Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
19 Mar

Dear Mark: Excess Skin After Major Weight Loss?

Today’s Dear Mark topic is a sensitive one: excess, or loose skin after major weight loss. This is a problem for a lot of people, and it can really take the sails out of someone who’s had otherwise seamless success losing weight. I may ruffle a few feathers here, but I assure my intent is merely to give folks who have loose skin the best shot at reaching their desired body composition. So, as you read my response to the reader question, keep that in mind.

With that said, let’s get to it:

Hi Mark,

Excess skin after weight loss is a big topic in most weight loss communities, yet I rarely hear about it in the Primal community. Does the Primal lifestyle prevent excess skin? Are there any tips from either yourself or from the members of the community about avoiding or preventing excess skin after weight loss? I am currently approx 100 lbs overweight so this is something that really concerns me.


Before getting into potential methods of treating and/or preventing excess skin after weight loss, let’s explore the phenomenon itself. What exactly is loose, or excess skin?

Most cases of loose skin are actually just cases of excess subcutaneous body fat covered by skin. And because subcutaneous fat is “soft” fat, it is looser and easier to confuse with skin. It droops and jiggles and the skin that surrounds it conforms to its shape. That’s not to suggest that legitimately loose skin isn’t a real problem, because it is. But I would wager that many if not most cases of loose skin can be explained by overly stubborn deposits of subcutaneous fat.

Stubborn fat is actually a real thing. As Martin Berkhan explains, adipose tissue is full of alpha-2 and beta-2 receptors. A-2 and b-2 receptors are the major lipolytic receptors in adipose tissue, meaning they interact with the catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline) to cause stored body fat to release. B-2 receptors are associated with “easy fat,” or fat that burns off easily. A-2 receptors are associated with “stubborn fat,” or fat that’s harder to burn. All adipose tissue has both a-2 and b-2 receptors, and the higher the b-2:a-2 ratio, the easier it is to burn the fat. The lower the ratio, the more stubborn the fat. Belly fat has a notoriously low b-2:a-2 ratio, which is why it’s usually the last to go (especially for men). If your belly fat is stubborn, it may resemble loose skin even as the rest of your body has mostly leaned out.

If your loose skin is thicker than a few millimeters, there is residual body fat. And because adipose tissue – which, remember, is actually a major endocrine organ, rather than an inert piece of tissue – remains, the skin has no reason to return to its former size and elasticity. As long as the subcutaneous fat attached to it remains, the skin will appear loose and drape-y. Skin that fills your hand when you squeeze it isn’t just skin.

This isn’t really bad news, believe it or not. It actually means that you’re almost there. It means that your “loose skin” isn’t necessarily out of your control. If indeed it is simply stubborn subcutaneous fat, once you manage to lose the excess fat, the “loose skin” might just disappear along with it. In fact, I’d imagine that most such cases of “loose skin” can and will be remedied in this manner. Men, get down to around 10-12% body fat before you start considering surgery or anything drastic. Women, get down to 15-17% body fat before taking any surgical steps.

Hey, if that sounded harsh to you, at least I’m not as bad as Ron Brown, PhD, who claims loose skin is nothing but a myth. Go ahead and check out his argument, but try to avoid meeting his steely gaze. Lock eyes with Dr. Ron at your own peril; you will be consumed. Despite the intense shirtless photo, he has a point that skin is not a passive slab of flesh. Instead, it is an active organ that should be able to adapt to the body’s “internal and external environment.”

That said, if your loose skin is paper thin, closer to the thickness of your eyelid or the back of your hand (about 1 mm thick), and resembles rolled up papyrus or parchment, you likely suffer from excess skin. What can be done to prevent or deal with actual excess skin?

First and foremost, any weight loss regimen must be accompanied by resistance training. Yeah, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you have to be lifting heavy things in order for the best things to happen to your body composition. There are a few genetic outliers who can put on muscle as easily as breathing, but those folks probably won’t have the problem of loose skin anyway. For the rest of us, however, we need to lift weights in order to maintain and/or build lean mass during weight loss. If your loose skin is caused by a rapid diminishing of body mass, packing on a bit more mass in the form of muscle can mitigate the problem.

