It’s the elephant in the room after undergoing tremendous weight loss. You have lost weight, and now have a lot of extra skin you’d like to be rid of.
Although weight loss benefits many areas of our lives, it can take a toll on our skin. When we’re gaining weight, it stretches slowly, over a period of weeks and months and years, to accommodate our growing girth.
Unfortunately, when we shrink back down, the skin is unable to reduce itself at the speed we are losing weight. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to improve the tautness of your skin. Although surgery is indeed an option, most people would rather avoid it if necessary.
If you have some extra skin you’d like to minimize, consider trying these tweaks before talking to a doctor or dermatologist about other, more invasive procedures and therapies. Some of these methods, although simple, pack surprisingly potent results when performed repeatedly over a period of months.
Exercise can be divided into roughly three categories: resistance exercise, cardiovascular exercise, and stretching. Although all three are important with regards to total health (including weight loss and weight maintenance), resistance training can help increase lean tissue in areas that are difficult to tone with cardiovascular exercise.
While cardiovascular exercise burns more calories overall, it typically increases muscle tone only in the lower body, because of its weight-bearing nature. Although swimming provides a whole-body cardiovascular workout that efficiently tones from head to toe, the majority of us rely on running, walking, cycling, or elliptical trainers, all of which focus on the lower body, rather than the upper body.
As such, upper body tone often lags behind lower body tone, especially when weight loss has occurred: sagging skin on arms can be bothersome, but resistance training shores up muscle underneath so that skin lays slightly flatter and is less inclined to jiggle.
If you’re new to resistance training, consider booking one or two sessions with a personal trainer. A personal trainer can walk you through some effective upper body exercises and assure that you’re performing the routine properly, with the right weights or materials (hand weights, bars, resistance bands, machines, etc).
Add resistance training to your workout. Developing a solid base of muscle can help reduce sagging flab. Toning exercises create lean muscle and help anchor hanging fat to the body. Muscle also helps your problem areas appear more firm.
Our skin is the largest organ we have, and the quality of our diets affects the appearance of our skin- a diet that is high in carbohydrate causes your body to hold onto more water, which can make you look and feel bloated in all the wrong areas.
Try reducing your consumption of high-carbohydrate foods, and focus your diet on lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables and low-fat or fat free dairy. It’s also important to stay hydrated, which improves the appearance and elasticity of the skin.
There are a number of natural ingredients that work to promote skin health, reducing dryness and improving the appearance of the skin. Lotions with Vitamin E and Vitamin D, as well as collagen-firming creams can improve the tautness of skin.