There's an interesting discussion going on over at Livin' La Vida Low-Carb about how to get rid of the excess skin on your body after a dramatic weight loss. People who lose many dozens of pounds are often left with a great deal of sagging skin. Surgery is increasingly being touted as the solution to the excess flabby skin, but a lot of people believe this is not optimal and necessary. Here are some comments people have made there:
"I thought for sure I'd have to get plastic surgery. But the more weight I lost, the more what I thought was loose skin tightened up and the better it looked. Based on my experience, I don't think you have loose skin; instead there's more fat under there to lose."
"I myself have the excess skin after losing 100 lbs. I am 37 years old. The biggest area where I had it was around my tummy, so I purchased an Ab Lounge and over the last several months, I have noticed a major improvement in my stomach area. I'm also doing a combination of aerobic type activity (belly dancing and hula-hooping), pilates, and other weight-bearing exercises for toning. I think "toning" is the key. Lifting weights is also key. I might always have the underarm waggle and the extra skin on the bottoms of my thighs, but I look MUCH better than I did before. I look better at 37 than I did @ 27."
"I do believe that it takes time to tighten up the loose skin. I lost half of my body weight from 220 to 110 when I was in my 50's (I am now 72). It took about 7 years but I did lose most of the loose skin. I tried going down further in weight to lose it faster and to lose the little belly pouch but it didn't work, just made my arms and legs look like sticks. I still have the belly. Unfortunately the low fat crowed convinced me that low carb was ruining my health and I gained most of it back before I regained my senses and went back to low carb. I now weigh 130 which is healthy for my 5'3". In short give it time, it takes about 7 years I have heard for the body to completely replace itself cell by cell."
"Time and exercise have worked for me. Almost four years after losing the bulk of 95 pounds, I only have a few spots that would qualify as loose skin and they're barely noticeable. The worst spot was my lower stomach, but it only looked a bit wrinkly, not hanging and since I've upped my exercise intensity it's gotten even better. I'm 43 and have birthed two strapping boys, so I don't have the benefit of youthful elasticity."
See the full discussion at Livin' La Vida Low-Carb. Untitled photo by Malingering.