Unfortunately for many losing belly fat does not end when you reach your ideal weight. If you have lost a lot of weight then the skin which was previously stretched tight by the excess belly fat will now be loose. At first glance you may make the mistake of thinking that this is loose belly fat, but the chances are that most of what is there is actually loose skin.
Although exercise and diet can help to tighten up some of the excess skin, no amount of diet and exercise can remove loose skin, the only option is surgery. To remove excess skin is unfortunately not cheap as skin removal is considered a cosmetic treatment and often not covered by a health plan.
However, the procedure to remove loose skin after weight loss poses a far smaller health risk than gastric banding and bariatric surgery. So healthy weight loss through diet and exercise is still the best option.
How To Reduce Loose Skin During Weight Loss
There are some measures that you can take to reduce the amount of loose skin that is left behind after you lose weight.
- Exercise on a regular basis to tone and tighten the areas with loose skin
- Aim to lose weight slowly to give your body time to adjust to fat loss
- Perform regular weight training exercises. Muscles provide a surface of skin to grip to and fill out the space left by the fat
- Drinking plenty a lot of water helps to maintain healthy skin
All of these can only go so far to help the situation however. If you have lost, or are planning to lose, a lot of weight, say over 100 pounds, then loose skin could become a problem.
Is Loose Skin Removal Safe?
The procedure to remove loose skin has been developing over the last 40 years. The method was first performed by surgeons in Brazil and France. However, at this time there were often complications, such as severe scarring, lumpy skin and painfully long recovery from surgery. Advancements in surgery in recently years have seen the risk factor reduce significantly and the development of the “body lift” method of skin removal.
Tummy Tucks and Breast Lifts
These are terms that you may be most familiar with, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), mastopexy (breast lift). There are both skin removal procedures. Other procedures include inner thigh lifts, and brachioplasty (arm lift to remove those “chicken wings”).
Body lifts give better results in terms of tightness of the skin, better skin quality and longer lasting results.
These procedures are still not without risk though, so speak to your doctor or plastic surgeon about the risks associated with skin removal surgery. The main consideration is that recovery time can be long after this surgery. It can take several months before you will be able to start exercising again.
Are You Ready for Loose Skin Removal?
Before a surgeon will perform any skin removal or body lift operation they will want to be sure that you are ready. For this your weight must be stable. If you are still losing more weight or there are signs that you are putting weight back on again, then a surgeon will not want to perform the operation. If you do have more weight to lose then read our own tips on how to lose belly fat as these provide some more tricks to help you lose weight.
So if you lose weight quickly through a crash diet and extreme exercise then you need to ensure that you are dedicated to following a lifetime maintenance program with a healthy diet and regular exercise is essential.