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questions about weight loss and loose skin

I have written about this before and have gotten a few replies but I am hoping to hear from more of you who have lost a substantial amount of weight without getting the excess hanging skin.

I have to lose 100+ pounds and the thought of excess skin has been another reason for me to put it off.

I am most concerned about my stomach and inner thighs.

I have read that eating only fruit will tighten up the skin but I feel like I would get sick of eating like that.

I intend to exercise and I use firming lotions every day.

Can anyone give me any more info or suggestions of what I can do to prevent loose skin?

I am unsure about what to eat at all, b/c I currently still eat mostly junk food and am not officially a 'raw' person. If someone could suggest a simple, but yummy menu plan that would help me to lose weight steadily, that would be just awesome!

Please do not write to tell me that nothing can be done other than surgery. This does not help at all and keeps me from bothering to do anything.

Thanks

Comments

  • blueyzblueyz Raw Newbie

    I am about to really start working on the same thing on little lower scale(going for 50 lb loss). I have lost 20 in the last year just by switching to whole foods and cutting out a lot of processed stuff. I lose the most when I cut out carbs, I did really well over the summer then got sucked back in when school hit in the fall(did better, worse and now kicking the habit again). I have lost more in the past, and I always found that if I was losing small but constant amounts and kept up with some form of basic exercise and kept skin healthy as I could I didn't get any major 'loose skin' issues as when you see people lose large amounts of weight very fast.

    My suggestion, the first thing to do is start cutting out as much processed food as possible. Go for local, whole food when possible and make more of your own meals than you buy. Biggest when it comes to salads and such and making your own dressings and not using anything out of a bottle. Do NOT be afraid of eating fat!! This summer when I lost I had switched to eating more things like whole raw milk(OK, not vegan here) and avocados, using flax seed or coconut oil in smoothies in small amounts and upping my veggie intake. I don't do many nuts, but find I am OK with small amounts of seeds. I also went through my house and got rid of ALL products with corn syrup and artifical ingredients. It was small steps but after a few weeks of eating healthier just a few things a week it did start to have an effect. Getting back on track now is a lot easier than it was a year ago. Also know your trigger foods and find a way to deal with them! For me a local raw foods cafe opening helped a lot with meeting new people, they have potlucks and documentaries and have had speakers in...a BIG help but not overwhelming!

    Good luck!!

  • Thanks for posting this. I am wondering the same thing. An army PT instructor had once told me that one way to prevent loose skin was to do strength training that includes weight lifting and interval cardio. He also said that the key was to get enough protein to build muscle and do so gradually so that your skin has time to take the form of your new body.

    The problem with this advice was that he never mentioned the exact excercises or said how long one has to spend at the gym to prevent this issue. It makes logical sense, that when muscle forms and the body begins to tone and tighten the skin will be less prone to the sagging effect. But like you, I want to know the exact steps which are needed to maximize the result in this process.

  • Hi...I can't offer advice in terms of nutrition really (I was the opposite of raw when I began having issue with this), other than don't eat what I ate! What I did want to share though is that even with atrocious nutrition, I found certain body massage techniques incredibly effective. I had loose skin with stretchmarks, which was pretty much a lose-lose scenerio. I even dished out thousands of dollars on laser treatments, and I can tell you, the drybrushing and massage techniques I did (while incredibly unhealthy) worked better. Since eating raw (not 100% yet), I am noticing changes I never ever thought I would see in the loose skin I have. The combination of raw food, dry-brushing, water showers, and coconut oil have literally changed my skin back to something far closer what it originally looked like. I never thought that was remotely possible, but it IS possible, and I imagine things only get better! Tonya Zavasta talks some about skin-tightening and transformation in her first book, and she addresses raw foods from a beauty perspective. Check out her website! Honestly, eating raw in general will bring about great changes, and you will not need to restrict yourself to just fruit. Start with a green smoothie every morning and experiment in the kitchen with some recipes that appeal to you. I know people use MSM supplements to strengthen the skin and promote collagen growth - couldn't hurt to try! As a former junkfood-aholic, I would recommend one green smoothie (or two a day), an interesting salad filled with stuff you enjoy for lunch, and a raw soup. Or add one healthy cooked meal a day. Search the recipes on this site! If you crave sweets, dates with coconut flakes, prunes, fruits of all kinds help shift your cravings. If you search "rich cheddar" in recipes, you should find a nut cheese recipe pop up that is to to die for in my opinion! Sultaria recommended a protein supplement - protein is a crucial part of collagen production, so adding a raw, vegan protein supplement is a great idea. Good luck and congrats!

