I am an overweight woman in her thirties and I am really determined to lost weight, get in shape and reach my goal of running the charity marathon for my kids’ kindergarten.
I weigh 202 pounds now and I would like to reach 130 lbs. at some point. I know it involves hard work and I am willing. But recently while reading your Ask Alfonso section, I came across a post where you answered a woman asking about whether chest flyes are good for sagging breasts. Your answer was flat out no.
Now I wonder if I follow a good eating plan and exercise regularly, will my body sag no matter what I do?
Hello Nina. How are you today?
Well no matter my answer is you’re headed in the right direction. You’re determined and willing so you should be able to lose weight, get in shape and improve your health. But let’s remember that exercise is about improving your quality of life, not just how you look!
So here’s the deal – I can’t really answer this for you. But when it comes to loose or stretched skin I believe there are some standard expectations that I can share. Now I’ve seen women gain 100 + pounds in pregnancy and a mere 4 months later look as though they never had a baby – no stretch marks, no loose skin, nothing. I’ve seen other women gain as little as 30 pounds and not be so fortunate. And the same holds true with people who are obese or 30 plus pounds overweight. Although I will say that I think it goes without saying that the bigger you are and the more you have to lose, the more likely it’ll be that you’re skin quality will suffer.
Let me explain what stretch marks are and why skin sags. Stretched skin really isn’t stretched, but torn. Yes those marks you see oftentimes when skin sags is due to small tears in the dermis – almost like a pull in your stocking. And while we’ve all read about moisturizers, creams and rubbing different vitamins on our skin to combat this, I’ve yet to read or see first hand that this actually works. Plus, and this is big, your genetics, your diet and even your gender can play a big role in how much loose skin accrues. And lets not forget about age. As we age our hormone levels decline – including the ‘Grand Daddy’ of them all – growth hormone. There’s a direct correlation between lower hormonal output and skin elasticity. That’s why oftentimes the younger a person is when they lose weight the better chances they’ll have at their skin returning to somewhat normal condition. So you can see there really is no clear-cut answer other than finding out for yourself. But I do have some tips for you.
First up, lose weight slowly. I know we all want to short cut the process when it comes to weight loss and get in shape, but I’ve found that people who lose weight at a rapid rate seem to suffer from having loose skin more often. I’m not sure why, nor do I have any science to back this up, but it would follow that a fast, rapid loss doesn’t allow the skin time to ‘shrink’ or adjust. Second, make sure you weight train. Too often I see people who have lost upwards of 50 plus pounds and look exactly the same, just smaller. They’ve essentially lost a lot of muscle by over-dieting and exercising and as a result have lost muscle tone. Of course make sure your diet is in check and includes lots of colored vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats and a little sugar. And as always, drink water! I can’t say this enough. Not only does water support every cell of the body, but when it comes to your skin (the largest organ) it also helps moisturize, increases its elasticity and replenishes dead skin cells.
I’ve been using Neo Cell Health’s collagen and hyaluronic acid products for well over a year now and they specialize in hair, nails, skin and joint support. And I have to say that I do notice a huge difference. I don’t work for them nor do I get paid for promoting their product – but I do believe the products work when followed correctly. These two products are a one-two punch for hair and nail growth, skin rejuvenation, stronger tendons, ligaments and much more. Collagen is really interesting – it’s a protein that’s abundant in connective tissue and all throughout the body. As we age our bodies make less and as a consequence, our skin loses some of its youthfulness and appearance. I’ve found that collagen supplementation gives our bodies the ingredients needed to support firmer, healthier, better looking skin. I’ve also notice my nails grow faster and my skin looks better. So you may want to check into using it.
Lastly, don’t worry Nina! I say this over and over but no matter what – you have to lose the weight and get healthy. Worry about loose skin later. For now you need to focus on your exercise program and getting healthy. That’s a win – win, loose skin or not.
Good luck – and if you have a question – please just click here. I’d love to help you!
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