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  1. #1
    SCAdian jacktheblack's Avatar
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    Excess skin around mid section from weight loss

    Howdy Everyone

    I have been lifting for about two years now and have lost about 50 lbs in fat and gained a lot of muscle mass. My big problem now is I have some drooppage around my mid section from where the belly used to be. I have been told that the skins natural elasticity should eventually solve the problem, but at 38 I am worried that it might not. Any suggestions or tips to speed it up a bit.

    Thanks in Advance

    Jack the Black
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  2. #2
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    This is from an article from Tom Venuto..Hope it helps some.

    Also..I have heard of some people wearing a sort of spandex suit under the clothes to keep the the loose skin from further sagging under its own weight. The idea was that gravity and walking stretch it further so you need to keep it sort of in one place and not flopping around. That is a bad explanation but I think it works.
    VENUTO ARTICLE
    There are 12 things you should know about loose skin after very large weight losses:

    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.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  3. #3
    5 years already? Hey-Iwas51's Avatar
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    Thanks sivad!!

    I have been looking for something like this... gives me inspiration to "press onward".

    Lots of folks have been saying things like... "ok, its time to stop loosing weight, you look good, any more and you will look skinny..." but I have come this far, I want to clearly see abs!

    I have been wondering if it was possible to loose all the fat ("loose skin") around my waist, seems per this article it should be. I have been doing a lot of ab work lately, and am hard as a rock under the fat, but there is maybe still nearly an inch of fat, but just at the waistline... OK, another 10 lb. to go!!

    Thanks again...
    Dan
    I am amazed how my body has been able to change... It's design truly is a wonder. King David realized that some three thousand years ago...
    "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 NIV
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  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by sivad
    This is from an article from Tom Venuto..Hope it helps some.

    Also..I have heard of some people wearing a sort of spandex suit under the clothes to keep the the loose skin from further sagging under its own weight. The idea was that gravity and walking stretch it further so you need to keep it sort of in one place and not flopping around. That is a bad explanation but I think it works.
    VENUTO ARTICLE
    There are 12 things you should know about loose skin after very large weight losses:

    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.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thank you Sivad that is exactly the info I was looking for. MY body fat is in the good category (but just barely) I have not yet thought about anything radical to remove the excess skin, and I have noticed over the last 6 months some tightening. I now hope that if I stay the course and keep lowering the bf some more it will fade even further.
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  5. #5
    Message Board King Baldsnake's Avatar
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    This may sound weird....have zero scientific background....however, it has worked for many. Equipment needed....thin bars of soap. When in the shower rub the edge of the soap very hard up and down the loose skin area. When I dieted for shows I would loose up to 35+ pounds very quickly and get the loose skin prune look around the navel. Fugly!! The soap trick worked for me. Did it all through the diet stage. Takes weeks...patience.
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  6. #6
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    Question

    Originally Posted by Hey-I'm51
    Lots of folks have been saying things like... "ok, its time to stop loosing weight, you look good, any more and you will look skinny..." but I have come this far, I want to clearly see abs!


    Thanks again...
    Dan
    I am 55 and have lost 50 lbs in 13 months (5'7", currently 160 lbs) and one of my biggest obstacles to get total leaness is the negativity of others. When I had lost 30 lbs people said I looked great and should lose no more because I would look gaunt, etc. They said the same thing at 40 lbs fat loss and they even say it now, that I look absolutely terrific but should lose no more. I am probably around 10-11% bf and will not stop losing until I can clearly see my lower abs, but I have stopped trying to convince people of what I am doing. People who knew you when you were fat will criticize you the most because they just can't get used to the new you. I get the most compliments from people I just met. That last 10-15 lbs of fat is a real b*tch to lose, but in my mind, it is the threshold that separates the good from the great. I think down deep, in spite of what many claim, most guys and gals admire and covet a sharply defined 6pack than great biceps, pecs, legs, etc. I used to feel real intimidated and envious of the "big" dudes, but now I notice them admiring what I have over their big guns with accompanying big guts. To me, a man with a tight mid-section (which is my goal for this summer) is a man with great resolve and control because it is alot tougher to clean up your diet than anything else you can accomplish at the gym. I can walk into any gym and can tell who has a clean diet and who doesn't. The "who doesn't"s are 99% of gym members. At my gym, even the trainers are very gutted.
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  7. #7
    5 years already? Hey-Iwas51's Avatar
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    interesting insight!

