Does loose skin occur during or after the weight loss?

When losing weight would you notice the loose skin as you drop the weight or would the skin end up sagging months after you lose the weight?

Replies

  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,664 Member
    It happens as you lose weight, and can tighten back up (fully or partially) after losing weight, over a period of up to a year or more.
  • Ashlove5
    Ashlove5 Posts: 125 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    It happens as you lose weight, and can tighten back up (fully or partially) after losing weight, over a period of up to a year or more.
    But you’ll notice it as your losing weight right? It’s not something that happens way after you lost the weight ?
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,664 Member
    Ashlove5 wrote: »
    Lietchi wrote: »
    It happens as you lose weight, and can tighten back up (fully or partially) after losing weight, over a period of up to a year or more.
    But you’ll notice it as your losing weight right? It’s not something that happens way after you lost the weight ?

    Yes, why?
  • CLICit
    CLICit Posts: 17 Member
    I noticed it most near my weight loss goal, but then took more time to strength train and don't really notice it anymore.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,223 Member
    edited November 23
    CLICit wrote: »
    I noticed it most near my weight loss goal, but then took more time to strength train and don't really notice it anymore.

    Completely normal.

    Think about it: As you lose weight, but aren't all the way at goal/thin weight yet, the fat can deplete from anywhere in your fat mass, not just from the outer layer then proceeding neatly inward. The remaining fat conspires with gravity to keep skin stretched.

    It can be like a water balloon that goes from full to partly full: It goes from firm and full to sort of floppy/squishy, but the balloon skin doesn't drop in size until the balloon is mostly empty of water. Until the loose skin is kind of thin wrinkles, like wrinkles in a medium-weight fabric (denim, say), the skin probably won't shrink much. Larger folds or rolls, 1/2" plus, probably still have some subcutaneous fat that limits skin shrinkage.

    Even then, skin takes more time to shrink than the balloon does. After the remaining-fat/gravity conspiracy ends, it takes time for the skin to shrink. If there is a fairly big amount of loose skin, and depending on some other factors, it could take months or even years at goal weight to reach a final state. ("Other factors"= age, genetics, nutrition, exercise, blah blah blah.) My loose skin kept shrinking at least into year 2 of maintenance. (I'm old, lost 50+ pounds.)

    Strength training may help, but I suspect time and skin health** are larger factors. (** Skin is an organ. Things that keep other organs healthy also keep skin healthy so elastic. Exercise is one of those things.)


  • Ashlove5
    Ashlove5 Posts: 125 Member
    CLICit wrote: »
    I noticed it most near my weight loss goal, but then took more time to strength train and don't really notice it anymore.
    How old are you and how much did you loose?
  • Ashlove5
    Ashlove5 Posts: 125 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CLICit wrote: »
    I noticed it most near my weight loss goal, but then took more time to strength train and don't really notice it anymore.

    Completely normal.

    Think about it: As you lose weight, but aren't all the way at goal/thin weight yet, the fat can deplete from anywhere in your fat mass, not just from the outer layer then proceeding neatly inward. The remaining fat conspires with gravity to keep skin stretched.

    It can be like a water balloon that goes from full to partly full: It goes from firm and full to sort of floppy/squishy, but the balloon skin doesn't drop in size until the balloon is mostly empty of water. Until the loose skin is kind of thin wrinkles, like wrinkles in a medium-weight fabric (denim, say), the skin probably won't shrink much. Larger folds or rolls, 1/2" plus, probably still have some subcutaneous fat that limits skin shrinkage.

    Even then, skin takes more time to shrink than the balloon does. After the remaining-fat/gravity conspiracy ends, it takes time for the skin to shrink. If there is a fairly big amount of loose skin, and depending on some other factors, it could take months or even years at goal weight to reach a final state. ("Other factors"= age, genetics, nutrition, exercise, blah blah blah.) My loose skin kept shrinking at least into year 2 of maintenance. (I'm old, lost 50+ pounds.)

    Strength training may help, but I suspect time and skin health** are larger factors. (** Skin is an organ. Things that keep other organs healthy also keep skin healthy so elastic. Exercise is one of those things.)

    I am still confused, does the skin start stretching during weight loss and something you notice as your losing weight or it happens months after the weight loss and you wake up one day with loose skin?

