Get-Fit Guy has the scoop on why skin gets loose and how you can tighten loose skin after weight loss. Keep reading and learn how to tighten skin.
How to Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss
As you lose fat and your loose skin begins to appear, the first rule is: don’t panic! Because it is a living organ, your skin will slowly return to a shape that fits your new body. But since that process can take up to two years, here are steps you can take to make your skin tighten more quickly:
- Lose weight at a healthy pace
- Stay hydrated
- Eat properly
- Take care of your skin
Tip #1: Lose Weight at a Healthy Pace
Crash diets and excessive amounts of time spent exercising can rapidly shed both muscle and fat, resulting in a double-whammy on your skin--the supportive underlying muscular structure that holds skin against your body is lost, as is the fat that keeps the skin stretched out.
Quick and dirty tip for not losing weight too quickly: Aim for 1-2 pounds of fat loss per week, and make sure your weight loss program includes weight lifting so that you do not lose lean muscle. Check out more weight lifting and strength training tips here.
Tip #2: Stay Hydrated
Attend to your hydration needs. Water is a crucial component of maintaining skin elasticity. From both food and drink, you should be taking in at least two liters of water each day. A wonderful resource for learning more about proper hydration is this article from Nutrition Diva: How Much Water Should I Drink?
Tip #3: Eat Properly
Two necessary ingredients that keep skin plump and elastic are collagen and elastin. Protein-rich foods such as cottage cheese, milk, legumes, tofu, beans, seeds, nuts, and fish all contain collagen and elastin forming components, as well as oils to help maintain healthy skin.
Quick and dirty protein tip: For optimum absorption, squeeze 100-200 calories of these protein sources in immediately after your workout. For more on what to eat when working out, see my article on what to eat before and after exercising.
Tip #4: Take Care of Your Skin
Nourish and care for your skin. Daily exfoliation can help to remove dead skin cells and increase skin circulation. A hot bath with sea salts and minerals can improve skin tone. Skin tightening creams with herbal formulas and ingredients such as aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, yeast extract, soy protein, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A can help to hydrate and increase collagen and elastin formation in skin. For more information about skin care after weight loss, read the Nutrition Diva's post on how vitamin E can help with stretch marks.
Stay away from harsh detergents, such a sulfates in soaps, shampoos and dishwashing liquids, limit your sun exposure and stay away from tanning booths, and limit your exposure to hot and chlorinated water—all of these things will decrease skin elasticity.
See also: How to Use Cold Weather to Lose Weight
Quick and dirty tip: If you swim for fitness, use soap and shampoos that are specially designed to remove chlorine.
When to Consider Surgery for Loose Skin
Skin can only be stretched so far before it loses some of its ability to snap back. If you’ve had a 9-month pregnancy, then you’ll be able to tighten your loose skin. But if you’ve carried a hundred or more extra pounds for many years, you may be a candidate for plastic surgery to tighten and lift loose skin. This fix should only be used in extreme cases, and I should warn you: my clients who have undergone this operation have actually gained more fat afterwards while they were rehabilitating from surgery!
As mentioned earlier, elasticity of your skin will naturally decrease with age. Though you can address issues such as not losing weight too quickly, staying properly hydrated, eating the right foods, and caring for your skin, you simply have no control over your age! Quick and dirty tip: Rather than letting age stress you out, you should focus on the things over which you have control—like exercising and eating right—and you’ll find that you always look good.
Whether you have a kangaroo pouch, an orangutan chin, or elephant legs, you can use the tips in this article to tighten loose skin or prevent loose skin in the first place.
Man Drinking Water image from Shutterstock