If you’re wondering how to tighten loose belly skin, you’re not alone. Loose belly skin is something many of us experience after losing weight or having a baby and is a natural part of the journey. But it can also be pretty demotivating when you’ve worked so hard to eat well and exercise regularly. Even though the scales may be saying that you’ve reached your target weight, your stomach still doesn’t look like you’d hoped it would…
The good news is there are steps you can take to tighten excess skin and be happier with your body. This can help you to achieve that last milestone on your weight loss journey and regain the figure you once had. In this article, we explain exactly how to get rid of loose belly skin for good.
How to tighten loose belly skin – Getting the fundamentals right
When it comes to tightening loose belly skin, sometimes known as a ‘belly skirt’ or a ‘mothers’ apron’, there are some fundamental steps you need to follow. These are: losing weight slowly, nourishing your body, and staying well-hydrated. They may not be new, but they do provide an essential foundation for tightening belly skin.
Tightening excess skin is usually something we think about after we’ve lost the weight, but the best approach is to address it from the start. Instead of trying to lose weight as quickly as possible, aim for a reduction of 1-2lbs (0.5-1kg) per week. Losing weight at a faster rate than this is more likely to result in loose belly skin. This is because the skin can’t adapt to the weight loss quickly enough and doesn’t shrink at the same pace. So, it pays to be patient and consistent as the long-term results will be well worth it.
In terms of nutrition, it’s important to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. This will supply your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to support the skin’s adaptive processes. It’ll also give you plenty of fiber to aid digestion and avoid bloating (which can heighten the appearance of belly fat). Cutting back on sugary foods and sodas will help with this too. Consuming lean protein and oily fish will ensure that your body can produce the collagen and elastin it needs to keep skin supple (so it can easily adapt in line with your weight loss).
It’s also important to stay well-hydrated so that your cells have a good supply of H2O. If you’re even slightly dehydrated, your body will try to conserve the water it has and prioritize internal processes that are essential to survival. This can mean that skin cells don’t get the water they need to regenerate and stay flexible.
Fat burning exercises
Loose belly skin is sometimes caused by layers of fat that remain hidden underneath. The best way to target these is to do exercises that get your body into the zone where it starts burning body fat as fuel instead of carbohydrate stores.
There are two types of exercise that can do this: steady-state cardio and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). If you do low to medium intensity exercise at a consistent pace, most people will run out of carbohydrate stores after 20-30 minutes. After this point, the body switches fuel sources and starts burning fat reserves instead. So, if you can walk briskly or jog slowly for 45-60 minutes then the second half of your workout will target layers of body fat.
HIIT workouts have also been shown to effectively burn fat in less time. HIIT involves alternating short bursts of intense exercise (15-30 seconds) with short periods of recovery. This not only gets your body into the fat-burning zone but also revs up your metabolism for the rest of the day too. If you want a little help with the last stubborn bit of weight loss, then a supplement like PhenQ can also help. It’ll boost your body’s fat-burning capability while suppressing your appetite at the same time.
What about creams, wraps, or surgery?
If you’ve ever researched how to tighten loose belly skin, you’ve probably come across a range of products designed to help. There are endless creams, oils and wraps designed to reduce the appearance of excess skin on the stomach. However, their overall effectiveness is questionable and many people report disappointing results.
The most effective approach is to do your research and read reviews from verified purchasers. This is the best way to find a topical product that is likely to work for you. Don’t believe the marketing hype and product descriptions full of amazing promises – go by the results that real people have experienced. This will give you the best chance of sourcing a cream, oil or wrap that will actually get meaningful results.
When it comes to surgery, there are risks and drawbacks as well as obvious benefits. For women who have given birth, it’s recommended to wait between 6-9 months before opting for a tummy tuck procedure. This is also a good rule of thumb for anyone who’s lost a significant amount of weight. If you’ve waited this amount of time since reaching your goal weight but are still unhappy with loose skin, then you can probably assume it isn’t going to get any better without surgery.
However, the results of liposuction aren’t always long-lasting, and losing weight naturally means your body is less likely to regain it. It’s a shortcut that may not have lasting results unless you’ve already changed your lifestyle habits. If you don’t, the weight will come back and you’ll have wasted your money for nothing. So in addition to the cost and procedural risks, this is something that needs to be factored into the decision.
Now you know exactly how to tighten loose belly skin after losing weight. Aiming for gradual weight loss, nourishing your body with fruit, veggies, and protein, along with staying well-hydrated, will all help to minimize excess folds of skin. Incorporating fat-burning exercises such as HIIT or steady-state cardio will help to reduce those lingering layers too.
Surgery can be an option if all else fails, but remember that your body’s ability to adapt is amazing. Sometimes you just need to trust that it’ll restore itself eventually.
What’s worked for you so far in your quest to lose belly fat? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!