Weight Loss Support - Opinions on Skin
I came across this website, and I wanted to hear some opinions about the loose skin issue:
I have lost over 80 lbs in a little less than 3 years. After reading some articles on this website I was thinking that the more I lost, the skin would start to tighten. However, it seems to just be getting more empty and loose. I want to lose another 10-15 lbs, but somehow I doubt that it will suddenly make my skin bounce back.
What do you guys think?
Has anyone gone the extra mile and had their skin reshape itself?
10-21-2005, 04:59 PM
There are so many factors when considering loose skin (water, age, genetics, muscle mass, sun damage) that it's hard to say. I will say that the appearance of my skin has improved a lot after adding in weight training, and at times it seems to change and shift around regardless of weight loss. I've heard it takes at least a year after goal before you see the final results of your loss, and I can see why it would take that long. I won;t ever have a six pack and my arms are probably always going to be a trouble spot, but I'm satisfied with the way I look, loose skin and all.
I disagree with a lot of what the man who wrote the article above says. Although it might be true that an extremely low body fat percentage might make skin shrink, is that healthy and sustainable? I don't think it is. And I completely disagree with his assessment of weight training while dieting as being a cause of lean muscle mass loss. There have been recent studies that have shown the opposite to be true. I think the best thing to do would be to lose as much as is healthy for your body, keep your skin moisturized, and get in some WT as well as cardio. Some of us just have really delicate skin that is riddled with stretch marks, and not all of that will bounce back or go away.
Basically, you'll probably see some improvement, but make sure you're realistic and don't set impossible goals for yourself.
10-21-2005, 05:04 PM
My trainer says it can take up to a year for your skin to bounce back, and if after that year it hasn't, it probably won't :( . She also says hydration is key to keeping your skin elastic -- and therefore (I guess) more able to shrink to match your new body. She suggests lots of moisturizer and drinking lots of water.
You might want to take a look at this thread on the Maintainers Forum (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36040) We put it together to answer just these questions based on quite a few peoples experiences.
I haven't looked at that web-site yet. I'll pop over and report back if anything really stands out ;)
10-21-2005, 06:04 PM
I have loose skin, lots and lots of it, and unfortunately, it's not going anywhere on it's own. I have to admit though; the extra skin under my arms does appear to have tightened somewhat due strength training and time (two years of maintenance now). I don't really see how extremely low body fat could help in an acceptable way without it compromising your health. My own BF% is quite low, and if anything, I think it makes my loose skin look worse. In fact, I think adding a little padding under my skin would help to fill me out more. I know, sounds :crazy: but true!
I agree that you should give it at least a year and see if there are any improvements. Much beyond that, and you're probably stuck with what ever you've got. Sucks, I know, but just one of the few drawbacks of a large weight loss. Still better than the alternative though, IMO!
Yikes! Based on my personal experience and my experience training clients, I disagree with almost everything he says on that site. Sure, there are a few people who have had major weight loss, including pregnancies, and had their skin shrink back. But even most those who have achieved extremely low body fat levels and maintained there for a few years have not had the kind of success he talks about. I'm sure he sells quite a few copies of his e-book, though.
The body fat levels he's talking about aren't maintainable for most people. He talks about 4-5% for males and 10% for wormen. That's photo-shoot level, competition level body fat. Not your normal fit person. The American Council on Exercise categorizes 10-12% body fat as essential body fat for women. That means that if you dip below that level for extended periods of time, systems start failing. Usually your skin, hair and reproductive systems fail first. Models and bodybuilding competitors don't stay at those levels for more than a few weeks, if that. And female competitors do all sorts of "tricks" to tighten their skin when they are at those levels (like sleeping in preparation H...must smell lovely :p models use it under their eyes.)
There is also a difference between stretched skin which has lost it's elasticity and skin in which the underlying layers are torn. This can happen due to obesity or pregnancy. Ab muscles can also be separated by either.
That's the bad news. One the other side of the coin, you really won't know how your skin will be until you get there. You might be pleasantly surprised. :)
That web site is a well known crock of :censored:, created for the sole purpose of promoting an e-book. It's been a frequent topic of conversation on many weight loss boards and I don't think it's considered credible by anyone.
The lower I got my body fat %, the worse my skin looked. I was at 12.5% and looking like a shar pei when I finally talked to a plastic surgeon, who just about wet his pants laughing at the notion that excess skin - a body organ! - can somehow magically 'shrink'.
Of course, we're all different and there are lots of factors that come in to play about how your skin will react to weight loss. I was middle-aged, had lost more than 100 pounds, and had been overweight/obese for my whole life - so that was three strikes. Nonetheless, I did have improvement in some areas - forearms, hands, wrists (lost about 1 1/2 inches there but it's all tight), ankles etc. But the damage was just too great in some of the other areas for nature to be able to repair.
I'm so glad that your BS meter went off and you had the sense to come here and ask about this crook instead of shelling out for his scam book!
10-21-2005, 11:05 PM
I completely agree that many factors are involved. If you have been overweight or obese all your life, chances are your skin won't shrink back to looking like Claudia Shiffer...if you are 22 and only gained 30lbs over your freshman year at college, chances are your skin will probably bounce back for the most part. Genetics, hydration, length of time you have been overweight, working out/weight training, amount overweight you are and many other things play a role.
I am still quite young (28) but I have been overweight for a long time and I have just had a baby. I have no illusions of having a rock hard body, even if I work my butt off. My goal is just to be healthy and look smokin' in clothes lol... my husband is the only one who sees me au naturel and he is happy with me, so I am not worried.
Thanks for all the replies, it is really nice to have somewhere to go to ask about these issues. I felt like this guy was telling 2 things, in a way I felt good because there was hope that I might not need surgery, in another way I felt like a failure because I haven't been able to get rid of the skin on my own.
I am 28, no babies yet, that was part of my motivation to lose. I want to have a healthy pregnancy when I decide to have a baby. On the positive side of the skin issues, I know that the baby will have somewhere to go, the skin is ready! ;)
I feel like I am fairly close to my goal, within 10-15 lbs. I haven't really figured out what a good goal weight for me is. I have a body fat scale but I don't really trust it that much, since it never seems to read the same number.
I wear a size 8 now, and I think I generally look OK in clothes. I am just not at all satisfied with the skin. I know that I should add in more workouts. Currently I do mostly walking (about 1-1.5 miles) 4-5 days a week and every once in a while I do aerobics in the living room (it is like taking a class, but I use the XBox). I know I need to start lifting, hopefully that will help.