Both aging and rapid weight loss can lead to unsightly saggy skin. Although there is no miracle or overnight solution for saggy skin, with a little bit of patience and diligence you can increase your skin elasticity and notably tighten it.
#1: Do Strength Training Exercises
It is important to have a well-rounded exercise regime, and avoid the cardio-only trap, as that will lead to muscle loss and exacerbate saggy skin. Strength training uses resistance to contract muscles in order to increase strength. It helps to replace body fat with muscle, and the added layer of muscle fills out your skin and makes it appear tighter. Increasing muscle mass also boosts your metabolism so you burn more calories while at rest. Some good strength training exercises to try include: push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, leg adductions, straight leg raises, wall shin raises, plank, side plank, arm raises, internal and external rotations, squats, overhead presses, and heel step-downs.
#2: Eat a Collagen Boosting Diet
Collagen makes up 80% of your skin's structure and provides firmness and strength. Free radicals breakdown collagen and you should vastly reduce or eliminate the following foods because they generate free radicals in your body: processed foods, refined grains, fried foods, processed meats, sugar, and alcohol. Antioxidant-rich foods help scavenge free radicals and support collage in doing its job. An antioxidant-rich diet is one that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables (especially deeply pigmented ones); spices, and unprocessed whole grains. Beans and legumes and GMO-free soybeans are also beneficial as they contain amino acids (glycine, lysine, and proline) which are required for collagen production.
#3: Avoid Rapid Weight Loss
When you lose weight too rapidly your skin doesn't have a chance to adjust, and it will continue to get saggier with every pound you drop. "Skin stretches to form the shape of your body since it's an 'elastic' organ…(and) your skin may not contract back to its smaller shape if weight is lost too quickly," explains Pritikin Fitness Manager, Lizbeth Simancas. So if you are actively losing weight and noticing saggy skin, consider taking your weight loss slower. This is something you want to sustain for life, so think of it as a journey, not a sprint; and ditch any extreme weight loss strategies you may be partaking in.
#4: Drink Lots of Water
Collagen is one of the first things to stop receiving water when your body is dehydrated and this can lead to a breakdown of collagen fibers. Increasing your water intake will support collagen and hydrate your skin and make it appear tighter, smoother, and more radiant.
Aim for at least 8 glasses of purified water a day, and use a water filter to reduce toxic elements such as chlorine and heavy metals from your water. A good way to ensure your hydration needs are being met is to look at the color of your urine - it should be almost clear. If it is bright or dark yellow, and you’re not taking a B vitamin supplement (which can darken urine), you need to drink more water.
#5: Boost Anti-aging Hormones
Low testosterone levels lead to a loss of skin elasticity; and testosterone starved skin becomes thin, fragile, dry and saggy. You can boost your testosterone levels naturally with the clinically effective, herbal formula Testro Vida, which is formulated to be safe for both men and women. DHEA is also helpful for tightening the skin because it increases both collagen and testosterone production. Other hormones that play a key role in skin aging and sagging include estrogen, progesterone, and growth hormones.
Optimizing these hormones may support the skin tightening process, but hormones need to be kept in a delicate balance and you don't want to boost them if your levels are already high. So it's best to first test your hormone levels, and then proactively increase any that measure in the low-end of normal. You can purchase an at-home hormone saliva panel or hormone blood spot test here.
#6: Be Patient
When dealing with stretched, loose skin, it’s important to be patient with your body as it adapts to its new size. Resist the urge to compare yourself to others, as your skin elasticity will differ depending on your age, genetics, and health status. It's also important that you don't obsess about saggy skin or judge yourself for it. The negativity will bring you down, and make you more likely to self-sabotage. Focus instead on loving your body and all of your amazing attributes! If you find this positive mind shift to be difficult, get a copy of the Love Your Body Hypnosis Track, and listen to it daily.