If you have loose skin after losing weight, celebrate your victory for weight loss first! Below, learn more about the factors that affect skin elasticity and what you can do to help your body recover and the best way to tighten belly skin.
Why does belly skin need tightening?
LOOSE SKIN is usually a by-product when you lose a lot of weight quickly. Since the skin is a living organ, it can tighten slightly. Age, duration of excess weight was present and genetics play an important role if the skin can tighten. This is why it can be a huge issue for people having liposuction, and also for their surgeons to make sure they take out just the right amount that you see the difference, but you’re not left with skin hanging.
Eating well, staying hydrated, and taking care of skin health can help. If you think your skin is a wrapper, tightening muscle mass can help “replenish” saggy rolls.
Have you lost a lot of weight recently?
If you’ve lost a lot of weight lately, you might have noticed that you’re running around a bit of loose skin. Common areas for getting more skin after losing weight include under the arms, under the chin or a bag around the stomach.
But loose skin can appear almost anywhere on the body, especially if you have lost weight quickly. Before we move on, let’s start with an overview of anatomy, from the outside to the inside. First, you have your skin, a beautiful protective layer and the largest organ of the epidermis system (outer layer or cover).
Consider it the packaging that holds your body. Then you have a layer of body fat. Your muscles live underneath. So, if you lose a significant amount of body fat, along with some muscles (which is common with rapid weight loss), you literally remove the mass that previously stretched your skin. When this dough goes, you will have a partially empty roll left.
What causes loose skin after losing weight?
The skin is a very elastic organ that needs to be stretched as it moves and grows. It also needs to shrink when you lose fat and muscle. But your skin is not just a large piece of rubber that covers the whole body, but it’s an organ. Like all other organs in the body, it is made from of cells.
Different skin layers have different cells. Although skin cells on the outside of the skin (the epidermis) are constantly replaced by new cells, skin cells under the epidermis are more durable. These skin layers, called dermis and epidermis, comprise elastic connective tissue, fibres, blood vessels and all kinds of components that can stretch or contract depending on treatment.
When you lose weight and especially when you lose weight quick, these elastic components of your skin not only lose the layers of fat that keep it stretched over your body, but they have little time for their elasticity to adapt to your new body shape.
Is it loose skin or just stubborn fat?
Most loose skin immediately after losing weight is simply excess subcutaneous body fat that is covered by the skin. Even after reaching your “target weight”, you can hang up some of that body fat.
We often confuse subcutaneous fat, “soft fat”, with old skin. This type of fat can be very stubborn, which means it can take a long time to disappear after losing weight. And before I ask, yes, “stubborn fat” is a real thing. Our adipose tissue (or body fat) is full of alpha-2 and beta-2 receptors.
The A-2 and B-2 receptors interact with catecholamines (adrenaline and norepinephrine) to release stored body fat. Without becoming too biological, B-2 receptors of the “light fat” that we can easily lose. A-2 receptors are associated with “stubborn fat” which may be harder to lose. In particular, the fat around our abdomen has a notoriously low ratio b 2: a-2, which is one reason the “spare wheel” is usually the last part of the body on which it rests.
Test saggy belly fat
Here’s a test, if the loose skin area you focus on is more than a few millimeters thick, it’s a good sign that it’s actually residual fat. This means that your skin keeps shrinking and tightening when you maintain your alternative lifestyle, being someone who weighs less. After all, the appearance of loose skin will disappear.
But if the skin you pinch is pretty thin (more like the back of the hand) or you’ve been dealing with loose skin with little or no change for quite some time, it may not be so. You’re probably dealing with loose skin, not stubborn fat.
Can you prevent loose skin after losing weight?
Before we can take some steps, you can take to help your body treat loose skin more efficiently, let’s talk about how to avoid this problem at all.
Crash diets and excessive exercise time can quickly decrease muscles and fat, resulting in a double blow to the skin. This means that it lost the underlying supporting muscle structure that your skin supports your body along with the fat that keeps the skin tight.
Most weight loss programs, even those claiming to be slow, aim at 1-2 pounds of fat loss per week. But most people can only lose 2-3 pounds of body fat a month.
Any weight loss that goes beyond 2-3 pounds a month is probably lean muscle, not fat. In a 2008 study, researchers found that small cumulative changes in diet and activity (which are very similar to Diva Nutrition Diva Monica Reinagel and me in the weight program) led to slow but sustainable weight loss.
This type of slow and steady weight loss also avoided traps such as loose skin. When combined with slow weight loss, make sure your weight loss program includes some kind of resistance training (or even, as I say, weightlifting) so you don’t lose lean muscle. I have a lot of articles in the Get-Fit Guy archives if you need a guide on where to start resistance training.
Is loose skin something to worry about?
I think it’s an important question: is it worth worrying about loose skin? If your loose skin is causing pain or discomfort, and especially when you rub during activity, do something about it, such as wearing compression garments.
Exercises that support higher amounts of weight are often more susceptible to repeated use injuries, such as strains, shin splints, sprains, and other joint problems. But the simple use of some compression equipment can help compress loose skin against the skeleton and minimize tiny cracks in tissues that skin vibrations may cause.
But if your loose skin doesn’t cause pain or injury, don’t let loose skin stigma prevent you from living your best life. I am a fan of the attitude found in an article by the trust titled “17 women share images of loose skin after losing weight to show how common and normal it is.” As one woman said in the article, “Don’t you dare hold your potential hostage because you’re worried about what someone might say or think.”
When I started researching this topic, I faced some 562 million search results for “loose skin”. This clear fact tells me that the problem is more common than we think.
