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!

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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266 thoughts on “Dear Mark: Excess Skin After Major Weight Loss?”

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  1. So if I am already lifting heavy things and fasting, but I’m seeing no change in the amount of stubborn fat, what other options do I have? Lift more, fast more, or are there other changes I can make to lose the last couple pounds?

    1. If you aren’t incorporating sprints in your regimin, now’s the time to start! Good luck, Brian!

    2. The last couple pounds? Is that all? How about the option of don’t worry about it? If your goal of losing weight is some arbitrary ideal of relative attractiveness, you’ll never get there. That is a long and frustrating road ending ultimately in dissatisfaction. If your goal was improved health, then you are already there. Continue to live a healthy lifestyle and if your body composition changes, fine. If it doesn’t, fine. If you can’t have what you want, want what you have.

        1. Totally. Well said Joshua. You gotta keep these things in perspective.

      1. I get what your saying but don’t knock the guy down. And the fact is that there are real issues that come with the extra flap of skin. Especially if you’re exercising you can get rashes under folds of skin, and finding clothes to fit what would be your normal body plus a sag of skin is difficult and can be uncomfortable. Somethings that seem to be about “attractiveness” can also be about sheer logistics. I would also add there is something to be said about trying to attain a body that makes you feel good. It’s nothing to cry over when it doesn’t happen but there’s no harm in seeking answers when you feel you’re doing everything you can without the success you are looking for. Goals aren’t something to scoff at.

        1. Well said Manda,I never can understand why people feel they have a right to “lecture” rather than just either be helpful or say nothing.

      2. I’d disagree. I’m happy to be healthy but I like the idea, and still see the slow moving results, of seeing striations of my muscles and watching them grow. I eat clean, lean, fully balanced meals with raw foods and have been serious about it for 2 months. I initially lost 150 lbs but plateaued at 220 lbs from 375 lbs at my heaviest. Having always been overweight, I first strived to get to my goal of the hundred club. For 1 year, I never managed better than 217 lbs until I became serious about my goal back in May. Now, after 9 weeks of amazingly clean eating, the fruits of my labors are working and showing results! I’m now 197 lbs eating 5-6 meals a day with a fluctuating calorie intake slightly under my BMR. I consistently play basketball, bicycle, run etc. while lifting weights 4 to 5 days a week. I also have an active job as a waiter. I can’t truly describe how effective and motivating this has been to me. I have no desire to slow down even though I know my overall goal could still take more than a year. But I’ll continue to was, rinse, and repeat until I succeed at my ever evolving fitness goals. Because now, I have the choice to lock my best as well and that motivates me!

    3. I tried crossfit, and strength cardio, that did help out a little.

    4. Fasting can send your body into starvation mode making your body store fat cells. Maybe cut your calories, but you should consume at least 1,000 I’d say, especially if you’re lifting and working out.

      1. Intermittent fasting will not put your body in starvation mode; your body will need at least, 48-72+ hours to realize it is being starved. If proper fasting techniques are used followed by adequate hydration, there is nothing to worry about.

  2. What an interesting article! I’d also like to hear what people who have lost lots on the Primal diet have found in regards to this issue.

    As for someone just starting on a weight loss program, I think these recommendations are great. IF already sounded pretty good from your last article. Now with the skin benefits it sounds even better.

    I can see an opportunity for making a good weight loss supplement with all the recommendations above mixed in with some gelatin. Maybe you should consider it!

    1. Hey there – I’ve lost quite a lot on the Primal diet this year (I was 123kg -> 271lbs at the start of the year; as of this morning I weigh 84.3kg -> 185lbs. I’m female 30yrs and 6’1 with a large frame, so I’m within the radius of weight I want to be! [I set 180lbs +/- 5lbs as my goal] Hooray for me!)

      I started occasional 24hr fasts about 6 weeks back (I think I do them about once a week, but it’s whenever the fancy strikes me. I’ve recorded them, though, and know it’s 6 so far). I started these fasts when my weight seemed to be plateauing around 90kg (just under 200lbs). I wouldn’t have called it a failure if that had turned out to be my steady weight – as I said, I’m a tall and heavily built girl, so 200lbs isn’t unreasonable. I just wanted to see if I could set a stable weight a little smaller.

      I haven’t been eating gelatin, but I have deliberately upped my protein when I dropped to around 200lbs – and upped the intensity of my weight training – because I was getting the “loose” look on my tummy. I wanted to put some muscle on (which, honestly, was probably why I plateaued for a few weeks! But hey, hindsight is always 20/20). Since doing that, my tummy has firmed up somewhat – I now have wrinkles around my belly button, but no drooping flaps. I can still grab a handful of fat when I tense my muscles, but it’s smaller than my upper arm fat was two months ago, and I can live with it if it never gets smaller than this.

      My abs are very slightly visible; most of the rest of my major muscles are easy to see. I look at myself and think my muscle looks like the male photo at 15% body fat on builtlean – the female photos don’t look right at any, but I’d guess I was around 25% from looking at me. Waist measurements and calipers both say around 20%. Basically, it’s been less than 5 months and I’m really happy with where I am. My body will never be model-perfect, but that was never my aim. My aim was to get a body I feel good about, and I’m there now 🙂

      I hope you’ve ended up as happy with your body as I am with mine.

  3. Well, good news and bad news there. Good news is I might be able to wear a bikini again after all. Bad news is yes, I DO have a fair bit of “stubborn” belly fat. Time to start lifting something heavier than my 50-lb son.

    1. Just don’t go fattening up your son for the sake of skinnying up yourself;)

      1. Try to get the son to 150, 175 pounds before you give up on using him as a muscle strengthener.

  4. I lost a lot of weight but have the problem with stubborn fat at the waistline, it’s not much just enough to be annoying … it’s gradually coming off but I don’t see any easy way to get the job done, have to exercise more and consume fewer calories, it’s not coming off of its own volition, that’s why they call it “stubborn fat.” If it was easy then everyone would enjoy low body fat.

    1. Second that. My face lost weight quickly, as did my waistline. But my stubborn adipose tissue remains. I know what I have to do- totally quit drinking beer/alcohol until my desired physique is achieved.

      Side note: My stretch marks located on my love handles have been slowly disappearing.

      1. I have to second the comment on the beer/wine. It seems to halt my weight loss completely. Too bad, as that would be my preferred 20%.

        As I lose weight, I notice stretch marks in all sorts of places I had never worried about before. For example, on the bottom of my upper arm. I actually find this post very inspiring–there is no chance that I will ever have surgery to get rid of my belly flap, so it’s going to be fat loss or nothing. Maybe someday I will look good in a bathing suit!

  5. I lost a 130 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.

    1. By the way, it’s hard to take Ron Brown’s article seriously, when it looks like an Angel Fire website with no sources, before and after photos, and a general lack of research proofs. He could be right, but he’s not doing a very good job proving it.
      It reads like a rant, “It’s easy, just stop eating” seems to be the mantra with very little science to back it.

      1. Absurd. He clearly and thoroughly details why “just stop eating” is exactly the wrong approach through some 4 paragraphs that you obviously didn’t read before coming here to bash him. Nobody is trashing you based on your inane comments. If you’re going to sit at your computer and bash people you don’t know, at least be right about what you are bashing.

        1. Hey fruit cake; how can you say, “Nobody is trashing you based on your inane comments,” YOU JUST DID BY SAYING THAT!!! (btw, your name sounds awefully close to what you are with your put down of that poster! lol

        2. Ron Brown is fully aware that his claims are very misleading and in many cases completely untrue. All you have to do is go to youtube to see plenty of cases of extra skin after weight loss even with muscle building, and the videos demonstrate it is skin, not skin covering fat.
          His goal with that website is to make money, not to honestly help people.

      2. Also, Ron Brown’s speciality is psychology… He has no professional training in biology…..

    2. Congratulations on the weight loss. regarding stretch marks….the tendency to that is very individual. I was pregnant at the same time as a good friend of mine. I got HUGE; think land whale (daughter was 9 lb 3 oz) and had no stretch marks on my stomach, did get some on my legs; weird huh? my friend didn’t get nearly as big and her stomach was covered with them.

    3. I would definitely try the gelatin and vitamin c that mark recommended. I took both of those during and after my last two pregnancies, and got no new stretch marks, and the ones from past pregnancies went away too.

      1. That is awesome to hear that the gelatin and vitamin c worked! I am really excited to find out about the gelatin. I plan on incorporating these while during my weight loss regimen. I have two children and a I have a lot of stretch marks in all different areas of my body. I have also just finished my journey with Cancer and praying that losing weight won’t be as hard as it was prior to my cancer knowledge. I had thyroid cancer. Which gave me a hard time losing weight more then 10 lbs never happened. Thank you for the encouragement to possibly see these things disappear!!!

