So you’ve been successful in your weight loss quest
The diet and the training regime you’ve followed has paid off
But unfortunately you’ve been left with a bit of a kangaroo pouch hanging around the abdominal region
Well fear not as those, just like the bingo wings, turkey necks and saggy thighs can in most cases all be reversed
And in this article you will learn exactly how you can successfully tighten up those loose and sometimes embarrassing areas with minimal fuss
Firstly though you need to know why your skin becomes loose after weight loss
Skin as you know is a protective layer that covers our bodies
It has amazing elasticity properties allowing it to stretch as we grow
But it’s not just one piece of stretchy rubber that surrounds the body, it is indeed a living organ made up cells just like any other of our vital organs
You see, the different layers of skin we possess are made up of different types of cells. The cells that make up our outer layers of skin are constantly lost and replaced with new cells, but the inner layers of skin are more permanent and are made up of elastic connective tissues, fibres, blood vessels and other connective components that allow the skin to stretch and contact depending on how they are treated.
Now when you gain weight, fat deposits build up and the skin has to stretch to accommodate these changes
The same happens during pregnancy when the babies growth and inevitable weight increases expands the belly
Amongst some other body areas…
Now when you lose weight, (or give birth) and you remove the obstacles that were causing the skin to stretch the exact opposite happens and your skin will begin to contract
Unfortunately though this can be a slow process which in some cases can take up to 2 years for your skin to fit your new shape almost perfectly
Add in other factors like age, poor nutrition, dehydration, excessive sun exposure and smoking all of which can and will effect the elasticity of your skin slowing down the process even further leaving you with that unwanted kangaroo pouch appearance
And though there’s no reversal for age, the other factors can be addressed in some easy to implement steps that will help you combat the signs of ageing too
Allowing you to begin to lose weight without needing to panic of being stuck with those on unwanted abdominal folds, flappy bird arms or saddle bags
Step 1: Don’t lose weight too quickly
Avoiding crash diets are a must!
Losing large amounts of weight too quickly whilst following diets that are lacking in nutrients can result in the rapid losses of weight and lean muscle mass. This can leave the skin playing catch up once the fat that was stretching the skin out has been removed creating loose and unwanted skin flaps.
My Tip: Though during the early stages of following a nutrient packed diet plan you can see large losses in weight it is always best to aim for a loss of no more than 3lb of fat per week. Eat and train for fat loss rather than weight loss to supply the body with all the nutrition it needs as well as to maintain lean muscle mass and bone strength.
Step 2: Stay hydrated
Water is crucial to the body, every cell contains water and it is of most importance in maintaining skin elasticity
Dehydrated skin can also cause sagging and wrinkles where as hydrated skin will naturally tighten and glow.
My Tip: You should be aiming to drink a minimum of 2 litres of bottled or filtered water per day (or 1 litre per 50lb of weight) as well as eating hydrating foods such as peppers, cucumber, watermelon, lettuce, celery, spinach, tomato, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe and cauliflower. All of which are made of 90% or more of water
Step 3: Eat Clean
The body is like a machine and it needs to be maintained properly.
Eating clean, nutrient rich foods will supply the body with all the vitamins and minerals it requires for ultimate performance and cell regeneration. The body repairs and rebuilds itself daily from a cellular platform from the very foods you eat, so eat healthy and eat clean and be healthy and be clean.
Or eat poorly and you will look and feel poorly too
It really is just as the saying goes “you are what you eat”
Clean foods containing vitamins such as A, C and E help to hydrate and increase collagen and elastin formation in the skin, these are 2 necessary components in helping to keep skin plump and tight. These 2 vital components can be formed through eating a protein rich diet from foods sources such as meat and poultry as well as legumes, beans, seeds, nuts and fish such as salmon, tuna and which also contain healthy fats that maintain healthy skin moisture which help to prevent stretched and dry skin appearance. Olive oil, coconut, organic butter and avocado all contain healthy skin essential fatty acids too so make sure to incorporate these foods into your daily diet as well.
And try adding in some raw foods to your diet too as many of the vitamins and minerals can be lost through cooking
My Tip: Eat a diet rich in proteins, fruit, vegetables and good fats that is also low in carbohydrates and not only will you be able to lose or maintain weight easier but you will also see vast improvements in your health, energy levels, sleep quality and digestion but you will also notice smoother, healthier skin and hair as well. Also, consume lean protein after a workout and this will help to boost the muscle building effect.
Step 4: Nourish your skin
Taking care of your skin is essential but be wary of some of the products on offer.
Avoid contact with harsh detergents, sulfates in soaps, shampoos and dishwashing liquids. Sulfates make for a great cleanser, are cheap and create an impressive lather but unfortunately they can over-dry and irate the skin, stripping away vital moisture making the skin less elastic. Limiting sun exposure and staying clear of tanning booths is a must. Avoid too much contact with hot and chlorinated waters too as both of these can be damaging to the elasticity of the skin. If you swim regularly in chlorinated pools then always shower immediately after with products designed to remove chlorine as chlorine can dry out the skin and you don’t need to have the shower too hot as hot water can strip the skin of natural oils.
Moisturise on a daily basis, this will add up to 70% more moisture to your body and help your skin keep its elasticity as you continue to lose weight. Always use a good moisturiser and aim for one made of natural ingredients and oils. Rubbing in essential oils such as lavender oil or almond oil of an evening before bed can also work wonders.
My Tip: Exfoliate on a daily basis using a loofah and a good body scrub to remove dead skin cells and to improve skin circulation. Increase skin tone by bathing in hot baths using sea salts, epsom salts and minerals. Use skin tightening skin creams using natural and herbal ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamins A, C and E.
Step 5: Resistance Train
Loose skin may be the result of decreased body mass, including lost muscle mass during weight loss.
Training at least 3 times a week using resistance will increase muscle mass and prevent wasting. Increased muscle mass will tighten up the body, creating muscle definition allowing you to look leaner, sexier and for your skin to look tighter.
My Tip: Strength train 3 times per week, preferably with weights hitting the upper, lower and abdominal areas. You can use fixed or free weight techniques or simply use bodyweight exercise that use the body’s own weight as a resistance.
Some other bonus, but not proven ways to tighten up lose skin are taking part in Yoga classes, spa wraps, massage therapy and face masks
Now by applying these 5 steps into your daily routine you will soon see a difference in the way your skin looks and feels.
Unfortunately though, skin can only be stretched so far before losing it’s ability to bounce back so for those that have carried a hundred or more pounds for a number of years you may need to look slightly further and towards surgery for your ideal solution
But for those that have carried for a 9 month pregnancy or who have just popped on a couple of extra belt sizes then these 5 steps will provide the solution you desire
And to get you started, I’ve developed a 21 Day Detox that will help you cover 4 of the 5 steps in 3 easy to follow weeks of detoxification, clean nutrition and exercise that promises to kick start your journey towards a flatter and leaner tummy
Check out the 21 Day Detox Challenge today to grab 1 of only 50 spaces available starting very soon
Dedicated to your health and fitness
Simon ‘you are what you eat’ Anderson
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