Weight loss does lead to sagging skin – sad truth especially for those of us who have worked so hard to reduce weight. The reason was when we put on weight, our skin stretches to accommodate additional fat tissues but as this is lost, the skin doesn’t shrink back. This leads to sagging skin often seen after rapid weight loss.
The obvious way to reduce the effect that weight loss has on sagging skin is not to lose weight so rapidly. Here are 5 tips on limiting sagging skin as you try to lose weight.
Tip #1: Don’t Lose Weight Too Quickly
Losing weight too quickly, especially when combining crash diets with lots of exercise, can lead to a loss of both fats and muscles. The aim is to lose weight gradually (1 to 2 pounds per week), without losing muscles that support your skin.
Tip #2 Resistance Training
Mild to moderate intensity resistance training each week help to build muscle mass which “fill out” loose skin, reducing the appearance of sagging skin. The resistance training does not tighten your skin but shape your muscles and fill out your skin with increased muscle mass.
Tip #3 Don’t Suntan and Smoke
Both lead to oxidative stress, damage to collagen and elastin fibres and lead to sagging skin (plus UV exposure lead to skin cancer).
Tip #4 Eat Well
It is especially important to eat well when you’re exercising – we mentioned not taking a crash diet but we should also avoid diets that are highly inflammatory. In an interview with dermatologist Dr Cherly Lee, her advice was to reduce processed foods, animal proteins and sugars.
To build muscle, ensure adequate complex carbohydrates, proteins and sleep. Also include minerals and vitamins in your diet, along with essential fatty acids (EFA). In this WebMD article, nutrition and skin experts advised that EFA built cell membrane which not only acts as a skin barrier (to prevent irritants from penetrating and transepidermal water loss) but also as a pathway for nutrients and waste. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids also help to reduce inflammatory compounds, limiting skin damage from oxidative stress. Include also vitamins A, C and E which can increase collagen production and reduce UV damage to skin.
Tip #5 Drink Enough
We have investigated effect of water on skin and the conclusion was lack of water is bad for the skin but excess water does not benefit skin. Drinking enough is important when you’re exercising as water helps to carry nutrients, regulate temperature, improves your ability to work out and reduces heat cramps and heat stroke. However, drinking too much has drawn much concerns, due to abnormally low sodium (hyponatremia).
There are products that you can use or surgical and non-surgical treatments to counter sagging skin. Products containing retinols, vitamin C serus and alpha or beta hydroxy acids (AHAs or BHAs) are believed to increase collagen production, restore skin elasticity and renew skin. Be careful of overuse of retinols though, as it has been linked to skin irritation. Laser, ultrasound, radio-frequency, infrared, skin lifting/ tightening, dermal fillers and skin removal treatments are available to help sagging skin.
Off to do some squat press, planks and catch some zzz, #SkinishMom