    Originally Posted by ol'manliver
    I am 55 and have lost 50 lbs in 13 months (5'7", currently 160 lbs) and one of my biggest obstacles to get total leaness is the negativity of others. When I had lost 30 lbs people said I looked great and should lose no more because I would look gaunt, etc. They said the same thing at 40 lbs fat loss and they even say it now, that I look absolutely terrific but should lose no more. I am probably around 10-11% bf and will not stop losing until I can clearly see my lower abs, but I have stopped trying to convince people of what I am doing. People who knew you when you were fat will criticize you the most because they just can't get used to the new you. I get the most compliments from people I just met.
    Wow... my thoughts exactly... I have been considering starting a thread on the psychology of loosing weight... and see what kind of comments I get from people who have. I find that you actually are on the border line of loosing friends in some cases. Many people seem... maybe jealous? Even slim ones! Really hard to understand. I have to make excuses about why I want to continue loosing weight!

    Also, everyone I run into I have not seen in a while asks what diet I am on... "how did you do that?" Yet they don't seem to want to hear the answer... which is clean diet and exercise of course. Especially when they find out how much exercise... "You work out an hour a day???"

    I get the feeling like many folks still look at me as the fat guy... "oh yeah, he thinks he is in shape, but just wait a few more months... he'll gain it all back, and he'll be a fat guy again..." Seems like many WANT you to fail... I guess you learn who your friends truly are. I do have two friends (a guy and a gal) at work who are truly encouraging. I really appreciate that, because it is really hard when everyone is going out for lunch and all kinds of cracks are flying as to why I am not going with them...

    I guess I am starting to get used to it.

    I also really appreciate the folks here! Don't know all that many of them very well, but most are rooting for me to reach my goals! Thanks for that!

    Sorry for the rant...
    Dan
    Last edited by Hey-I'm51; 01-16-2006 at 03:09 PM.
    I am amazed how my body has been able to change... It's design truly is a wonder. King David realized that some three thousand years ago...
    "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 NIV
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  8. #8
    5 years already? Hey-Iwas51's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ol'manliver
    ...I used to feel real intimidated and envious of the "big" dudes, but now I notice them admiring what I have over their big guns with accompanying big guts....
    One more comment and I will shut up... I was somewhat discouraged last evening, watching a plastic surgery show on the learning channel... this guy was getting married, and they were doing his/her plastic surgery... A huge guy, with 20 inch arms, and he was getting liposuction around his gut. I was thinking... you mean a guy with enough resolve to build up his arms to that size could not loose a little weight around his waist? Hmmm. Maybe I won't be able to either?

    Wrong!

    Thanks again ol'man...
    Dan
    I am amazed how my body has been able to change... It's design truly is a wonder. King David realized that some three thousand years ago...
    "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 NIV
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    I think you guys might have a little paranoia, although I do know what you mean to some extent. Me and an associate had a bet on who could lose the most weight many years ago. We were both approx. 200lbs. I got down to 170 and felt great. However, my wife even commented, "Dont' lose anymore or you'll be too skinny". My buddy lost all the way down to 160. This time I, yes I!, said to him, "Man, you've lost too much...you look like a little kid". I wasn't trying to be mean and my wife probably meant what she said.

    I think we have an "image" issue here. It's hard to watch someone lose a lot right ebfore your eyes so to speak, but I don't think anyone is really jealous. They're just not used to seeing you like that......and it doesn't look "normal" to them.

    My 2 cents
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    5 years already? Hey-Iwas51's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dbx
    I think you guys might have a little paranoia...
    You could be right... maybe it has to do with me not knowing how to deal with it myself. I did have someone say this weekend that I look like a different person. It is weird looking in the mirror too.

    One of my brothers has gone through the same thing. He lost almost as much as I did, although his only exercise was the treadmill. He said for almost a year he kept looking in the mirror, worried that he was going to gain it all back overnight. I have to admit, I feel the same way. I keep checking in the mirror...

    Dan
    I am amazed how my body has been able to change... It's design truly is a wonder. King David realized that some three thousand years ago...
    "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 NIV
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    Smile I eat I cut I eat I cut I eat I cut - where is the end

    Get some clothes pins, pull all the loose skin around to your back and pin it up. You can get good frontal pics that way.

    Seriously, I'm still wondering where all the excess/loose skin went on the people that last all the weight on the "Biggest Loser" TV Show.

    May a little surgical sojourn was part of the deal for them.

    It's gonna take time to return to normal, so be patient. A problem for bodybuilders that lose a lot of fat and start rebuilding muscle they still put on some fat. BB have gotta gorge calories to keep the muscle growth.

    It's like a catch 22. Reminds me of the guy who took his new Caddy to the gas station for a fillup. His wife was driving and left the car running while he was filling up. Finally, the guy yells to his wife to shut off the engine, "You're gaining on me".
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    SCAdian jacktheblack's Avatar
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    thanks for the advice and encouragement.

