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ATB BB Series 13: Reader Query on "Loose skin"

Sarah G posted a query on my last post: 

Hi Tanveer, I need to lose about 40-45 kgs but I am really worried about loose skin (I am in my mid 30s) ---- did you ever find that to be an issue during your weight loss journey?

Since the answer to this a bit lengthy I thought I would answer this in a post. 

First of all, despite losing close to 40 kgs, I haven't had to deal with loose skin. And I don't think I will have to either. From my own understanding this was a result of couple of things that worked in my favour, namely: 

1. My diet is fat & protein. Both collagen & elastin are skin "proteins" that build the scaffolding / structure of the skin. When you eat enough protein, the body is nourished enough internally to divert some protein to things like hair & skin. Fat is also an integral part of skin cell membranes. By eating right you support your skin to deal with the change in size. 

2. I really come from the belief that skin is a living organ. It is responsive, just like our other organs, and it has the ability to heal & regenerate itself. It is not some piece of cloth that once stretched out will never recover. It actually is very responsive, expanding to accommodate changes and it will also respond to when you are a smaller size. If you eat when you are hungry, eat the correct food, then your skin will re-arrange such that there is no loose skin. Starvation (which is most regular diets are) reduces collagen production, decreasing skin elasticity. 


3. There is a thought, that loose skin is actually caused by cases of excess subcutaneous body fat covered by skin. Skin itself is paper thin, but the loose skin you see on people is soft & jiggly - it is a sign of high body fat %. It'll go away with time as you stay on the diet & the body continues to burn fat. 

4. Age is claimed to be a factor that reduces skin elasticity and thus reduces the ability of the skin to readjust it's size after weight loss. I started the diet when I was 29, so not very far off from you Sarah! I haven't found this to be true. I think diet plays 99% of a role in anyone developing loose skin. 

As you can see, I'm wearing short skirts & fitted tops - no loose skin here!
5. If you have the time, I suggest you read this article: http://www.bodyfatguide.com/LooseSkin.htm
The author explains wonderfully how low-fat or calorie restricted diets result in loose skin. The basic point is such diets eat away at your protein - because of the starvation like conditions in body - instead of fat. So what you have in the end is body that is very high in fat composition. Protein and muscle is what provides structure & tone to the body. Preserve that & you will not have loose skin!

I hope this helps Sarah! 

Comments

  1. OMG, thanks so much for the detailed answer, you're awesome! This makes me feel so much better :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have seen my friends suffering from loose skin after weight loss...I should forward them this article.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Tanveer,

    Follow your blog regularly and love it.

    My question is: I want to lose my post pregnancy weight. I used to be 56kg before pregnancy. Right now I am 62 kg. Somehow I'm Stuck with this weight.It just refuses to go down any further. It is very difficult to take time out for exercising with the baby. As a result I always end up neglecting myself.

    I'm vegetarian. Can you give some tips to help me get back my pre-pregnancy figure?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think if one is losing weight not drastically but over time, it should be any problem. My issues are normally stretch marks :(

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Tanveer,

    I am a silent reader mostly, but would like to ask 1 q. about t his diet plan. I am planning to start this diet plan but i am vegetarian and you have accepted the fact that being vegetarians and following this diet is a harder task. SO if i go with minimal carb(like eating carb in moderation once in a while when you feel monotonous) instead of no carb would that help or u think that no carb is the only solution?

    Thanks
    Neha

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Tanveer,

    I am a silent reader mostly, but would like to ask 1 q. about t his diet plan. I am planning to start this diet plan but i am vegetarian and you have accepted the fact that being vegetarians and following this diet is a harder task. SO if i go with minimal carb(like eating carb in moderation once in a while when you feel monotonous) instead of no carb would that help or u think that no carb is the only solution?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete

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