes with doing too much cardio and not enough weightlifting. When you lose weight too quickly by doing a lot of cardio, a lot of the weight comes from your muscle tissues. This is a common effect of crash diets. When your body is deprived of nutrients and calories, it resorts to digesting fat tissues as well as muscle tissues. This muscle loss results in sagging skin.

To avoid this, it’s important that you regularly perform toning exercises to maintain your muscles. Or better yet, do regular weightlifting exercises to build your muscle tone over time. A strength training workout can help you develop muscle mass and make your skin look firmer and tighter.



Hydrate Your Skin

Hydration is an important factor in maintaining taut and smooth skin so be sure to moisturize your skin daily. Cold water is best. Hot water will actually rob your skin of its moisture. It’s important that you drink a sufficient amount of water daily to make sure that your skin retains its elasticity.

Avoid drinking soft drinks, energy drinks and caffeinated beverages, because these will only rob your skin of essential nutrients. If you’re looking for a drink to help you relax, try drinking herbal teas instead.

Lose Weight while you are Still Young

The elasticity of your skin decreases as you grow older, so if you want to lose weight without suffering from loose skin, you shouldn’t put off weight loss. Perhaps you continue to indulge in unhealthy foods with the excuse that you will just try to lose weight later.

Tomorrow. Next Month. Next Year. Later. Eventually later comes and you still haven't done it and the task you wanted to do is now harder than ever.

The more you put off losing weight, the less elastic your skin becomes. When you do eventually get around to losing weight, your skin might not be able to adapt as well as it used to. Its best to get started now.



Eat Healthy Foods

The health of your skin not only depends on the products you use, but also on the foods you eat. Make sure you get plenty of nutrients from your diet. Protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats are all essential for healthy skin. Take multivitamins to make sure you are getting enough and try to get as much variety in your diet, in small portions, as best as you can.

Weight Loss + Loose Skin

Okay, you've lost some weight... but you've noticed that your skin now feels looser because maybe you lost weight in a hurry and now it doesn't look or feel right.

How do you prevent loose skin?

Don't lose more than 3 lbs per week. Its not healthy. Your skin will lose its elasticity. You should set your goal at 1 to 2 lbs per week that way your skin has time to catch up.

Use moisturizer before sleeping. Moisturizer helps your skin retain its elasticity and its best to absorb it through your skin while sleeping because you regenerate faster while sleeping. Wear long sleeves and pajama bottoms to prevent the moisturizer from rubbing off.

When you shower scrub your skin with a loofah or body scrub lotion.

Drink a LOT of water.

Lift weights to maintain muscle tone.

Do a variety of exercises on a weekly basis. Don't limit yourself to just 1 exercise type.

Practice yoga.

Avoid sweets and anything containing fructose / corn syrup. ie. Coca-Cola = Big No No.

Hire a personal trainer (eg. me if you live in Toronto) and they can help you with exercises and advice designed to reduce your loose skin.



Since writing the above blog post it has become the most popular article on this website thus far, 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.

My newest blog post on the topic, 20 Ways to Tighten Skin after Weight Loss, is the most expansive blog post on this topic. So if you're looking for more ways to tighten up your skin, that is an article you will definitely want to read.
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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