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.

Gabrielle

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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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 http://thewrapist.weebly.com/.

    Jessica Davis wrote on April 11th, 2013
  8. 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!!!!

    thanks,
    Steven

    Steven wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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

    alexy wrote on June 14th, 2013
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Can I just say that I am super disappointed to see Mark advocating a 15-17% BF for women. As a woman who has been down that low in the past and struggled with disordered eating, I am now battling the consequences with amenorrhea and potential fertility issues even though my BF has now “normalized”. The majority of women would not be healthy at that low BF percentage. This is well documented especially with female triad syndrome, and women in the Paleo community talk about this all the time!

    Michelle Stiff wrote on July 21st, 2013
  15. To help with excess skin you might want to look into dry skin brushing. You use a dry natural fiber brush to brush the skin towards the heart.

    Monica wrote on July 21st, 2013
  16. I’ve lost 143 lbs to date, and have about 20 to lose to get to my goal. I do notice my lower abdomen is taking the longest to shape up…and I do know I still have subcutaneous fat there…but when I went for annual physical, the doctor gave basically the same advice given here…finish getting to goal and see…the skin could go with the fat and you may not notice the small amt. of excess skin you have left….keeping my fingers crossed..but in the meantime doing lots of HIIT, running, p90x, and ab work to speed the process:)

    april wrote on August 17th, 2013
  17. Hello, I have lost 175 pounds and have kept it off since 2005. I recently lost 7 more as I decided I wanted to get down to a size 8. I am a 51 year old female autoworker(28years) and my job is physically demanding. There is alot of weight lifting required on my job. For the life of me I cannot get rid of the excess sagging skin under my arms, thighs and belly. PLEASE HELP ME! I read so many different things and I dont want surgery. Please send me a private message on Facebook @ Lou Moos

    Lou Moos wrote on September 15th, 2013
  18. In Aug, 2010, my doctor’s record said I was 254 lbs. I tried calorie counting and lost about 20 lbs, but my HA1c starting coming back horrible. The doctor put me on a non-insulin injection daily which made me so sick, I couldn’t move without heaving, so that was out. I refused to take it anymore, and I promised that if she let me test my blood sugar 4 X per day, I would get things under control.

    I am female, age 56. I knew nothing about paleo/primal, but the testing showed me what foods spiked my sugars, and surprise! Surprise! Carbs did it! I adjusted to proteins and fats. I have now lost 94 lbs.

    My abdomen, butt and thighs look awful. My thighs look like balloons filled with Jello. But I’m not trying to get into a swimsuit or look like a super model. Just a normal person.

    I have a severe swayback which makes my upper abdomen tight and look like I’m pregnant. (People often ask me when my baby is due!) I have the “apron” on the lower ab, but by the description above it’s probably adipose fat. Any ab work causes spasms in the upper abs….I’ve tried! Surgery is completely out of the question.

    How much gelatin? How much vitamin C? I get ideas, but no real direction.

    Clover wrote on October 2nd, 2013
  19. Thank you for this article. Wanted to lose about 20lbs after my daughter turned 3 (and I had no reasons anymore not to lose the weight gained). Have lost about 13lbs in about 17 weeks and was feeling that the skin around my arms and tummy has loosened and is jingling. But according to the criteria you give, it looks like it is not the skin, but the residual fat. Hoping to lose the rest 7lbs and hope that this fat goes away by the end of this year. Thanks again.

    dtrivia wrote on October 7th, 2013
  20. hi, thanks for your good news. i really thought there was no way for me to lose this shape my body has got after i lost weight during these 8 months. i’m 189 centimeters tall and i weighed 125 kilograms. i started dieting, lifting and aerobics 8 months ago and the results were dramatic! now i weigh 91 kilograms and also have got some muscle(though it’s not enough at all, but it’s better than nothing). i still do lifts and aerobics but i can’t get on with my diet any more because i start to feel really weak if i do it. the problem i’ve got with my body is the loose shape of my belly and my breasts which embarrasses me a bit since it some how resembles a teen girl’s breasts. if you could help me about that i would be so grateful. by the way, thanks for your good news that i’m not left with no hope. i will get on with my exercise plans to see what happens. and I’m waiting for your further help. again, thanks a lot!

