Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm very overweight. I'm also starting to lose a lot of weight on a new diet/exercise program with a trainer.

  • As the pounds continue to drop off, how bad can I expect skin sag to be?
  • Can I do anything to mitigate it?
  • Does it last forever (if I keep the weight off), or will it change over time?

I'm a 29 year-old male, >350 lbs if that matters.

Thanks for your help.

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Skin sag entirely depends on the person, and their overall health. I've seen some people with skin sag so bad they have 'fins' underneath their arms and others that lost 100+ pounds with no noticeable sag. Some people are complete health wrecks and being overweight is just one problem; others actually have fairly good fundamentals, and just happen to be overweight. To understand this a bit more concretely, think of the difference between a long-time smoker who is obese and spends much of his/her time sick, and a sumo wrestler. If they both lost 100 pounds, skin sag would be very pronounced on the former, but not nearly so much on the latter.

As for how to mitigate it, that is a very complicated question. Skin sag is very closely linked to the 'aging process'; your skin can be considered an organ, and is very sensitive to changes in your overall health. The quick, general answer is that anything you can do to increase your overall health will help alleviate skin sag. That answer, however, is supremely unhelpful due to how general it is, so let me make a short list of pointers.

  • Increased hydration (clean water intake)
  • Lowered toxin load (less artificial sweeteners, more antioxidant foods like fruits and veggies)
  • Losing weight the RIGHT way (relatively slowly, replacing some fat with muscle)
  • Proper sleep (reduces load on the rest of the body)

As you've probably figured out by this point, skin sag CAN last forever if you remain unhealthy even after you get rid of your weight. If you get healthier after you get rid of the weight, your body will repair itself and get rid of the unneeded, and likely throughly dead, cells. How fast that happens will depend on how healthy you are and how much sag you have. If you lose weight the right way, at about 2-4 pounds per week max, you should not have a huge amount of sag by the time you hit your target weight, anyway. This is doubly true for you since you're still relatively young. Unless you have some sort of chronic illness, I've got confidence you'll do just fine!

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks a lot for this! –  J.W. Mosley May 17 '11 at 4:03
    
Any related articles or references will be appreciated. –  Mehrad Jan 14 at 4:40
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.