    4. Carlos you should be proud, losin 130 lbs. shows amazing determination and self discipline!!! The stretch marks…I can see where it would be a reminder of how “fat” you were, BUT you can also look at them and see how far you have come and where you never want to be again! Losin 20 lbs is a major accomplishment for most people…you lost 130 lbs, WOW!!!! My daughter is 17 yrs. old, she lost 10 and was bothered by the stretch marks. I had her use Bio-oil and maderma…they are so faint now that she barely notices them….hope it helps you :))

    5. I’ve lost 80 lbs total after gaining 60 lbs with my pregnancy. I had stretch marks all over my body and a horribly shaped body/stomach. I have been doing strength training as well as cardio for about 60 minutes a day, 5 days a week faithfully! And I can honestly say my body has somewhat resumed its shape. I can probably lose 10 or more lbs to be at the 15% body fat, but the “extra skin” has diminished a considerable amount and my stretch marks are almost gone! I’m definitely back in a bikini! This article is completely right ive done so myself, it just takes time! This is my second year and it is not easy..

      1. I am so glad to hear this- at least you gave me a time frame of hope. I lost 76 pounds and not from pregnancy but a middle age crisis weight gain that I had for a few years.

        After my pregnancy I lost weight with no residuals save a tiny bit of stretch marks/looseness of lower abdominal area. That was a huge adjustment to the skin so I am hoping that I will adjust in time again.

        So sorry I let myself go, but we all make mistakes. Hoping I can look at least decent again though I will never be 25 again I know.

      2. Relly,
        How long did it take you to notice that your tummy was getting back in better shape? I’m just curious. I gained 40 pounds with my second child. But have lost it all plus am now back in my sizes from high school but I still have that pooch in my tummy and some extra skin post pregnancy. I work out 5 times a week doing a variety of things – treadmill, yoga, Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD, etc. I can tell I’ve transformed already but I still have a ways to go. Your story encourages me and would like to know more! Thanks, Mandy

      3. I had a child 10 years ago. I was 95 pounds when I had him. I cant remember how much I gained, but I went right back to my original size. Of course, I have excess skin on my stomach. I never paid much attention, I thought I could never lose it, but now I am not okay with that. I havent been in a bikini since and I would really like to. Is this possible after letting it go so long? I have been working out at least 3 times a week and only have been doing it for 3 weeks, but I want to keep at it. I am trying to eat better and the gelatin and vitamin C, I will definitely try. I have to lift as well though? I am so clueless. My main goal is to tighten my stomach back up. I am already at the right size, I believe. I am 5 foot, 104 pounds. Gosh, I just need help and advice because I do not want to loose hope.

    6. Tanning in the sun with coconut oil, would reduce stretchmark visibility! Works great

      1. I hope you mean a protective tanning cream with coconut oil, as going in the sun after putting on PURE coconut oil will literally fry you. If you are using pure coconut oil you should use it after a shower and do not dry yourself. This will feed your skin and keep some of the moisture in. And please do not go in the sun for at least 6 hours after using PURE coconut oil.

        1. alex, I am very fair and use coconut oil (without anything else) as a suntan lotion. I find it works very well and I don’t burn. I find that diet effects my ability to burn (which I used to when I ate grains) more than what I put on my skin.

    7. Join tI lost a lot of lbs quickly..Now I have that flap thing going on and my tricepts and biceps are a mess…I have never eaten a primal diet..and tho am at the gym..I am thinking I will scare my new potential boyfriend hopefully husband off…its a nightmare….I might not even be able to have the surgery bc of my plavex..I need help…he discussion

  6. After losing the bulk of my weight, I didn’t think it was excess skin leftover… definitely belly fat. Apparently there is more than just white and brown fat… Thanks for the breakdown of a-2 and b-2 receptors. And, thanks for the new reading material on Lean Gains.

  7. I gained 100lbs with each of my three pregnancies. (Obviously, before my Primal days.) As I always lost the weight quickly following birth it was an abrupt change. I had a lot of extra skin. For other health reasons, I did a ten day water fast. An unexpected bonus at the end of the fast was significantly firmer skin. Joel Furhman has some excellent books on fasting safely for longer than a few days.

    1. Huh…I wonder what the science is behind that? Good to know though 🙂

    2. My nutrition professor told us if obese people drink a lot of water during their weight loss phase they will avoid getting loose flesh / stretch marks. He recommended very low carb with a half hour of walking per day ( to start). Once the goal weight is achieved add more fruit and veg.

      My weight gain has been completely stress related. When I did yoga I was so fit ( and calm).

  8. This post was absolutely what I’ve been wondering. I have major belly fat/loose skin left that just hangs there. I’ve lost 100 pounds since July but strength training hasn’t been in my regiment a lot. I’ve been factoring in fasting and cutting back on dairy/starchy vegetables but now I need to get some strength training in. I was hoping for an easier solution but if this is the way to go, so be it. I’m at 23% BF and I need to get that down. Thanks for the answers Mark, even if it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping. 🙂

  9. I have lost 40 pounds so far, and am looking to lose about 40 or 50 more I’m not at a place to say if I’ll have excess skin or not. However I’ve had stretchmarks on my stomach and hips since I was 9 years old and have yet to learn to love them.

    Excess skin is really not a big issue with me at the moment, as I’m still working to reach a goal of primal living, although my opinion may change once I’m closer to reaching it!

  10. no solutions here, but this is definitely on my mind because of age – 47 and shifting through that phase of life where everything wants to change. Somewhere long ago, I heard 70lbs over ideal weight is where you start to get into skin problems. I’ve hit that mark at the end of a couple of pregnancies. And stablized at about 35lbs overweight. Primal + leptin reset has taken care of all but the last 15lbs. That is definitely more central obesity where the bumps, bulges, muffin tops still hang out. But skin on face/hands/feet/forearms/lower legs all look good. Other than the Leptin reset, been running short distance and doing CF for 4 years. I’m trying some cold thermogenesis to work off the last of the stubborn fat, but I’ve had to put it aside since I’ve been sick. Would love to annihilate some more fat, but killing fat releases toxins, so I’m taking that slow.

  11. I’ve gained and lost the same 40-50lbs throughout my adult life (currently in the lower end of that range), and the weight loss has always been very quick, and at the expense of lean muscle tissue. At my thinnest, I’ve always had very “jiggly” loose skin on my belly, buttocks and thighs. It was bad enough last time (two years ago) that I felt very self-conscious wearing a bikini on vacation, because while I was slim, the skin puckering and folding was quite noticeable. After reading this blog post, I can appreciate that I definitely still had a lot of fat beneath my skin during those times.

    In the last two months I’ve started incorporating primal workouts (slow walking, bodyweight strength training, sprints) into my life, and I’m excited by the thought of replacing fat with muscle, rather than trying to reach a certain “ideal” weight on the scale…

    Thanks for the post…


  12. Mark,

    When advising us to consider a body fat percentage of 10-12% (men) before considering plastic surgery, did you factor body frame type? I’m an ectomorph with about 6% and have a bit of a lower belly pooch that has been difficult to get rid of. Most likely because of diet. I still consume about 15% of junk food, i.e., ice cream and the occasional weekend wheat treats.


  13. One thing I would add is that, for those who are formerly obese, extra adipocytes created via hyperplasia may store water for a while.

    This is speculation on my part, but I suspect that the extra adipocytes are eliminated after a certain amount of time at a low body fat level. The body seems to be good at getting rid of tissues that are not used.

    It is not uncommon for formerly overweight athletes, who need to dehydrate themselves to make weight, see the loose skin “disappear” as they lose a significant amount of water.

    I don’t recommend that for non-athletes, as severe dehydration can be lethal.

  14. I think an important point people miss is that fat is not just human lard. It is adipose tissue with a blood supply and nerves. Would you cut off part of your liver or any other organ? No, and shouldn’t cut off skin or fat tissue.

  15. Okay, this post was written for me, LOL. I discovered I am gluten intolerant just before Halloween; I dropped not only wheat, but as a result of studying the new world I inhabited, I also dropped nearly all carbs and started researching paleo diets. The change agrees with me and I feel great. I lost about 30 pounds but I’m really too skinny now and I don’t want to lose any more. I’m 5’ 10 and I now weigh 136, which should tell you how low I am. Now, I’ve been able to work out through all this, and that for the first time in I don’t know how long; I apparently had the gluten issue for decades, only nobody thought to look into it and I sure as hell didn’t know to. In fact, it wasn’t a doctor that found it – it was the book “Wheatbelly”.

    Anyway, during the year before dropping wheat I had a whole host of problems caused by the gluten, including joint pains, extreme fatigue, eczema, and the actual loss of my ability to play the guitar (and I’m a musician – this is not trivial!) because of a thumb injury that refused to heal and re-injured itself regularly. All of this got better without the gluten, but the thumb issue is still not resolvd, probably because there was so much actual injury done during that time.

    Anyway, I write all this because thanks to the messed up thumb, I can’t lift heavy weights and squats are out. So I have been doing pullups, chinups, and inclined pushups (interestingly, none of these seem to light up my thumb) and nobody would EVER guess from looking at me in a tank top that I weigh what I do. I walk and run every day (something else I couldn’t do before – the lifestyle change has been dramatic, I kid you not) and my legs are in good shape although I have a typical runner’s body – that should be obvious from my weight.

    BUT…I’ve got grotesque wrinkles on my stomach – it’s really awful. Now, one problem (I assume) is my age – I’m 61. So fine, I’ve got to live like this for the rest of my life – wonderful. And I’m starting to think that’s the truth, because I don’t dare lose any more weight and that wrinkly flab, while it thins somewhat as I lose weight, is far thicker there than anywhere else on my body. I am hoping that some of this will tighten up as I continue to eat well and work out, but it is depressing to think that while for the very first time in my life I’m actually in good enough shape to want to show off my body, I don’t want to look like a deflated Jabba the Hut.

