Loose skin after weight loss: What you need to know

Most people, at some point during their weight loss journey, wonder about loose-skin. How do you avoid it? What can you do about it? Will it be a problem?  Here are the top 5 things you need to know!

1) Loose skin depends a lot on how much weight you lose

People with 10 to 100lbs to lose typically don’t experience much loose skin when all is said and done, provided they lose the weight at a healthy rate.  More than that and it really varies.

2) The slower the weight comes off, the more naturally the skin can tighten during the process.

If (after the “honeymoon phase” of dieting) you are losing at a healthy rate of 1 to 3lbs per week, the skin will naturally tighten along the way and you’ll be surprised when you reach your goal how little loose-skin you really have.  MOST people who deal with loose-skin after losing a significant amount of weight lost the weight WAY too fast, and at that point, surgery is the only option.

3) Time does wonders:  

When I lost my 100lbs, I definitely had noticeable loose skin.

I still looked great in a  swimsuit, but when completely exposed, it was pretty obvious I used to be heavier.  Over the past 2 years, I’d say about 80% of that problem has gone away. Time and patience resolved a lot of it.

4) Building muscle helps more than anything

Tightening up the loose skin is often as simple as putting something back under the skin that looks better than fat… Muscle!  Lots and lots of strength training will make you look tight and toned, where before you looked flabby and loose. This is an area where, when it comes to loose skin, you’ll get huge returns.

5) Surgery is an option

If you’ve lost a massive amount of weight, (150+ pounds, for example), you may find that loose skin simply can’t be dealt with any other way.  There are no miracle cures for this problem, and surgery may be your only remaining option.  Be careful though, it’s MAJOR surgery, it leaves significant scars, and the recovery is TOUGH. Your insurance also won’t cover it, because it’s purely for vanity purposes. Living with the loose skin might be easier (and it’s certainly cheaper).

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For those wondering about laser skin tightening, the results aren’t that dramatic, and it’s extremely expensive.  You can “fine tune” to some extent with it, but most people report that they wish they’d saved their money.

I’ve actually heard people say they don’t want to lose weight because they don’t want to deal with loose skin.  This might be the single dumbest excuse I’ve ever heard to not lose weight, since the only person likely to know is you and your spouse — while the rest of the world will see a skinny, fit, healthy person.  And unlike obesity, a little bit of loose skin has absolutely NO adverse side-effects.

I learned after my own journey of 110lbs, that a combination of 2, 3, and 4 have put me in a place where my spouse is the only person who can tell I’ve lost weight, because the swimsuit hides the small amount of loose skin I have left — and more time will likely, eventually, hide the rest.