Losing Weight Usually Means Loosening Skin… or Does it?
If you’ve ever transformed your body, you know that weight loss can be tough. From cravings to low-energy, the journey is never smooth. Of course, the sacrifice is well worth it—after all, if you can change your body, then you can change anything!
5 Simple Ways to Prevent Loose Skin (Naturally)
But there’s an ugly truth: losing weight is often only half the battle.
In some cases, loose skin can remain after weight loss. As you might imagine, this is incredibly demoralizing. If you’re struggling with loose and saggy skin, you’re probably wondering, “What can I do about it naturally?”
Here are 5 simple strategies for restoring elastic (and youthful) skin.
But First… Why Does it Happen?
What causes skin to lose its tightness? Well, the skin is actually a living organ, meaning it adapts to its environment. As a result, the skin has a large amount of elasticity. The elasticity of the skin deteriorates naturally with age, but there are several lifestyle factors that can accelerate this process, including:
- Drastic weight loss
- Nutritional deficiencies
When your skin stretches out to encompass your new size, you often see stretch marks. If that size is due to excess fat, then you may notice some loose skin when you lose that fat.
Tip #1 — Recomposition (Build Muscle)
Muscle and fat press against the skin, preventing it from sagging loosely. When you lose a large amount of weight (in a short space of time), the skin cells aren’t able to shrink at the same rate. This causes the skin to sag.
The best way to reverse this is through the recomposition method. It involves building muscle and losing fat simultaneously.
Step 1 | Determine Your Total Daily Expenditure (TDE)
First, you’ll need to establish your maintenance calories. This is the number of calories required to maintain your current body weight.
To do this, you’ll need to use a TDEE calculator online. Simply enter your sex, age, height, weight, and activity level. Test this number for at least 2 weeks to gauge how accurate it is.
Step 2 | Setup Your Daily Calories
Now that you know your maintenance calories, you’re halfway there. You need to eat above your maintenance calories on your training days (+500 kcal) and you need to eat below maintenance on your off days (-500 kcal). Simple.
Some eating patterns (read: diets) are better than others for getting that lean mass while losing fat. Experiment to find what’s best for you!
Step 3 | Start strength training
Strength training is the best scientifically-proven method for building muscle. If you’re a woman reading this, don’t fret! You won’t end up looking like the hulk! Women naturally have lower testosterone levels than males do, meaning you can expect about half the muscle gain. Here’s an easy way to gain your first 10lbs of muscle.
Tip #2 — Quit smoking
If you’re looking for any more reasons to stop smoking, look no further. Research has found that regular smoking ages the skin (not surprisingly).
This study found that eliminating smoking reduced the biological age of skin by a whopping 13 years on average. That’s insane!
But you should also consider quitting for the negative impacts on your health. A 2001 review demonstrated the ill effects of habitual smoking:
- Active smoking can cause respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disease, and 12 different forms of cancer.
- Smokers are at a 2x greater risk of mortality during middle age vs non-smokers.
Tip #3 —Supplement Vitamin C
The research on vitamin C and its anti-ageing properties is fairly minimal, but there is a case for supplementing with it. The most compelling argument for the use of vitamin C comes from observations that those deficient typically have skin problems (e.g., scurvy). If you don’t get enough vitamin C in your diet, it doesn’t hurt to supplement with it!
The recommended doses are:
- 90 milligrams per day for men.
- 75 milligrams per day for women.
Higher doses can be taken in excess of 1,000 milligrams for increased health benefits. But, as always, check with your doctor or health care professional.
Tip #4 — Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Research has shown that a high daily intake of fruits and vegetables can improve skin elasticity and complexion. Chances are, this seems like common sense to you. But did you know a large portion of the world’s population is deficient in vital micronutrients?
How many portions of fruit + veg per day do you need? To start seeing the benefits of skin health, you need at least 3 portions of fruits and veggies each day. However, optimal health is achieved with 5-10 portions per day.
Pro tip: If you struggle to get your recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables, you can try green smoothies.
Blueberry, mango, kale, and spinach smoothie recipe:
- 100g blueberries
- ½ mango
- A handful of chopped kale + spinach
- 200-300 ml of apple juice
Tip #5 — Stay Hydrated
Want to know a cool fact? We’re made of 70% water!
How does this affect the skin? Well, staying hydrated is crucial—it keeps skin cells plump, making the skin appear smoother.
You should aim to drink half your body weight in ounces. So a 200 pound person would need to drink 100 ounces, which equates to about 12 glasses.
Loose skin can be tough to deal with, but follow these simple steps and you’ll see a huge improvement.
Here is a quick recap of the main points of the article:
- Fat and loose skin isn’t the same thing; Use the pinch method to see whether you’re dealing with excess fat or not.
- The best way to reverse loose skin is through body composition.
- Aging skin is natural, but the process can be accelerated with unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, poor diet, and dehydration.
Questions? Pop them into the comment section below and we can discuss!
- How to Minimize Loose and Saggy Skin During Weight Loss - December 11, 2017
- 4 Simple Tips for Gaining Your First 10lbs of Muscle - November 17, 2017