by : Michele Quinn / Shape My Life, LLC
Loose skin is a common result of weight loss programs, especially ones that make you lose weight at a faster rate. Sagging skin during and after weight loss often occurs when weight is lost rapidly. Rapid weight loss does not allow your skin’s elasticity, its ability to stretch, to adjust to the weight loss and your new shape. Loose and saggy skin after weight loss is common on the stomach, buttocks, arms and legs but can occur anywhere. By losing weight healthily and gradually, you can prevent sagging skin.
Since it has to stretch as we move, grow, and as in the case of weight loss (shrink), skin is an incredibly elastic living organ. Yes, that’s right, skin is not just one big piece of rubber that covers the entire body, but is instead an organ, and just like all the other organs in your body, it is comprised of cells.
Different layers of your skin have different types of cells, and though the skin cells on the outer part of your skin (the epidermis) are constantly being lost and replaced with new cells, the skin cells under the epidermis are a bit more permanent. These layers of the skin, called the dermis and subdermis, are made up of elastic connective tissues, fibers, blood vessels and all sorts of components that can stretch or contract depending on how they’re treated.
What Happens to Your Skin When You Lose Weight?
When you lose weight, and especially when you lose weight very quickly, these elastic components of your skin not only lose the layers of fat that keep them stretched out over your body, but they also don’t have much time for their elasticity to adapt to your new shape.
How to prevent this from happening……
Step 1 – Maintain Muscle Tone
Lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. This also allows your skin’s elasticity to adjust to the weight loss. Do weight lifting and strength training exercises in addition to cardiovascular workouts. Lifting weights tighten the muscles underneath skin, which firms up the area.
Another reason behind loose skin after weight loss is the decrease in muscle mass. When you lose weight too quickly, a lot of the weight comes from your muscle tissues. This is a common effect of crash diets. When your body is deprived of nutrients and calories, it resorts to digesting fat tissues as well as muscle tissues. This muscle loss results in sagging skin. To avoid this, it’s important that you regularly perform toning exercises to maintain your muscles. A strength training workout can also help you develop muscle mass.
Step 2 – Don’t Wait
The elasticity of your skin decreases as you grow older, so if you want to lose weight without suffering from loose skin, you shouldn’t put off weight loss. Perhaps you continue to indulge in unhealthy foods with the excuse that you will just try to lose weight later. The more you put off losing weight, the less elastic your skin becomes. When you do eventually get around to losing weight, your skin might not be able to adapt as well as it used to.
Step 3 – Hydrate Your Skin
Hydration is an important factor in maintaining taut and smooth skin. It’s important that you drink a sufficient amount of water daily to make sure that your skin retains its elasticity. Avoid drinking soft drinks, energy drinks and caffeinated beverages, because these will only rob your skin of essential nutrients. If you’re looking for a drink to help you relax, drink herbal teas instead.
Step 4 – Eat Healthy Foods, and the correct amount of calories to LOSE at a Healthy Rate!
The health of your skin not only depends on the products you use, but on the foods you eat. Make sure you get plenty of nutrients from your diet. Protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats are all essential for healthy skin. Reduce your calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 a day (no more) to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. Try keeping track of everything you eat and drink in order to add up your calorie intake accurately.