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Ask Coach Calorie: How to Remove Excess Loose Skin After Weight Loss

ask coach calorieI’ve had quite a few questions about how to remove excess loose skin after weight loss. The topic is a touchy one for many people, but it deserves an honest answer for those that really want to know.

What about loose skin? I lost 163lbs and now have a lot of loose skin on the tummy. What do I do?

How Much is Actually Skin?

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It protects your insides from the elements of the environment. It has a thickness that ranges in size anywhere from .5mm to 4mm. Think for a moment about how small that actually is. If your excess skin is thicker than that, there is a very good chance that body fat is accompanying it. The truth is that although loose skin is very real, for most people, what they are seeing is majority body fat. If they were to continue with their weight loss program, they would see remarkable improvements in excess skin. Unless you can pinch just a few millimeters of skin, you should be hopeful that there is still much you can do.

How to Remove Excess Loose Skin After Weight Loss

Once you start getting your body fat percentages down into the mid teens for women, and close to single digits for men, any excess loose skin you might have is going to be majority skin. Luckily, there are still a few things you can do to try and improve the situation.

Improve Skin Elasticity

Women who supplemented fish oil for 3 months increased their skin elasticity by 10 percent [1]. Fish oil is rich in essential fatty acids. These fatty acids promote good cell integrity, and keep skin soft and moisturized – which improves its elasticity.

Extracorporeal pulse activation therapy (EPAT) was shown to increase skin elasticity in just a few weeks [2]. EPAT uses acoustic waves to cause micro-damage in the area which promotes healing and increased blood flow.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study using the supplement Evelle, women increased skin elasticity by 9% after 6 weeks [3]. Evelle is an oral supplement for skin nutrition containing the active ingredients: vitamin C and E, carotenoids, selenium, and zinc to name a few.

Increase Muscle Mass

Skin encases your lean muscle mass. When people lose a lot of weight without any resistance exercise, they also lose quite a bit of lean muscle mass. Building muscle mass will increase the mass that your skin has to surround – helping to fill out loose skin. There’s no need to pack on a 100 pounds of muscle (although that will certainly get rid of any loose skin), but any improvement in muscle mass will help improve the appearance of excess loose skin.

Avoid Rapid Weight Loss

Your skin can expand or shrink at a limited speed. Put on weight too fast and you get stretch marks. Lose weight too fast, and you don’t give your skin the time it needs to shrink. Everyone is eager to lose weight fast, but patience will not only help you reduce your chances of excess skin after weight loss, it will give you a higher likelihood of keeping the weight off forever.

Surgery

I’m not a fan of using surgical methods to alter your body if it’s possible to achieve the same results through natural methods. However, if people want to make changes to their body, that is their own choice to do so, and I will not judge them for doing it. Some people have the goal of achieving a particular body, and after working so hard to lose all that weight, they are left feeling helpless for what they can do to remove excess skin. Surgical techniques for removing excess loose skin are available for those who think the extra risks of surgery are worth the rewards.

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If you’ve been trying to figure out how to remove excess loose skin after weight loss, then some of these tips might be helpful to you. If you’ve already tried them, or you have another technique that’s helped you, please share your experience in the comments below. Thank you

  • Donna

    Another awesome post, thank you for sharing!

  • Mari

    Thanks so much for the info. You did not mention the effects a persons age might have,so I will assume that there is hope for this 46 year old. I do NOT want surgery.

  • Carolyn Jackson

    Thank you for the post about loose skin I will try some of those tips and hope it works. I am next year wonting to do a sport and fitness deplomia as I have just lost 65kgs and hopefully will start loosing again it has stoped at the moment but i am not giving up, However I would love some advise on how to get my fitness up a bit more.
    Thanks Carolyn Jackson

  • rebecca

    For those of us allergic to fish and shellfish do you have an alternative way to get the omega’s?

    • Coach Calorie

      Flax oil is one of the more popular plant-based sources. You can also get it from food from eating nuts and seeds, or even omega-3 eggs.

  • Tess F

    Thanks so much for the information. I’ve been searching for this and finally found it through your Pinterest board.