    I’m already eating pretty much the way your advice would have me do, I’m exercising to the extent that I can given the hand problem, and I’d sure appreciate any other ideas you could throw my way.

    1. “Squats are out”… why is that? You don’t need your thumb for squats using a proper overhand grip. And especially not front squats. You can probably even get away with deadlifts using a mixed grip without the hook grip to preserve your thumbs, though you’ll be limited a little. There’s also resistance bands, box jumps, sprints, burpees, lunges, weight vests, dip bars, gymnastic rings and a hundred other things that can be combined in various ways to provide some form of resistance training.

      1. Guys, please credit me with trying everything I can think of before telling me I can do squats. This thumb problem has been a nightmare, nothing like any physical problem I’ve evr had. I’ve seen two hand surgeons, two physical therapists, my family doctor, an acupuncturist, a rolfer, and a naturopath and not one of them has a clue what is going on, except perhaps the naturopth who suspected I might have I wheat issue. Well, we confirmed that! All my other symptoms disappeared with the removal of the wheat, but the thumb injury , while much better, has remained.

        The problem is that ANY form of squat that requires me to use my left hand to lift a weight of more than about 30 pounds messes up my left thumb. I know it doesn’t seem logical but trust me, it happens. Since squats aren’t much use if you only do them with your body weight I can’t see the point of doing them. I don’t have access to a gym so I can’t use a machine of any kind.

        1. Consider that the thumb problem may be a nerve-issue that presents in the thumb, but originates further back along the nerve, perhaps how you (mis)use your shoulder or neck-muscles; or how you hold (twist? shorten?) your spine.
          Alexander Technique has helped me to sort such ‘mechanics’ of many problems over the years – whiplash, blow to spine, hip pains, knee pains etc, always by careful observation and a macro approach

    2. Try offset squats, shrimp squats or pistol squats–bodyweight squats that will really shred your legs!

      1. Thanks, LOL. I really need the regular kind of squats for the core strengthening. The ones that just work with body weight alone don’t do that much for your core; they do work your legs but it’s my center section that’s weak. That’s where I really need some improvement.

        I appreciate the suggestions; thanks.

        1. You absolutely need to use your core muscles when doing bodyweight squats, or you simply are doing a correct squat.

      2. I’m very curious about your comment that bodyweight squats are not good for your legs. Could you elaborate? I’d appreciate it.

    3. Hello Mr. Musician,
      I have a sister who had renards disease and she went to a rumatoligist. she had lost two fingers going to several different doctors who said she had burgers disease and they amputated them. Well in the end she had reneards disease and her rumatoligist gave her some type of cream to put on the sore spots on her finger and they healed. I don’t suspect that you have renards disease but I do think you would do well to go to a vascular specialist or a rumatoligist. My heart goes out to you at this time…Take care and I pray that your thumb gets well so you can bless others with your beautiful music…thank you ms vee

    4. You should try wrist wraps. Valeo has the best ones. They take the pressure off your hands and forearms and let you focus on pulling with the muscle group you’re training.

      1. This is good advice. Persistent thumb pain may be due to Raynaud’s Syndrome which is a vascular disorder. Symptoms are usually severe coldness, numbness and pain. However, please please please get one or more second opinions if a doctor advises amputation.

    5. Ben,

      Don’t feel bad… this is my “profession”, and I am 5’8″ and 130 lbs with a 28″ waist and 42″ chest… and I STILL have unwanted skin/bodyfat… of course, being 63 doesn’t help !

      Arnold (MR PALEO)

  16. Thanks for this article. I had been somewhat concerned about ending up with lose skin, as I have already lost a decent amount of weight with a decent amount more still to lose. Maintaining or building muscle while losing the fat, looks to be the key to tightening up the skin. I have kept my protein intake up fairly high as I try to eat at least 1 lb. of grass fed beef and/or 1 lb. pork/fish and/or 8-12 pastured eggs per day to help maintain my muscle mass. Looks like I am probably doing the right thing. Thanks again.

  17. I was just thinking about last week. My wife has turned away from pasta and bread at last and joined me on this, but isn’t seeing a change as quickly as I did. She worries, after two children, she’ll never have the abdomen she wants. I can’t wait to see the comments here.

    1. Too many women (& men) look at pictures in magazines, on the internet, etc. & want to have the same body as they see. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having an “imperfect” body. Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself. Being fit & healthy are priority one.

      1. And PhotoShop does wonders 🙂

        ALL pictures in ALL magazines are done via Photoshop. You can make a 600 lbs couch potato look like a gazelle.

        1. That was by far the best mental image I have ever gotten on this site, thank you.

    2. I have the same problem after 3 children. One of my issues is a bit of abdominal diastasis. Tell her to consider looking into the tupler technique to help bring the abs in a bit. It’s really common in women who have had babies, even years later. Aside from that, though, I have stretch marks up over my belly button… I have very little hope on that one, so I hope that’s not her problem :-/

  18. This is a very good topic and one that’s been on my mind for a while. You validated what I was wondering; a layer of sub-Q fat around my waist. Being 62 might be a factor, but I’m not budging it. I lift heavy things, eat fat, cut the protein, count calories and IF. I also curse hormones. 😛 I guess I’ll ramp up everything.

  19. The same guidelines go for keeping skin tight during pregnancy. Skin stretches out a lot and if nutrition isn’t great, then the belly will just hang postpartum. The nutrients Mark listed are all great for keeping skin taut.

    1. I was very unhealthy during my pregnancy, knew nothing about nutrition back then, and I threw up constantly until 5 months, at which point I was 15 lbs lighter than I was when I got pregnant. And I was thin to begin with. After 5 months they fed me nothing but massive amounts of carbs to fatten me up. It worked and I was huge, gained almost 50 lbs by the time the birth happened. That gave me toximia, so was hospitalized for two weeks before the birth. After the birth I lost every pound and never had a single stretch mark. I think there’s some genetics in there somewhere!

      It’s only in recent years (my daughter is now 30) that I realized why I craved fish so much during pregnancy. Had to sneak out of the house to get it, was told it was bad for me. What crazy things we’ve been taught these last 30 or 40 years.

      My doctor says it should be a criminal offense to tell people to be vegan, or to eat a “whole” grain-based diet.

  20. Being a trainer I have had a handful of clients lose a lot of weight and noticed that whether or not they have tons of excess skin or stretch marks was more or less random. Some of them did bounce back and have their excess skin tighten up over time as you mentioned.

  21. On a similar note, any suggestions on how to eliminate stretch marks from previous rapid weight gain?

  22. “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.”


  23. Well, I’ve lost around 80-90lbs at this point since taking up Paleo/Primal around a year ago.

    I’m not down to my goal weight quite yet and even though I’m down 8 inches on my waist I still have the option to shall we say “tuck” my belly in my belt or have a overhang. 😉

    It’s getting less and less though, so I’m confident given time it will fade away as I lose the rest of that stubborn fat.

    It’s kind of odd, I have veins I can easily see now on my hands/arms, my face is thinner, but I’ve still got the gut of a fat guy (though with a shirt on it’s not really that pronounced though).

    1. Keep at it Kevin! Eventually you’ll see veins on your stomach (and from that point there’s not much further to go ;)).

    2. May I humbly suggest going with the overhang? Front-butt is not good for anyone’s look.

  24. The best thing that I have found for loose skin is exercising on a rebounder. Hope that helps. Grokkin roll.

    1. What is a rebounder? You know I was on HCG diet 500cal. a day diet/with appetite suppressants daily for 6 weeks, would give myself injections pregnancy hormone that helps to burn the body fat within us, and I went from 225 to 174 and I feel great. Although I am 45 years old mom of 6 kids and grandma of 5 going on 6 grandkids, I’m more energetic than what i was before. Now i’m on the lipo diet 1000 cal. have to watch my carbs only or less than 15 carbs in whatever i eat. Plus injections that have vitamin B-12 as well as the hcg had too. I have lost all this weight and I have saggy skin, my breast have gone down extremely, I can see my belly button now, my butt well I lost my butt, went from a size 14 in pants to a size 8 and they still fit me loose. I do exercise everyday for 25 min. with weights, I walk alot as well everyday at work and sweat my butt off. /but this diet does work you just have to want it. But yeah i have alot of work to do, not worried about stretch marks just the sagging skin. What can I do, is there a cream or something that I can afford to buy to put on my body?

      1. I am researching the hCG diet for potential use by one of my adult children. I am looking for practitioners in Southern California (especially Orange County). You commented that the hCG diet worked for you, would you recommend your doctor to me?

  25. I have a very saggy, extra-skin look to my belly, mostly due to the state of gestational diabetes I was in for nearly five years. I have lost 80 lbs over the past two years, and as I continue to get recover my abdomen strength and pre-baby body I can palpitate the muscle through the saggy, soft fat that remains. I’m just discovering the primal/paleo lifestyle, after dismissing years of casual comments from my doctors that I’m probably allergic to wheat and corn. I’m seeing a difference after just a week of moving toward the grain-free, low carb ideals and confident that by this time next year I’ll only have stretch marks as a reminder of the tremendous transformation my body went through to become a Mommy.