There’s no hard data on this, but I’d imagine that crash diets, ones that consume lean mass and fat mass indiscriminately in the pursuit of rapid weight loss, will be more likely to leave you with excess skin. If you’re losing weight and feeling weaker, disoriented, lazy, rundown, and generally crappy, you’re probably doing it wrong. Weight loss should imbue you with vigor and strength, easy, smooth energy. You should be burning clean body fat for energy, not breaking down your lean tissue. Remember what I wrote last week about fasting preferentially targeting body fat versus lean mass? Yeah, fasting might be just the ticket for ridding yourself of stubborn body fat while avoiding the accumulation of excess skin due to concurrent lean mass breakdown.

Another major cause of loose skin is compromised skin elasticity. If your skin loses elasticity, it will lose its ability to spring back to its former glory. Lost elasticity is usually thought of as a characteristic of growing old, but it can also strike younger people. Besides finding the fountain of youth, what can you do to improve skin elasticity?

One study found that dietary gelatin improved skin elasticity (PDF). Eating real bone broth, fatty gelatin-rich meats like oxtail, poultry feet, or short ribs, or even using gelatin powder as a supplement might be able to restore or preserve skin elasticity. You’re already getting dietary gelatin anyway, right?

Another study found that a proprietary blend of nutrients, including selenium (salmonbrazil nuts, seafood), zinc (oystersred meat), vitamin C (vegetables, fruit, raw liver), and various carotenoids (fruits and vegetables, red palm oil), was effective at increasing skin elasticity.

Vitamin C is important for collagen formation, which is vital for skin elasticity. Make sure to get enough vitamin C.

If weight loss occurs and you’re at a low-enough body fat percentage to determine that you truly have excess skin, give it several months before you turn to the scalpel. My guess is that for Primal eaters who are eating a nutrient-dense diet (including plenty of the aforementioned nutrients), truly excess skin won’t be as big a problem as it might be for the general dieter.

Now I’d like your help. Did you have excess skin after weight loss? Was it truly just skin, or was there also fat left over? Please, leave a comment and let everyone know what worked – and didn’t work – for you. Thanks for reading!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. This article is amazing, I lost 25kg due to pancreatitis and went back to what I weighed and how My body looked when I was 19 but the flesh is soft and not firm, it’s definitely not skin but as you said subcutaneous fat, my problem is that I cannot afford to lose any more so how do I deal with that remaining fat? I can’t firm it up as it isn’t muscle just under-skin fat.

    DNACowboy wrote on May 21st, 2012
  2. I have excess skin around my abdomen (4 kids) – I strength train – lift very heavy, core is very strong. I can even see my ab muscles now. However, the more weight (fat) I lose the more the excess skin shows. I am asian and have heard that asians have the least elasticity in their skin and are prone to stretch marks / excess skin after pregnancy. I’m thinking once I reach my goal size I’ll have to get it surgically removed.

    Salina wrote on May 27th, 2012
  3. Hello and Help:)
    I have a body fat % of 13.5% and have a tendency for water retention.
    I want to lose weight even if my BMI is at a normal level, as I have a little belly that disappears when I eat little but still bloats- even if I eat healthy food.

    Helene wrote on May 28th, 2012
  4. Helene if you want to lose weight at 13.5% body fat either that numbers is way higher then you think or your should think about speaking to a healthcare professional about body dysmorphic disorder. You are just about at essential BF levels for women.

    Kia wrote on May 28th, 2012
    • agreed – in fitness competitions, most females step on stage at about 15% bf. Are you measuring under your arm or by your hip? Those areas could be particularly thin while other areas may not, which would completely throw off your results. Best testing methods usually cost big bucks, water displacement is probably the most accurate. At 13.5% you could likely only pinch skin, and rather than a pouch of belly, you would have drapes of skin – literally looks like vertical drapes, especially when you bend over – additionally, females tend to lose that fat before say the but under your rear and inner thighs…And lastly, once elite trainers reach such low body fat levels, thier BMI is no longer healthy, is low, and should not be used as a measuring guide for athletes

      lisa wrote on June 5th, 2012
  5. I have lost about 50/60 lbs in the past couple years. This has equated to 13 inches off my waist and 7 inches off my chest since Jan 2011.

