Weight Loss Support - Excess skin after weight loss
05-01-2009, 03:00 AM
I had never thought about this in the past, but just before I started my new regimen, I started worrying about the excess skin I will probably have after losing weight. I have around 110 more lbs to lose. I've been overweight my entire life. I'm now ... gasp... 30 years old ... so that's a long time for my skin to be all stretched out.
I'm trying to lose very slowly at a rate of 1-2 lbs per week. Any other time I've been on a diet, I would lose around 10 lbs the first week and 4-5 each week until I started slowing down to the healthy 1-2 lbs/week, then became discouraged and quit.
I'm also exercising every day and strength training every day. I'm hoping that this will help reduce the possibility of excess skin.
I read that skin is very thin and usually what people think is excess skin is actually adipose tissue. On the body contouring surgeries on TV (which I watch ALL the time), they usually do remove a great deal of fat as well. I've spoken to a lot of body builders and they all say that I should aim for fat loss instead of weight loss if I want to avoid this.
Anyone have any thoughts on this? Any suggestions to avoid this problem?
05-01-2009, 03:13 AM
Yup, focus on maintaining your proper calories. You don't want to lose too much fat too soon because the skin doesn't have time to snap back. I was watching the Biggest Loser last night and they had abdominal shots of the contestants before and after their time on the ranch. And one of the women had lots of stretch marks on her stomach and sides, and her skin didn't look saggy at all in the after shots (pretty much all her stretch marks were invisible too).
So focus on building muscle to replace some of the fat and drinking plenty of water, eating proper nutrients and maybe moisturizing as well.
05-01-2009, 03:30 AM
I tried to do a lot of research on it before I started. With every other diet, I never exercised. I've noticed as I've re-gained the weight over the years, I have more abdominal fat than before and definitely more fat on my arms. My theory is that when you diet without exercise, you lose muscle tissue as well as fat, and even bone tissue as well. (This could explain why I've had two stress fractures in my feet) But when you re-gain the weight, you only put fat back on, thus making it harder to lose weight the next time. Just my theory though.
I'm drinking about 3 liters of water per day. I drink more during my workouts too.
I don't watch the biggest loser much but from what I've seen they dont have a lot of problems with excess skin. I'm guessing it's from the exercise. That's why most of my diet regimen consists of that. I work out every day from 1 1/2 to 2 hrs per day with cardio and strength training on alternating days.
05-01-2009, 06:01 AM
There's a really good long thread on the boards somewhere (I think under Body Issues) about excess skin, and the general consensus seems to be that it's more a function of genetics and skin elasticity than how quickly you lose and that it often takes some time after you've reached your goal weight for your skin to "bounce back" to where it's going to be on the new thin body. Though I think if you lose it more slowly, you give your skin time to adjust as you're losing instead of it slowly shrinking after you've lost the weight.
I'm in a similar position to you -- I have about 100 lbs to lose and I'm in my thirties as well, and have carried all this weight since high school. I hope that excess skin won't be much of an issue when I do lose it, but even if it is, it would still be better than excess skin covering excess fat. :)
05-01-2009, 06:09 AM
If you crash diet you lose a lot of muscle along with the fat (which lowers you BMR and makes it harder to lose/maintain). If you gain weight quickly, you gain almost all fat. If you regain it more slowly, you regain some muscle, since your muscles are getting a little more exercise simply moving your heavier frame around.
Loose skin is a possible concern. But I don't know anyone who regained weight because they would rather have their taut skin back! It can be frustrating to successfully lose a lot of weight and not see the ideal results that you visualized, but the results are still very much worth it! Not just in looks, but health, quality of life, self-confidnce, etc etc.
That said, here's a sticky thread by Meg with lots of great info about loose skin...
05-01-2009, 06:17 AM
I think it varies from person to person how much excess skin (if any) they'll have at the end of their journey :)
05-01-2009, 01:11 PM
Thanks everyone for the responses. Thanks for the link too. I'm checking it out now.
I'm expecting that I'll still have problems in the chest/breast, arm (bat wings), and abdomen. I guess the time it takes to save for body contouring (if I would even do that...still not sure) would allow me to see if my skin will recover...lol
05-01-2009, 01:35 PM
I worry about it now and then but figure I'm 26 now, if I lose all this weight by the time I turn 27 and maintain it, and keep up with weights and all that then I'll be able to get most of the skin to snap back, I wouldn't consider surgery until after I was done having my kids- it'd be a waste to get it done then get pregnant and restretch myself out!
05-02-2009, 09:58 AM
I've been a yo yo dieter for years and with the rapid gain/loss has always come stretch marks but never saggy skin. It is definitely a concern for me though, but it isn't something we should focus on.