  • mdcmdc

    I am a yo-yo dieter--I've lost 50 lbs 4x and 75 lbs 1x. I am fair, thin-skinned and *old* (over 50). And while I have some wrinkles, I haven't had loose skin when thinner. A bit wrinkly, not going to look 18, but not like a Shar-Pei by any means. :) I should also add that I've borne 5 children and my stomach will never be flat again. I have been vegetarian and/or vegan on and off for many years. Currently I'm an "on" vegan, trying for 80% raw. (Maybe 100%--who knows how it will go?) I have a big blender full of green smoothie (with fruit) for breakfast, an apple or a clementine before lunch if I'm hungry, a big bucket of salad or warmed frozen vegetables (I like them plain, actually) for lunch, and for dinner it's usually something cooked, but no meat , dairy or grain. I've had some sweets and chips, but no soda since 1/1 (yea me!). Simple, uncomplicated--I don't like cooking or un-cooking--not hing expensive or exotic, baby steps. Oh, and I've been doing yoga in the parlour (despite my childrens' amusement). It's very good for toning muscles, improving circulation, and general well-being. Drink enough water, don't eliminate fats, eat healthy, get some sort of toning exercise, be patient, and you should be fine. I had 80 pounds to lose on 1/1; 5 are gone since the new year so far. You can do it--just start! :) Best wishes!

  • I haven't seen great surgery results in person or on t.v. This is a lifestyle, not a diet.

    My suggestion is that you find people who have had long term success with weight (not a surgery) and find out what they have done. Don't listen to advertisements or advice from people who aren't very healthy.

    Be aware. Detoxify your body in natural ways to get the skin you'll love and stop being concerned about your weight. Pick an exercise routine you can stick with to help that lymphatic system. Good luck.

    .

  • I just heard about this site yesterday, www.lovingraw.com.

    It details the journey of a man losing half of his body weight (200 pounds!!!) on raw. It's very inspirational.

  • I used to work for a bariatric surgeon and I would see some people with this issue. From my experiences and from what the doctors told me it depends on how long you were overweight, your age, and how fast you lost the weight. It is very important to minimize the extra skin to lose it slowly no more than 10-12 per month. Drink lots of water and eat foods that have good fats and healthy skin building vitamins. Kelp, omega, etc and make sure you get enough protein. Surgery does work, unfortunately for some people if they were overweight for a longtime this might be the choice. But make sure you wait at least 2-3 years and kept weight off before you try the surgery if you decide. The body is slow to catch up to your new size. I have seen people who lost over 150 lbs and have minor skin excess and I have seen some lose 60 lbs and have extra so you never know. good luck.

  • There is a guy who is doing massive weight loss via green smoothies.

    Here is a clip from his website Q&A area:

    Q: Do you have hanging skin?

    A:My skin has been shrinking quit well. I was worried that my skin would be hanging all around my body. I have noticed that even under my arms, inner thigh's and belly seem to be tighting to the point it is still supporting my fat not yet lost. This is very good news. Once I met a woman who weighed over 500Lbs. before Bariatric surgery, and now she has skin hanging everywhere. She wants to have it removed now. Most people whom eat a Standard American Diet (SAD), and lose a large amount of weight always seem to have sagging or hanging skin around thier body. Which may lead to cosmetic surgery. Dr. Donato www.dolphindoctor.org searched everywhere for info on this subject. What he has found is that there is no documentation anywhere that proves that individuals on a SAD have skin shrinkage. Although there is plenty of documentation shown that individuals on a RAW food diet will have thier skin suck up and shrink to thier natural body mold with very little (if at all) hanging skin. Those that did have some, were able to fill the skin through building muscle mass. The studies show that a RAW food diet helps the skin come alive and bring forth its natural elastic abillity back to life. Raw food diets may help your organs rejuvinate back to when we were children and most people don't know that our skin is the largest organ of our body. I spoke to Victoria Boutenko the other day and she explained that what she has learned about skin shrinking durring weightloss is, that the Chlorophll in the greens and especially from fresh wheatgrass juice, can be responsable. So if you are losing weight be sure to have lots of Green Smoothies and drink wheatgrass everyday! This is exactly what is happening to me! Because of my natural skin shrinkage, I know I will not have to have any cosmetic surgery! YEAH!!!