  26. I have lost 30 pounds since the fall, and though everyone keep saying “you don’t need to lose more” the terrible fat on my stomach really bothers me. I was wondering if it was the result of 6 pregnancies. I don’t know my body fat percentage, but I am 5’8″ and weigh 125 lb and train with Cross Fit 6 days a week. Even still I can grab a huge handful of belly fat! I am not totally paleo, but I eat VERY LITTLE carbs (and yes, I do know what this means). I also have been incorporating IF for about 2 months. Not sure what else I can do, but this post definitely makes me think it is not “excess skin!”

    1. having 6 kids will definitely do some damage…i have 5, and there is no getting rid of my stretch marks or loose skin. its not fat, and its not excess, but DAMAGED skin from pregnancy IMHO. i’m thin and have good muscles, but that ruined skin is just a badge of motherhood.

      1. Its some decades since I had children. After 5 pregnancies I had lots of stretch marks and a flabby tummy. My stretch marks are now all gone and the flab has come and gone depending on my diet. I can’t blame my still too large gut on babies as I lost it at one point.

        I’m going to look into the skin elasticity – gelatine idea and trial that. I’ll go and buy some soup bones and put them in the slow cooker and have some of that each day.

    2. “Not totally Paleo” is probably the kicker. Are you eating brown rice, or some other whole grain? Alcohol?

      In my experience, either of those can prevent the loss of belly fat.

  27. I’m currently in the lots of loose fat skin phase… ugh. I used to be up around 310lbs at one point in my life and 2 pregnancies… Losing these last 25lbs has been the absolute hardest thing to conquer but I’ll do it! I love feeling strong and encourage everyone to strive for strength first. I’d rather be in this last stage with the knowledge that I can repair my body with food or use S.A.D. food to destroy it.

    1. Andrea, are you on F/B? I’m at the last 5-10 lbs, have lost 115 and am about 18% bf, believe it or not, still a little loose “fat skin” on my lower belly…the rest is actual fat fat in the form of cellulite (yay-not!) under my but and inner thighs…I really can’t see losing more than ten pounds and still be healthy (not even to get on stage)….any way, if you’re on F/B, find me! Would love to stay up to date on your transformation…look me up @ cookie bigness – Hope to hear from you!

  28. About eight years ago, I was nearly 300 pounds. I lost 100 pounds through caloric restriction, better (but still SAD) food choices, and lots of exercise, over the course of six months or so. I had “loose skin” even though I was just starting to see shades of a six pack in good light. From there, I yo-yoed between 200 and 240, struggling with a SAD prescription to health. Last year, I went paleo (Thanks Mark!!!) and reintroduced resistance work in place of much of my cardio. Now, I’ve EASILY leaned out to 193 with no caloric restriction, have a legitimate six pack and just a touch of sub-cutaneous fat around my belly. I noticed that as I dropped below 200 lbs, what I thought was “loose skin” slowly went away. I guess the bottom line is, many times you’re not as lean as you think. I’m sure if I introduced a more strict, IF approach, I could lose a couple more pounds of fat, but I’m not sure it’s worth it or not.

  29. I have lost about 110 pounds of the 120 I want to lose; I have a sagging belly. However, I recently saw a picture of myself naked from 5 years ago when I was very heavy and 40 weeks pregnant and realize its not so bad. All in all, I didn’t do bad at all – no neck skin and very little excess looseness in my arms and legs – you’d only know it if you went looking for it. I also notice that despite having what appears to be no collagen left some areas are very slowly firming up and changing shape. I take msm daily and good supplements and fish oils. While I wont be posing for playboy anytime soon it’s nothing a one piece bathing suit won’t hide. I’ll be 40 this year; my highest weight (not pregnant) was 242 and I now bob between 128-132.

    1. These responses are great; they give me hope I can rid of the lump of useless flesh that is the remainder of my fat guy days. I don’t have anyone to blame but myself for my condition, but all you good folks are coming back from pregnancies and decades on the SAD; me, I’m just 23 and ate myself to death for years on end. I was 266 as of late July and now I’m 166. If you guys can get rid of that stubborn body fat, I can do it too. Primal rocks. 🙂

      1. Trekfan, I feel confident enough to *guarantee* you will lose any sagging skin, up through about age 32 I had no trouble with that (there were several weight losses in there lol).

        1. I’ll take that guarantee to the bank, Michelle. I sincerely hope it goes away because I desperately want it to. Thanks for the support 🙂

  30. Interesting read. I’m a 27 year old male, 5’11, and I recently lost 215lbs in just ONE YEAR through a VLC paleo diet, going from 375lbs to around 160lbs. (I was recently featured in Time Out Chicago magazine, as well:… I was eating more than ever, walking around 5 miles a day (leisure and exercise), and eventually doing some lifting (small weights, loading up duffle bags with books or shoes and carrying/swinging while walking, etc). Come 4/1/12, I will have maintained around 10lbs of this weight for two years, staying gluten/wheat/soy/grain/alcohol and sugar-free for my routine diet (besides the occasional get-down, you know what I’m sayin’?). My body fat has not been over 12% since, either.

    Looking at me, no one can tell that I am being taunted every day with excess skin. It has absolutely been an awful thing to live with; a shell of who I used to be and a constant reminder of past mistakes. More than anything in my life, I want it gone. I want to finish this final chapter. After all of this work that will continue forever (and so thankful that “forever” will last longer), I should be able to go to the beach without a shirt, or wear something a bit more fitted, or not worry about everything expanding after every meal. It is just as tough to live this way as it was being 375lbs.

    While I agree with things in this post, and I can understand and literally feel spots where there’s just stubborn fat to be lost, I truly can’t believe that after losing 215lbs, it’s ONLY stubborn fat and a tiny bit of skin. I mean, I lost the equivalent of a 1st-grade class! When I’m burning fat like wild and everyone is telling me I look too skinny, should I really just keep on truckin’ to lose a little bit of fat that’s leftover from my man-breasts? If I could afford surgery and had the means to do it, I would. This is all very disheartening and I feel that this post just can’t be the answer for everyone.

    I will keep doing what I do, but after two years and staying clean, it’s hard to want anything other than surgery.

    1. If I can make you feel better, and I hope I can, it can truly take a bit… I gave birth at age 37 to a large baby (9 pounds, 11 ounces), and I’m very tiny and short-waisted. I didn’t gain much fat, but my belly stretched out VERY fast and huge. The belly skin draped, and stayed droopy for several years even though I was quite trim… My baby is 9 now, and I’m approaching 47, and the skin on my tummy looks really great compared to when I was a 30 something. It should only have gotten worse at my age, but it didn’t. It got way better!

      Now, if I bend over, there are minor folds and whatnot, but it’s SUCH a substantial improvement over 6 years ago. I don’t mind this, and the “before” was, as you say, taunting. I thought nobody would ever be attracted to me. Now, I feel quite presentable.

      I hope you find the solution with time, or whatever step you end up taking if you feel you need to. But you’ve got youth on your side, for sure, and it does take a while. If a graying, thin-skinned, almost-50-yo Irish mum can tighten up substantially, you probably can.

      But I don’t blame you for feeling discouraged–I’ve been there. I wouldn’t have believed my skin would recover once those first 3 years had passed without much progress, but it did.

      1. hi
        I have been attracted by your note
        it was really hopeful
        I have a problem with my breast skin.Unfortunately it became stretched.and there are so many stretches on them. do you think that if I become fat, it helps to disappear those stretches?
        I am suffering so hard
        and ur answer soon
        Thank u so much…

    2. Hey Anthony, I checked out the article and you look great! I can totally feel your pain and I hope that Joy’s post was an encouragement. Keep hanging in there.

      1. Oh! That’s right alicat, I need to check out the article now… Yes! You are no longer the “funny fat guy” but a VERY handsome young man. Keep nourishing yourself, body and mind, and please forgive your past self. The funny fat guy was doing the best he could with what he knew. I comfort my own self with that mantra, for things QUITE worse than being overweight. 🙂

        1. Joy Beer and alicat, you two are so sweet. Thank you for the great compliments. I’ve been going back and forth with a few people on MarksDailyApple Facebook page, and they have been very encouraging. I know that 25 years of bad habits isn’t going to fix itself in 2-3 years, it’s just discouraging and another road block.

          It’s never been about “looks” for me, either. I just want to live longer and experience as much as I can with what I’m given. I would never have fantasized that I’d look the way I do now. I absolutely can’t afford any kind of surgery, but if it ever presented itself, I would accept the gift. Until then, I will always be keepin’ on!

    3. I read somewhere that your skin completely replaces in 7 years. Anyone else hear/read this?

  31. “Lock eyes with Dr. Ron at your own peril; you will be consumed.”

    Ahhhh…thanks for that hearty laugh. What a picture!

    I have stubborn fat on my butt and thighs, and as I slim down it becomes more noticeable. Now I’m being more diligent about lifting heavy things and sprinting, and next week I’ve planned my first IF.

    I’m trying to keep my focus more holistic, and remind myself that if I keep doing what I’m doing, I’ll feel great and a year from now I’ll probably look like a freakin’ rock star. Sounds like a great way to celebrate my 40th birthday!

  32. I lost weight by counting points (you know the program), and my weight loss looked like i had deflated. Extra skin, sagging. On primal, everything seems to tighten up. I’ve found that pull-ups (or partial pull-ups) are the best tonic for abdominal & tricep areas.

