Skin is incredibly elastic. It stretches as we stretch and grows as we grow. So, it only makes sense that after weight loss, especially quick weight loss, you could be left with excess flabby skin. But don’t stress, skin is a living organ, which means it will eventually return to fit your new shape.
The trouble is, that could take about two years. Age, smoking, dehydration and genetics also play a role. In the meantime, there are things you can do to help speed the process.
Here are seven things you can do to help tighten your skin faster after weight loss:
1. Don’t lose weight too quickly
It’s natural that most people want quick results when dieting. Let’s face it, quick results motivate us to keep moving forward. But with extreme dieting often comes extreme fat and muscle loss. People who lose a massive amount of weight are often left feeling unhappy about their bodies. Sure, the fat is gone, but all that skin is still hanging around.
That said, not everyone who loses a significant amount of weight struggles with excess flabby skin, according to experts. Some people can drop over 100 pounds and their skin still remain tight. Yet, others are left with flaps in areas such as the belly and arms.
Flabby skin can happen with weight loss due to diet and exercise. But it seems to happen more often after weight-loss surgery, like bariatric surgery. Slower, more gradual weight loss is easier for skin elasticity to snap back into place and shrink as the fat is lost. But when too much is lost too fast, the skin’s elasticity doesn’t have time to recover.
2. Don’t smoke!
More than ever, you need to stop smoking! We now know all too well that smoking kills. It may be hard to quit that nasty habit, but if you’re not worried enough about dying from cancer then think of your skin. Smoking will ruin it! Not only does it accelerate the aging process of skin but it also decreases vitamin A and moisture in the skin, causing elasticity to break down.
However, quitting smoking actually rejuvenates the skin, according to a study from the International Association of Ecologic Dermatology. Researchers analyzed the skin of 64 female smokers for lines, vascular and pigmentation state, elasticity, brightness and texture. Before quitting, smoking aged the skin by nine years. But after quitting for nine months, researchers found that the biological age of the women’s skin reduced 13 years!