    I recently became very distraught because what I thought was loose skin on the top of my sides. Mortified. Truly. I had always been warned that it would happened with severe weight loss, but thought I was “young enough” my skin would bounce back (I’m about to be 25).

    This article was VERY informative, and I now know it’s subcutaneous fat.

    I also just last month learned that I have a Gluten and Dairy sensitivity. Adjusting my eating accordingly has been hellish. I have been working closely with a nutritionist for 5 years, and we made a new plan. My body has not yet adjusted.

    I’m hoping the weight will melt off once I adjust. But then I’ll have the subcutaneous fat issue big time.

    I’m an avid gym person as it is now. Weights, cardio, flexibility. Everything. I’m even a belly dancer. (pretty good for weighing over 300 lbs).

    But live and learn, right?

    This article was VERY helpful

    Christie S. wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  6. i lost 100 lbs. about 14 years ago, to be honest, i think it is loose skin and subcutaneous fat, i have gotten as low as 190 ( I am 6’3″) and still had the same amount of skin and subc fat as i do at 220 (with more muscle). At this point i have dieted, i am in excellent condition and @ 36 still staying in shape, i have learned to live with the skin but I truly hate it. I try to use it as a reminder of how big I was when I was over 300 lbs. as a teenager. Still doesnt make me feel better in a bathing suit, i lost over 10 inches off my waist so i am just going to live with it.

    josh wrote on June 29th, 2012
  7. I just managed to get to under 10% body fat this June after a lot of hard work all year. It’s my first time this low and indeed.. there’s some loose skin below the belly button I really never even knew I had. It’s the focus of my next 3 months.. burning that away. Indeed, it’s the toughest to get rid of.. or seemingly so because it’s the last to go. My goal is 6% body fat so I’m quite curious if it will be completely gone once I reach that. I feel confident that it will but I’ll know soon enough!
    Great article.

    Jeff wrote on July 1st, 2012
  8. Reading this article makes me really happy. Although this does mean I still have fat to burn after my weight loss, it also means that there is a way to get rid of my unsightly looking belly, without considering surgery.

    Ricky wrote on July 4th, 2012
  9. Hi
    For a month now i have been taking monavie RVL as a meal supplement but i have also been yousing kettlbells for 20 minutes per day twice per day. 3 Months ago i weigh 280 pounds and started to exersis a bit and the last time i weighed in i was 260 pounds . I have not weighed my self now for 6 weeks and i will not do it again until my birthday on September 15Th . I know that by using kettle bells daily i am loosing inches and avoiding the left over skin. I beleave the weight scale is more of a deterrent and as long as you can get rid of inches do not get on the scale as it can destroy you. For proper weight loss all you need is a comonsence diet with exersis ,but not only while you are loosing weight but you must exersise now every day for the rest of your life.

    Wayne Clark wrote on July 15th, 2012
  10. Hi Mark
    Reading your article gives real hope to those of us who have lots to loose. I am a 56 year old male and recently i picked up some kettle bells and wow i dont see a problem with excess skin as the resistance training makes all the difference in the world. 3 months ago i weighed in at 280 pounds and with my large medium frame i should be 180 at the most. When i weighed my self 4 weeks ago i was down to 255 pounds and at that time i got rid of the weigh skale and have just focused on how i feel and the loss’s in inches. I find that getting on the scale only discourages one from going forward as muscle is heavier then fat and therefore please stay away from the scale for 2 months at a time as long as you are loosing inches. I find that drinking my Monavie RVL meal replacements once per day also helps as it gives me the fruits that i need and also a lots of energy. I close by saying to all of us who need to loose never give up,as youwillucceed. Find your self a mentor and together keep up the good fight against the battle of the bulge.

