Losing any weight is an accomplishment, but especially when it’s more than 20 pounds is impressive! Losing weight at a slower rate is better for the skin than the fast weight loss that results from some of these liquid diets.
One issue that is hard to deal with is the excess skin that is loose and needs to be tightened. You might feel good about your new weight, but this extra skin also affects your appearance and how you feel about your body.
5. How Does This Excess Skin Happen?
Weight gain expands your skin in many places, like around the abdomen, thighs, arms, and butt. This expansion, if it lasts longer than say a pregnancy, can actually damage the collagen and elastin skin fibers.
Once the collagen and elasticity of your skin are lost, it is hard if not impossible to retract back to normal firmness or strength. So the greater the weight loss, the greater amount of loose, saggy skin.
4. Body Contouring Surgery
The most effective way to get rid of excess skin is a plastic surgery called body contouring, where the extra skin is removed and the skin stitched back into place. Yes, it can be painful and expensive. But after recovery, you can slowly start to exercise to firm up skin. Small scars are left, but it is empowering and life-changing for many.
3. Exercise and Strength Training
For lesser skin loss or for those who do not want surgery, you can help build muscle and tighten skin fibers better if you have not lost all your collagen. Get a trainer to help with specific muscle work for each area. This will take time and helps more of the inner tissue to build up, meaning you will still have some loose skin on the outermost layer of tissue.
2. Supplements to Build More Collagen
You can add some collagen protein supplements or bone broth to your diet to help your tissue regain some elasticity. Protein, amino acids and vitamin C can aid in the the synthesis of collagen. Omega-3 fatty acids also help with skin elasticity, while water improves skin function and appearance. There are some firming creams on the market, but they may only work temporarily, even on areas with a small amount of excess skin.
1. Other Medical Treatments
Infrared light, or radio frequency, treatments such as Velashape and massage therapy do help in certain areas, but will not result in as dramatic of a change in appearance as body contouring surgery.