    It seems like he's reporting good success with green smoothies for weight loss and avoiding the excess skin issue.

    Here is a link to his site for more info if you'd like to read more...

    http://www.greensmoothierevolution.com/

  • Wow, thanks so much for the great info! This definitely helps and makes me want to get started!

    I have to say, I have been searching the internet for months looking for info like this, but I never found anything too encouraging.

    I guess I should've been researching the raw food sites!

    Thanks again, a million thanks! You have no idea the amount of worry this has been causing me. I am naturally very thin and now I'm ...pretty heavy and all I want is to look like myself again. The problem though has always been the junk food. All my life I was so skinny with a ridiculously fast metabolism and so I ate tons of sugary sodas and desserts and I just ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and now here I am, regretting it all.

    And anyone who has ever gained alot of weight knows how truly uncomfortable it is, physically and mentally. And you just wish you could wake up the next day like your original self. And you realize you can't, so you start to think all gung ho about diet and exercise, then you're hopeful for a moment, then you realize you have gained so much, you might never look the same again! And that leads to feeling hopeless and, you guessed it, more eating, more junk food!

    Anyway, thanks again, seriously your responses and info have made my whole year!

  • What I have told people who have given me the same arguement about not wanting to lose weight because of the skin is this. You have the skin either way, it's either full or empty. I would rather have it empty! However, it does shrink back to a degree and you'll be so happy to have lost the weight that it probably won't matter. I lost a bunch of weight after having been heavy my entire life. I did this when I was close to 40. I did have a tummy tuck, which I will never regret. But, I also had problems in a few other places. Honestly, I am the only one that notices. And, it improves greatly with time.

  • I've had 4 children and really bad eating habits for a long time. There have been 3 times in the last 3 years that I've lost weight (for a total of 60 pounds) and none of it has ever come back. I also do not have any hanging skin. The key to successful weight loss (that actually makes you look better, not sick) is to focus on *feeding* yourself, not on *cutting back.* There are as many ways to do this as there are people. Find a way to nourish your body that feels wholesome to you.

    The first step that I would recommend is to get rid of as much sugar (not fruit in its whole state but any other form of sugar) in your diet as you possibly can. It interferes with your ability to listen to your body. After that, just listen to yourself and use all the knowledge you've gained and you will find what's right for you.

    The other major discovery I found was that whatever exercising I was doing, even if it was simple strolling or house cleaning, worked much better when I focused on breathing deeply and regularly. Exercise used to just make me tired and I couldn't figure out why everyone said that it was so invigorating. Then I started doing yoga and it really helped, so I took the breathing concepts in yoga into other forms of exercise and it completely transformed everything.

    Good luck to you!

  • Angela Stokes is such an inspiration! She lost over 150 lbs & she's just gorgeous......

    Yet, loose skin is a reality!!! ---> watch this very informative video ( ) of Angela & Matt and pause at 00:58 - 01:01; notice the wrinkly skin on Angela's arm??

    Then watch this video ( ) of the beautiful, healthy and vibrant Angela & tell me if it really matters! ;)

  • #1 Thing You Need to Do: Have at least one green smoothie a day...you'll benefit from the great nutrition. That consists of fruit, greens, and water. Very easy do, very tasty, just blend and then go. Look up or buy the book "Green Smoothie Revolution," by Victoria Boutenko or check our her family's website: http://www.rawfamily.com/

    One of the true stories she tells is about Clent Manich: 240 pounds overweight, (he lost ALL that!) suffered from headaches, diabetes, heart palpitations, chest pain, acute pancreatitis, and blood sugar over 600. Lost the weight, warts disappeared, skin is clearer, all those symptoms gone.

    And GET THIS: He doesn't have ANY hanging skin like other people who lose large amounts of weight! His skin tightened without any need for surgery

  • Maybe I will try green smoothies... I went from 122 lbs to around 105 lbs and my skin is kind of loose, especially in the stomach area around my belly button. I'm fairly young, too, so I'm not sure why this is happening...

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