    Wayne Clark wrote on July 15th, 2012
  11. i feel i have loose skin i have lost 163 lb and body fat at 11% and i am not a meat eater i will try gelatin and see i do workout

    gene wrote on August 1st, 2012
  12. Hello everyone. My name is Austin, I’m 16 years old and I weigh 248 lbs. This is my story and it follow with some questions that have been on my mind. I was a skinny child up until age 5. I’ve looked at pictures when I was 3 and I was a very thin and active child. Starting at around age 5 I started eating a lot of junky food and I ate a lot of it, mainly because my mom was poor and we were living on food stamps and could only afford fatty snacks and dinners. As a result of consuming these foods, I started gaining weight fairly rapidly. When I was around 9 I lost some weight but gained it back again. And then when I was 12 me and my dad started walking at the high school and I started eating healthier and eventually started working out. I ended up losing 90 lbs within 7 months. I went from 220 to 130 lbs. I was so happy! I didn’t notice any loose skin maybe a few stretch marks but nothing horrible, mainly just the “stubborn fat” the article talked about. Then I started falling back into old eating habits and I stopped exercising and fastfoward 3 years and I’ve almost 120 lbs back. I feel AWEFUL about myself. I want to eat right again I want to exercise but I just CANNOT find the motivation! I feel lazy constantly and I sleep for hours at a time and binge on junk food. And then I try to limit my calories and that works for maybe 3 or 4 days and The cravings and impulses get the best of me and I just give in /: I’m really serious about losing the weight again, now here come the questions. Since I gained back so much weight, will the elastcity of my skin be completely damaged and ruined? I’ve noticed big stretch marks which sucks. And I know genes play a role in this and my dad is 42 or 43 years old and he is in AMAZING shape. He’s been in almost the shame shape he’s been in since high school. Really buff and muscular and I hope that helps mea bit. My mom was a thin child too but her dad died at 14 and after that she gained a lot of weight from stress and im 2007 she had gastric bypass and lost weight but now she suffers from loose skim which has made her so self conscious about herself and it makes me SO SAD for her :( but anyway, I’m 16 5ft 5 1/2 inches tall and weigh 248 lbs and my goal is to lose at least 100 lbs. I’m worried I’ll have loose skin but taking into consideration my moms genes (before she got severly depressed) and my dads genes, and my age, will this make it more likely i won’t get loose skin? Also I thought I should mention even though I’m very obese, I don’t realy LOOK that huge. I think it might be my frame so I hope you guys have some answers for me cause I’m so worried /:

    Austin wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • You’re very young and you have that to your advantage. Stretch marks do fade over time as well. You also have the advantage that your Mum & Dad have good genes. If you lose the weight over time, your skin will bounce back much better than if you start when you’re 40 !!

      Why don’t you start walking to High School again ? That would be a good start, and find a sport you really love. I LOVE dancing, even thought I’m not very good at it :) I take bellydancing lessons and bop around in my living room.

      If you join the forums here you’ll get good support, and a Paleo diet will give you all the nutrients you need for your skin to repair itself. The sooner you start, the better you’ll feel !

      All the best !

      Molly wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • Thanks Molly! What exactly is the Paleo diet?

        Austin wrote on August 6th, 2012
        • Austin, you can learn about the paleo/primal diet on this website. Go to the “freebies” section at the top of the page, download the books (they’re all short/straight to the point/entertaining) and learn all about it.

          Melissa wrote on August 7th, 2012
    • Hey Austin…I’m going to bet that because of your age (young adults are stretchy…meaning you have a lot of great collagen still) you’ll spring right back. I’m going from info about younger women getting pregnant and afterwards they spring right back into shape most of the time, MUCH better than women in mid twenties and on getting pregnant. I’m sure as long as you eat good fats your body will spring right back as well. In fact I’m betting that if older people ate great fats their collagen would be in a much greater supply and wouldn’t have many loose skin problems…or at least I’m hoping because I’m 30 and have about 60 lbs to lose and would love to not have loose skin. :-) Good luck and GOOD FOR YOU DUDE!!!!!!!! GREAT job finding such a healthy way to lose weight at such an early age!!!! I have been fat my whole life (proportionately so…but still…ALWAYS wanted to be thin/healthy ) and JUST NOW found this this year and it’s amazing how easy it is and how great I feel. I wish I’d known about this in highschool instead of trying to starve myself on iceburg lettuce and soymilk!

