We all know how tough it can be to lose weight, and sadly, some people have a great deal more weight to lose than others. Losing body fat can be a tedious, mentally draining, and highly stressful process that requires a great deal of patience and self-discipline. For those of us who do manage to lose weight however, if we manage to lose a significant amount of weight, we sadly have to deal with a new problem which comes in the form of loose skin.
People who are just a few pounds overweight generally won’t have to worry about loose skin if they lose the weight. But when we’re talking about pound loss that reached into the triple digits, loose skin is generally what remains.
This can be disheartening. Loose skin following weight loss can be unsightly, it can be restrictive, and in some cases it can make individuals even more self-conscious about their bodies than they were when they were overweight. If you’ve lost weight and are dealing with loose skin, take a look at the following, as we provide you with a few useful tips on how to deal with loose skin after weight loss.
1) Build Muscle
Sometimes when people think of ‘building’ muscle, what comes to mind is hulking forms, huge muscles and body-builders. And, of course, this negative stereotype can put people off, especially women, when it comes to building muscle. It’s a common concern that keeps plenty of women out of the weight room at the gym, plenty of people associate lifting weights with ‘looking bulky’.
In reality however, lifting weights and building muscle will not leave you looking like a body-builder overnight. Unless you do indeed train like a competitive body-builder, which takes months of strict diet and exercise. What lifting weights will do, however, is help to build muscle and firm up your body.
You can’t turn loose skin into muscle (sadly), just like you can’t turn fat into muscle, but what you can do is build up your muscles in order to help fill out your frame. If you have loose skin on your arms, training your biceps and triceps will help to increase their size and fill them out, so that the skin is stretched and is not as loose. Training your core is also very useful if you have loose skin on your abdomen.
2) Drink More Water
Believe it or not, but the simple act of ensuring you’re well hydrated at all times can actually help you to reduce loose skin all over your body. You see, if you’re dehydrated, your body will retain fluid and will hold it directly underneath your skin. This can then push against your skin and can reduce the rate in which the skin shrinks when you do burn off body fat.
By drinking more water and staying more hydrated, there will be no excess build-ups of fluid, and so the skin can better adapt when you do drop body fat. By holding water, your skin stretches even further because there is an added layer of fluid. Drinking water means that you retain less, and so the body and the skin can better adapt to changes in your weight.
3) Wear Compression Clothing
If you are dealing with a lot of excess skin following weight loss, you may need a better clothing support system for when you’re physically active. Loose fitting clothing will, of course, allow the skin to move with you, causing irritation, pain and even bruising. This can make physical activity very uncomfortable.
Go for want a tight fitting and supportive sports bra and underwear if you’re a woman, and pair this with compression tops, vests, pants, shorts, or sweatshirts, which can be worn underneath regular clothing. This type of clothing is tight fitting but designed to be comfortable while it keeps everything held firmly in place.
4) Consider Surgery
Unfortunately, if you have lost a significant amount of weight in a relatively short span of time, (generally 100 or more pounds as a ball-park figure) you will probably be left with a lot of excess skin that could need to be removed surgically.
We leave this ‘tip’ until last because, as with any other surgical procedure, the decision to go under the knife should not be taken lightly. We merely highlight this to show that skin removal surgery is a viable option for some people. Obviously, the best place to start would be by speaking with your doctor, to find out what your options are and if this is an avenue that might be open to you.
The key thing to remember, though, is that there are ways of dealing with excess skin after weight loss – and to not lose hope.
You’ve come all this way getting the weight off in the first place, and that in itself is something to be proud of. Where you go next on your transformation journey is entirely up to you!