  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,664 Member
    Ashlove5 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CLICit wrote: »
    I noticed it most near my weight loss goal, but then took more time to strength train and don't really notice it anymore.

    Completely normal.

    Think about it: As you lose weight, but aren't all the way at goal/thin weight yet, the fat can deplete from anywhere in your fat mass, not just from the outer layer then proceeding neatly inward. The remaining fat conspires with gravity to keep skin stretched.

    It can be like a water balloon that goes from full to partly full: It goes from firm and full to sort of floppy/squishy, but the balloon skin doesn't drop in size until the balloon is mostly empty of water. Until the loose skin is kind of thin wrinkles, like wrinkles in a medium-weight fabric (denim, say), the skin probably won't shrink much. Larger folds or rolls, 1/2" plus, probably still have some subcutaneous fat that limits skin shrinkage.

    Even then, skin takes more time to shrink than the balloon does. After the remaining-fat/gravity conspiracy ends, it takes time for the skin to shrink. If there is a fairly big amount of loose skin, and depending on some other factors, it could take months or even years at goal weight to reach a final state. ("Other factors"= age, genetics, nutrition, exercise, blah blah blah.) My loose skin kept shrinking at least into year 2 of maintenance. (I'm old, lost 50+ pounds.)

    Strength training may help, but I suspect time and skin health** are larger factors. (** Skin is an organ. Things that keep other organs healthy also keep skin healthy so elastic. Exercise is one of those things.)

    I am still confused, does the skin start stretching during weight loss and something you notice as your losing weight or it happens months after the weight loss and you wake up one day with loose skin?

    It doesn't stretch during weight loss: it stretches when you gain weight. When you lose weight, the same amount of skin is not as filled out, and starts to get looser/'droop'. Depending on how 'resilient' the skin is, it will shrink to fit the smaller body pretty much at the same speed of the weight loss (in which case you won't see loose skin) or it will shrink back slowly/not fully (which is when you see loose skin, temporarily or long-term).
  • Sinisterbarbie1
    Sinisterbarbie1 Posts: 511 Member
    This is all really personal and depends on a variety of factors some you can control, some you can’t - I am in my mid fifties, lost 76 lbs at a decent, but not overly fast pace (over about 18 -24 mos, at a pace of about 1lb a week after an initial faster weight loss at the very beginning), I am relatively tall (5’8/5’9 - I shrunk !) and I lost to the very bottom of the healthy BMI range for my height starting out at a weight that was in the low range of obese for my height. I haven’t had children so my abdominal muscles and skin have only been stretched by weight gain from being overweight. I carried my weight fairly evenly distributed over my body, not concentrated on my midsection or hips etc.. I had an athletic build under my weight bc I was a hiker. I gained weight largely because of medical reasons over a fairly short period of time and did not stay at my high weight for a long time.

    I have almost no loose skin at all - what I do have I attribute more to muscle loss than fat loss. I was a serious mountain hiker and had especially strong glutes and thighs. One of my medical issues put me on bedrest and unable to walk for a length of time and I lost a lot of that muscle and that is where the loose skin is (saggy flat butt and inner thighs). I have a small amount of loose skin on my abdomen that is visible if I bend over in a downward dog pose. So I don’t do that naked!! It is totally invisible if I am standing, sitting, walking around, or doing other normal things even in a bikini.

    Bottom line - everyone’s experience will differ. There are only minimal factors that can be controlled. Most depend on your medical history and build, so control the one thing you can - don’t lose too fast. But do lose whatever amount of weight your doctor recommends is healthy for you to lose. You will feel better, sleep better, have more energy, more life, and you will look better even if you have loose skin.. It can be hidden easier than fat, after all.

    You are beautiful, you will be beautiful. Seize your health and your life.
  • JaysFan82
    JaysFan82 Posts: 380 Member
    I've lost a crazy amount of weight this year and started noticing loose skin around the 100 pound mark. My butt is saggy lol, and my stomach is starting to look like a deflated balloon. I've got about 20-25 more to lose so it shouldn't get much worse, but I've also started strength training to build some muscle. I've already noticed my chest isn't as flabby and neither are my arms.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,223 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    Ashlove5 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CLICit wrote: »
    I noticed it most near my weight loss goal, but then took more time to strength train and don't really notice it anymore.

    Completely normal.

