Monday, February 28, 2011

Loose Skin After Losing Weight


Well, about 1 1/2 years ago I was overweight. Being 15 years old I was at 236 lbs. I now train everyday (cardio, weight lifting, etc) and I actually started boxing as well. I'm now 6' tall and down to 175 lbs. But here's the problem... I have quite a bit of excess skin in my abdominal area. How do I get rid of the loose skin after losing weight? From the hanging bag at the bottom, nearly all the way up to my chest. Do you have any idea how I can at least reduce this extra skin?
-Thanks, Jacob Z.


First, let me congratulate you, Jacob, on your successful weight loss. Good job!

Getting rid of loose skin after losing weight is a common concern and a difficult problem to deal with. Over time you should see some improvements in your skin's elasticity, thus reducing the looseness of your skin. Unfortunately, you may not think it's enough and then surgery becomes the only way to remove the excess skin.

There are steps you can take to improve the elasticity of your skin and reduce the looseness.

The factors that affect your skin's elasticity are:

(1) Age. Young skin is more elastic than older skin. That's good for you.
(2) Genes. You can't change this, but your genes control how firm your skin is as you age.
(3) Smoking. Hopefully you don't smoke. Smoking ages your skin badly.
(4) Sun Exposure. Too much sun exposure damages your skin.
(5) Diet. Eating a balanced, healthy diet with vitamins and minerals (especially Vitamins C & E) will help you maintain healthy skin.
(6 ) Water. Make sure you drink enough water to stay hydrated.

So make sure you avoid smoking and the sun, while eating healthy and staying hydrated. Keep working out hard and building muscle. By continuing to add muscle you can improve how the skin looks, and may be able to reduce some sagging. If you are doing all of these things, you know you are doing everything possible, short of surgery, to reduce your loose skin.

One of the best things you have going for you (aside from your work ethic and dedication) is your age. Give it some time. Your body will continue to change as you get into your 20's. If at that point you're still not satisfied, you could consider surgery. In the meantime, you may be surprised how time, a healthy lifestyle, and hard work can pay off and greatly reduce your loose skin problem.

Good Luck


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