After months—maybe years—of strict dieting and hardcore workouts, seeing that number on the scale drop dramatically should feel like the accomplishment of a lifetime.
But what many people forget to tell you is that major weight loss almost always comes with the disappointment of saggy, loose skin.
Reaching your goal weight should be a moment of celebration, but it’s hard to truly enjoy your hard-earned results when you still feel like your body is hiding under extra layers of skin.
Many people turn to plastic surgery to get rid of unwanted loose skin, but that doesn’t mean a drastic operation is your only option.
Here are 7 natural ways to tighten your skin after major weight loss:
- Try Weight Training: When you lose a significant amount of weight, you tend to lose a lot of muscle mass, as well. Strength training will help your muscles grow stronger, creating a layer of muscle underneath your skin. That extra layer of muscle will cause your skin to appear tighter and firmer than ever before. Most fitness experts suggest participating in weight resistance training about three times per week, every other day, to achieve the results you’re looking for.
- Lose Weight Slowly: If you really want to avoid getting loose, baggy skin, you have to allow some time for your skin to catch up with your weight loss. By maintaining your weight for a little while, your skin will be able to shrink to your new size over time. When you lose weight too rapidly, your skin has a tendency to lose its elasticity, making it harder to shrink fast enough.
- Drink More Water: Hydration is key for keeping your skin looking firm, tight, moisturized, and radiant. It’s important to drink at least six glasses of water a day—more if you can—to help maintain your skin’s natural elasticity.
- Tone Your Tummy: Most people who lose a ton of weight tend to notice significant amounts of stretched skin around their belly. The great thing about you abs is that they don’t actually require a lot of maintenance to stay tight. Just 15 to 20 minutes of belly toning exercises three to five times a week will help keep your tummy toned. Mix-up your workouts with crunches, planks, leg raises, bicycles, side bridges—there are tons of ab exercises to try!
- Stay in the Shade: Too much sun can make your skin dry and damage skin cells that are crucial to maintaining elasticity. The harmful rays in tanning beds should be avoided, as well. Chlorine tends to have the same drying effect as the sun, so always make sure to shower and moisturize your body the moment you step out of a swimming pool.
- Moisturize: Keep an eye out for body moisturizers with vitamin E, which helps your skin stay soft and allows new skin cells to grow. Another bonus—moisturizing also helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles! You might want to consider trying out coconut oil, a natural moisturizer that also has antibacterial properties to soothe the skin.
- Sea Salt Scrubs: Massaging a sea salt scrub into your skin can help increase blood flow to the skin, which has been shown to tighten skin over time. All you have to do is rub a salt scrub over your body in the shower each day, and see how your skin feels in about two weeks. It’s important to note that the act of massaging the skin alone also helps with blood flow, so a trip to your favorite masseuse might be a good idea!
Do you have any tips for keeping skin tight after major weight loss? Tell us in the comments!
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