      Melissa wrote on August 7th, 2012
  13. Thank you for your honest answer… it gives me hope! I gave birth to full term twins and my normally flat tummy with no fat was stretched to the point where I thought it would split. After the birth and the months that followed I also lost the 60lbs in weight I had put on during pregnancy and am now left with saggy, stretch marked skin. I thought the only solution would be a tummy tuck but this gives me something to focus on to try to remedy it naturally. Although i know the stretch marks will be there forever it will be nice to at least try to get rid of the baggy skin. Spanx are not a long term solution for me!!!

    Rose wrote on August 17th, 2012
  14. Can you go further into a definition of “lift heavy things”? Does it have to be traditional weights? I train with kettlebells at least 5 days a week, and I’ve got much, much stronger. Would this be enough, or do I HAVE TO do bench presses and such?

    Kirk wrote on August 20th, 2012
  15. Thank you for this honest and informative answer. I have lost about 105 lbs pretty quickly, and have a trainer and such as well as the medical weight loss program I was using for a time, and have been very frustrated and disappointed that the one area that shows most consistently, my upper arms, seem to be going nowhere. I have some very legit muscles built, but the sagging lower arm has been a point of contention with myself and truly makes me feel like I have not accomplished as much as I truly have. Knowing now this truth and such gives me hope that I WILL still get to where I want to be in the arms, and a couple other areas, and gave me the push to keep moving forward.

    Thanks you.

    Sue Antos wrote on August 24th, 2012
  16. I have the worse case of loose skin! & i know it isnt fat because my stomach is very tight but its very wrinkled right around the belly button & below. Something that has made a HUGE improvement was body wraps & dead sea salt scrubs/baths. i guess that plays into the hydrating & exfoliating. But its getting much better. I shall see within the next year!

    Ash wrote on August 27th, 2012
  17. can you please translate this to english. thanks.

    Blake wrote on October 11th, 2012
  18. This is the most helpful article iv read on this subject thank you! Iv lost 145lbs and well iv learned that its not loose skin but stubborn fat good to know! So where do you buy this gelatin powder health food store? VERY good article :)

    April wrote on October 24th, 2012
  19. I have to say that this is working for me. I was satisfied at my weight loss but the loose rolls were making me so sad and I had to hide them by wearing the same kind of clothes I wore before. I read this and decided to push past the weight loss to a lower body fat- not there yet but the rolls are disappearing. Still have some paper thin wrinkly skin on my arms and inner thighs, but in the 18% level my “loose skin rolls” are slowly going away. Hoping in time they will disappear. Glad I read this article. Not easy at my age- 51. I have hope though.

    carol wrote on October 28th, 2012
  20. Before about August, I was rapidly gaining weight, I got up to about 230 before I started getting worried. I dieted over the summer and lost about 70 lbs. I am now 16 and 6 foot 2, I weigh 160 lbs, I have a size 30 waist, and I still have this left over fat that you talk about. I do P90X on and off, but I do the abb ripper X program in P90X daily because I am trying to loose what I have thought was skin over my gut. Do you think that some of this might be “baby fat”, that I have loose skin, or that I should persue for a lower weight? Thank You!!!

    Brendan wrote on November 3rd, 2012
  21. I lost a 100 pounds, and I have stretch marks from hell; they look like silver tiger stripes on my belly. I have loose thin skin on the bottom of my stomach, and I doubt it’s adipose tissue; had a dermatologist look at it, and he recomended surgery to get rid of it. It kind of sucks to be honest, every time I look at my stomach I see the indentions of my abdominals, with large stretch marks that remind me of how fat I was.
    I think this may be a larger issue in the paleo community, but people don’t want to fess up.

