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Loose Skin and Primal Eating

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  • Loose Skin and Primal Eating

    I am curious to know about people who have lost very large amounts of weight eating primal or paleo. I lost 25lbs so far and need to lose about 75 more (and then probably some more if I'm realistic and really get healthy once I get there). My big fear is loose skin - as it is I'm already covered in stretch marks from getting fat. Of course, I'm not going to let fear of loose skin stop me from continuing on my trek towards better health but I do wish I could avoid it.

    Anyway, there seems to be some anecdotal evidence here and there that loose skin isn't as problematic with primal as it is with other diets. Logically it makes sense - you are nourishing your body with highly nutritious foods, eating adequate amounts of fat, maintaining muscle, etc etc. These are all things that I think would be conducive to good skin shrinkage.

    That said, I was wondering if any one had any more information on this or were willing to share their personal stories. I know genetics, age, and how long you've been overweight play a huge role - there are many poeople who will have lose skin no matter what plan they follow - but still, it would be nice to know that it was less of a problem among primal eaters than others.

  • #2
    I'm 57 going on 58. I have lost about 68 pounds from my all-time high several years back. I figure I have about 15 pounds to go. I will probably reach my goal by the 1 year mark. I can see I will have little crinkles where I have stretch marks on my belly, but hey. I'm 57. I've already bought the bikini.

    The only place where the loose skin is likely to be unacceptable is my upper arms. Not too much to do about it beyond surgery.


    • #3
      You skin does get looser when you lose water/fat. But it adapts, it's not loose permanently.
      Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

      Griff's cholesterol primer
      5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
      Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
      TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
      bloodorchid is always right


      • #4
        Magicmerl - for obese people, the skin doesn't necessarily retract. I've seen many pictures of people with saggy skin tents that never go away.
        Last edited by mandypandy2246; 03-24-2013, 03:44 PM.


        • #5
          The Unconquerable Dave may be one of the best primal spokesmodels ever.
          True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
          The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl


          • #6
            I'm down over 200lbs. Things seem to be tightening up quite nice. Pics to come this summer


            • #7
              I'm 34 and lost 108 lbs doing a Primal Atkins diet over the last 14 months. I still have 20 to go to get to my "hot in a bikini" weight but I have no loose skin at all. I have some cellulite on the upper part of my back thighs but that's been there since as long as I can remember and even when I was much thinner.


              • #8
                Wow .. Angel do you have any before and after pictures? I'd love to see! Also, did you have any stretch marks from weight gain? My belly is covered.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TornadoGirl View Post
                  The Unconquerable Dave may be one of the best primal spokesmodels ever.
                  His results are amazing! There's a blog post by Mark that discusses loose skin and links to a page from Ron Brown that I found very interesting.

                  The whole loose skin thing never made sense to me. Your skin is not some dead bag of keratin. It's a living organ that is continually replenished from the inside out. It costs your body to maintain it. What's the incentive to maintain more than you need? Also, I'm not sure that everyone means the same thing when they say "loose skin". I watched a program on TLC following two people, a man and a woman, who had each lost over 100 lbs. After their surgery, the surgeon wheeled in the "skin" on a gurney to show it to them. In both cases it was a band about 8-12" high that had wrapped around their whole body. But it was also 3-4" thick! You could see the fat on the inside. You didn't really get a good look at their scars, which suggested to me that they were pretty disturbing to look at. I certainly don't begrudge them the choice they made, but I'm not sure it would be the right one for me.

                  At my highest weight, I was 205, so I've lost 36% of my body weight. My belly is not bikini-ready. It's sort of the texture of a balloon after you've let the air out, lol.. I'm just glad I don't have hanging folds. There is clearly several lbs of fat there, because you can grab a handful. My stretch marks are actually from my 2 pregnancies, so I don't mind those. I am lucky that I'm not super-prone to them. My upper arms worry me a little more, because they really do look like old lady arms. However, I don't think there's so much skin there that it couldn't be filled out with muscle. My goal for the next year is to get down to 20% body fat and to be able to deadlift 1.5x my body weight. We'll see where my skin's at then.
                  50yo, 5'3"
                  CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
                  GW- Goals are no longer weight-related


                  • #10
                    I had a thread about this awhile back. I think it depends on the person. I've done a lot of research on dry skin brushing, and there is a lot of evidence to think it helps with cellulite, stretch marks and loose skin. Look into it. Also, they say taking an alfalfa supplement.
                    The process is simple: Free your mind, and your ass will follow.


                    • #11
                      my understanding is that "loose skin" is a result of crash dieting. your body doesn't have time to "retract" it. yes, it's an organ, but it's not infinitely elastic.

                      the daughter of a friend had gastric bypass last year. she weighed 400 pounds or so. yes, very big. at the beginning, she was losing 10-15 pounds per month. at the 6-month mark, she was noticeably smaller, but still had a giant tire around her lower abdomen, which i suspect will require surgery to remove. a surgery most insurance plans won't cover, even while they will pay for the bypass. feh.

                      eat right and keep moving.
                      As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                      Ernest Hemingway


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by noodletoy View Post
                        my understanding is that "loose skin" is a result of crash dieting. your body doesn't have time to "retract" it. yes, it's an organ, but it's not infinitely elastic.

                        This is what I understand as well. If you eat healthy and exercise, you likely won't lose super quickly. But you will give your skin a chance to keep up and shrink as the rest of you does. I've lost 20lbs, all my stretch marks are from my 2 pregnancies.


                        • #13
                          A lot of dieters say loose skin is a result of dieting too fast. I'm not sure whether there is truth to that or just an excuse they use not to lose weight. I suspect that time is the biggest factor. Whether you take 6 months, a year, or 2 years to lose the weight, your skin will probably be the same at the 5 year mark.

                          I have seen some videos on youtube about this, including a rather graphic tummy tuck operation, where the surgeon tightened up the patient's abdominal fascia by sewing a seam up it, because her "abdominal muscles had become loose from pregnancy".

                          It looked to me like he was tightening up her visceral fat. I've been pregnant and I don't seem to have a large abdominal musculature, though it would have appeared that way when I was fat.

                          It is clear that often the "loose skin" you see in these videos would not be nearly so loose if it didn't have 2 or more inches of fat. People do surgery instead of losing weight because they think it's the easy way out.

                          I think those giant scars that are left by tuck operations are a result of the thickness of the remaining fat in the area. If the patients had lost down to their ideal weight, they would probably have much finer scars.


                          • #14
                            Zinc, sufficient A and C and gelatin/bone broth with help with skin health/elasticity.

                            There is also laser cosmetic therapy that can help.
                            Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                            Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                            Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


                            • #15
                              I'm having trouble with flab as I lose. My fat used to be really firm, and now a lot of areas are wrinkly and like jello. I a lot of my old firmness was water retention and as I have lost fat, my skin has not shrunk. I think a lot boils down to genetics and age.

                              I have seen before and afters on the skin surgeries, and it looks like a lot of them are performed on people that could still lose weight. Like they normally have say gone from 300 to 175, and could still lose another 30-40 lbs., but I imagine the skin and flab just gets in the way and starts to drive you nuts- things like skin hanging over the knees, lower abs that cover your crotch. It looks like a lot of these people are probably in a lot of discomfort. The surgery in no way renders them bikini ready though.

                              My plan is to carry on and keep losing. I am getting ready to up my working out to work on increasing my muscle mass.

                              I don't think its an easy way out at all. The surgery looks painful and expensive, with pretty unimpressive results in terms of being "bikini ready".

                              Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!