    My favorite thing to here from people is that they would kill to lose the weight I lost, then when I tell them how to do it they say no way. I guess murder is easier for some folks to do then hard work
    WWJB (what would Jesus bench)
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  13. #13
    Registered User MarkY's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by domineaux
    It's gonna take time to return to normal, so be patient. A problem for bodybuilders that lose a lot of fat and start rebuilding muscle they still put on some fat. BB have gotta gorge calories to keep the muscle growth.
    Maybe you or others can expand on this. Two years ago I went from 174 to 150. I'm 46 years old and 5'7". I lost 3 inches in my waist and slowly but surely my skin is tightening up.

    I also started lifting after I lost the weight. At this point in time, I still weigh 150 but I'm a lot more defined and in much better shape. I would like to "gorge" and add muscle, however, after losing that weight, I'm almost afraid to "gorge" for fear of putting the fat back on. I was very disiplined to get that off and the thought of "fattening" up doesn't really appeal to me.

    Is there a "rule of thumb" about how many calories over and above maintenence I should be eating to put on some muscle? I currently use fitday.com to track calories. On a typical day, I'm burning about 2800 calories. If I eat clean, I have to TRY to eat that many calories.

    I am eating 5 small meals a day and trying to keep a 40/40/20 ratio. Even eating clean, I have to watch the fat calories. My meals yesterday were as follows:

    Breakfast:
    - Poached egg w/ half a slice of 2% cheese, on half a slice of 100% whole wheat toast.
    - Black coffee.

    Morning snack:
    Serving of Dannon Lite 'n fit yogurt
    2 Serving Protein shake

    Lunch:
    Can of tuna w/ tsp. of olive oil, 8 green olives, 8 cherry tomatoes
    2 servings of sugar free jello

    Afternoon snack:
    2 oz. turkey on 2 slices of 100% whole wheat
    14 raw almonds

    Dinner:
    6 oz of baked Talapia (fish)
    2 cups of green beans

    Evening snack:
    1 medium apple

    According to fitday.com, this was only about 2000 calories. I also take a multi-vitamin, fish oil capsule (2 / day). I usually also drink a second protein shake, but I ran out.

    Thanks for any help.
    Mark
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  14. #14
    Registered User MarkY's Avatar
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    Shameless bump, hoping someone can critique my diet. Thanks.
    Mark
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  15. #15
    diet soda addict someday's Avatar
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    at my heaviest....2nd post child birth i was 190#s

    i now compete at 125#s, i'm 5'6"...... my abs are my best part and 35 years young!

    quick glance......your diet sucks ass! it's not enough clean food for me at 140#s nevermind you. read up and then get back to us.
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  16. #16
    Registered User MarkY's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by someday
    quick glance......your diet sucks ass! it's not enough clean food for me at 140#s nevermind you. read up and then get back to us.
    Thanks for the reply, blunt and to the point. Quick questions.... is the diet "clean" enough? Do I just need to eat more? At 5'7", 150 lbs, how many calories do you suggest?

    My concern is gaining too much weight, especially around my waist.
    Last edited by MarkY; 01-19-2006 at 08:48 AM.
    Mark
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  17. #17
    Registered User Joe55's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MarkY
    I would like to "gorge" and add muscle, however, after losing that weight, I'm almost afraid to "gorge" for fear of putting the fat back on. I was very disiplined to get that off and the thought of "fattening" up doesn't really appeal to me... I currently use fitday.com to track calories. On a typical day, I'm burning about 2800 calories. If I eat clean, I have to TRY to eat that many calories...I am eating 5 small meals a day and trying to keep a 40/40/20 ratio.
    Don't have any advice but I can relate. I use fitday.com and I think it's great. The pounds seem to be dropping of. No wonder, according to fitday beween food and activities, I have 1000+ calorie deficit most days.

    You get a billion different opinions about losing fat/ gaining muscle. I've decided to lose the fat first. But, then, how do you put on muscle without getting fat?

    I mean, you hear this mantra "a calorie is a calorie..." so if you eat more calories-- even if the calories are protein-- how do they get the message to make muscles and not fat?

    And, like you say, I'm afraid that after eating clean for so long, if I eat more, I'm gonna wind up just pigging out but telling myself "You aren't really pigging out, you're "bulking up"! <yeah, right!>
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  18. #18
    SCAdian jacktheblack's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Baldsnake
    This may sound weird....have zero scientific background....however, it has worked for many. Equipment needed....thin bars of soap. When in the shower rub the edge of the soap very hard up and down the loose skin area. When I dieted for shows I would loose up to 35+ pounds very quickly and get the loose skin prune look around the navel. Fugly!! The soap trick worked for me. Did it all through the diet stage. Takes weeks...patience.

    since baldsnake posted this I have tried it for a few weeks now and I have no idea if it is helping, but what the hell it can't hurt I have been cutting a bit harder for the ab contest and I am showing improvment, if I win I will definatly mention baldsnake in my acceptance speech
    WWJB (what would Jesus bench)
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