Natural Ways to Tighten Loose Skin by Jo Brielyn
You’ve been working hard to lose weight and the results are showing, but you may notice that you have sagging skin covering those areas you’re trying so hard to improve. Extra skin hanging around can be frustrating and embarrassing. When your body loses weight and fat, some loose skin will appear but don’t give up or lose hope. The good news is that your skin is a living organ that will slowly transform to a shape that fits your new figure.
Your skin is an amazingly elastic living organ that has the ability to stretch as you move and grow. Skin is made up of cells, fibers, blood vessels, and elastic connective tissues that can stretch or contract depending on how they are affected. When there is weight and fat loss, the elastic elements of your skin lose the layers of fat that keep them stretched. They also don’t have much time for their elasticity to adapt to your new shape, especially if you lose weight quickly.
Factors like your age and how much weight you’ve lost affect how quickly loose skin tightens back up, but there are some actions you can take to help your skin speed up that process and tighten more effectively.
What Can You Do to Tighten Loose Skin Naturally?
Avoid drastic diets, yo-yo diets, and over-exercising to lose weight. Losing weight quickly causes your body to shed both fat and muscle. That means the underlying muscles that hold your skin against your body and the fat that keeps the skin stretched out are both lost. The result will be a lot more loose skin hanging with nothing to grab onto for support. Also, if you always seem to be gaining and losing weight – especially if it’s more than 25 pounds each time – you are yo-yo dieting. Methods of weight loss like that put a lot of stress on your body, including your skin. Instead, make key lifestyle changes to your eating and exercising routines and stick with them. Aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Include muscle-building exercises in your workouts. Adding weights and strength training to your regimen will help build lean muscles while maintaining a healthy body fat percentage. It is possible to lose weight solely with diet and cardio, but you will also lose muscle with that fat. Strength training builds lean muscles that fill in the looseness of the skin and create a visibly tighter, more toned look. This applies to you whether you’re just beginning your weight loss journey or have already lost the weight. Don’t neglect the weights and resistance.
Hydrate your body! Water is a vital factor in maintaining skin elasticity, so this is one more reason why you should always replenish your body with plenty of water through drinks and foods. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume roughly 3 quarts (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 quarts (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. You can also read more about the connection between water and weight here.
Feed your body properly. In order for skin to remain elastic and healthy, proper amounts of two naturally occuring proteins found in animals – collagen and elastin – are needed. Be sure to include protein-rich foods like legumes, tofu, beans, seeds, nuts, fish, cottage cheese, and milk in your diet. They contain the components that form collagen and elastin and also have oils that will work to keep your skin healthy.
Note: To achieve optimal protein absorption, try to consume 100-200 calories of your protein sources immediately following your workout.
Pamper your skin. Whether you’re a man or a woman, it’s important to take time to care for your skin. Your skin is always at work protecting your body and takes quite a beating from several elements. Avoid using harsh detergents – like the sulfates found in many shampoos, soaps, and dishwashing liquids. Sulfates can irritate and dry out your skin, which will strip away moisture and make it less elastic. Also, limit your exposure to sun and chlorinated water. They will affect the elasticity of your skin. Exfoliate your skin regularly (sea salt scrubs work well) to get rid of dead skin cells and increase circulation. Also, apply a lotion or cream to your skin daily that contains ingredients like aloe vera, soy protein and vitamins C, E and A to hydrate your skin and increase collagen and elastin formation.
Keep in mind that your skin did not stretch overnight. It isn’t realistic to expect that it will rebound that quickly either. In fact, the natural skin-tightening process after weight loss generally takes from six months to two years, depending on factors such as your age, how much weight was lost, and your genetics. Be patient. Continue your healthy fitness regimine, incorporate the skin-tightening and skincare basics mentioned above, and you will see results.
JO BRIELYN is an author and contributing writer for Get Fit Now and has currently completed 16 nonfiction books about health and wellness. Jo is the founder, writer, and editor of Creative Kids Ideas, a resource website that supplies parents, teachers, and family members with the tips and fun ideas to help build stronger, happier, and more creative kids. She is also the writer behind Good-For-Your-Health.com. Jo is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a former youth leader. She resides in Central Florida with her husband and their two daughters. Jo is the co-author of Combat Fat for Kids.