Many people who decide to make a significant change in their way of life, and succeed in shedding excess weight, sometimes encounter a particularly frustrating problem - loose skin. This phenomenon is common among people who do intense dieting and don’t lose the weight gradually. In addition to the fact that extreme weight loss harms health, chances are that the pounds shed in such a manner are easy to pack back on. This is why you should familiarize yourself with the 9 principles that will help you keep tight and healthy skin while putting effort into losing weight. Over time, they’ll become an inseparable part of your routine.
1. Gradual weight loss
Flash dieting sounds like a dream come true. While we must maintain a strict regime, it isn’t long lasting and the results are quick to appear. However, you need to understand that rapid weight loss is irresponsible and doesn’t contribute to your overall health. Furthermore, it may also damage your skin's appearance and may even affect success in maintaining weight loss later on. Most experts recommend not shedding more than 2 pounds a week since gradual and controlled weight loss will help keep your skin as tight as possible. In a study published in 2005 in the Journal of the American Society of Clinical Nutrition, the odds of success on a long-term diet were higher, and those subjects were more satisfied with the physical results over time.
You should remember that gradual weight loss that lasts longer and keeps your skin tight doesn’t end with a tough diet. Rather, it involves adopting a healthy lifestyle that you can maintain for an unlimited period of time. If you take on a diet that severely limits your diet to achieve the quickest result, chances are that you won’t be able to sustain this lifestyle over time, leading you to a return to your heavier weight at best, and doubling the weight at worst.
2. Controlled exposure to the sun
If you exercise outdoors, you should make the best efforts to reduce your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. This is because unprotected exposure to the sun may damage the collagen fibers in the dermis layer of the skin, leading to the expansion of the small blood vessels that affect the appearance of the skin, its elasticity and its ability to remain tight. So make sure to protect your skin while in the sun by applying sunscreen, wearing a hat, wearing a long shirt and pants, and going out when the sun is less dangerous.
3. Avoid smoking
If you’ve mobilized your best forces to shed the extra pounds, and you’ve taken care of all the little details in order to keep your skin as tight as possible, the time has come to take one last step and throw the cigarettes in the trash. Dr. Eugene Elliott, a cosmetic surgeon from the Orange County Medical Center in California, strongly argues that smoking causes our skin to lose its elasticity, adding that secondhand smoking increases the levels of inflammatory proteins in the skin, reducing collagen levels in the body and leading to thin, wrinkled skin, as proven in a 2007 study. These findings show unequivocally that if you continue to smoke while you trying to get rid of loose skin, besides having difficulty with lung endurance, which will affect the quality of exercise, you’ll find it difficult to maintain healthy, elastic and vital skin.
4. Drinking water
You might be bored of hearing how important water is to health and you may have already adopted healthy drinking habits regardless of this article, however, we think it’s worth another mention. Even the healthiest skin can dry out, and it is important to nourish it with proper amounts of water to prevent dehydration. This will increase your chances of succeeding in maintaining firm and radiant skin. If you do not consume enough water a day, especially if you exercise regularly, your skin will dry out ultimately causing damage to your skin cells leading to them losing their elasticity and leaving them shriveled. It should be noted that the recommended daily intake of water is 2.5 liters for women and 3.5 liters for men unless your doctor has suggested otherwise.
5. Proper skin care
The most effective way to treat skin properly to keep it as elastic as possible is by removing dead skin cells, increasing blood flow and nourishing the skin with essential components. All you have to do is fill a hot bath and add sea salt to it; which helps remove the dead skin cells. Once you've cleansed your skin of dead skin cells, your skin will have an easier time absorbing skin care products. Before going to bed you can run lotion on your body containing ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid, Yeast Extract, Soy Protein, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which increase the formation of collagen and elastin proteins in the skin. These proteins effect the elasticity of the skin, which will undoubtedly help you in keeping the skin tight during the weight loss process.
6. Do yoga exercises
As mentioned above, in order to achieve the best results when losing weight, it is important to take the necessary time and progress gradually, even when performing various yoga exercises. If you add yoga to your life, practicing it will help you reduce stress, lose weight, sculpt your body and suit our purpose; Yoga exercises will help your skin become more flexible and tighter. After a few weeks, you’ll start seeing a change in your loose skin, and the best news is that you can do all these exercises without leaving home. You can start your training with this beginner’s guide to yoga.
7. Varied food intake
As part of the weight loss process, it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced and varied diet that contributes to the fight against loose skin. Therefore, in order to achieve maximum success when shedding your body weight, while keeping your skin taut, you should incorporate colorful fruits and vegetables that contain substances essential for skin health into your diet. As evidence, in a study conducted in 2014, it was shown that foods rich in vitamin A or anti-oxidant lycopene help to treat various skin problems and can reduce the damage done to the skin by UV rays. Therefore, you should make sure to consume foods such as tomatoes, red peppers and other red vegetables that are rich in lycopene. Also, be sure to eat leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits that are rich in vitamin C, which helps build collagen in the body.
8. Build muscle
After you’ve successfully lost the extra pounds by adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy balanced diet, quitting smoking, and exercising., you should now adjust your current workout to your new physical condition. When you begin the process of weight loss, the most appropriate training program is one that requires high energy expenditure which brings up your heart rate, in order to burn excess fat efficiently. However, once you remove a significant amount of weight, it is important to update your training regimen by adding strength training meant to increase muscle volume and prevent the formation of loose and falling skin. Practice resistance exercises up to 3 times per week, and devote another day to high-intensity exercise as you did earlier to regulate your metabolism and strengthen your muscles.
9. Use essential oils
Various essential oils, including castor oil and sweet almond oil, are saturated with vitamins and antioxidants that protect the skin from damage that causes inflammation and wrinkles and keeps skin supple, soft and taut. If you are careful to apply one of the above oils to your skin every night before bedtime, it won’t be long before you notice an improvement in your skin's loose appearance. Of course, it isn’t enough to rely solely on moisturizing your body with these oils, a healthy lifestyle that combines good nutrition, physical activity, and adequate fluid intake should also be observed.
A few words to finish
There’s no doubt that the process of losing weight may be frustrating at times, but it’s important to keep your goal in mind and make sure to remind yourself of the quality of life you’ll achieve once you reach your goal. As mentioned earlier, you should avoid shortcuts, and invest all the time you need in creating a healthy lifestyle, leading to weight loss and maintenance of taught, young and healthy skin. This is the reason why you should gradually apply the tips you’ve learned here until they become part of your daily routine. However, it is important to note that people who have been overweight for years may experience great difficulty in avoiding loose skin after losing a significant amount of weight. Therefore, it is important to not give up, continue to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, and at the same time, consult with a specialist regarding aesthetic medical treatments for the removal of loose skin if it interferes with your quality of life.