    Think about it: As you lose weight, but aren't all the way at goal/thin weight yet, the fat can deplete from anywhere in your fat mass, not just from the outer layer then proceeding neatly inward. The remaining fat conspires with gravity to keep skin stretched.

    It can be like a water balloon that goes from full to partly full: It goes from firm and full to sort of floppy/squishy, but the balloon skin doesn't drop in size until the balloon is mostly empty of water. Until the loose skin is kind of thin wrinkles, like wrinkles in a medium-weight fabric (denim, say), the skin probably won't shrink much. Larger folds or rolls, 1/2" plus, probably still have some subcutaneous fat that limits skin shrinkage.

    Even then, skin takes more time to shrink than the balloon does. After the remaining-fat/gravity conspiracy ends, it takes time for the skin to shrink. If there is a fairly big amount of loose skin, and depending on some other factors, it could take months or even years at goal weight to reach a final state. ("Other factors"= age, genetics, nutrition, exercise, blah blah blah.) My loose skin kept shrinking at least into year 2 of maintenance. (I'm old, lost 50+ pounds.)

    Strength training may help, but I suspect time and skin health** are larger factors. (** Skin is an organ. Things that keep other organs healthy also keep skin healthy so elastic. Exercise is one of those things.)

    I am still confused, does the skin start stretching during weight loss and something you notice as your losing weight or it happens months after the weight loss and you wake up one day with loose skin?

    It doesn't stretch during weight loss: it stretches when you gain weight. When you lose weight, the same amount of skin is not as filled out, and starts to get looser/'droop'. Depending on how 'resilient' the skin is, it will shrink to fit the smaller body pretty much at the same speed of the weight loss (in which case you won't see loose skin) or it will shrink back slowly/not fully (which is when you see loose skin, temporarily or long-term).

    This.

    Think about it: In one sense, our bodies are an oddly shaped bag full of Stuff (bones, blood, fat, muscles, etc.). The bag is the skin.

    When we lose weight, fat comes out of the skin-bag**, so the bag gets wrinkles and folds in it, or droops, or whatever, because the remaining stuff isn't big enough to hold the skin-bag outward firmly.

    It's a little bit like a plastic bag, if you filled it with . . . I dunno, butter or something . . . to the point where it's stretched to its maximum capacity. If you then start taking out the contents, there's slack in the bag, and it won't be full, firm, rounded anymore.

    The difference is a plastic bag is an unchangeable size, but skin size is dynamic: It can grow and shrink. As we gained weight, skin grew to accommodate the extra fat (it stretched, probably added cells in order to do it). When we lose weight, skin will shrink . . . but it takes time, and we have to reach the point where it's not stretched out by remaining fat before it can even start shrinking.

    Loose skin is a "leftover" from being fat, when we become less fat. Then it can shrink, slowly, to some extent. How much it shrinks varies by person.

    ** I can't resist saying this: Where does the fat go? Around 80% of it is exhaled as gases. The other 20%-ish is water, so it becomes part of sweat, urine, saliva . . . .

    Bodies are weird.
  • Sinisterbarbie1
    Sinisterbarbie1 Posts: 511 Member
    Just a slight side note, I’ve seen some great images to help people visualize the hunk of fat or butter etc. that they have lost at various points on their journey on these boards (can’t remember exactly where or I would link). Whenever I am cursing about having to lug home multiple ginormous bags of pet food or litter, or wrestle an unwieldy wheelchair in and out of my car, or put a big suitcase in an airplane baggage tray, I always remind myself that I used to carry around more than that on my body day in and day out. It is amazing what punishment our bodies can take from us and yet bounce back into shape!
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,953 Member
    Just a slight side note, I’ve seen some great images to help people visualize the hunk of fat or butter etc. that they have lost at various points on their journey on these boards (can’t remember exactly where or I would link). Whenever I am cursing about having to lug home multiple ginormous bags of pet food or litter, or wrestle an unwieldy wheelchair in and out of my car, or put a big suitcase in an airplane baggage tray, I always remind myself that I used to carry around more than that on my body day in and day out. It is amazing what punishment our bodies can take from us and yet bounce back into shape!

    I hope someone can find and post those! I couldn't find anything that looked authoritative and had something for scale, but I will offer this, of 5 pounds of fat:

    mqlpa26leyxj.png