If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight recently, there’s a good chance you have loose skin. This is understandably frustrating; it can feel as though you've won in one area and lost in another. 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: Ditch the “Skin Tightening” Topicals
First things first, don't waste your time or money on topicals that claim to tighten the skin as collagen and elastin molecules are too large to penetrate your skin. “There are no efficacious topical products or OTC remedies for excess skin,” says Joshua Zuckerman, M.D., surgical director at Zuckerman Plastic Surgery.You are far better off spending your money on healthy organic food, a gym membership and nutraceuticals.
#2: Take it Slow
Slow down your weight loss. This may sound like shocking advice, but when you lose weight too rapidly your skin doesn't have a chance to adjust, and it will continue to get more saggy 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 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.
#3: Eat an Antioxidant Rich, 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 wholegrains. 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.
#4: Take Slim Blend Pro
Slim Blend Pro is an organic 5-in-1 meal replacement powder that contains a blend of over 30 antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables and 10 grams of vegan protein per serving, to boost energy and support healthy collagen production. It also contains fiber to help cleanse your body and reduce its toxic load, and probiotics and digestive enzymes - all of which promote gut health. Research shows that cultivating a healthy gut helps reduce cravings, boost metabolism, and enhance weight loss. A healthy gut also increases your chances of keeping that weight off, which is beneficial for your skin because yo-yo weight gain is a major contributor to skin aging and sagging.
#5: Stay Hydrated
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.
#6: Boost Anti-aging Hormones
Low testosterone levels leads to a loss of skin elasticity; and testosterone starved skin becomes thin, fragile, dry and saggy. You can boost your testosterone levels safely and naturally with the clinically effective, herbal formula Testro Vida. 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.
#7: Include StrengthTraining 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 the body fat you once had with muscle, and that 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.
#8: 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; as well as how much weight you lost, and how quickly you lost it. 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 and seek comfort in your old unhealthy ways. Focus instead on loving your body and taking pride in all of the weight you have managed to lose! 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.