There are a couple of reasons why The Easy Diet focuses on reducing caloric intake by 300 calories to 500 calories per day: first, slow weight loss is the healthiest kind of weight loss and the easiest kind to maintain over the long run, and second, slow weight loss can reduce or eliminate the chances of excess skin after weight loss.
What is Loose Skin (Excess Skin)?
The more you understand about your skin and how it responds to weight gain, the better you will be able to manage it when you lose weight. When you gain weight – it doesn’t matter if it’s from gaining fat or muscle – your body gets bigger and your skin has to stretch to cover the larger size. This is why you can get stretch marks simply from weight lifting (the skin responds to bigger muscles by stretching to cover them).
The first thing to consider is that in many cases what you may think is loose skin isn’t actually loose skin, it’s actually what is known as subcutaneous fat (the soft fat under the skin also known as “stubborn fat” that jiggles around when you move). To tell the difference between this stubborn fat and excess skin look at its thickness – skin is about as thick as your eyelids or the backs of your hands, anything thicker means there is still fat underneath the skin.
Simply put, loose skin is excess skin leftover after weight loss that has not shrunk back to its original size and shouldn’t be more than a couple millimeters thick. If it is thicker than that, then it is stubborn fat and you should read about how to get rid of stubborn fat easily.
How to Avoid Loose Skin (Excess Skin)?
Your skin has an incredible capacity for elasticity. Just as it can stretch, it can also shrink back, as long as you take care of it.
- Lose Weight Slowly – your goal shouldn’t be to lose weight for a specific event, it should be about living the rest of your life in a healthy, happy way. Slow weight loss is the best kind of weight and gives your skin time it needs to adjust to your changing body.
- Eat Healthy – make sure you embrace the principles laid out in The Easy Diet eat a varied diet consisting of protein-dense foods, along with fruits, vegetables, and legumes to get all the vitamins and minerals you need for your skin to recover and repair itself.
- Drink Healthy – you don’t need to drink 8 glasses of water per day but you do need to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water helps you feel fuller, helps digesting food and regulating your body, and helps restore elasticity to your skin.
Skin Care During Weight Loss
Even if you’re being smart and losing weight slowly, there are many things you can do to take care of your skin during weight loss. It should go without saying that you should not be smoking or consuming too much alcohol since they can be generally bad for your health, impede your weight loss, and can be bad for your skin.
- Exfoliate – by gently scrubbing your skin in circular motions you can get rid of dead skin and help new skin growth. This will also improve blood circulation.
- Avoid Sun Exposure – when you’re out and about during the day, make sure you wear appropriate sunscreen and wear clothing that covers and protects your skin from excessive sun exposure.
How to Tighten and Firm Up Skin After Weight Loss
Before you waste your money on cosmetics products or consider surgery try increasing your consumption of foods that contain Collagen and Elastin. Collagen is responsible for the firmness (strength) of your skin while Elastin is responsible for skin elasticity and flexibility. By consuming foods that increase your body’s production of these two proteins, you can restore your skin’s firmness and elasticity and counteract loose skin issues caused by weight loss.
Foods that Promote Elastin and Collagen
Here’s a quick list of foods that promote the production of Elastin and Collagen: soy products, vegetables (such as spinach, kale, cabbage, cucumber, celery), fruits high in Vitamin C (oranges, kiwis, strawberries, passionfruit), good sources of Vitamin A (carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, melons), and good sources of omega-3 fatty acids (especially fish).
How to get rid of loose skin without surgery
Remember that loose skin is a result of your skin stretching over a larger body (as a result of weight gain). If you lose weight by losing body fat, then the easiest way to get rid of loose skin is to gain muscle to replace the fat. You will have to do this in addition to the steps mentioned above because muscle is much denser than fat. Take a look at these pictures of fat vs. muscle to see what I mean.
Do Skin Firming/Tightening Creams Work?
The short answer is skin tightening and firming creams don’t work. Even though many skincare products contain Collagen and Elastin as ingredients, the reason they don’t work is because your body cannot absorb these proteins from the creams through your skin in any meaningful way. These treatments may make your skin appear better on the surface, but they don’t do anything to improve its firmness or elasticity and will not tighten your skin or help reduce excess skin.