You’ve worked hard to shed those pounds. Losing weight doesn’t happen easily – and you should be proud of every ounce you’ve dropped. But for many women, losing weight means loosening skin, particularly if you’ve lost a lot. How can you tighten loose skin after weight loss without going under the knife?
Why Is My Skin Loose?
Losing weight feels incredible. But losing weight can also mean sagging skin. If what you see in the mirror is putting a damper on your success, you’re not alone. Loose skin is one of the number one complaints of women who have lost weight.
Our skin is made up of collagen and elastin, which become damaged when our skin is stretched for long periods of time. Being overweight or having your skin stretched for other reasons (pregnancy, anyone?) can leave skin unable to tighten once the weight is gone.
Unfortunately, as we age, our skin loses its elasticity, too. If you’re not 22 anymore, don’t despair. There are some ways we can fight the effects of aging and tighten up that saggy skin.
You already know that strength training is great for losing weight and keeping it off. But building muscle can help tighten and tone that loose skin, too. Your skin used to rest on fat. Now that the fat is gone (hooray!), your skin sags around what’s left (boo). If you can build more muscle mass, your muscles will begin to fill out your sagging skin.
Strength training is also a calorie-torching powerhouse. Unlike simple cardio, weight training and HIIT workouts continue to burn calories long after you’re done exercising. Strength training works overtime to torch fat, build muscle, and tighten and tone those problem areas.
Start with the areas of most concern. If your tummy is looking too relaxed, target those abs. If your underarms are a bit jiggly, go with some tricep-targeted lifts. Strength training and other exercises can tighten up those unsightly areas in no time.
You can’t outlift your fork. If you want to tighten up your body, start with what you put in your mouth. Here are some essential nutrition tips for tighter skin:
- A diet high in lean proteins can help build and maintain lean muscle.
- Hydrated skin is happy skin. Make sure you’re drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day.
- Some vitamins are thought to improve your skin’s elasticity and appearance. Vitamins E and C are particularly important in skin repair.
- There’s also evidence that antioxidants like carotenoids and lycopene can also help improve your skin’s health.
There is no magic pill for weight loss, and there isn’t a magic pill for loose skin, either. You will likely continue to have some loose skin no matter what you do. However, some research shows that certain supplements can help increase your skin’s elasticity, making it appear tighter post-weight loss.
Collagen is perhaps the most popular skin health supplement at the moment. Because our skin is made up of collagen – and because we lose it as we age – collagen supplements can be beneficial. One study showed that participants who took oral collagen for three months saw increased skin elasticity and firmness after just four weeks.
Other supplements, like retinol and hyaluronic acid, also show promise. While these supplements are mainly found in face creams, they might help tighten skin in other parts of the body as well.
Of course, you should always talk to your medical professional before taking supplements.
Most people will find that exercise, nutrition, and supplements will help tighten their loose skin adequately. However, others might need surgery to remove excess skin for good, especially if they’ve lost a lot of weight.
This surgery is a major medical procedure, and you should only consider it if other methods have failed. Consult with your doctor if you want more information about excess skin removal surgery.
Other Solutions for Loose Skin After Weight Loss
If you’re still not feeling 100% confident in your body, try compression clothing. Even if your skin is loose, the compression will keep it looking smooth and tight. The compression can also help prevent chafing from skin-to-skin contact. It’s not a permanent solution, but compression clothing can make you feel more confident!
The BEST solution, though, is to be kind to yourself. Too often, we think beauty means perfection. That is absolutely not the case. If you’re struggling with loose skin after weight loss, remind yourself that you worked hard to lose that weight. The loose skin is proof of your efforts. So while you might not always love what you see in the mirror, remember that you are beautiful – just the way you are.