  33. Losing fat may cause icky feelings if excess lipid-soluble toxins, such as phthalates and dioxins, are in an individuals fat stores. Dioxins are present in much of the food chain, and phthalates seem omnipresent.

  34. My name is also Gabriele (with only one “L”) and i lost a lot of weight and ended up with plastic surgery. I was older, though, and had had 3 kids. If you are young, and haven’t given birth, you might not need it. It depends on how fast you lose it and how elastic your skin is. Gabrielle, if you would like to email me i’d be happy to answer more questions! I’m at [email protected].

  35. Oh no! I got lost in his steely gaze and blacked out for 20 minutes.

    But seriously, this article is awesome. I have definitely related to the belly fat issue since having a baby. My body fat is no where near that 15%, but this gives me a lot of hope!

  36. I lost 100 lbs going low-carb first. (Now mostly strict-paleo due to gluten allergy and an autoimmune disease – still have about 50 – 70lbs to go for my liking.) While pool-side on vacation last year, my mom pointed out it was amazing that I didn’t have extra skin after dropping that initial weight so fast. I thought it had something to do with eating well and good fats (primarily whole foods, mostly home-cooked meals). I’ve been lifting (very) heavy weights since that 100 lb mark. I have had 1 child (almost 10 years ago) and I am 31. My stomach has a pooch but I’ve witnessed it (slowly) disappear and shrink into its own – like it’s some kind of disappearing alien. The excess skin was something I was worried about for a while, and it was a growing fear the closer that I get to my goal. It appears that I will be able miss out on that and only have pictures, a ton of recipes, and one very large pair of pants to show for my weight loss. And who knows – I have no intentions of wearing a bikini… but I’m not opposed to the idea… in the future! 🙂

    1. Hi Holly. I wonder, did you have any problem with facial skin sagging after loosing such substantial amount of weight?

  37. I wonder if the stubborn fat (loose skin) also has to do with inflammation… lack of sleep, stress, recovering from our years of self-abuse, that sort of thing. I don’t have a photographic memory but I do recall Mark talking about something like that in a previous post.

  38. I have already lost at least 35 pounds of fat with the Primal lifestyle. I say ‘at least’, because I know I’ve gained muscle as I’ve dropped fat. I didn’t do my body fat percentage when I started this a year ago, so it’s really hard to tell. I have the flabby skin thing going on right now, but I’ve always been aware that, as long as I can feel fat in the skin, my problem is that I need to reduce my body fat. I’m not in a hurry for this to happen, and I figured it would eventually, as long as I keep at it. I’m just taking it s-l-o-w, my own choice. It took me a year to give up foods like peanuts and ice cream. My bad, but I’ve eaten clean for the past month, and the weight is dropping again.

  39. Hi Mark,
    Thanks so much for addressing this issue. I’m now into my 7th year of maintaining a 122 lb loss and am 5’8″ tal. I was 54 yrs old when I started out almost 8 yrs ago and am now 61 yrs old.
    I have lots of loose skin and subq fat. I’m convinced that for me, surgery is my only option.
    I remain grateful to have not only lost the weight but to have kept it off too. I can only hope and pray that I find the money to have my surgery ff my I find it very depressing.
    I’ve been doing Pilates twice a week for the past couple of years. Lost 1″ off my waist…so far.
    Judy K

  40. Well, this is a bit depressing. I am 75, losing on Paleo/Primal but at a plateau right now. I cannot do heavy lifting because of degenerated (as in totally!!!!) disks in my lower back and a bulging disc in the cervical area. Belly fat is really stubborn and I would be able to wear two sizes smaller except for my waist measurement. Any hope here????

    1. Have you tried IF yet? It worked wonders for me when I hit my first plateau.

  41. Sad to say I have some under my arms that is definately full of fat after a 20kg weightloss. Really empowering post for fat fighters out there to not give up or give in. I’m off to lift some heavy things.

  42. “Lock eyes with Dr. Ron at your own peril; you will be consumed.” I LOL’d

  43. I don’t know how effective this is maybe Mark can do another article. I have been taking MSM supplements and MSM lotion. In time, I suppose I will be able to share if this method has been effective.

  44. Following a 100+ pound weight loss, I suffered the same fate with lots of saggy skin. So far, exercise hasn’t improved it. I tried moisturizers, exfoliants, hyaluronic acid, MSM, BioSil collagen activator, ash soap… it all failed. My BF% is around 6.5% now, so I’d have seen a difference if there was going to be one, I believe. I asked my dermatologist too. Same response as mentioned earlier- consider a tummy tuck if it bothers you that much. Estimated cost ~$9k and 6 weeks of down time. It just isn’t worth it at this point.

  45. Those interested could look into BioSignature Modulation?

    According to their approach excess cortisol (stress hormone) will cause you to store belly fat. They use this approach (in combination with lots of other stuff) at my gym and it seems to work well. Quite a few Cross Fitters and similar who have been working out every day but just can’t shift the belly fat (despite being mega lean everywhere else). Turns out the stress created by their training regime is often to blame (too many met cons – they can be addictive folks).

    Any sort of chronic stress will have an impact though (life, work, etc), and if you aren’t sleeping as well and as long as you should, this can also be a sign that looking at your cortisol might help.

  46. I wish I’d known in my 20’s that it isn’t how many calories you consume, it’s the quality and type of foods. Then maybe I could have avoided the yoyo dieting that led to the lumpy frame I have. But I know now, and I’m healthier and happier despite the ‘residue’. There’s to much to enjoy in life to spend my time worrying about not looking good in a swim suit.

  47. I lost Major…but did it at the rate 7-10 lbs per month..I always thought that a slower loss gave the body a chance to get used to it and what was happening..I also did those two hand straight arm frontal keg lifts..I was actually pulling the skin and gut back in as I got the keg to the full over head position. I could feel it when I set and lifted with GOOD form while doing this. Nothing is the same each of us and many things can play a part in this..I am not sure that RAPID MAJOR weight loss is the way to go for a few reasons…there many schools of thought out there on that one…Harder for the skin to keep up is a known fact.
    I think that the compressing in and setting the Ab core and doing those stretching upward exercises with or without weights will help pull the belly case back in there…stretch and pull that stuff back up and in.
    Raise your arms and reach for the sky!
    Where did the middle of you go right there?…In and tightened up?
    as you do it all…bit by bit it helps firm and tighten it up and let it know where you want it to go..Worked for me.GROK ON>>>

  48. Great post in general, it is not only useful for people with questions about excess skin, but also for those folks who seem to think that “lose” and “loose” are interchangeable words.

  49. Here’s the problem: what if you like your body in every other regard, but you know that to wear a bikini (cuz that last fat is only on your belly) you have to be a much lower, skinnier, face-too-thin weight than you want to It seems like surgery might be a good idea. I really don’t want to weigh 104 lbs for a flat belly when the rest of me looks good at 112.
    and p.s…..YES, five kiddos WILL stretch that skin to bejeezus!

  50. I will openly admit I fear losing weight, to a degree, as my “baby belly” is significantly damaged by stretch marks and I worry I will end up with a droopy flap of skin.
    What if the skin is severely stretchmarked? Can it actually shrink back?

  51. Twins and 70 pounds (220) 14 yrs ago… still have twins but, am down to 133 now! Ahhhh mad, scary, mean 41 yr. old skin!! Boo hoo! 🙁

  52. Art DeVany used to write that shivering would target stubborn, adipose fat. Go for a walk in a t-shirt when it’s chilly.

    I don’t know if you can turn that into a whole regimen, but it’s an interesting idea for those of us still having winter.

  53. I have lost 250lbs in the last 4 years and have lots of excess skin and some fat in the belly area that I can’t get rid. I lift heavy but only what is in our crossfit programing my body fat is around 22%
    I ahve looked at the strongman and the 5×5 lifts I guess I will have to give a try
    I ahve started the whole 30 recently and goingt o stick to eating paleo once my 30 days are up

  54. I think this is really possible for this i like this solution for my weight lose thank you for sharing about this article
    Thank you very much /

  55. Some people on low carb weight loss forums have found that dry skin brushing can help somewhat with excess skin. It works best if you start doing it as you lose the weight, rather after weight loss when the skin is already stretched out. Personally I believe some of it does come down to genetics, much the same way some people get stretch marks and cellulite and others get none. I’m hoping to lose about 25 kilos and want to do it slowly so my 48 year old skin has a chance to tighten up. I am also taking Neocell Collagen Powder (which is basically just gelatin powder) on a daily basis and am hoping that this, along with extra vitamin c, msm and silicon supplements will help. But I also intend to do daily dry skin brushing. Even if it doesn’t help my skin stay tight, it exfoliates the skin and increases lymphatic drainiage, so it will be time well spent.

    1. Louise, the dry skin brushing really does help tremendously and I would encourage anyone with loose skin to give it a try. It also gradually smoothes out stretch marks so that they are not nearly so noticeable. I follow the dry skin brushing technique from (look for the Charlotte Siems success story for inspiration – she lost over 100 lbs and looks fantastic)and it really does work. I notice a huge difference in the resilience and firmness of my skin when I consistently dry brush each day – it tightens everything up. T-Tapp exercises are also great for tightening up the stomach area and back – when I do it consistently, within a few weeks I have people commenting on how much slimmer I look.

