So, you’re ready to succeed in your weight loss journey! You’ve selected the ideal program for your lifestyle. You have your smart workout regimen prepared, your diet plan in place, and a support group to accompany you in the process. You’re all set and armed with a positive mindset. Now, you may wonder whether you will appear flabby once you’ve completed your program. Does everyone develop loose skin after weight loss?
Mild weight loss generally does not produce excess skin. Everyone’s body and journey are different, and just because you plan to drop a lot of weight does not mean you will end up with noticeable loose skin. If you experience massive weight loss, you may end up with excess skin on your limbs and torso, which can require plastic surgery in extreme cases. Fortunately, though, there are tools available to you that you can use to avoid going under the knife.
If I lose weight, will I have loose skin?
When your weight changes, so does your skin. As we drop or gain pounds, our skin stretches. However, stretched does not necessarily mean flabby because not all weight loss leads to excess skin. It also depends on how fast you drop the weight: Rapid weight loss prevents skin from contracting progressively, while gradual weight loss allows it to recover and snap back into shape. Therefore, having loose skin after weight loss depends on your journey. The moment your skin reaches its elasticity limit is when you need surgery because it is no longer capable of entirely contracting back down.
Excess skin can appear when you lose between 40 and 50 pounds. A dramatic weight loss of 100 plus pounds will almost certainly result in loose skin. If you drop 20 pounds or less, your skin will not produce excess, much less get so loose as to hang off your torso and limbs. If you are young and have high skin elasticity, chances are you won’t get loose skin either. Genetics play a role as well.
Does loose skin after weight loss go away?
Just like with excess weight, loose skin does not disappear by itself. As you reach your desired weight, your exercise regimen should go beyond shedding those extra pounds and aim at toning the body as well. If you lose weight gradually and build muscle to shape tissue beneath skin that sags, you will be able to prevent loose skin. If you do end up with large amounts of loose skin, you will need cosmetic procedures or plastic surgery to remove it.
How do you keep skin tight when losing weight?
Just as meal replacement shakes, protein shakes, green juices, and smoothies can complement your diet plan, there are other things you can add to your exercise regimen that can help you make the most of each workout and maximize the benefits of your routines. Disclaimer: none of the following should replace exercise; these are only useful additions to your complete weight loss program.
Aid for exercise: Thermal compression
Devices for thermal compression come in the form of sweatbands –not the ones you put on your forehead to keep your sweaty hair in check, though. Also known as arm/leg trimmers, these neoprene bands wrap around your biceps and thighs during workouts to increase heat in the body and produce sweat, which promotes calorie burn. We saw these abdominal sweatbands for the tummy before the rise of waist trainers (also called sweat belts or slimming belts). You can wear these while you exercise to help your body maximize effort.
This term refers to the general maintenance of the skin, from simple domestic practices that keep it tight and plump (always exfoliate!) to any dermatological treatments and procedures. There are a bazillion options available for the face when it comes to rollers (most-notably, jade rollers) to get started at home easily. Alternatives range from these basic methods to dermabrasion and microcurrent devices (think industry giant NuFace). General skincare that boosts collagen production, good circulation, and high hydration is also an effective method to prevent overall sagging skin development.
For the body, while there are dermatological and cosmetic procedures, the usual aid for exercise is shapewear, the popular compression garments made of nylon, neoprene, or latex and similar in appearance to a girdle. While these streamline the silhouette, abdominal binders can help after birth, liposuction, or bariatric surgery. Undergarments that train the body into adopting a specific shape (waist trainers and corsets) are not the most effective long-term strategy for fat burning, nor are they the healthiest option.
Ways to tighten loose skin
Cosmetic procedures include liposuction and non-invasive techniques like ultrasound or radiofrequency to remove fat, contour the body, and tighten the skin. Liposuction literally means to suck out adipose tissue, while the non-invasive procedures can activate your collagen production by heating up your skin. Surgical excision implies completely cutting off the flap of skin left hanging and reshaping the tissue remaining to lift it. Cosmetic procedures provide a quick fix, while plastic surgery permanently removes fat, although recovery will be longer. For this reason, preventing extreme weight gain and gradually carrying out weight loss is essential to not end up with loose skin in the first place.
We’re here for you!
Fear of developing loose skin after weight loss should not stop you from going on that journey to a healthier lifestyle and reaching your goals. Like this one, we have other articles covering all things health and wellness, and many more to come! Be sure to check out our routines and read our meal plan suggestions. We are with you every step of the way to getting in the best shape of your life! Consult with your health care provider about your particular case before you make any decisions regarding sagging skin. Your trusted medical professional can help you find the best approach for your specific situation. Know that you can manage and treat loose skin after weight loss.