What do many people fear after weight loss? The scale going up? Getting bored with exercise? How they’ll maintain forever? The possibilities are endless, but there is one big weight (Excuse the pun…) on many people’s minds…
After working so hard to shed the fat and improve your health, you can’t wait to fit in with naturally slim people. Unfortunately for some, they only feel ‘normal’ with clothes on. Once the clothes come off, they face saggy skin in various places like their stomach, arms, legs, or even their neck.
Answer these five questions to determine whether you’ll have saggy skin. Remember, even if you fulfil every criteria, your skin still might shrink over time and improve in appearance.
How long have you been overweight/obese?
Your skin stretches and shrinks like an elastic band. You gain weight and your skin grows. You lose weight and your skin shrinks. However, if it’s been stretched for too long then it won’t bounce back. The excess fat will be burned off but the skin will remain big and stretched. If you’ve only been overweight for months or a few years then your skin should should shrink without a problem. If you’ve been fat for many years, decades, or since childhood, you should prepare yourself for saggy skin.
How overweight were you?
Remember the elastic band? Another factor that stops it shrinking back is how far you stretch it. Eventually skin reaches its breaking point where it won’t snap back, so even if you were morbidly obese for a short amount of time, there’s still the chance of saggy skin.
How old are you?
As you get older your skin ages too i.e. wrinkles, so it’s not as flexible as when you were younger. A young person (say, in their twenties) has skin that is still in its prime, so the odds are that it’ll shrink to reasonable proportions. Older skin will need much more time and possibly surgery.
How much muscle do you have?
When the fat goes the skin has room to spare. You can either leave this empty space, which means it will be mushy and saggy, or fill it with muscle. More muscle filling the space means less saggy skin. The skin will stick to the muscle and give you some tone and definition. Even if the sag remains, people will be too busy envying your new muscles to notice.
How much water do you drink?
Drinking lots of water daily is great for many reasons, such as preventing saggy skin. A high water intake keeps the skin hydrated and supple so it can shrink as you lose weight. Also, the water will aid digestion and flush out toxins from your body, so your skin will not only shrink but naturally glow. The next time you’re tempted to ditch your water bottle, pinch your fat rolls. Picture saggy skin in their place. Then drink.
Is saggy skin inevitable?
The only way to find out to is meet your goal weight and maintain for at least 2-3 years. Your skin may bounce back. It may not. In the meantime, save up for surgery, increase your muscle mass, make sure you get at least 8 glasses of water a day, and hope for the best. Remember, some people defy these five factors, so don’t think there’s no point in losing the weight. I’ve never heard of anyone who regained the weight because of saggy skin.
Successful weight maintenance requires careful planning so you’ll be prepared for what’s to come. Click here to see what other problems you’ll encounter on your weight maintenance journey.