Of course, if your goal is or was significant weight loss, you might end up having loose skin. But I think it would be a shame to focus on your loose skin instead of celebrating all the good things you’ve done for your health. Even if you’re willing to be as brave as the people in this self-article, there are still a few steps you can take to help your skin a little.
The skin can only stretch until now before it loses its ability to recede, especially as we age. Genes also influence how much collagen our skin keeps as we get older. So, what’s the best way to tighten belly skin?
5 best ways to tighten belly skin naturally after losing weight.
First, do not be scared! Because your skin is a living organ, it slowly returns to a shape that adapts to your new body. However, since this process can take a few years, you can take steps here to help you.
This stands for radiofrequency, often written as radio frequency. There are many hand-held devices available for cheap prices on the internet, but these devices don’t always follow the best safety testing and we’ve heard some horror stories of people not using them properly.
At Essential Feeling we use a leading brand, Lynton’s. Their ProMax Lipo machine sends specialist radio frequency currents into the deeper layers of your skin to stimulate natural collagen production by your body. What’s great about this, is that although we continue to age from the point where we roll back to, once we produce the collagen, it won’t just disappear again. This is therefore not a quick fix which is fabulous if we’re wanting long-term improvements.
Book your treatment online now. You then have the chance to add on other therapies which will help to tighten loose skin and work in tandem with the radio frequency. You may want to add an i-PRF microneedling session to your time at a hugely discounted price if booked within the same session.
Meet your liquid needs. Water is an essential part of maintaining skin elasticity. Don’t forget that hydration comes from both food and drinks.
Our skin is a collection of cells. Skin cells, like all cells in the body, are water. Without water, this huge organ will certainly not work at its best. If your skin doesn’t get enough water, your skin will have less resilience and less elasticity.
A great resource for learning more about proper hydration is this article from Nutrition Diva: How Much Water Should I Drink?
3. Eat well
Two necessary ingredients that keep the skin plump and elastic are collagen and elastin. Be sure to eat foods high in protein. Cottage cheese, milk, legumes, tofu, beans, seeds, nuts and fish contain collagen and elastin forming components, as well as oils to maintain healthy skin.
4. Take care of your skin, nourish and care for your skin.
Daily exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells and increase skin circulation. A hot bath with salts and minerals can improve skin tone. Skin firming 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 hydrate and increase collagen and elastin formation in the skin.
For more information on skin care after losing weight, see Nutrition Diva’s contribution on how vitamin E can help with stretch marks.
Some more things you can do to care for your skin are: Stay away from harsh detergents (such as soaps, shampoos, and dishwasher liquids containing sulfates) Limit sun exposure and stay away from sun loungers Do not smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Minimise contact with hot and chlorinated water.
5. Increase the muscle mass of your body
Our skin loosens after losing weight because they have literally eliminated the fat that sustained the skin. As this mass literally just disappears, you have an empty roll of skin left that would previously have wrapped around. So why not refill the wraps with a little muscle mass?
Some hypertrophic activities (muscle building), especially in areas around loose skin, can lead to the appearance of tighter skin. Sure, it doesn’t actually shrink the skin, but you give it the appearance of stiffness by filling that space with a healthier, toned and metabolically active tissue (burns calories).
One important question to answer is how much weight did you lose and how long did you take the weight before you lost it?
If you’ve had a 9-month pregnancy, you can probably tighten your skin loose because we have not stretched it out of shape for too long. Think about a balloon when you let out the air. It’s more likely to snap back to shape if your release the air fast.
Did you lose a lot of weight fast? Surgery is probably the best way forward
But if you have hundreds or more pounds for many years and have the pain or discomfort, we mentioned in our earlier article, you may be a candidate for plastic surgery being the best way to tighten belly skin and lift this loose folds.
Time, nutrition, hydration, skin care and muscle growth may never be enough. Essential Feeling, Essex are affiliated with an amazing plastic surgeon in Harley Street who we can recommend. And don’t automatically think that the cost will be excessive, it’s probably a lot less than you think and the aftercare is way better than you get going to a different country to cut down the price.
It catches you up in the long term. And we’ve seen a lot of clients over the years who have had issues, not least because flying so soon after a medical operation only increases swelling and thus your chances of infection.
We should only use a surgical solution in extreme cases. And a warning: I heard from friends of the coach that people who underwent this operation while rehabilitating from surgery have recovered more fat. Be sure to work closely with a specialist before and after such operation to avoid these pitfalls.
More about RF Therapy
Depending on how much loose skin, the best way to tighten belly skin on your tummy is Radiofrequency therapy. We offer this at Essential Feeling, Romford, Essex and its results are amazing. We use a gentle heat to penetrate the deeper layers of your skin cells. The relaxing procedure causes your body to assume it is being attacked and sends collagen to target the site for healing.
Except that you don’t need healing and so the collagen is extra.
The result is tightening of the loose skin on your stomach, or whichever part of your body we are targeting with the treatments.
A word of warning, these procedures are best if you have a few BMI points to lose rather than having a huge overhang left from excessive weight loss. If this is the case, we’d always suggest seeing Dr Horn and having the area surgically removed. But, for skin such as after childbirth and as shown in our before and after pictures, this is a wonderful, non-invasive set of procedures that complement a healthy lifestyle which includes exercise and good nutrition. Book your treatment now.
As mentioned above, the elasticity of the skin will naturally decrease with age. Although you can address some issues in this article, such as not losing weight too fast, staying hydrated properly, eating the right food and taking care of your skin, you can’t slow down time. But instead of getting stressed out about old age, focus on the things you control about, how to stay active, sleep well, keep stress levels low, and eat right. Because if you can, you’ll realize that you always look good and feel good.