If you’ve committed to losing excess weight, then the thought that loose skin will remain after the weight is gone has probably crossed your mind. Why is it that some people who lose weight have tight skin, while others suffer from loose hanging skin? The answer lies within the method used for weight loss and the amount of time over which the pounds came off. Below are 5 ways to avoid loose skin after losing weight.
1. Lose Weight Slowly
Though quick measures to lose weight, such as weight-loss surgery and extreme dieting methods, may sound appealing, they lead to hanging skin as well as a host of other health issues. Your skin is a living organ that needs to adapt to changes along with the rest of your body. Extreme weight loss leaves little time for your skin to adapt to changes and you will be left with sagging skin. Your diet goal should be to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. This is a healthy rate at which to lose weight because your body has time to adjust to changes.
2. Exercise Regularly
When you only think about what the scale reads, you often end up losing healthy muscle tissue along with fat. As you lose fat, you want to build new muscle while maintaining the muscle you already carry. Lack of muscle will cause your skin to remain loose and not regain its elasticity. Add in resistance training 3 days per week along with 2 days per week of cardiovascular exercise.
3. Eat a Diet Rich in Nutrients
Just like your heart and lungs, your skin is an organ that thrives on vital nutrients. Eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids will improve your skin's elasticity and overall health. Avoid trendy diet foods because they are often processed with chemicals to give them a long shelf life. Stick to a diet rich in whole foods and foods that have few ingredients.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Keeping your skin hydrated will maintain its natural glow and allow toxins to move through your system. Try to drink at least 1 liter of water a day. Avoid carbonated drinks that strip your body of calcium and other vitamins and minerals. If you get bored of water, add a slice of citrus or cucumber to make it more refreshing.
5. Make Every Calorie Count
Give your metabolism a boost and avoid crash dieting by slowly decreasing your caloric intake each week. Eat small meals 6 times per day consisting of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid extreme caloric deficits that will send your body into starvation mode. These types of diets deprive your body of vital nutrients.
Building a group of friends and family who are willing to support you through your weight loss efforts is the best way to stick to a plan that works. Let them know about your goals, fears, and plans to make changes in your lifestyle. The more people you have standing behind you, the more likely you will be to reach your goals and practice healthy measures for weight loss.