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Getting Rid of Loose Skin


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Someone I know has been for over 10 years. He lost a lot of weight a few years ago and claims that he still has "loose skin" (sort of the "deflated balloon" effect that one can get after a weight loss. He's sought advice from a few people and the advice was eat a diet high in protein and excercise regularly. However, recently he's started to question if veganism is right (I was appalled). Despite taking the advice, he says that his "loose skin" is still there. He wonders if it's BECAUSE of his veganism. That can't possibly be right!

 

Is there anything that he should avoid eating/doing and is there anything that he should include in his diet/lifestyle/fitness? How much? How little?If any of you know of any (reliable) people, resources/references, etc. that could give advice (and prove that "loose skin" has nothing to do with being vegan), I would be most appreciative.

 

I think--but I can't swear to it--that his claim of "loose skin" may be a self-concious/body image issue. I haven't noticed a significant amount of loose skin. He has skin--which everyone needs some of. Nevertheless, if anyone can give answers/advice/feedback as to how to best get rid of "loose skin" the ideal (vegan) way, please say so.

 

Any advice/feedback is welcome, encouraged, and appreciated.

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This is what happens. It's not because of veganism. I know vegetarians who lose lots of weight and the same thing happens. Even meat eaters who lose a lot of weight, it happens.

 

I've heard the only way to get rid of it is surgery but i think that's BS. If anyone else knows anything else please post away.

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The loose skin has nothing to do with diet or exercise, especially for people who have been very obese. In one extreme case I saw on t.v., the guy lost over 300 pounds. After that he had another 80 pounds of skin removed over a series of operations. Just ask any woman who has had children, the loose skin around the lower belly never goes away for many.

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Just ask any woman who has had children, the loose skin around the lower belly never goes away for many.

 

You share my deepest secret!

 

It's true and while I'm sure there is a little that can be done to improve it's appearance, I haven't seen much change in my own. My legs and arms are quite slender. I weight only slightly more (5, maybe 10 lbs) than I did in high school and my body is just not the same. I would assume that surgery would be the only option.

 

I also assume that you may be right with regards to body image. My body image is majorly skewed since losing 90lbs. So much focus is placed on losing weight that it becomes, in essence, what you are about. I trust that he'll find an alternative purpose soon and embrace his vegan/vegetarian ideals. School the boy! I bet he looks fantastic. For me, it took taking naked pictures of myself. Seeing them helped me gain perspective on my progress. I not necessarily suggesting that he take naked pictures...wait...maybe i am...ah....

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can you get rid of lose skin? It really depends on the amount.

 

I was very very overweight when I was younger (between the ages of 8-16). Most people who have only known me for the past 10 years or so just dont believe me. But let's just say I was a REALLY husky kid.

 

I lost a TON of weight in my late teens and had this issue with extra skin...and I must say that 10 years later...I have almost gotten rid of the problem....but not completely. I think in another 2-3 years of focused training and it will be gone. Every year I see progress...but it is slow and steady. You just have to stay vigilant and train hard.

 

Personally, I think my hyper-focus on endurance activities (triathlons and distance running) were a big help early on...but after a while actually impeded my progress. I think it is important to make sure you maintain resistance training, to help "fill out" the skin, and not just drop weight.

 

Specifically, re the abs, most people don't train the abs nearly as hard as they should. Doing 100s of crunches isn't what I mean. I mean doing weighted situps (assuming your back is good) or cable pull downs to really stress the abs. You should be hitting failure in 8-12 reps. Grab a 35lb plate and start doing incline crunches!

 

Doing sets of 50 crunches is OK for getting strength, but for size/cut and strength, you need to go heavier. Train the abs like you would any other bodypart...only do it more often. I train my abs hard 2-3 days a week.

 

Granted, I am not a bodybuilder (yet ) but this is what I have found works well for me.

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veganmadre and michaelhobson, first of all (off the subject) I'm in Pittsburgh too!

 

To the rest of you who have replied, thank you so much for your feedback! Do you have/know of any resources (e.g. books) that would prove that what you've said is true (especially the veganism having nothing to do with the loose skin)? Don't get me wrong, I believe you on the "veganism having nothing to do with the loose skin". That's especially helpful reinforcement to know that (the loose skin remaining) isn't just the case with vegans.