    Arash wrote on October 11th, 2013
  21. What people including the author of this article are failing to understand is that with massive weight loss we are no longer just talking about losing a bit of extra fat and skin retracting to where it should be.
    If you get fat enough or stay fat for long enough or lose and gain fat enough times not only do your existing fat cells overfill but you grow new ones. SO when you eventually lose the weight/fat you end up with a larger number of less full fat cells – they don’t just die off or disappear. Unfortunately those extra fat cells come with connective tissue, capillaries, blood supply and all the other bits and pieces that make up human ‘flesh’. Its not JUST skin and fat. As has been mentioned fat is an organ all its own with all the tissue mass & machinery that comes with that. Consequently once a certain point of fatness is reached it becomes IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of this ‘excess’ flesh or tissue (including fat and possibly skin) without surgery. If a never-been-fat or mildly fat person gets to 25% body fat from some higher figure to get rid of sagginess or loose skin then a long-time or extreme-weight fat person would need to get to far less than this say 15% for that to occur. Not only do you have to lose your ‘extra weight’ but also the extra fat cells and tissue that came with it as you got bigger and bigger. So unless you’re prepared to go to ridiculously low bodyfat %s to try and overcompensate there is no solution except for surgery to remove that fat tissue and lax skin. I know this isn’t what people want to hear but better to face facts than persist with pointless ‘diet and exercise’ regimes that are ineffectual because we are dealing with a whole other beast.

    HomeBetty wrote on October 25th, 2013
  22. I think Betty is right. I have had this problem for about two years now after losing 35 pounds and nothing, I repeat, nothing I do seems to change it. I eat strict (very strict) paleo, I workout with heavy weights, and I’ve got a stomach that I don’t want to be seen by the public at all, even though there’s a six pack under the folds. I am down to a low BF everywhere else but I can’t lose any more weight – I have tried, and that scale won’t budge, which is disheartening.

    Tyrannocaster wrote on November 6th, 2013
  23. i have a lot of fat around my stomach and tighs…what to do for burning it…heavely..

    aaya wrote on December 7th, 2013
  24. The never-ending story and issue on weight loss. Now there’s excess skin after losing weight. What’s next?

  25. hi mark , I cannot take any thing to do with beef . so how do I get gelatine that will work as well. also is the a veg alternative. .. that will work . i.e. agar agar.

    thanks pasis

    pasis wrote on February 19th, 2014
  26. how do I get gelatine , I cannot take beef . thanks

    pasis wrote on February 19th, 2014
  27. Just wondering if these remedies you suggest would also benefit someone who has excess skin on their face? I lost weight a little faster than I should have about a year ago (I now realize my mistake) and that included losing fat in my face. While I love having more definition in my jawline, I don’t love that i now have several lines under my eyes and around my mouth when I smile. I’m only 28 years old and I doubt I would have suddenly aged that much in a year! I’m not sure how to get rid of these other than applying anti-aging creams and a few natural remedies (e.g. coconut oil, which I’ve yet to try). Any suggestions on targeting loose skin in this area? Thanks in advance!

    Pooja wrote on February 24th, 2014
  28. I have lost A LOT of weight over the past year by seriously improving my eating habits, working out three times a week, and oh yeah…pushing a 9 pound baby out my body! I lost 60 pounds which was great but my stretch marks actually got worse!

    I have tried a few different products and found the Somatique Stretch Mark Cream to be one of the most effective for the price. Its from Lady Somas website. I also found that by massaging their stretch mark cream into my tummy it makes my skin feel so much softer and smooth. I would totaly recommend this too along with the somatique moisturizer. Just these two things has simply been the best thing I’ve done for lessening the appearance of any stretch marks. I noticed results within the first month, skin is much more smooth and firm.

    Grace a wrote on February 27th, 2014
  29. Yup. I’ve got the apron on the lower belly also. I’ve had it since I had a child in 2003. I was on bedrest for 6 of 9 months of pregnancy and went from 114 to 183 by the end of it. When I popped out my 9 lb guy i dropped a lot of weight quickly because there was so much water retention. After that I slowly dieted. Took about a year to get back to ten lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight, but had the gross flap of skin. Weight has yo-yoed over the years, but over the last year Ive made a HUGE change in my lifestyle. I eat cleaner, tho not perfect, and workout frequently. At my smallest I was 106%. Just one lb over the lowest possible healthy number for my weight and my skin flap looked ten times worse. I put weight back on on purpose because I felt like I looked too small and the skin looked worse anyway. I do muscle strength training. I definitely have nice ripples in my arms and good definition in my upper abs. But no matter what I do or try I cannot get any definition in my lower abs or make the skin shrink at all. Its heartbreaking for me as Im super excited to have the body I have now. I look so much better, and feel better, but still feel like I have to hide my body. Its humiliating to me. I feel like there’s nothing else I can do to make it go away outside of surgery, which there is no potential for. Am I wrong? Any ideas?

