Loose skin/tissue weirdness

(Ari the Wolf) #1

I’m at a size right now that I’m happy with, except…

Well, loose skin. I exercise regularly, I’m building muscle, my waist is down to the seemingly unattainable 32" that I literally hadn’t seen since grade school. The problem is now, if I twist to the side, or sit leaning more to one side then the other, the loose skin and tissue on my belly gets sort of pinched between my hip and my ribs. It happens often enough that it feels bruised at times, like someone just jabbed me near my kidney. If the waistband of my pants actually fits right, then it happens even more.

It feels like everything is so loose over my muscles now that it’s not part of ‘me’, just attached to me. I’m not sure my husband quite understands how distressing this is at times, he’s lost a lot more than me but just has a little wrinkle at the bottom of his abdomen and that’s it. Short of wearing compression type undergarments (which is horrible near Atlanta in the summer!!!) I’m at a complete loss for what to do.

Anybody else go through anything even remotely like this?


I think I saw a loose skin thread somewhere on here. The consensus seemed to be: it takes time and will probably improve on its own; collagen supplementing is a good idea; fasting may help (autophagy!); skin brushing is worth a try (it also takes time); everyone’s a bit different in how their skin responds after weightloss (as you already know).

(betsy.rome) #3

Can anyone recommend a good source of collagen supplementation? how about grass-fed gelatin?

(Ari the Wolf) #4

I’ve had two kids while weighing about half again as much as I should, one of which was a c-section, and had a couple of abdominal surgeries besides. I lost 70lbs, I weigh 160 now, and went from about 50% body fat to around 20%. I also have a connective tissue disorder. Between all those factors, my skin is never going to bounce back from this. It will take surgery, which I can’t afford quite yet.

I was wondering more if anyone else has gone through the same kind of weirdness that comes with it. I never thought I would reach a point where my ribs and hips could effectively ‘pinch’ me.


I’m not sure, and you might get some replies on this thread - but if you want to take a look, the other thread I mentioned is Loose Skin and it has a LOT of posts.
Well done on 50% to 20% bf! wow, that’s really impressive :slight_smile:

(Carpe salata!) #6

You will also ‘learn’ not to get to that exact twisting posture.

Congratulations on your achievements! I don’t’ want to make light, but this could be good on the ‘keto complaints’ thread. BTW, let us know how it resolves…

(Arlene) #7

Great Lakes Gelatin

(Ari the Wolf) #8

Actually, I’m not entirely sure I will, unless I’m making a conscious effort to avoid it. Almost every joint in my body is hypermobile, so I don’t have the same stopping points for movement that a normal person has. I mean, sure, I’d like to think I’d learn to avoid letting my knees go backward, but at 31 years old, it hasn’t happened yet.

(Sorry, life happened, only just saw this!!!)

(Bill C) #9

I want to add to this thread rather than start a new one. I have read through the previous posts. I, too, have had some loose skin around the mid-section. Not noticeable when I am standing up but I know it is there. So, when visiting the dermatologist yesterday I asked him about this. He said it depends on a number of factors; age, amount of time you have been carrying the extra weight, how quickly you have lost weight, etc. The younger you are the more able your body is to absorb the excess skin. Your skin gets less elastic as you age. Elasticity also has to do with how hydrated your body is on a regular basis. I ran across a write up on a board I thought was interesting so I will share it here:

  1. Skin is incredibly elastic. Just look at what women go through during pregnancy. Skin has the ability to expand and contract to a remarkable degree.

  2. Elasticity of skin tends to decrease with age. Wrinkling and loss of elasticity is partly the consequence of aging (genetic factors) and also a result of environmental factors such as oxidative stress, excessive sun exposure, and nutritional deficiency. The environmental parts you can fix, the genetics and age part, you cannot. Advice: Get moving and change the things you have control over… Be realistic and don’t worry about those things you don’t have control over.