    2. Yep, i was going to mention dry-skin brushing as well. It’s particularly helpful if you follow it up with a plant oil, like sesame in the winter and coconut in the summer. I tend to run hot and react poorly to wet heat and coconut oil is really cooling and helps a lot.

      I’m 27 and i’m just starting to notice wrinkles and things, generally where i’ve gotten too much sunburn 🙁 but i’ve also noticed that if i moisturize regularly then it’s a LOT less noticeable.

      I only use plant oils on my body. generally if i wouldn’t put it in my mouth i don’t put it on my skin – we absorb SO MUCH through our skin.

      Anyway, dry-brushing followed by self massage with plant oil is an Ayurvedic practice called abhyanga if anybody wants to Google it. Of course there are lots of recommendations for exactly HOW to massage yourself but don’t get overwhelmed by that! I think that getting the oil on your skin and the circulation improvement from the massage are the most important parts.

      (I’m a yoga teacher, this knowledge comes from my training!)

  56. Interesting article.

    I’ve lost 90 pounds in total and my excess/loose skin is in the areas where I have the most stretch marks. This makes me think it’s probably not residue fat. At 21 years of age I don’t fancy surgery but I can’t see it going without it.

    Any suggestions?

  57. Skin texture/elasticity is GREATLY influenced by heredity. My best friend was obese her entire life (since toddlerhood), reached nearly 400 lbs. in 2007, is now @ 150 lbs for the last three years and has not a stretch mark on her, nor very much loose skin. I, on the other hand, got stretch marks during growth spurts in puberty (on my legs, etc.), all over my abdomen during my pregnancies, and have a persistent pocket of loose skin on my belly after a 70 lb. weight loss. And it is not subQ fat as I insisted it was for four years, but stretched out, loose skin, like a deflated balloon, per my trainer, an endocrinologist, and a plastic surgeon.

    In any case, extra skin is better than 70, 100, 200 extra pounds and I shake my head at people who say they are reluctant to lose weight because they fear they’ll have loose skin.

  58. Just listened to an interesting podcast from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride who created the GAPS diet to heal gut health. One thing she said that should give everyone encouragement is that it isn’t the doctors that heal you, it’s your own body. Your body has the ability to regenerate all the cells in your body over a period of months and can heal ANY problem you have. She has had a lot of success with thousands of patients so I think is worth a listen if even just for inspiration. If your body can heal major problems, it can heal saggy skin.

  59. I’ve also had twins, but about 18 months ago. And 19 months before that, their older brother was born. My stomach looks like a sad and droopy basset hound. The only time thre skin looks okay is when I’m bloated up and it its filled out. Makes it hard to feel sexy that way, though. Eating a vlc primal diet with one carb up night a week. Hoping to see some results!

  60. These comments are less about loose skin and more about really inspiring weight loss stories! This is like one long Friday Success Story. I feel inspiration to keep trying – if all of you can do it, so can I!

  61. Does sagging breast fall under this as well? I have no sagging skin anywhere else, but after going from a 36c to a 32a, they just hang there just like excess skin? Help, I would love to fix this, but am not willing to have surgery.

    1. I call mine skipples – skin with nipples. After four babies, a combined total of 4years8months of breastfeeding yeah, they are not looking so great BUT I noticed since going primal they are firmer – yahoo!

  62. Perfect timing! After gaining weight several years ago very suddenly (due to onset of hypothyroidism), and to my age (48) I have found that my mid-section looks ‘droopy’, and I thought it was due to just getting older and that I was stuck with it forever!
    Having recently just gotten back to Paleo (still shooting for a 95/5% success rate!), and a month into CrossFit and MUCH less running, I hope this is all true!!!!!!!!!

  63. I have lost 175 lbs over 3 or more years following Atkins correctly (high fat, low carb), at about 40 pounds per year (I lose slow). I have about 30 or more pounds to go. I expect I will have to have surgery for skin and other issues at some point, and not sure how much I can exercise to really help this since I have arthritis and fibromyalgia (I exercise as much as possible but I can’t do anything high intensity or more than walking/swimming for cardio and I do weights when I’m up for it).

    I’m not all that concerned with appearance, it’s the effects of the loose skin with clothes fitting right that’s the real issue and the potential for skin infections.

    I’m sure what I have is a combination of skin and some fat tissue combined but it really hasn’t change alot in the last 30 pounds so not sure if it will be the last to go or not. I’ve been in a long plateau lately that I’m working through too so not sure if I’ve reached a set point before I can get rid of this remaining fat or not. I may go to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to see what they think, assuming I can get an honest opinion.

  64. I’m actually posting to thank you for giving me a good laugh. After reading your article, I did click on the Ron Brown link – and was met with the very steely gaze, just as you described! lol
    Thanks, I needed that. 😉

  65. Would going on a strict ketogenic diet for a while help to achieve getting rid of the last remnants of stubborn fat?

  66. At 60 I went from 80 kg to 60 kg eating a conventional diet. I developed twin turkey flaps under my chin which looked horrible and made me look ten years older.

    Researching, I read that the flaps should shrink after a year or so because a) there’s more fat remaining than you think, and b) the remaining fat slowly redistributes itself after weight loss is complete.

    I put most of the weight back on and the flaps disappeared. Now I’m losing again and they’re coming back. Ugh. I hate them, but it looks like I’m stuck with them. My grandfather was always skinny but had lots of skin flaps on his face, so maybe it’s hereditary.

    If they haven’t gone away after a year of maintaining my goal weight I’d consider surgery if I could afford it.

  67. so… the stretch mark question still remains. I have lost about 75 pounds and do still have some stubborn belly fat left along with more stretch marks than I can count.
    The reason for the stretch marks is not only being fat and pregnant. I had emergency abdominal surgery when I was a teen. The incision started above my navel and ended at my pubis.
    Years of yo yo dieting along with two pregnancies have made a mess of my abs. Looking at myself in the mirror, the skin is returning to normal above the scar, but everything else is a mess.

  68. I have recently lost 50 sum pounds,went paleo about 5 months ago and will never look back.
    But as per the artical I now have loose skin,under the arms and around the waist line….let me tell you it is a huge downer…..knowing that I,M loosing the weight and getting healthy but haveing to see this it is depressing and at times I feel like hey what the heck is the use…..its kinda sad,I,M busting MY a– off and seeing that loose skin well its just a total wipeout..

  69. I haven’t read everyone elses comments, however I just wanted to add in my two cents worth.

    I am fairly lean at around 15%BF and muscular and lift weights regularly. I lost my excess weight of around 15-20kgs over 6 months originally and have kept it off. However, regardless of how lean I am, I have loose, excess skin around the bottom of my abdominals. There is very little fat, and even at my leanest, where there is even less, my skin is more loose and resembles something like a Shar pei puppy. The reason being is that when I was pregnant, I had a medical condition which became worse after 30 weeks. I carried a surplus of fluid in my body and womb (5 litres in the womb when my child was born), which made me look like I was having twins. Because the fluid surplus happened so quickly, my skin stretched too quickly and lost its’ elasticity. It doesn’t matter how lean I get, this will not change. I’ve been fairly lean now for 3 years. It’s only recently that I made the decision to have abdominoplasty, as this is the only way to remove the excess skin.

    I suppose what I’m trying to say is that depending on how you gained the weight, i.e. quickly or slowly, how much weight you gained, and your age, will most probably have a big impact the ability of your skin to return to its’ former taut self.

    The thing is, you wont’ really know until you lose the excess body fat.

  70. Very timely post. I’m going on a cruise with my fiancee in a month and have done some reading on loose skin. It’s hard to find many credible sources on what to do about this. Based on my research, I’m going to try cocoa butter, 1-2 gallons of water intake per day, cold showers, and sauna visits to fix this–these were the most common remedies I found (except surgery). Has anyone had any experience using any of this? Did it work? I’m currently at around 7% body-fat according to my scale if that helps.

  71. I started serious weight loss actions 6 years ago at 131kgs and hope to get own to 60-65 (currently 106) so hope I can deal with loose skin this way. But I am 59 so there may be no hope for me LOL.

  72. I’m 44, female, and lost 90 lbs over the past year in a Paleo-ish manner (high protein, high (animal) fat, moderate carbs, no grains or starches). My weight has decreased from 288 to 198 so far (fat percentage now around 40%). I still have substantial weight to lose, but I now weigh less than I did in high school.

    I am definitely a lot droopier at 198 than I was at 288. The remaining fat under my skin is super soft and jiggly and my breasts, upper arms and belly are frankly saggy. However, I have noticed that my skin is DYNAMIC, in that my biggest “problem areas” seem to change monthly! For instance, at one point I was pretty upset when I realized that I had traded a double chin for a turkey neck, but over time, that effect diminished noticeably. Draping (vertical!) curtains of fat and skin that hung from my belly when I bent over are absolutely smaller than they were a few months ago.

    My conclusion is that there are a lot of things happening within one’s body during weight loss and exercise and they are not necessarily synchronized in time. Weight comes off, but skin isn’t necessarily ready to contract right away. Fat cells shrink (and possibly eventually die), muscle cells grow. There are changes in blood chemistry, hormonal milieu, gene expression, and who knows what else! It takes different amounts of time for these changes to happen, so it doesn’t pay to panic too soon about excess skin!

