Belly fat is difficult to lose. Then, when you finally do manage to trim that stubborn waistline, you might be left with unsightly sagging skin. Some factors that affect how much your skin will sag--like your genetics and your age--are beyond your control. But there are some things you can do to minimise skin sagging and improve skin appearance.
- Skill level:
Build your core muscles with strength training. Stronger muscles in your abdomen, back and chest will not change the skin, but will help fill out the extra room formerly occupied by fat. Don't worry that bigger abdominal muscles will make your waist look bigger. The additional muscle mass will increase the amount of calories you burn, so you are likely to lose even more body fat. The result will be a leaner, more sculpted belly.
Eat a well balanced diet and reduce your weight by no more than 0.907 Kilogram per week. More rapid weight loss is not only harder to sustain, but it may also deplete your body of nutrients necessary for healthy skin. To boost your skin health, be sure you eat plenty of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, zinc and vitamins A, C and E.
Start losing weight before you grow any older. Your skin gradually produces less collagen and elastin--the skin proteins that give skin its resiliency and elasticity--as you age. Also, cells in younger skin replace themselves more quickly than older skin cells and so are able to adapt better to your new body shape.
Protect the skin on your belly with an SPF 30 sunblock whenever it is exposed to the sun. Excessive sun exposure and sunburn harms your skin's ability to produce collagen and elastin. The effects of sun damage may not show for years, but they accumulate, so sagging skin on your belly will be accentuated as the years pass. To enjoy the slimming look of suntanned skin, use a sunless self tanning lotion instead.
Be patient. Though losing belly fat may initially result in some skin sagging, over a period of several months your skin may rebound somewhat. Also, as you continue a healthy diet and exercise plan, the appearance of your skin will continue to improve along with your overall health.
Tips and warnings
- Sagging skin on your belly after losing belly fat can be reduced somewhat by certain laser treatments performed by a dermatologist. When sagging skin interferes with circulation in the skin, or proper hygiene, surgery may be required to remove the extra skin. Medical insurance may cover this.
- Beware of creams and lotions that claim they can tighten and firm your belly skin after you lose belly fat. Genetics, age and how much weight you have lost are the primary factors in determining how much your skin sags. Topical creams may moisturise and superficially improve skin appearance, but they will not dramatically reduce skin sagging.
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