Losing a significant amount of weight can lead to pockets of loose, sagging skin, especially around the stomach area. This is something experienced by a lot of women after giving birth but it is also a common problem for dieters who lose a lot of weight in a short space of time. Although the extent of the problem differs between individuals, there are a number of factors which contribute to sagging skin after weight loss:
Our body's ability to recover after significant weight loss is determined largely by our age, although genetics and luck also play a part, explains California based dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee. "The older we get, the less elasticity we have in our skin, so a younger person who has significant weight loss will have a higher chance for less skin sagging than someone 20 years older."
Speed of Weight Loss
As well as age, the speed at which we lose weight can affect the way our body responds. The rapid weight loss promised by increasingly popular gastric band procedures encourages significant weight loss (sometimes as much as 100-200 pounds) over a relatively short space of time. This can lead to real problems with sagging skin as the body struggles to adjust to these dramatic changes.
Although you cannot control your age or genetics, eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in polyunsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals can help maintain skin elasticity and encourage recovery after weight loss.
High Impact Exercise
Research has shown that the way in which we exercise can have a dramatic impact on the appearance of our skin after weight loss. High impact exercise such as running and jogging can cause the skin to shake or bounce more, leading to increased sagging in the long-term. Using low impact activities such as yoga as the basis of your exercise regime and wearing supportive workout clothing can help reduce this effect.
Although eating a healthy diet can sometimes improve skin conditions, loss of fat can play havoc with hormones, leading to persistent acne flare-ups. As women lose weight, levels of estrogen in the body decrease, leading to a hormonal imbalance which can affect the appearance of the skin, hair and nails.
This can be exasperated by strict fad diets, such as the cabbage soup or maple syrup diet which completely neglect important food groups, causing nutritional shortages which can have an almost immediate negative impact on your skin.
Perhaps one of the most frightening physical effects of rapid weight loss for women is the thinning out of hair, usually caused by the nutritional deficiencies of a severe, calorie controlled diet. Hair loss can be triggered by a traumatic event or any dramatic change that has a big impact on our body, including childbirth or significant rapid weight loss. This kind of hair loss is called Tellogen Effluvium and is common after gastric band operations.
To lose weight the healthy way, consult a weight loss specialist.