How to Minimize Loose Skin During Weight Loss
There is nothing worse than working your way through a diet to finish with the skin hanging like a curtain from a window. Unfortunately, it is a common byproduct of weight loss. Here is what you can reduce the amount of loose skin during weight loss or even improve the problem after weight loss.
Why Skin Loosers Goes On
First, let’s take a look at the anatomy of your skin and the surrounding area. Two layers of tissue under the skin reside: the fat (fat) followed by the muscle tissue directly below. Both fat and muscles grow against the adjacent layer of the skin, keeping it relatively tense before losing weight.
The issue of loose skin starts long before any weight loss occurs. Instead, it starts when a lot of weight is gained. When you gain weight, the surface of your skin increases to accommodate the new fat (this is why sometimes “trails” occur).
While your fat cells retract when this weight is lost, it still retains the same surface. The new vacuum under the larger surface creates a layer of skin that can “hang” because there is less tissue underneath to take up space. This is called loose or “soft” skin.
The amount of loose skin remaining varies from one person. In fact, the skin around the world does not fall then, and depends on several factors: total weight gained and lost, age, total muscle mass and genetics among them.
Some people have an enormous amount of loose skin that only surgery can correct. Others do not, despite significant weight loss. You can see an example of the latter case, that person before and after.
Then there are those in the middle, where there is room to avoid loose skin during weight loss and improve later. I have personal experience with that. After ranging from 230 to 150 pounds, my skin was loose and even (apologies in advance for the visual) “pullable” away from my body. It seemed like the ugly bastard son created by a Shar-Pei and a pot of clay. My skin is looser which suggests that in non-extreme cases, can be improved to a degree, but could have been avoided with the methods below.
Muscle tissue: the key to minimizing loose skin
Maintaining or increasing muscle tissue is the key to minimizing loose skin. Remember, the phenomenon occurs when the underlying layers of tissue are contracted under a very large area. If muscle mass, in addition to fat is lost, it creates even more vacuum beneath the surface of the skin. On the other hand, increasing the area filled with thin tissue under the skin, keeping it tight.
There are a few ways you can go about keeping or even increasing their muscle tissue during a diet.
Losing Weight at a Reasonable Pace
There is a correlation between the speed with which you lose weight and the amount of loose skin that end in.
In order to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit. When the deficit is reasonable and you are losing one to two pounds a week, most of the lost weight is fat. While a more aggressive deficit will cause weight loss more rapidly, there is a higher risk that this weight loss will come from muscle tissue, especially when performed for an extended period of time.
Keep a slow and steady pace and a calorie deficit of about 15% below your maintenance calories. It will keep more muscle tissue, thus keeping your skin “tight”.
Incorporate strength training into its regime
Similar to the above reasons, incorporating strength training will allow you to maintain more muscle mass, or even build muscle if you are relatively new to this type of plan. In your first year of resistance training, you may actually be able to accumulate up to 20-25 pounds of muscle. (This will probably be less if you’re dieting, since a calorie deficit is not the optimal conditions for muscle building.)
An enlarged plant (muscle building) can give better results in a system that optimizes strength or endurance. Hypertrophy training specialized in increasing overall size and volume of muscles, allowing your skin to cling more tightly to the underlying tissue.
Here you can find a good routine sample of hypertrophy. Bodyweight routines are too big, if that’s more your jam, as long as they run properly.
Lastly, be sure to keep your intake high in protein. During the calorie deficit, you will not only avoid lean body mass loss (or “bodybuilding catabolization”), but also to make sure that you have the optimum amount for muscle building. You can use the “Alan Aragon” rule to find your daily target protein minima.
Get even leaner
I noted that loose skin is not so much a problem for those who descend to lower body fat levels of body fat by about 10% for men and 20% for women. Of course, this could simply be due to survival bias. For example, perhaps people with loose skin problems first are more motivated to keep progressing. But Dr. Ron Brown, author of “The Body Fat Guide” I do not think, and has a convincing explanation: what many perceive as “loose skin” is actually excess fat.
Measuring the thickness of these hanging skin folds provides evidence that there is still a significant amount of body fat under the skin. The skin is not so much “loose” as it is flaccid due to excess body fat. Although some areas were completely thinned, excess body fat is likely to be stored in the adjacent areas that contribute to the general flaccid state.
However, there are cases in which no doubt nothing less than surgery will help you. But now there is no evidence to suggest that loose skin problems can be ameliorated by the loss of more fat.
“You have to improve even thinner” is easier said than done, of course. Getting the required level of body fat can take years, even decades, but fitness is an endless journey anyway. However, there is no comfort in knowing that if you have loose skin, a certain level of improvement is always under your control and without the need for surgery.