Does Saggy skin bounce back? Will you lose your breasts

Personally, I have a fair bit of saggy skin. But im fairly young, and will wait 1-2 years before even considering surgery. Most of my saggy skin is in the belly, top inner thigh, breasts, and bat wings (under the upper upper arm).

Here is an article that explains more.

Here 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 to 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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  1. Kelly Says:

    Hi Liz. I happened upon your website by chance, following a link and landed on your page ‘Does saggy skin bounce back?’. I happen to know for a fact that the ’12 things you should know’ that you’ve posted and passed off as your own are words from Tom Venuto, the author of ‘Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle’, from one of his newsletter emails I subscribe to. It’s plagerism to pass off someone else’s work as your own, without referencing it. You’ve clearly done very well for yourself with your weight loss, and no doubt many of the facts you’ve accummulated may be of your own insight, but it’s not great to pass off someone else’s work as your own. As someone who appreciates the hard work that has gone into getting where you’ve gotten to, you should respect the hard work of others.

  2. Liz Quilty Says:

    A couple of things on my website are from various other websites, as the article says “Here is an article that explains more.” it does not say that i wrote it. I have however edited it, and would have linked where it came from if i knew. In fact I’m pretty sure that i didn’t get it from Tom Venuto’s site or book, so no doubt i got it off some other site ripping him off.
    In any case, I don’t run the website for fame or money, I run it because i think making money of other peoples weight problems. I lost a lot of weight, and people wanted to know how. It became tiresome repeating the same thing because it wasnt a 5 minute conversation.

  3. merenia bowden Says:

    ugh…my skin didnt bounce back after havin kids… tummy is the place that bothers me the most…i always thought i couldnt lose it off there without surgery…..hopefully i can prove myself wrong….
    oh also…..when something starts of as ‘Here is an article that explains more’ its obviously an article written by someone else not the person that posted it 🙂

  4. Lillian Says:

    It took a little while, but my skin has begun to snap back after my weight loss. Even the skin that isn’t tightening the way I’d like is not enough to affect my health or inconvenience me, it’s just something I’m not happy with when I look in the mirror; it is covered well by clothing however. I’ll not consider surgery even if it doesn’t snap back quite the way I want it to, it’s such a vascular (which means it’s dangerous!) procedure that I really would rather just deal with the loose skin.

    By the way, anyone accusing Liz of plagiarism, please check the things she’s written. She starts almost every article here with “Here is an article that explains more” or “Here is information I found.” Yes, she may not cite the exact source, but she isn’t saying “Here’s an article I’ve written!” Were she trying to make money off this website or if she was writing a paper for an English class, yes, you might be able to make the case for plagiarism. However, since she’s not doing either of those things, you really can’t call this plagiarism.

  5. Romula Says:

    Sagging skin is one of my fears because it seems like people lose the weight then end up having to take out a second mortgage to get rid of the excess skin. I suppose that saggy skin is better than being morbidly obese though. At this point, I think that saggy skin is something I will look forward to and then think about the next step.

    Liz, you are an inspiration! Good on you for keeping this site free because I know that there are a lot of people out there who wouldn’t be so generous with their knowledge and experience. As for the plagiarism claims? I came on to your site to read the info – not to check your referencing. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  6. Di Says:

    But you dont explain about saggy boobs and such, just skin in general.
    The boob thing was my main intrest in this site…

  7. Liz Quilty Says:

    Heh, What boob? I only have sacks of skin :/. Yeah expect some saggy in the boobie area, guys too. A good support bra with those pad things makes it look fine, only person who will know is you and your partner. There is always surgery however, boob lift I think are about 4k.

  8. Jess Says:

    Great article Liz; when I was 20 I lost a lot of weight very quickly. Needless to say, I had stretchy boobs! It was horrible, haha, and as my weight has fluctuated over the past 5 years, I haven’t gotten the skin under control either. Your blog is full of great, handy and personal tips from someone who’s been there (with all the embarrassing issues too!) , so I will be following more 🙂

  9. Melanie Says:

    Hi Liz, great page – lots of useful stuff. I just wondered since it’s been several years now, did your loose skin improve with time? I have a fair bit of weight to shed and I can see I’m getting hanging skin in a couple of places already. I’ve read that it will improve if you keep a low body fat level for a couple of years but no one who’s ever done it has confirmed that. Thanks!

  10. Liz Quilty Says:

    Heya, Some most definitely has, other was too far damaged :/ the arms were not to bad and went back to normal, the tummy hang was too much so requires surgery

  11. Melanie Says:

    Hi Liz, thanks for answering my question. Guess I’ll just have to see how I go. I’m not keen on the idea of saggy skin but I guess it’s better than being unhealthy 🙂

  12. Debra Says:

    Hi Liz, I’ve often wondered about the skin issue after weight loss so thanks for putting this article together. It’s always been a concern for me that I might remove one issue (the weight) and be faced with another (loose skin) but ultimately feeling heavy, weighed down, no energy and depressed is far worse for my mental and physical health than some excess skin. It’s good to know though that giving it 1-2 years for my body to bounce back is average 🙂

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