    In the beginning, I wondered whether excess skin (combined with my own vanity) might actually put a limit on the amount of weight I’d be willing to lose. I’ve done an embarrassing amount of browsing on post-bariatric plastic surgery websites, looking for pictures of women close to my age who lost a similar amount of weight and have gone for skin revision surgery of one type or another. Before I lost the weight, these pictures alarmed me, but now I realize that I have it pretty good compared to some people! I realize these pictures are skewed toward the subset of people who have the worst issues with excess skin, but I can’t help suspect that not only the rate, but also the METHOD of weight loss influences skin and skin shrinkage.

    Based on my own observations of my own body with continued weight loss, I realized that at least SOME of the scary wrinkly (shrinkly!) sagginess DOES resolve over time. There is no way to know how a certain weight would look on me until many months or possibly years after I get there! As a result, it doesn’t make sense to let the (at least partly temporary) appearance of my skin limit my weight loss. Meanwhile, I enjoy the benefits of being smaller and FITTER every single day.

    So… I’m keeping on keeping on, now concentrating more on improving my body composition and less on reducing my weight. 😀 Over time, my skin will either continue to sort itself out or not, and I’ll decide what to do, if anything, some years from now as all the various physiological changes run their respective courses.

    I hope this rambling helps someone!

    1. You have no idea how much this has helped me!

      I’m 44, started out at 283 pounds (now 261), and I have been so worried about loose skin. I’ve also wondered if I’d slow or stop my weight loss because of loose skin issues.

      So far, I love the changes I’ve seen. My face looks so much thinner. My tummy is not nearly as “puffy.” But I wonder how my tummy will look a year from now. (I had 3 big babies, so I’m worried about how my tummy will look.)

      But I have a lot of hope now. Thank you. 🙂

  73. I’ve struggled with my weight for many years. Loose skin has been a problem. With at least 50 more pounds to lose, I’ve worried about having sagging skin, especially now that I’m 40. I already have some loose skin from the first 100 pounds I lost.

    This article gave me lots to consider as far as helping to improve. I admit I’m guilty of going for the quick weight loss which is probably part of the reason I have the loose skin problem to begin with. I’m definitely going to look into the vitamins and the gelatin and work on including more resistance training. Thanks for the information.

  74. 20 months after having my youngest child (the oldest is 5.5) I have extremely thin folds (not thick with fat) of loose skin at the bottom of my belly. I’m 5’1″ so I won’t be surprised if that is a permanent result of having kids. That said, I do still have some soft fat on my belly, so it is possible the skin will tighten up if I lose that fat.

  75. I’ve dropped 20 lbs in 7 weeks after going grain-free.

    I am an avid weightlifter (I lift quite heavy, the deadlift being the core of all my exercises).

    While I was pleasantly happy with losing 20 lbs, when I looked in the mirror, I still had a belly. But I then touched around my belly and noticed that it was much softer and looser than before, so the appearance of my belly is just loose skin LOL.

    I’m fairly certain that my skin will correct itself eventually.

  76. Hi Mark: I had to trot on over to Mark Browns site halfway though this post. I just about fell on the floor laughing at his “steely gaze”. Thank you so much for that!!!

  77. Coco butter ladies.. I use to have stretch marks and I use coco butter as lotion after every shower.. stretch marks gone. I am now doing the primal eating way of life and losing weight.. but putting more coco butter on and after about a month by skin is getting firmer. 🙂 And I still have about 30 lbs to lose. Hope this trick keeps working.

  78. Hi. I have fluctuated in the past with my weight. To date (started losing weight in 2005) I have lost 160lbs and still have about 30lbs to lose. When I first lost the 160lbs I had excess skin(or fat) and then gained back about 80lbs. I am now back down to my lowest weight and still have the excess skin- it is so awful I do not show my legs where it is the most obvious.. I fast now(eat stop eat) and lift weights twice a week. Should I keep lifting and hope this problem will go away when I get to goal?

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

    1. 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

  83. 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

  84. 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.

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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.

  88. 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.

  89. 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

  90. 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 /:

    1. 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 !

        1. 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.

    2. 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!

  91. 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!!!

  92. 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?

  93. 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.

  94. 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!

  95. 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 🙂

  96. 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.

  97. 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!!!

  98. 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.

  99. 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??

  100. 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!

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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

  106. 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

  107. 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.

  108. 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

  109. 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.

  110. 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!!!!


  111. 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 🙂

  112. 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?

  113. 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?


  114. 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?

  115. 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.

  116. 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!

  117. 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.

  118. 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:)

  119. 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

  120. 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.

  121. 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.

  122. 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!

  123. 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.

  124. 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.

  125. i have a lot of fat around my stomach and tighs…what to do for burning it…heavely..

  126. 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

  127. 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!

  128. 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.

  129. 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?

  130. 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.

  131. 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. 🙂

  132. 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.

  133. 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.

  134. 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.

  135. 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.

  136. 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.

  137. I lost over 130 pounds, doing the Atkins plan, back in the eighties, and when I was still fairly young–27 years old, and yes, I have kept it off. Some skin was loose, but honestly, not that bad. As I have gotten older, I “see” more of what is described above, and I do believe a great deal of what I am displeased with are stubborn fat deposits. One thing I was told by a doctor, was the because we do not actually lose fat cells, just empty them, that areas where we were the largest, will have the highest quantity of these empty fat cells. I am working hard on it–I took a job, unloading a truck, and have added some additional exercise, and am tweaking my weight. Am down to under 120, which puts me on the low end. I see improvement..but still less than thrilled with fat I see on my upper legs..and while some of it may be due to lax skin, I still believe there is fat there to lose. The weird thing–I had to have a IVP some years ago. My kidneys could not be seen–I was that the dye accumulates in the fat around the kidneys, and that I had absolutely none..and yes, my torso is very thin–not an ounce of fat. I am just surprised that my body would burn that visceral fat, before it would let go of the fat I am describing…indeed, it is very difficult, but I am not giving up. I am glad I read this info, because it confirms what I suspected–that maybe there is a way to loose more.

  138. i showed this article to my dermatologist. She read it and said she has never ever read so much rubbish in her life. seeing as she is in her late 60’s this is a big call. when your body expands, the skin stretches. but at a certain point the body grows extra skin as well. when you shrink, the body does not reabsorb the extra skin. so, for some people whose skin did not OVER stretch or increase, yes, it can snap back. but for the people in this world (me) that were very big, there is no way in gods green earth it will. hence surgery. your comment about the subcutaneous body fat is also bogus as that fat is not the reason the skin is loose. so. look at your tummy, can you see throught the skin? however lean and ripped you are, no. thats because you have subcutaneous body fat there. even 1%. when you have loose skin, the amount of subcutaneous body fat is irelevant. its the skin that is too large for your frame. I had a medical condition that increased my size, and i still battle. I have lost over 1/2 my body weight. i am fit. i have great muscles and yet i have not gotten rid of the skin. i have had a lot of surgery (more to come) to help. yet STILL this is an issue as the elasticity has gone. As my surgeon says, if my skin was a pair of leggings there is no way we would wear them, as the “snap” has gone out of them. he can trim, but still nothing will make me firm,again. when i sit down there is still a laxity. not because i dont have abbs of steel but because the SKINS ELASTICITY is shot. so yes. lose weight, and if you require it, go for the surgery, and dont try and reduce the size of your skin by diet and exercise. it does not work and as I spent 10 years trying, i know this.

  139. Surgery isn’t always the only way. Dry skin brushing is very effective at sloughing off dead skin and promoting skin regrowth. Daily dry skin brushing aids in tightening skin and has most definitely assisted many people that have lost 100+ lbs with the “loose skin” problem, without undergoing the knife. Anyone interested in dry skin brushing should check out Teresa Tapp ( as she explains the purpose and results of dry skin brushing. Besides, trying out dry skin brushing (even if only for a month) will be much less expensive than surgery and it might just change your mind.

  140. ail.comi have been losing weight using a detox program and alot of green drinks. Yes, you do get stretch marks when you lose weight. I wanted something to help diminish my stretch marks and imperfections and I found 2 things that work. (1) Get a giant scrubber thingy to use in the shower, and really brush the stretch marks hard. This is important. (2) After the shower, I have been applying the Somaluxe Stretch Mark Treatment (by Lady Soma) and it has really helped. ive only been using for a week and i already see results.

  141. this article was really helpful! i was afraid i was morphing into a pug. thank you for the food tips. best wishes!

  142. I have only been using dermelastic serum for a month or so. I wanted something to help the loose skin left from two pregnancies and two c-sections. I have noticed a little tightening of my skin.

  143. I bought a vintage ring that was a bit too small for my finger but I stubbornly wore it and overtime the skin and fat of my finger reduced. Now when i take the ring off there’s a band of tighter skin where the ring pinched it in and kept it pinched. It stays tight even without the ring on for at least 48 hours, haven’t taken it off for longer yet.

