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A question I am often asked is, “How do I get rid of this?” That person typically points to an area where the skin is loose. As a matter of fact, this is probably the most popular question I have been asked throughout my professional career.


So, how do we get loose skin? Adipose (fat) and muscle tissue exist underneath the skin. As we gain weight, our skin stretches to house the new muscle or fat tissue we have grown. This is a common reason for the development of stretch marks. If an overweight person burns a lot of fat, the fat cells shrink underneath the skin; however, the skin doesn’t shrink and can appear to be loose. This can be very discouraging and frustrating for some.


Why Doesn’t The Skin Snap Back?

Your skin isn’t like a big piece of rubber that covers the body; rather, it is a living organ (the largest in the body to be exact). The different layers of skin have different types of cells. The cells in the outer layer, the epidermis, are constantly being replaced with new cells. The cells in the dermis and subdermis, which are the layers beneath the epidermis, are more permanent and comprised of elastic connective tissues, fibers, and other components.


When you lose a lot of weight quickly, the elastic components lose layers of fat, which have kept them stretched out, and they don’t have a lot of time for their elasticity to adapt to your new body shape. In addition to weight loss, smoking, poor nutrition, and age can affect the elasticity of your skin. To help you maintain healthy skin elasticity, I have some great tips to help reduce the appearance of loose skin.


Stay Hydrated:

The body requires adequate water intake to function properly. During dehydration, the body pulls water from the surface of the skin for our organs to function properly, ultimately causing the skin to lose its elasticity. This unhealthy process can make cause dry skin or premature wrinkle development. In order to stay sufficiently hydrated, drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. If you weigh 150 pounds and divide that by two to get 75, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water a day.


Don’t Be Afraid to Weight Train:

It is perfectly acceptable, important even, to weight train and lessen the amount of cardio you do. This is especially important for women! A lot of women are afraid of resistance training because they don’t want to look bulky or manly. If you’re burning fat, it is integral to build muscle mass in order to prevent your skin from appearing too loose. Doing strength training, in conjunction with sufficiently hydrating yourself, will make your skin appear healthy and tone.


Avoid Losing Weight Too Quickly:

I know we all want fast results, but drastic weight loss does not allow your skin to adapt in time. Your goal should be to lose about one to two pounds per week. This decreases the chance of your skin appearing too loose, and that amount of fat loss per week is achievable and sustainable.


Finally, I recommend getting massages about once a month. Not only do these therapeutic sessions help to relieve tension in the body, they also work to improve circulation and skin elasticity.


– By Keith Hodges