Finding ourselves with loose skin after weight loss can be incredibly frustrating. We’ve worked so hard and achieved so much, yet we’re still not 100% happy with the results. It can be hard not to feel disappointment. But, knowing how to tighten skin (as well as prevent excess skin in the first place) can make a real difference to how we perceive our bodies and value our hard-fought results.
Before we dive into how to tighten skin after losing weight, it’s important to take a moment and be proud of what you’ve already achieved. Weight loss will have had a profoundly beneficial impact on your health and decreased your risk of chronic diseases. This alone is a major achievement and one to be celebrated! But we also understand that feeling of having one more bridge to cross before you truly achieve your dream body.
So, here’s how to avoid loose skin after weight loss.
How to prevent loose skin after weight loss
It’s best to take a preventative approach when it comes to avoiding loose skin. This starts while you’re still losing weight. Here’s some tips to follow during your weight loss journey that’ll help to minimise unwanted excess skin at the end:
1 – Aim for small but consistent weight loss
People who are left with loose skin after weight loss have usually done something dramatic like skipping meals or cutting entire food groups. This causes them to shed the pounds very quickly, but unfortunately, the body can’t adapt itself at the same rate. The fat cells deplete faster than the skin cells can keep up with, so they don’t shrink in alignment. The result is akin to having skin much like that of a deflated balloon.
To prevent loose skin after weight loss, aim for small but consistent reductions each week. Try to achieve a daily deficit of 500 calories, either by managing your food intake, increasing calorie burning, or a supplement like PhenQ that helps with both. If you find yourself losing more than 1kg (2lbs) per week, then ease back a little on your efforts so your body doesn’t shrink too quickly. This is one of the single most important steps to reducing the amount of loose skin you’re left with.
2 – Moisturise to improve skin elasticity
One of the things that influence the degree of loose skin after weight loss is its elasticity. Flexible skin is more likely to adapt quickly and bounce back into shape. Less supple skin will take longer and may need some help along the way. Unfortunately, skin elasticity decreases with age but there are some practical steps you can take to improve it.
Moisturising on a regular basis is one thing that can really help. The massaging action of rubbing cream into your skin can stimulate blood flow which increases its supply of oxygen and other nutrients. Choosing a hydrating moisturiser can also support the skin’s elasticity so it contracts more quickly as you lose weight. It could be something as simple as coconut oil, or how about whipping up your own DIY moisturiser at home? Check out these recipes from Hello Glow for inspiration.
How to tighten skin after weight loss
If you’ve already shed the pounds and find yourself with loose skin after weight loss, don’t despair. There are a couple of things you can do to help tighten that loose skin back up. Here’s what we suggest:
1 – Incorporate strength training into your workout routine
Incorporating strength exercises into your workout routine can help you to burn excess fat and tone up quickly. But did you know that they can also minimise the appearance of loose skin after weight loss? It’s especially effective on the arms and legs, achieving dramatic results in a short space of time.
Strength training develops lean muscle which can help to fill the space under the skin that subcutaneous fat cells once occupied. Increasing your muscle mass will make the skin appear less loose, so in time it’ll eventually develop a firm, toned appearance. If you’re worried that strength exercises will make you look ‘big’ again then don’t be. Muscle has a completely different appearance. Rather than flabby, loose and fat, your skin will look pert, taught, and lean.
2 – Ensure sufficient nutrient intake
Ensuring a sufficient intake of key nutrients can really help you to prevent and reverse loose skin after weight loss. Protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals all play vital roles in the structure and repair of your skin. If you’re not getting enough of these nutrients, then your body’s efforts to restore itself are going to be hampered.
Protein, in particular, is essential to rebuilding cells and other structural elements. Make sure you’re consuming at least 0.75g for every kilogram of body weight (1-1.2g if you’re exercising regularly). This would equate to 45g per day for a 60kg person, which would ideally be spaced out through the day rather than eaten in one sitting.
Eggs, pulses, lean meat, and fish are all good sources. It might also be worth taking a multivitamin if you’re not eating a varied diet.
Love your weight loss results
So, now you know how to tighten skin after weight loss, as well as how to prevent it in the first place. Losing weight slowly and moisturizing regularly will help your skin to adapt as you lose weight. Strength training and getting enough nutrients can help to boost your body’s natural repair processes and improve the appearance of excess skin too. Taking these steps will help you achieve weight loss results that you’re truly happy with.
If you try all of these approaches and are still unhappy with your looks, then it’s possible to remove excess skin through surgery. However, this should only be considered as a last resort and in consultation with a medical professional.
Do you have any tips for avoiding loose skin after weight loss? Let us know in the comments below.