    Lost Weight Stretch Marks wrote on November 14th, 2012
  22. I am permanently disabled; always have been since I was born. My condition is called Arthrogryposis Amyoplasia. My condition is basically the lack of muscle in my limbs. I was 175lbs last year… I’m 112lbs now. I feel like I have loose skin on my arms and legs. But they are thicker than a couple of millimeters. More so on my arm you can see a flab that should just be cut off. I’m only 23 years old. Idk what I should do cuz most exercises I can’t do. I can’t even raise my arms high enough to feed myself. I lost weight pretty fast, I was doing crazy low calorie diets (like 500 calories or less) now I’m vegan, I eat more. Should I still be losing? I feel like I have more fat to lose but I don’t want more noticable loose skin :( my friends even notice…. Please email me back. I probably won’t go on this site again to see if you replied. I can send before and after pics too. I’d really like to know if it’ll just go away, if I need to lose more, or what??

    Katherine wrote on January 4th, 2013
  23. ^^ my email

    Katherine wrote on January 4th, 2013
  24. I used to be recommended this web site by means of my cousin. I am now not certain whether or not this put up is written by him as nobody else recognize such special approximately my difficulty. You’re incredible! Thanks!

    How to lose your thigh fat fast! wrote on January 20th, 2013
  25. You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

    how to lose armpit fat wrote on January 21st, 2013
  26. I am 5’8″ and weighed 300 pounds. Today, I weigh 175 with about 14% bodyfat. I have lots of muscle, I even have the diagram of a six pack and when I tighten, can see veins, etc, yet still have extra skin. Extra skin sucks! I’ve started wearing a sweat belt though when working out, drinking lots of water, and using weights during ab workouts a couple of times a week and have seen some improvement.

    Used to be fat wrote on February 13th, 2013
  27. I am so glad I found your article… I have been worrying about the loose skin issue since I started my weight loss journey. Everywhere you look people tell you there’s not much you can do… So to read this article and get explained the factors that can cause these post-weight loss folds makes me very happy and I feel like Ill be able to deal with them if/when they happen.

    Nicole wrote on February 20th, 2013
  28. Thank you!
    I was beganing to feel hopeless
    I lost 71 lbs in May of 2012 and now I’m very lean with muscles and a fat belly. It droops only when I’m in a plank position but forms to a round shape when I’m standing.I work hard as hell to lose it but no luck!
    I am going to school next week to become a personal fitness trainer so i hope I can lose the belly so I can show others how to lose it too.

    Denita wrote on March 4th, 2013
  29. This post gave me hope I will not give up until I lose all of my fat thank you for helping me and giving me some clarification Loose skin can be discouraging but knowing that it’s probably not loose skin makes this journey a lot easier

    joe boyce wrote on March 4th, 2013
  30. Found this very useful… 12 months keep fit and a better diet… Lost 2.5 stone and 6 inches off my waist… Feel great but have the tough part of getting rid of what I now realise is stubborn fat. Thanks

    Mark wrote on March 29th, 2013
  31. Great post and one I’ve been thinking about too…. I have some stretch marks and loose skin on my tummy post-pregnancies. My second (and last) child will be one years old next month in April. We switched to Primal/Paleo when my daughter was 5 weeks old so it’s close to a year now. I cannot believe how easy the weight came off just by eating the right foods. Then when my daughter was six months old, I started working out harder and then came my toned muscles and an incredible energy and endurance I’ve never had in my life before and I’m almost 35 years old. I now know first hand that eating the right foods is the most important thing you can do for your body. I have never been this fit and I am back in size 2 clothes that I haven’t worn since high school/early college days. BUT I still have that mommy tummy/pooch and extra skin on my belly. I’m going to try some of the things you suggest to see if I can improve that. Some of the reader responses have given me hope too that it can get better. I definitely Do NOT want to do surgery! I’ll either just keep working at it or live with it. Still it would be nice to wear a bikini in public especially since I live in Pensacola, Florida but if not, I have a cute one piece with toned legs and arms in the mean time. Thanks for the wonderful post and insights Mark and others! Best wishes, Mandy F.

