I know …… what am I nuts!! Anyone out there that has lots of LB’s to lose can’t seem to get them off fast enough…. but this my friends is a double edged sword and here is why….
Losing more than 1-2 lbs a week does not give your skin time to catch up with the weight you’ve lost which can leave it just hanging around – I mean really hanging around. In extreme cases the only way to correct this is to have the skin surgically removed, which I’m sure most of us would like to avoid. The silver lining here is that your skin can still retract in these cases because the skin is a living organ and will slowly return to a shape that fits your new body or do the best it can. However that process can take up to two years depending on how much weight you have lost and how much excess skin you have to shrink.
Honestly – shows like the Biggest Loser and other reality shows are what got me thinking about this, you don’t see the adverse effects of losing such large amounts of weight in such short amounts of time, or how the people in general are effected. I mean yeah they’ve lost a lot of weight, but now what? Also, I have to wonder if Dr’s who perform gastric by-pass surgeries have a protocol for patients to help them limit the amount of loose skin they will have? Regardless, the step below can still be helpful so read on…
First – keep your weight loss to a steady 1-2 lbs a week….. this will allow your skin the time it needs to “shrink” with your body. This also allows you the time to create healthy habits, or some consistency. You know my motto – Planning + Consistency = Success! Your goal should always be long term sucess we don’t want no Yo-yo-yo dieting, if you get my drift – this will raise havoc with your entire body, and could cause you to gain more than you just lost! So let’s do it once, the right way.
Next – you MUST include resistance training – weight training does many things for your body. It helps increase bone density, prevent the loss of lean muscle when dieting, improves your posture, burns additional calories, and builds muscle under the skin – so if you already have some loose skin you want to tighten up – build yourself some sexy lean muscle to help fill in the gaps……building lean muscle mass in place of the fat you are losing will help your skin stay tight.
This one seems to be the key to everything – Drink your water!! Staying hydrated is critical in maintaining your skin’s elasticity – period, end of story!
Also – collagen and elastin are two key bodily proteins that keep your skin looking firm and toned. Protein rich foods such as cottage cheese, milk, legumes, tofu, beans, seeds, nuts, and fish all contain collagen and elastin forming components, as well as oils to help maintain healthy skin. Oh and just to be clear here… if you are dieting remember that any dairy products should be low-fat, and nuts are high in fat, so watch your portions.
This one I love – “scientists believe” that using scrubs can help tighten skin after weight loss. I actually agree with this – I also believe massage has a simular bennefit – both include some manipulation of the skin, which increases the blood flow and circulation stimulating the production of collagen. The Dermis or the middle layer of skin is the one responsible for wrinkles and refered as the “mattress” of the skin. This is where you’ll find the collagen and elastin, two proteins that offer support and elasticity. Fibroblasts are the cells that produce collagen and elastin, also found in the dermis – so anything we can do to help those little buggers reproduce and stay healthy is key. Another benefit of exfoliation and massaging the skin is that it promotes tissue regeneration reducing scar tissue and stretch marks, and helps with the removal of the older layers of skin. This speeds up the process of building new layers of skin that will be shaped to fit your newly smaller body.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, you may not be able to completely prevent or reduce sagging skin after weight loss surgery. Good habits will give you the best chance of beating sagging skin, but realize that some skin issues may be out of your control and may be a normal part of your recovery.
Of course none of this happens over-night so start slow, do it right the first time, stay hydrated, not fad diets, no yo yo dieting, feed your body good healthy foods and pamper yourself a little, you will get the results you are looking for.