One of the least talked about “side effects” of a lot of weight loss includes extra skin and decreased tone. Prior to weight loss, excessive fat used to occupy these areas, but now that the fat is gone, there is excessive skin and tissue. How can you get rid of it?
First, you have to make sure that there is no more fat to lose. Although you have probably lost a good amount of fat, there may be more fat underneath your skin, called subcutaneous fat. If you can pinch the skin, and there is a cushion between the skin of a few millimeters, then you still have a bit more work to do. If there is still subcutaneous fat, the skin cannot naturally shrink and return to its tautness.
If there is no subcutaneous fat, then the first thing to consider is to wait it out. Because skin is an ever-changing organ, chances are that it will remodel and regain it’s tautness.
Next, the next most important step is to resistance train. In this case, building muscle bulk is the most important. Gaining muscle will replace the area of fat loss and help your skin look tighter. To build bulky muscle, you will want to focus on lifting weight that is heavy enough for you to only lift 6-8 times (after a warm up). You will want to make sure that you choose exercises that isolate all of the muscle groups where there is loose skin. Perform heavy lifting workout 2-3 times per week for the best benefit.
Finally, you will want to make sure that you continue to eat healthy. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and nutrients for healthy skin. Further, you will want to make sure that you consume enough protein to help you build muscle and tighten your skin.
If you have done all of this, then you may want to consider seeing a plastic surgeon, who may be able to surgically remove excessive skin.
Congrats for your weight loss, and don’t be discouraged by the side effect of excessive skin. The other “side effects” will continue to help you feel better and improve your health and life!