    Beckie wrote on March 6th, 2014
  30. 106 lbs. not %

    Also. My boyfriend is on a weight loss journey now too. He has about 100 lbs to loose. Maybe more. Before he is at a healthy weight. He has a definite overhang on the tummy. Hes afraid that hes going to have the lose skin. Doesn’t bother me as far as looks. We can just compare. Lolol. But I understand the feeling. He thinks that weight training while dietong will help with that. But I think he needs to lose weight before muscle training. It’s not about who is right or wrong. Just would like to know what is optimal because if he can avoid having to go through the crappy feelings with tge loose skin, I’d like to help him.
    Thanks!

    Beckie wrote on March 6th, 2014
  31. Good lord. Wish I could edit my posts and correct spelling errors. Lose, loose. Dieting. The.
    That’s what I get for being a third shifter posting on not enough sleep. :-)

    Beckie wrote on March 6th, 2014
  32. Thanks Mark. Very helpful and reassuring.

    John D wrote on March 21st, 2014
  33. I’ve lost over 140 pounds and I have what I assume now is stubborn fat around my belly and my chest. I look great with my clothes on, but when take my shirt off I still have man boobs. It’s incredibly depressing and I think it’s incredibly insensitive and offensive that some people are telling us not to worry about looks. It’s obviously because they don’t have such problems. I lost the first 90 pounds on a low carb diet with minimal exercise in the first year. The second year I worked out 3 times a week with a trainer and 2 to 3 times a week on my own doing cardio, or p90 including sprints. I lift heavy. The progress is so slow in incremental now it is causing me to be incredibly depressed. Every time somebody congratulate me I think it’s only because they can’t see how horrible I look underneath my shirt. everytime I get hit on I think if only they could see underneath my shirt. Some times I grab a hold of it and punch it. Screw you to the guy who told the other guy but he should just live with it and be happy he’s more healthy screw you. I don’t work this hard at it to not be able to get to an end goal body. This sucks. Coming up on a year and a half of dedicated work at the gym with a personal trainer. I’m killing myself at the gym and its not working.

    James wrote on April 21st, 2014
  34. I have loose skin on my abdomen from when I had a child many years ago and even with weight loss (using the standard western diet in the past) my abdomen never went back to a normal shape. Even when thinner (I am presently around 214lbs or 15 stones and 4lbs as we still sometimes say in the UK) I still have a pregnant look to stomach along with loose abdominal skin and mass stretch marks and that is including exercise such as core strength, yoga, cardio work outs (but not weight lifting) and so on. I also had constant bloating.

    As I was suffering from a number of health problems (digestive symptoms such as abdominal pain, IBS type issues such as diarrhea and pale stools, headaches of the migraine variety, chronic fatigue, muscle pain, numb patches of skin and so on all of which my drs kept putting to depression and anxiety…I didn’t agree with them) I decided to try the paleo diet especially as I have family members that have or have had ceoliac disease and diabetes type 2.

    It has worked to remove the physical symptoms as they have gone completely, especially if I avoid grains, dairy, msg, HFCS etc like they are the plague but I am still struggling with the weight loss a little bit. That has improved slightly though since taking dairy out (I did try to keep it in) and I am now in the process of adding weight training into the mix as well.

    Perhaps my carbs are still too high, I do like my fruit a lot.

    I have lost 18 lbs but it has taken me 2 months thus far.

    As to the loose skin? I suspect that will need surgery as I am not hopeful it will disappear even with the paleo diet and exercise approach. I still have the stretch marks, and the pregnant shaped belly and the bloating although the latter is not as pronounced as it used to be.

    I do think loose skin is a real problem for some people and the only thing that will get rid of it is surgical intervention.

    Cheryl wrote on April 25th, 2014
  35. In 7th grade i was 5’6 305 pounds i just graduated last may and my weight lifting class maxed at the end of the year and im now 5’10 170lbs. benching 265 squatting 525 and power cleaning 240 with straps and ive lost all hope of losing this skin when i pull my skin down i have a 6 pack buck if i let go it looks like a rotten potato skin. i look like Adam sandler of of click but my is probably 6 inchs away from my abs when i pull on it.

    chase wrote on July 15th, 2014
  36. Too many people worried about weight loss.
    Worry about fat loss, forget about weight.
    Eat right, train very, very hard, Drink plenty of water and get your 8 hours sleep.
    The last bit of ‘loose’ fat takes forever to get rid of, just accept it and keep training.

    Some people are luckier (or just younger) than others with regards to metabolism.

    Feel good, look good, be happy. weight is an inaccurate measure of health anyway.

    Rob wrote on August 6th, 2014
  37. You can lose a lot of fat simply drinking a cup of warm water with 2 t apple cider vinegar morning and night. It will come off slowly but surely! No weights etc.

    Cheryl Gardiner wrote on August 13th, 2014

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