If you’re reading this article, then chances are that you’ve spent months, if not years, busting your butt in the kitchen and the gym to hit your goal body weight. If not, then perhaps you’re still on the journey, but are already dealing with the pain-in-the-butt inconvenience of lose skin. Let’s face it, though. Loose skin is a part of the process because our skin is incredibly elastic. As the largest organ of our body, our skin stretches and expands as we grow. With this in mind, it only makes sense that rapid weight loss will leave us with excess flabby skin. Now before you freak out, remember that your skin is a living organ.
This means that it will eventually shrink and return to a form that fits your new shape. The unfortunate truth, however, is that this could take roughly 2 years to happen and there are many other factors that come into play. If you’re not keen on sitting around and waiting for 2 years to elapse, then here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind to help you speed up the process or prevent too much loose skin.
Tip 1: If You Smoke, Stop!
It should go without saying that smoking is a very, very, very bad idea. Above and beyond everything else, smoking it terrible for your health and is a completely nasty habit to maintain. If the increased likelihood of cancer isn’t enough to scare you into quitting, then at least think of how it will affect your physical attributes. If you’re trying to tighten loose skin, then smoking will do the exact opposite – it will ruin it.
Smoking accelerates the aging process of body and skin. In fact, it also causes a huge dip in the moisture that our skin retains as well as its vitamin A levels. All of this together will result in poor skin elasticity and eventual break down of the elasticity altogether. Do you really want to add even more sag to your already loose skin? We didn’t think so.
Tip 2: Work on Building and Sculpting Your Muscle
Once you’re at the point where you need to start tightening up your muscles, your strategy at the gym should switch from fat loss to muscle sculpting. Focusing on this aspect of your body will help to slow the loss of muscle while still burning a good amount of fat.
For example, when you’re trying to lose a lot of fat, chances are that your trainer (or you, for that matter) will keep you on a high-intensity cardio program. While this burns a ton of fat, it also promotes muscle loss. Once you’re nearing your goal weight, it’s time to switch to a regimen that focuses on muscle building so that you maintain and build on your muscle while still burning fat at a generous rate. This will result in tighter skin and also better health.
Tip 3: Make Sure You’re Eating Tons of Fresh Fruits and Veggies
As we’re sure you’re already thoroughly aware, the battle of the bulge is largely fought in the kitchen. In the same respect, the battle of loose skin is fought just as much in the kitchen as it is in the gym. Eating tons of fruits and veggies shouldn’t be too difficult to do, however. The rationale here is that you’re already maintaining a healthy diet of whole foods since you’re on a weight loss plan. If, for some reason, you haven’t switched to this kind of eating yet, then think about it this way:
your skin is a living organ and because of that, it needs a great deal of nutrients to stay as healthy as possible. Healthy skin means elastic skin. To be even more specific, it’s important to go for fruits and vegetables that are high in carotenoids. Some examples include dark and leafy greens like kale, tomatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes.
Another thing you should remember when it comes to fueling your body in this season of weight loss is to eat the right amount of protein. Food items that are high in protein are generally also high in collagen and elastin, both of which are crucial for maintaining pump, healthy and elastic skin.
You can use many online calculators to determine how much protein you should be eating in a day to match your goals, weight and current lifestyle. Some great ingredients to keep handy at home and to get your fill of protein include eggs, lean beef, nuts, seeds, fish, legumes, tofu and, of course, chicken breast.
Tip 4: Try to Lose Weight at a Steady and Manageable Pace
The problem with a lot of people these days who are dealing with excess skin is that they’ve lost their weight at a rate so rapid that their skin couldn’t keep up. The desire for quick results and radical diets, however, is that the severity of the loose skin can get very difficult to manage. It’s so difficult, in fact, that some people start turning to skin removal surgery rather than tightening their skin up the natural way. People who are likely to experience the most excess skin are individuals who have lost their weight because of weight loss surgeries or extreme diets.
On the other hand, research shows that people who lose their weight through safer, less radical means such as lifestyle changes, a caloric deficit diet, and regular exercise, can drop over 100 pounds and still have tight skin. With this in mind, if you want to avoid loose skin, the best thing to do is to lose your weight at a gradual pace. This gives your skin the time and opportunity to snap back into place and shrink to its normal size as you lose weight and fat. If you’re obsessed with rapid weight loss, then think of it this way, there’s a high chance that you’ll be just as conscious of having a lot of loose skin as extra pounds on your body.