  3. How much your skin will return to its former tautness depends partly on age. The older you get, the more an extremely large weight loss can leave loose skin that will not return to normal

  4. How long you carry extra weight has a lot to do with how much the skin will become taut after the weight loss: For example, compare a 9 month pregnancy with 9 years carrying 100 excess pounds.

  5. How much weight was carried has a lot to do with how much the skin will resume a tight appearance. Your skin can only be stretched so much and be expected to "snap back" one hundred percent.

  6. How fast the weight was gained also has a lot to do with how much the skin will resume a tight appearance. Your skin can only be stretched so quickly and be expected to "snap back."

  7. How fast weight is lost also has a lot to do with how much the skin will tighten up. Rapid weight loss doesn’t allow the skin time to slowly resume to normal. (yet another reason to lose fat slowly; 1-2 pounds per week, 3 pounds at the most if you have a lot of weight to lose, and even then, only if you are measuring body fat and you’re certain it’s fat you’re losing, not lean tissue).

  8. There are exceptions to all of the above; i.e, people who gained and then lost incredible amounts of weight quickly at age 50 or 60, and their skin returned 100% to normal.

  9. There are many creams advertised as having the ability to restore the tightness of your skin. None work – at least not permanently and measurably – and especially if you have a lot of loose skin. Don’t waste your money.

  10. If you’re considering surgical skin removal, consult a physician for advice because this is not a minor operation, but keep in mind that your plastic surgeon may be making his BMW payments with your abdominoplasty money. (Surgery may be recommended in situations where it’s not 100% necessary). Surgery should be left as the ABSOLUTE FINAL option in extreme cases.

  11. Give your skin time. Your skin will get tighter as your body fat gets lower. I’ve seen and heard of many cases where the skin gradually tightened up, at least partially, after a one or two year period where the weight loss was maintained and exercise continued.

  12. Know your body fat percentage before even THINKING about surgery. Loose skin is one thing, but still having body fat is another. Be honest with yourself and do that by taking your body fat measurement. This can be done with skinfold calipers or a variety of other devices (calipers might not be the best method if you have large folds of loose skin. Look into impedance analysis, underwater weighing, DEXA or Bod Pod).

Suppose for example, a man drops from 35% body fat all the way down to 20%. He should be congratulated, but I would tell him, "Don’t bitch about loose skin, your body fat is still high. Press onward and keep getting leaner.”

Average body fat for men is in the mid teens (16% or so) Good body fat for men is 10-12%, and single digits is extremely lean (men shouldn’t expect to look “ripped” with 100% tight skin on the abs unless they have single digit body fat, and women low teens).

Except in extreme cases, you are very unlikely to see someone with loose skin who has very low body fat. It’s quite remarkable how much your skin can tighten up and literally start to “cling” to your abdominal muscles once your body fat goes from “average” to “excellent.” Someone with legitimate single digit body fat and a ton of loose skin is a rare sight.

So… the key to getting tighter skin is to lose more body fat, up to the point where your body composition rating is BETTER than average (in the “good” to “great” category, not just "okay"). Only AFTER you reach your long term body fat percentage goal should you give thought to "excess skin removal." At that point, admittedly, there are bound to be a few isolated cases where surgery is necessary if you can’t live with the amount of loose skin remaining.

However, unless you are really, really lean, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of what is loose skin, what is just remaining body fat and how much further the skin will tighten up when the rest of the fat is lost.

(Carpe salata!) #10

Nice write-up. It doesn’t mention fasting. I was hoping that a lot of the autophagy effects gained in fasting involve recycling excess skin back to useful components.

That would give another option to tightening excess skin.

(Pete A) #11

This is particularly comprehensive, thanks for sharing.

Personally I’ve learned there definetly is more fat than I was aware, than skin, and the closer I get the more wrinkly! :grinning: Its all smoothing out, slowly but surely (and incredibly).


This seems like a pretty relevant thread and question for all of us losing weight due to metabolic disorders being addressed.

An additions due to research?

(Ivy) #14

grass fed brisket or viva naturals collagen is free on ANY CONTAMINANTS