One of the dirty little secrets of weight loss is that some people find themselves with large amounts of excess skin when they finally manage to shed the fat. This is something that the commercial weight loss programs often forget to mention, or if they do, it’s usually buried somewhere in the fine print.
While you are in the early stages of an effective diet you are on a high. The pounds of fat are disappearing and your dreams of a tighter more toned body are starting to become real. Nobody has warned you that after losing the weight you could be left with giant folds of loose and unsightly skin.
And the excess skin is not just unpleasant to look at. There is a very real risk that it can cause rashes and infection.
And as for your self-esteem! Your plans to wear those tight fitting T-shirts or the revealing bikini will have to remain on hold.
So what causes this excess skin to remain after your weight loss?
Experts say that the elasticity of the skin will depend on how long the dieter was overweight.
There is no magic bullet that will help you to avoid the excess skin problem.
It doesn’t seem to matter if you lose the weight fast or slow, what does matter is how long the skin has been stretched out.
You could visualise this with a balloon. If you blow up a balloon and then release the air straight away, the balloon retains its original shape. But blow the balloon up and leave it that way for hours and then release the air. The balloon is now all withered and wrinkly.
Your age will also have an effect on the amount of surplus skin. Older people have skin that is a lot less elastic than a younger person has.
The extra skin can also be very heavy. You could end up carrying around up to 20 kilograms of this unsightly material.
Even working out in the gym and building up muscle will not help.
The muscle will add tone and strength under the skin but will not make any impact on the skin itself.There is only one solution and that is to go under the surgeon’s knife. But before you go to your medical practitioner and get a quote for this make sure that you are sitting down and that you do not have a weak heart. The cost can range up to $30,000 dollars !!!
You can do it a bit cheaper if you just concentrate on specific problem areas like the belly, backside, breasts, thighs, arms, male chest, and face. But to get the lot done you are looking at a total body lift which will cost you more than a high range motor vehicle.
Also be aware that the surgery is going to leave scars. Sadly, you are never going to get back your original body. This is a stark message but one you need to be aware of.
At the end of the day, how you deal with this excess skin is going to come down to your mental outlook. Some people are happy to keep the skin and hide it under their clothes.
The successful dieter can console themselves with the fact that they are healthier and will probably live a longer and more active life without the excess weight that they started out with.But some will struggle to accept their new look. In those cases they may find that they need to get some form of psychiatric counselling to assist them in re-building their self esteem and pride in their own body.
This is one of my more downbeat and grim posts, but I feel that it is a vital and important post to make. Losing weight is a huge commitment and it is vitally important that people understand exactly what their motivation is and what their expected results are before they embark on a weight loss journey.
If the objective of your weight loss is to be healthier, more active and live longer that is fine. But if you are excessively obese and have been that way for many years, then its probably unlikely that you are going to be parading around a beach resort in a revealing swimming costume any time soon.
And even if you do end up going down the expensive skin removal procedures, you will still be left with ugly scarring. Not the message that you wanted to hear, but an important message to hear up front before you start on your weight loss journey.
The following videos will assist in furthering your understanding of this challenging issue:
Loose skin after 140lb weight loss! LOTS OF SKIN!
Loose Skin after 150 Pound Weight Loss RAW!
Loose Skin after Weight Loss (-80lbs in 9 months)
My 109 lb Weight Loss Journey: Dealing with Loose Skin
LessOfSarah: Excess Skin After 225lb+ Weightloss (1 Year Post-VSG/WLS
Woman left with 13 kg of excess skin after weight loss surgery
Body Lift Surgery For Excess Skin Removal
Pre-Op Consultation – Liposuction – Tummy Tuck Procedure – Weight Loss – Dr. Chugay – California
Tummy Tuck Surgery 5 weeks post op RESULTS Update and Complications
Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss Austin and Round Rock, Texas
The Scars in My Skin (Skin Surgery After 190 Pound Weight Loss)
WARNING full body LOTS OF SKIN
SKIN SKIN SKIN SKIN did i say SKIN?
The following is a video of the Young Turks which covers this very topic.
In this video the Young Turks discuss the case of a woman whose after-weight loss photo was initially rejected by a Shape magazine freelancer because she was showing excess skin. This phenomena of loose skin after extreme weight loss is obviously something that the diet and weight loss industry does not want to shout from the roof tops. In the case of Shape magazine it seems that on this occasion there was a misunderstanding.
“The photo of a bikini-clad Brooke Birmingham went viral after she said it was rejected for a success story on Shape magazine’s website. The photo, taken after her 172-pound weight loss, shows excess skin around her midsection, the reality of weight loss that Birmingham proudly wanted to show others.
But a bikini picture of Birmingham will now appear in the magazine after all, she and one of the magazine’s top editors said on TODAY Friday.
Birmingham, 28, appeared on the show alongside Bahar Takhtehchian, the magazine’s editor-at-large, who said Shape will feature Birmingham and five other “real” women in the pages of the monthly magazine.”* The Young Turks hosts Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian break it down in the video.
Read more here from Lisa Flam / Today
WHAT ABOUT SOME SOLUTIONS
There are some things that you can do to minimise the effects of loose skin after extreme weight loss:
How to Tighten Excess Skin After Weight Loss
There are 2 important factors you should take into account to make your skin tighten around your new figure as fast as possible.
Factor #1: “Tighten the skin from within
Collagen and elastin are two of the skin’s essential components; they determine its elasticity and firmness. An unbalanced diet can lead to shortage of either of these components in your skin, making it look saggy as a result.
Increase the amount of high protein foods you eat; they are rich in collagen and other amino acids that promote the skin’s health and elasticity.
Vitamin C and zinc are fundamental for collagen and elastin production. A correct intake of these two nutrients will make lose skin go away quicker. Some foods that are high in them are: red bell peppers, parsley, kiwis, broccoli, oysters, liver and whole eggs.
If you cant incorporate the daily required amount of vitamin C and zinc into your diet, then buying supplements is a good alternative to avoid nutrient deficiencies.
Drink lots of water. At least 8 glasses a day.
Do some sort of resistance exercise at least three times per week to build up muscle under the skin.
Factor #2: “Tighten the skin from the outside
Skin elasticity depends a lot on external influences as well.
For example, certain soaps can drastically reduce the skin’s strength, while other creams and products will go a long way in making your loose skin tighten again quickly and easily.
While you may use creams to help tighten your skin, you have to make sure they have been made from natural ingredients, and are rich in collagen, retinol, and Vitamins A, E and C.
How to Tighten Excess Skin After Weight Loss