 

As well, he isn't training to be a body builder, but his loose skin really bothers him and he does want to bulk his muscles a bit more (I think). I've gradually learned to accept the bit that I have, and (especially after reassurance and enlightenment from your posts) I think he may need to learn to accept his as well.

 

Once again, if any of you have useful/reliable sources such as books or know of vegan/pro-vegan professionals who would specialize in areas regarding his issues, please, please, please say so. Any additional thoughts, advice, etc. are welcome, appreciated, and encouraged--as always.

 

Many thanks!

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@Merched Figan: Thank you for you E-Mail! I think it actually is impossible to proof that veganism has nothing to do with the "loose" skin.

When your friend is looking for a way to stop veganism you should show him evidence (and there is a lot of it) that eating a vegan diet is the healthiest diet for humans.

If he lost really much weight in a short time it is possible that he will never get rid if the loose skin (without surgery). But of course being skinny with loose skin is healthier than being fat without loose skin

As the others before me wrote, he should:

- train his whole body (weight training as well as endurance)

- eat a healthy vegan diet

- drink a lot

- improve his self esteem and love himself

 

It is sad but true that not every question can be answered by science yet. But a incredible amount of evidence points toward a vegan wholefood diet being optimal for the whole human body (including the skin).

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Well, this did rounds on the internet for a while; but I don't buy it, though there may be some truth in there.

 

When one is young, the skin bounces back because it is more elastic; it becomes less so and harder to "get back" as one ages. And the less care taken of skin contributes too. A worse scenario is the skin which has been stretched from yo-yo dieting; that damage eventually won't bounce back either.

And, of course, pregnancy is another. I think when we see the Hollywood moms with flat stomachs and no stretchmarks it is most probable from careful skin care as soon as they found out they were pregnant to minimize the marks, and surgery, whether laser or a tuck and lipo. I'm assuming skin dyeing and makeup also make an appearance along with airbrushing for photos...Isn't it awful what we do to women? I admire the woman who doesn't give a crap what anyone says about her stretchmarks, (or anything else) and if they show, they show.

 

Family member of mine who had a child had very large stretchmarks and had a tummy tuck to remove them. They went so high up, they were unable to get all of it -- say, 80% were removed. She was so peeved and disappointed after. Imagine going through that type of major surgery, surviving it, going through the pain, and then it's not all you expected She got over it though, and I must say her stomach is FLAT. I wish it were easier to get it flat; I've had a quasi-flat tummy at times ; but, still, never that flat.

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Keep in mind, he lost the weight he wanted to and--if anything--he's been trying to gain muscle. Everyone's body is different.

 

Please give me any additional feedback/advice/help on anything relevant to his issue. Do you know of any relevant vegan-based books that talk about "loose skin" parallelling a huge/quick weight loss? For instance, books such as "The China Study", books by Dr. Fuhrman, vegan fitness books/literature, etc. Mind you, all of what you have said makes perfect sense--and I believe you--I'm just seeing what else I can find.

 

Also, like I previously mentioned--is he right to be eating a diet high in protein? He's still vegan (therefore he eats/drinks plant-based proteins), mind you, but he's questioning, which of course there's no reason to. However, with those people he's taken advice from (while still remaining vegan)--some (if not all) of them aren't vegan. Therefore, it helps to hear advice from vegans--and proves that loose skin has nothing to do with veganism.

 

I was reading some other health/nutrition posts about whey. Does anyone know of any protein powders (hempseed, rice, pea, vega) that can be bought and/or shipped to the UK? And if anyone has any positive feedback about any of those protein powders, please say so.

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I too have trouble with loose skin. I lost weight really quickly by going off of a horrid diet, then going vegetarian where I more or less leveled off. Now that I am vegan, it is easy to keep off. My loose skin is slowly getting better and I attribute most of it to resistance training. I am hoping to fill all that skin in with muscle, but am thinking I may have to get a tuck in the belly at some point due to how small ab muscles are and how large fatty bellies are =). Filling in that large pouch with high-resistance ab work may not be enough. Time will tell.

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I too have trouble with loose skin. I lost weight really quickly by going off of a horrid diet, then going vegetarian where I more or less leveled off. Now that I am vegan, it is easy to keep off. My loose skin is slowly getting better and I attribute most of it to resistance training.

 

Thanks, cubby! I'm delighted to know that there are others with loose skin--and as well that getting rid of loose skin isn't prevented by veganism. I have some loose skin myself, but I've gotten to a point where I don't let it bother me.

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