Ways & How

How to Tighten Up Loose Skin After Weight Loss

How to Tighten Up Loose Skin After Weight Loss

Having to deal with loose, sagging skin after weight loss can be frustrating. After working hard to lose all that weight, it can be disappointing to see your body looking very far from the tight, lean machine you’ve been visualizing through thousands of lean meat dinners and sugar-free snacks. The good news is that getting rid of these unwanted skin folds doesn’t have to come down to surgery, so stop the pity party and put the ice cream away. You are not doomed to go through life looking like a Shar Pei.

You have to understand that the skin is basically an organ made up of layers and layers of cells arranged in a matrix. The layers are naturally elastic so when you were carrying excess weight, they stretched to accommodate the extra girth. Ideally, when you lose weight, the skin layers proportionally shrink as well. However, certain factors can decrease the skin’s elasticity, such as age and inadequate levels of crucial nutrients from your diet. The key to figuring out how to tighten up loose skin after weight loss is to create optimal conditions for skin regeneration and matrix reconstruction.



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  1. Supplement your diet with collagen. Collagen provides the skin with elasticity and suppleness. The body produces collagen, but as we age, our collagen levels steadily decrease. This is why older skin looks less plump and smooth than young skin. Thankfully, we can increase our collagen levels by eating foods rich in this nutrient, such as oxtail, soy, and turkey. Eating mega doses of collagen, however, can be difficult for some people, so concentrated supplements like beef gelatin powder may be a better option. Furthermore, there are water-soluble, taste-free variants that you can add to any beverage, soup, or sauce.

  2. Work on building more muscle mass. The body stores fat under the skin and over the muscle layer. As you gain more weight, the gap between the skin and the muscles becomes wider. Now that you have gotten rid of the fat layer in between, you need to help your body close the gap between skin and muscle to get a tighter look. Gaining more muscle through resistance training gives the skin more support so that it looks less saggy overall. In addition, muscles actually help your body burn more fat and thereby can help get rid of stubborn fat deposits that cling to skin folds and weigh it down.

  3. Realistically speaking, your skin will need extra help to get back to its original tightness after weight loss. While diet and exercise can do a lot to improve skin sagging, extreme cases of weight loss might need the help of some non-invasive dermatological procedures to really whip your skin back into shape, especially in small areas like the face and neck. Ask your dermatologist about options like fractional laser (Fraxel) or radio frequency (RF) treatments.

As you work on figuring out how to tighten up loose skin after weight loss, be sure to put an end to activities and habits that aren’t good for the skin. When the skin cells are busy repairing cellular damage that you could have easily avoided, it results in fewer resources for skin regeneration. Top contenders in this category are smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, sun damage and exposure to chlorine. If you smoke cigarettes, stop immediately. Smoking wrecks the skin’s elasticity, brightness and texture. The same is true of alcohol; a daily glass of red wine may benefit the heart but anything more is counterproductive. Also, if you aren’t in the habit of wearing sunscreen every day—even during cloudy days or days when you are mostly indoors—start now. Meanwhile, the occasional dip in a chlorinated pool is fine, but it can be drying to the skin so make sure you rinse it off as soon as possible, and apply generous amounts of lotion afterwards.

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