Is anything worse than getting through a diet that actually loses weight only to wind up with areas of skin that hang like window curtains? Regrettably, this is a frequent and negative side effect of successful weight loss. Fortunately, there are things you can do to manage how much loose skin you wind up with during your weight loss as well as ways you can enhance things after you lose weight.
Why Does Loose Skin Even Happen?
First, it’s crucial to look at your skin’s anatomy as well as the area surrounding it. There are two tissue layers underneath your skin. The first is adipose, which you might know as fat. The second under that is muscle. Before you start losing weight, your skin is kept taut by the layers of muscle and fat pushing up against any adjacent skin layers.
The matter of loose skin starts well in advance of weight loss happening. It actually starts when you gain a lot of weight. When you do this, the surface area of your skin has to grow so that it can accommodate any new fat tissue. This is why stretch marks happen sometimes.
Fat cells are going to shrink when you lose weight, but you’re going to retain that same surface area. That leaves a void under the bigger surface area, and that results in a layer of skin which might hang, given how much less tissue there is underneath it as there was previously taking up space. The consequence is loose or sagging skin.
How much loose skin happens is different from one person to the next. In truth, not everyone suffers saggy skin after the fact. It also depends on numerous factors, including total muscle mass, the total weight lost, the total weight gained, age, gender, and genetics.
Some individuals wind up with massive amounts of loose skin that can only be fixed by surgery. Others might not have any at all, regardless of substantial weight loss. You can sometimes see this in viewing a person’s before and after photos.
There also are many in the middle who have ways to prevent their loose skin while they are losing weight as well as opportunity to improve things after the fact. This is something I have personal experience in. I started off at 230 pounds and got down to 150.
When I did, I not only had loose skin, I could actually pull a lot of it away from the rest of my body. My skin isn’t loose now, which means that in cases that aren’t truly extreme, things can get improved a bit, although I also could have prevented it using the following methods.
Muscle Tissue Is Central To Managing Loose Skin
Increasing or at least maintaining your muscle mass it central to minimizing how much loose skin you wind up with. Keep in mind that this phenomenon happens when any underlying layers of the tissue there shrink under a much broader surface area.
If you lose muscle mass on top of fat, then your void is even bigger under your skin. However, if you increase the lean tissue, then you’ll fill that areas beneath your skin, which helps keep it taut.
There are a few ways you can keep or even grow your muscle mass while on a diet.
Keep Your Weight Loss To A Reasonable Pace
There’s a definite correlation between how fast you lose weight and how much loose skin you wind up with.
A caloric deficit is necessary in order to lose weight. Most of your weight loss will be fat if you’re only losing a pound or two each week. More aggressive deficits are going to mean losing weight faster, but you’ll run a better odds of your muscle tissue being lost, particularly when you do this over an extended period of time.
Work Resistance Training Into Your Routine
For reasons similar to what’s already been discussed, strength training is something that can help you maintain your muscle mass. If you’re new to this, you might even grow some muscle mass. New trainers might bulk up 20 or even 25 pounds of pure muscle in their first year. This is however less likely when you’re dieting, since calorie deficits aren’t ideal situations for bulking up muscle.
Consider a hypertrophy regimen which builds muscles more than emphasizing strength or your endurance. Hypertrophy training focuses on muscle size and volume, which lets your skin stay more clingy to its underlying tissue.