    Mandy F. wrote on March 31st, 2013
  32. Got down to 7 % body fat i was 200 LBS and i am now 145 LBS and very lean and cut i have loose skin there is no fat left in that belly area for me its gone.

    This entire article was a waste of time how about posting some solutions for people with loose skin there are creams and other things people should do while continuing to drop the little bit of fat left.Unless you were 100 lbs over weight and dropped the weight and then you need the surgery to remove the skin just google and watch plastic surgeon videos of them in operating as they removed the skin from a guy who lost a couple hundred pounds.

    Ofcourse there is some cases with a bit of fat that is tough to go and the flabby skin around it, once you have gotten to the point where its less then a inch around your gut and you body fat is low some of that is left over skin plain and simple taking steps to tighten the skin and continuing to blast the fat for those of us who did not let ourselves go to the point of being a hundred or more pounds overweight is the way to do it. I dont want to build my abs up to the point where i look like a body builder with GH gut i want a nice lean look so building muscle is huge for sure but there are ways to tighten that skin.

    I have used some and i want to find others which is why i came to this site to read based on title how to get rid of excess skin not here about how some think is a myth

    Huff wrote on April 3rd, 2013
  33. Hello everyone, my name is marcus. I’ve lost almost 200 pounds in the last year. So I have a fair amount of stubborn body fat and a little bit of saggy skin. I’m not sure what kind of workouts I should be doing or what else I can do to get rid of it. Please help me out.

    marcus wrote on April 8th, 2013
  34. I used the It Works body wraps after I had my son. Tightened my belly, lifted the skin, and stayed off. It was like 4 wraps for $59. You can get them from this lady

    Jessica Davis wrote on April 11th, 2013
  35. Thank you very much for this article. I made the assumption it was some sort of ’tissue’. I will provide my story. I started at 240lbs, 5ft9, male, medium build, and I went down to 170lbs in about 5months. I lifted weights and initially did cardiovascular but at 175lbs I was unable to diet, do the treadclimber, and lift weights without extreme fatigue, so i dropped cardiovascular. I looked extremely lean with clothes on, and with a tank-top my arms were very lean indeed. I was lean everywhere except the inner gluteal folds and the abdomen. When bunched up and pulled taught, I had about 6inches by 4.5 inches of ’tissue’ (looks like fat to me), perhaps 3.5lbs of fat. Just out of high school I looked very good and was at 168lbs, so I was a bit perplexed as I seemed to have the same musculature.

    If i used calipers, I am sure my fat percentage would have been substantial. And I know I was feeling very bad when trying to break this barrier, so I opted to under water bodyweight analysis, aka hydrostatic body fat testing or hydrodensitometry. On 02-23-12 the analysis was 7.8% body fat (13lbs), 92.15% lean body mass (153), and I weighed in at 166lbs. Yet I looked like utter crud with my shirt off (my abs).

    I assumed my only course of action would be to have surgery. But after reading this article, I am reconsidering the situation–perhaps that stuff IS fat and not some strange connective tissue or whatever.

    I have since gained 10lbs, and perhaps only a tad more subcutaneously–i easily fit in the same clothes and pinching produces nearly the same effect–but my face does not look as ‘skinny’ so I am assuming my fat went visceral and elsewhere mostly.

    I never stopped lifting weights, and it remains quite apparent that I have a muscular build. Now I want to try to specifically remove this subcutaneous abdominal fat using the most effective and fast means possible. I would prefer that I do not lose muscle, but to be frank, I’d rather rebuild the muscle than to continue to have my abs look like this.

    It seems the safest and fastest method would be to fast, perhaps eating almost nothing at all for a couple weeks, OR to live off optimum nutrition 100% casein and vitamins for a couple weeks in an attempt to minimize muscle loss.

    Am I to understand that correctly? Despite being 44, I have zero medical issues and I am medically cleared healthy, able to do anything that a 25year old could do as far as my doctor is concerned (ekg, blood work, physical, etc).

