Does everyone have loose skin after major weight loss? Nope—it's not inevitable, says Dr. Prachand. But it's also not easy to predict who is going to experience it, he says.
However, larger amounts of weight loss, such as 50 pounds and over, especially over a short period, can considerably increase your risk of loose skin. Your genetics and age will also play an important role in determining how much weight loss causes loose skin.
For small to moderate amounts of weight loss, your skin will likely retract on its own. Natural home remedies may help too. However, more significant weight loss may need body-contouring surgery or other medical procedures to tighten or get rid of loose skin.
You should include foods that are rich in collagen and elastin to your diet. Milk, legumes, cottage cheese, beans, nuts and fish are examples of foods that contain elastin and collagen. They help with skin firmness, strength and elasticity.
Body Contouring Surgery
The most effective way to tighten loose skin after weight loss is by going through medical or surgical treatment. Natural remedies do not work when there has been significant weight loss. Surgical treatment is often necessary to deal with loose skin after major or extreme weight loss.
Getting rid of lower stomach fat
Exercises like cardio, yoga, and crunches may tone your muscles and strengthen your lower abs, but they won't “erase” fat deposits. The only way to lose fat on your lower stomach is to lose fat overall. A calorie deficit helps with this.
Add Exercise to Your Routine
Any workouts that build muscle mass or tighten muscles — especially around the stomach — can reduce the appearance of loose skin. Try incorporating exercises two to three times per week, including: Weight training. Resistance training.
Regular exercise, including cardio and strength training, will help you maintain your weight and tone your body. It also may help your skin look tighter. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about extra skin.
Plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and beans are especially rich in skin-supporting nutrients, and studies show that they can actually help improve skin elasticity and hydration. They may even help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
But many health care providers agree that a medical evaluation is called for if you lose more than 5% of your weight in 6 to 12 months, especially if you're an older adult. For example, a 5% weight loss in someone who is 160 pounds (72 kilograms) is 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms).
Collagen is a protein that serves as one of the main building blocks for your bones, skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. "Collagen is what keeps our skin from sagging, giving us that plump, youthful look," says dermatologist Dr. Ohara Aivaz.
Most loose skin treatments, from creams to laser resurfacing, focus on boosting collagen production. Lifestyle changes can keep collagen from slowing down even more. Take your vitamins, stop smoking (if you do), avoid tanning, and swap out harsh skin care for products with nourishing, medical-grade ingredients.
Vitamins A, C and E
Vitamin A helps to hydrate the lower layer of skin, vitamin C preserves and protects skin-firming fibers such as collagen and elastin, and vitamin E safeguards skin from sun damage.
Bottom line: Most people have 1 treatment and feel some tightening right away. It takes time for your body to make collagen, so you'll see the best results in about 6 months. Some people benefit from having more than 1 treatment. Results can last 2 to 3 years with the right skin care.
While there are ways to promote skin elasticity and malleability, shrinking sagging skin to a degree, exercise is not one of them. Instead, use exercise as a way to build muscle mass in your abdominal muscles. Increased muscle mass may fill the excess skin, giving your belly a smoother, healthy look.
You can reduce the overhang by reducing overall fat.
You can't spot-reduce fat, but you can lose fat by walking more, eating whole foods, and focusing on protein and fiber to fill your diet (lean protein, veggies and fruit).
Pregnancy, weight loss, and weight gain can cause you to have an excessive amount of fat, tissue, and skin hanging down from your abdomen. Called “apron belly” because it looks like you're wearing an apron around your waist, it can also be referred to as a pannus stomach.