    So it might be worth trying tighter clothing and things like Spanx? Maybe even somehow on upper arms, I wish I could show this tight band of skin but i can’t upload a photo at work. I think it might temporarily replace busted collagen fibres to help the skin regroups. Just a theory though. 🙂

  144. I recently started using dermelastic stretch mark serum because after having twins I had more stripes than a tiger. I’ve only been using this for a couple of weeks but I’m already noticing a difference on my stretch marks, especially on the darker ones it’s lightening them. I can’t wait to see how they look after long term use…

  145. After losing a bunch of weight, I had loose skin also. Better than being over weight. Anyway, I started using the Somaluxe Firming Lotion to combat loose skin, and its really effective. After a few weeks I see a big difference. Skin feels much healthier and looks great. It also smells great.

  146. After having 4 children early in my marriage and constant up and down with weight issues, my stretch marks had stretch marks. Then out of no where I was pregnant again at the age of 44!!!.

    The Somaluxe Stretch Mark Treatment worked very well for me with the old stretch marks and the newer ones with the last baby. I figured out the trick with stretch marks is to stay ahead of them, meaning I starting to put the Somaluxe product on before I actually began to really stretch. This product really helped to diminish them and to make the ones I already had less noticeable.

    It is very effective for old and new stretch marks. It has also provided some slight improvement on an old surgical knee scar I had from years ago.

  147. I had to lose weight because of type 2diabetes. I have excess skin under my arms about 1/2″ thick jst starting to form. How can I eliminate loose flab and skin I am already starting to get ?

  148. I have lost 145 lbs so far – even though I am lifting heavy things my skin isn’t doing down although my lean mass is going up and body fat is ever so slowly dropping at 165 my DEXA still says I am at 40% body fat (down 8% since last year) which just seems a little crazy at 65 inches 15-17% body fat would make me look terrible at this rate – just saying

  149. Hi, I would like to know how long it takes to get rid of the stubborn stomach fat. I lost about 30 kg and still need to lose weight. I swim, walk, as I can, but I’m careful about lifting heavy things, due to spinal issue. A good thing that I threw my stick away 2 months ago and I can walk without major pain. As I don’t concentrate on the back and legs pain anymore, I started to care about how I look like. After a long, long time I started to think I could be somewhat attractive some day again, maybe even before I’m too old. I’m 43, got really obese after having 3 kids in a row and an absolutely non-supportive husband. Now I’m divorced, never thought of finding a new partner. As I went primal, things started to change. Is there anything else that could help me, when I’m affraid of weight lifting?

  150. Well I am at goal lifting and biking but loose skin around neck under chin and upper arms upper chest and under arms and inner thighs…can I use collegen supplements?

  151. I had stretch marks prior to pregnancy from weight gain/loss when I was young. I was afraid that they would get worse and I would get many more. They have remained white. Along with drinking tons of water and using dermelastic serum 2-3 times a day, I have not gotten any new stretch marks! I LOVE the feeling of this serum. I hated the way bio oil made my stomach feel, but this feels very light and smooth. The only downside was that I went through it quickly and would have to purchase again.

    1. This thread has been going forever. Wow.
      Do you guys listen to podcasts? Give Fasting Talk a shot. Its a really great show and ive had some really good progress utilizing their advice of fast/feast cycles. On eating days i eat to satiety i shoot for 3000 calories or so. And dont sweat if i dont make it. The point is to eat well on eating days. On fasting days its just water and maybe a cup of coffee in the morning with heavy cream. Since the feasting days are so well fueled, when you fast your body maintains the upped metabolic rate and goes to quick work burning fat. Eat for a week fast for 3 days. Eat for two weeks fast for 6 days. Eat /fast every other day. Switch it up and keep your body on its toes. When you eat try to keep it high fat low carb so when you fast your body has an easy time switching to its own fat stores. I love fasting. Im actually down to a 32″ waist jeans this week for the first time is 20 years. Thank you fasting. Btw also i feel great. I fasted 3 days this week and jogged an avg 5 miles per day with no fatigue. And i quit cigarettes a couple months ago so im no olympian. You can do it. I did it. I swear it. I believe in all of us. ???????????????

  152. I used dermalmd stretch mark cream during pregnancy to prevent stretch marks, and it worked! My mom had a lot of stretch marks, so I was paranoid. I rubbed dermalmd on diligently twice a day and made it through pregnancy without any stretch marks. It also has a nice smell, particularly compared to a couple other stretch mark products I tried.

  153. I’m a mom, have a job, and recently lost some weight, which is apparently the perfect recipe for an under eye disaster. I read alot of great reviews about the Made from Earth Vitamin Firming Serum and I was convinced to give it a try–and I’m so glad I did! I have been using it for just 1 week and I’m already really happy with the results. The wrinkles under my eye have lessened a lot and my upper eyelid looks so much tighter and less droopy, which was an unexpected bonus.

  154. There is a health risk associated with having too low a percentage of body fat. I lost 120 lbs over 2 years. I recently got a Bod Pod which said I am at 7.5%. My BIA scale and calipers show the same number. If correct, that puts me at just 13 lbs of fat. It is not safe to go too much lower in search of getting my loose skin to be gone. Most of my stubborn fat is located on my abdomen.

    To say that your skin has to be 1mm thick to be at low fat just doesn’t match any of the skin fold calculators that I have seen out there. For instance, a 50 year old male who weighs 170 lbs and has 6mm on each of three skin fold locations has a 7.4% body fat. That’s much more than 1mm… If that same person had 1mm on all three locations they’d be at 2.4% body fat – and on their way to probable death. Doesn’t sound like chasing after 1mm is very smart.

  155. I lost 24 lbs. in high school. I didn’t want to lose it. I had been weightlifting for 2 years and, along with the one growth spurt I had, I went from a BW of 110 lbs. as a freshman to 162 lbs. as a junior. Then…I became a vegetarian and dropped down to 138 lbs. in ONE MONTH!

    I had some pretty good muscular definition, including the two veins that come up to the abs from the groin but there was always that roll of fat at the waist that bothered me. When I became and adult, despite putting on the muscle I had lost, that roll would not go away. Finally, I went to a cosmetic surgeon. He told me that it was loose skin and that it had lost it’s elasticity and would not do a liposuction because it was not fat. 15 years later, same situation. Doctor told me it was loose skin and the elasticity was gone. It required a tummy tuck but he felt that I would not want that because it leaves a noticeable scar.

    Over the years, I have had my bodyfat checked and over the years, the people who have done the bodyfat measurements have said that they could not get much of a read on the bodyfat around my waist and that while it looks like bodyfat, it is really loose skin that has lost its elasticity.

    The only solution I have been presented with is a tummy tuck.

  156. I lost 80 lbs over the course of a year. I had a personal trainer and ate clean. Now almost a year after all the weight loss I am seeing that droopy skin in my belly. I work out almost 6 days a week. Granted I could eat cleaner now that I splerge with some carbs. People say don’t loose more weight. I lift weight, sit-ups crunches and do cardio. What can you recommend?

  157. hi had knee replacement and a year later i have lost 2
    stone and have loose skin im 82 eat well but cant fing aresone why this happend im thinking of getting a proform hybird pro exersize bike would this help me to build body muscle msny thsnks john london .uk

  158. This is by far the best article I have seen on pannus stomachs. I am now able to help my husband form a long-term plan for eliminating his “shelf.” I am going to go share this on other sites that have neglected to provide much, if anything, in the way of helpful information. Thank you!

  159. I has open heart surgery and put myself on a caloric restriction diet. of around 1,000 calories per day. I went from 273 to 228 in a couple of months. I seem to have plateaued. I want to get down to 165 to 175 lbs. I am 75, male and around 5’6”. tall. I have not started any exercise routine except, rehabilitation walking of 5 minutes> gradually increasing, with an eye toward at least a mile per day.

  160. I have so much excess skin after I had the Gastro sleeve done 7 yrs a go.
    I’ve had 3 hip replacements, foot surgeries & breast cancer & currently, covid, all things that prevented me from major exercise. Well, I couldn’t go to the gym, didn’t want to be seen in public with no hair besides my resistance was very low, & now I have Covid. Through all these issues & more, I’ve just been too tired to exercise.
    Our gym is closed now due to covid. I just started back at the gym they they shut it down! I just want to unzip this blubber suit & step out sleek & feeling great! Do you think it’s possible? And without spending bd magic pills that never work!! Been there, done that!

  161. I lost more then 100 lbs quickly. I’ve been at the same weight for years, its excess skin. If I attempted to lift weights to fill the void. I’d be huge again

  162. I have lost weight from march to January and I realized that my hands are very thin and skinny and a but bony. I could see my veins through my skin only form hands and I put aloe and coconut oil and sometimes its visible and sometime is a bit lighter. I would really appreciate what is possible to do to make my hands thicker and not see though. I never had them like this and I am worried.

  163. I lost 80 lbs. over a period of 3 yrs.
    My skin looks wrinkled- it’s very loose.
    I feel like I would look better if I gained the weight back.
    I now weigh the same as I did when I was 12.
    I am 71 now.
    I am used to my diet and don’t know what to do.
    Is it hopeless? Is there anything I can do about it?
    I managed to gain 6 lbs over 6 mos., but I don’t really want to be 200 lbs again. Help

  164. Mine really is loose skin – especially above my belly button. I hate it – looks crepe crinkled. My body fat is ok- 18-21 and im 56. Even in the best shape of my life with significant muscle- thats the thing i see Swimsuit and bam there it is.