    I want to remove this subcutaneous abdominal fat. If anybody has feedback on either idea, let me know. It is easier for me to calculate calories if I use the same exact food choice for the period of time–even if that is 30days (thus the casein protein. I also love almonds, but that is a fat source and probably not a good idea if i want to remove this SQ fat). Alternatively, I am willing to FAST (or starve–whatever you prefer to call it), perhaps eating once a day (so fasting 23hrs a day) with limited calories (protein and almonds perhaps), or hell, not eating at all for a week (but i probly shouldnt exceed a week at a time because my work is active, even if it is indoors–lots of standing and walking–miles a day, 3 days a week, 12hr shifts).

    All feedback most welcome. I simply cannot deal with this fat any longer now that Mark has told me that it is FAT!!!!


    Steven wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  36. I went down from 125kg – 58kg I have problems with loose skin and it definitely causes me to have issues with my appearance I used emu oil to get rid of as much of the stretch marks as I could but they wont go completely and I need help with toning I was looking for exercises when I found this site, you talk about skin going back to shape and elasticity I wonder if binding my stomach will actually help. it definitely seems it is fat left over which was an eye opener I had never heard of that before. I have upped my Vitamin C in the last two weeks you have given me hope :)

    Maree wrote on May 27th, 2013
  37. Hi there, I lost over a hundred pounds in about 8 months by doing nothing but Cardio “just riding my bike” just about all day everyday and surviving on nothing but ensures, naked’s, and peanuts really. I wasn’t too big but I went from about 235 to 130 then I’ve gained 10 pounds hopefully muscle mass because I was looking quite frail.. I’ve now been left with droopy skin and stretch marks.. Not really what I was looking for after all my effort and it’s been almost a year now since I’ve lost the weight. I it’s not too much but it’s enough to make me feel subconscious about my new hard earned body. I want to look like my friends that do nothing but sit on their ass’s play idea games and veg all days bodies 😛 they look great yet I’m left with this gross skin and stretch marks after dieting and exercise.. Not too fair lol what can I do to get rid of this skin and build muscle?

    Joshua P. wrote on June 7th, 2013
  38. Hi Mark, I’m 46, soon to be 47. I thankfully lost 60 lbs in the past few years, although i’ve been losing and regaining the last 10 lbs. i’m trying to get down to 120, 125 now.

    i have been having loose skin around my stomach for two years now. the more weight i lose, the more loose skin i have there. also a little bit in my arms now. i do lift weights—baby weights!–on and off. i am going back to lifting weights. is it too late for me, or is it still possible for me to have a firm taut stomach and arms?

    also … does gelatin have pesticides, etc., in it? I buy gelatin in powder form, but worry about what I’m ingesting potentially. Is there any way to know? Is there gelatin in organic form somewhere if necessary?

    I also, right now, don’t have the ability to make bone brooth as recommended here. I do take selium (3 brazil nuts/day), vitamin C (1,000, time released), and a bunch of other vitamins, and I’m going back to the paleo diet, with lots of pollock and whey protein powder, etc. taking selium and vit c–is that enough to help with loose skin?


    alexy wrote on June 14th, 2013
  39. I’ve been reading a lot about gelatin and it’s benefits for stretch marks during pregnancy, etc. I love the idea of being able to make a quick grass-fed gelatin snack instead of toiling and making a ton of broth. I read that it is classified as a Category C by the FDA. Any thoughts as to why this would be potentially harmful during pregnancy?

    Monica wrote on July 8th, 2013
  40. I am one of those guys mentioned in the article, “losing weight the wrong way”, at one point i was losing .8 pounds every day, and feeling weak, dizzy, and crappy all over. And as I lost all the weights, coming back to normal (-50 lbs), i got the loose skin and “possible fat”. Even at my skinniest times about a year or two years ago, (-60lbs ish) 170 lbs, 6’0 ft, I still had bunch of excessive skins it was annoying as hell. Now I just gave up trying to get rid of excess skins and workout the ways i like to work out (i.e. crossfit, strength cardio, swimming) it actually helped a little, I noticed my body is more sculpted with visible 6-pack under the loose skin (when i’m standing of course lol) and I’m stable around 194 lbs.

    mark wrote on July 8th, 2013

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2015 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!