Friday, April 5, 2013

Guest Post: How To Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss

Guest Post........woo woo! Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in Los Angeles........enjoy :-)

How To Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss

Image courtesy of marin /

After a lot of hard work and effort, you’ve achieved all your weight loss goals…yet you find yourself in a bit of a quandary over the extra skin that’s been “left behind.” Or you are still in the process of losing weight and can see areas where the skin isn’t as tight as it once was.

Loose skin is common during and after weight loss, especially when you have shed a number of sizes. Skin is usually a very elastic organ, stretching and shrinking as we gain and lose weight. However, when you lose a lot of weight, the underlying fat that was keeping the skin taut is gone, and the skin has nothing to hold its shape.

If you lose weight very quickly, the elastic components of your skin do not have the necessary time to adjust to the new size. This leads to the excess skin hanging loosely from your body.

The best way to avoid this excess skin is to take care of your skin during the weight loss process. Through healthy eating and hydration, you will be able to minimize baggy skin when you reach your goal weight. However, if you are looking to banish existing extra skin, with toning exercises, skin care and time, extra loose skin can slowly disappear.

Ways to avoid loose skin

1. Slow and steady weight loss. Shedding the pounds too quickly does not give your skin enough time to adapt to your smaller form. Muscle is also lost along with fat during crash diets or extremely accelerated weight loss programs, which leads to even less structural support for your skin. Most experts suggest that you lose no more than one to two pounds a week for healthy, sustainable weight loss.

2. Stay hydrated. Not only is getting enough water helpful on a weight loss journey, but being hydrated helps maintain skin elasticity. Water helps flush out the toxins released during fat loss and is necessary to maintain regular fluid levels which helps circulation to the skin. While experts argue over the importance of water in hydration of the skin, they all agree that dehydration can have a severe negative impact on your skin.

3. Eat lots of protein. Skin relies on elastin and collagen to keep its shape. Protein-rich foods contain the building blocks necessary to build collagen and elastin that helps maintain elasticity. A recent study also showed that dietary gelatin improved skin elasticity, so consuming foodstuffs high in gelatin (like bone broth, tendons, short ribs) may benefit skin tone. Another study showed that selenium (found in salmon, brazil nuts and seafood), zinc (oysters, red meat), vitamin C (oranges, lemons, spinach) can also boost elasticity in skin.

Skin care suggestions

Whether you are trying to prevent baggy skin from developing, or are trying to ameliorate an existing loose skin situation, taking the time to nourish and care for you skin is a necessary step. A warm bath with sea salts and minerals can improve skin tone. Skin tightening creams containing hyaluronic acid can improve hydration and moisture-retention in skin, a must for supple, smooth skin. Vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A are all excellent skin enhancers and can increase collagen and elastin formation in the skin. 

Try to limit your skin’s exposure to UVA and UVB rays, natural or man-made, as prolonged sun exposure and sun damage can destroy the collagen and elastin that you need to maintain elasticity.

Dry brushing may also help improve elasticity. Draw a specialized brush in an upward motion over dry skin to help improve circulation and assist in the removal of toxins to improve skin appearance.

Exercise tips

Ensuring that you have taut, toned muscles under the skin can also help improve the appearance of tautness. Here are a few suggested exercises targeting abdominal and upper arm areas, two spots on the body that many people often experience a lack of tone.

Try the plank to cinch in the waist and overall abdominal area. This exercise targets your entire core for better posture. Start by laying facedown on the ground, with your legs straight behind you and together. Put your hands underneath your shoulder area and push straight up. Hold your body as straight as possible, with your legs together, sucking in your abdominal section, and making sure there’s not an arch in your lower back. Stay in plank position for one minute, rest for 30 seconds, and then repeat three to five more times.

For upper arms, the tried-and-true floor dips help improve the look of flabby triceps. Sit on the floor, with your knees bent and your arms straight below your shoulders and slightly behind you, with your hands pointing forward. Lift yourself up so that your bottom is no longer touching the floor; bend your elbows for one “dip.” Repeat 15 to 20 times for one set. Do one to three sets a day for visible improvement to the tone in your upper arm.

With the toning exercises and good skin care, you can minimize the appearance of excess skin. And with correct preventative steps, like hydration and proper nutrition, you will decrease the chance of disproportionate amounts of loose skin appearing after weight loss. Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in Los Angeles. Though most of her writing focuses on marketing,
she writes of a variety of topics, from technology, music, travel, and health & wellness.



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