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How to avoid loose skin after weight loss

Prevent saggy skin from weight loss by implementing a proper training system and enhancing skin elasticity.

Loose skin can take away the joy of reducing excess weight. This problem becomes especially relevant after the age of 35, because as you age your body’s natural regeneration processes slow down, leading to decreased skin turgor.

 

Avoid the need for expensive invasive treatments by focusing on correct weight loss methods. Here are essential tips to remember during your weight loss program to avoid the issue of loose skin and preserve your overall appearance.

The reasons for loose skin after weight loss

Skin is 80% collagen, which provides it with a firm and strong structure. Another important component of skin is elastin, which provides elasticity. When skin is stretched for prolonged periods of time, as in the case of obesity or pregnancy, collagen and elastin fibers become damaged. 

 

In a study analyzing skin fragments from 32 patients who experienced significant weight loss, researchers observed a detrimental impact on the skin’s protein profile. The findings revealed a decrease in collagen coupled with an increase in inflammatory markers, indicating compromised skin health. Insufficient collagen content hinders the skin’s ability to regenerate and maintain elasticity.

 

Weight loss plays a significant role in loose skin, with greater weight loss in shorter periods resulting in more excess skin. Factors like age, genetics, sun exposure, and smoking also contribute to sagging skin, amplifying the effects of loose skin.

Tips to avoid loose skin when losing weight

Lose no more than 4kg per month

A steady and gradual approach to weight loss is safer for your overall health and helps prevent excessive skin. It preserves muscle mass, resulting in a more defined physique, and maintains your resting metabolic rate, preventing the “yo-yo effect.” When your resting metabolic rate decreases, it becomes more challenging to burn calories and sustain long-term weight management.

 

In a review comparing gradual and rapid weight loss programs, findings indicate that while both approaches resulted in similar total body weight reduction, gradual weight loss programs demonstrated greater decreases in fat mass and body fat percentage while maintaining resting metabolic rate. Conversely, rapid weight loss programs were associated with reductions in total body water, lean body mass, muscle mass, and resting metabolic rate.

 

CDC recommends keeping your weight loss goal under 0.5-1 kg per week or 4 kg per month.

A steady and gradual approach to weight loss is safer for your overall health and helps prevent excessive skin.

Do at least 1 session of resistance training per week

Muscles play a crucial role in shaping and toning your body, preventing loose skin. Including resistance training in your weight loss program is essential as it is the most effective way to increase muscle mass. This becomes increasingly important with age, as studies show that muscle tissue starts to decline gradually after the age of 30, with a potential loss of up to 50% of lean mass by the age of 75-80.

 

Resistance training is a primary exercise intervention used to develop strength and stimulate muscle hypertrophy. Long-term resistance training has been shown to help increase muscle mass in 65+-year-old men—an age when it can be more challenging to preserve it.

The belly and arms are particularly prone to sagging skin. For effective resistance training, prioritize exercises that engage the biceps, triceps, and abdominal muscles.

Reverse skin aging with HIIT

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is popular for giving you the most efficient weight loss results in the shortest period of time. But its metabolic and anti-aging effects make it even more powerful.

 

One study revealed that HIIT has a profound impact on human growth hormone levels, which are crucial for slowing down the aging process, especially among female participants. The elevation of human growth hormone induced by HIIT promotes the production of skin collagen, increases muscle mass, and enhances bone density.

 

Moreover, HIIT brings about remarkable cellular changes. Volunteers who completed a 12-week HIIT program experienced a substantial increase in mitochondrial capacity. This increase was directly correlated with age, with younger participants enjoying a 49% boost and older participants witnessing an impressive growth of up to 69%.

Mitochondria play a key role in metabolism and tend to deteriorate as people get older. When it comes to skin, mitochondria are responsible for epidermal homeostasis, hair growth, wound healing, and pigmentation.

 

Stimulating your collagen production and mitochondria levels with the help of HIIT will make your skin much younger at the cellular level. It will become more elastic and easier to regenerate after weight loss.

REHIT brings the benefits of HIIT in just 5 minutes

Reduced Exertion HIIT (REHIT) is a training protocol developed in collaboration with leading exercise researchers looking to create the shortest, most effective workout. It delivers superior health and fitness benefits in 90% less time compared to regular cardio, shortening your training time to just 5 minutes.

 

REHIT is based on research that has shown that 2×20-second all-out sprints are enough to deplete up to 30% of the body’s glycogen stores which forces muscles to release key signaling molecules (AMPK and PGC-1a), telling your body it must get fitter and stronger. As a result, you develop more mitochondria, your blood plasma volume increases, and your heart gets stronger increasing overall aerobic and anaerobic capacity.

 

CAROL Bike is the only bike fully optimized for REHIT— making it simple, effective, and safe. With its AI algorithms and personalization, it provides the shortest, most effective workouts suitable for any age and fitness level – while offering greater versatility and choice than most other smart bikes.

REHIT delivers superior health and fitness benefits in 90% less time compared to regular cardio, shortening your training time to just 5 minutes.

CAROL Bike is the only bike fully optimized for REHIT— making it simple, effective, and safe.

Include cardio training in your routine

Regular 30-minute moderate aerobic exercise not only makes the skin look fresher and younger but actually makes it healthier at the cellular level.

 

Cardio training enhances skin elasticity by boosting blood flow and nourishing cells, promoting effective cellular repair and regeneration. A study revealed that an 8-week aerobic program notably enhanced skin microcirculation in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. Additionally, physical activity aids in the efficient elimination of toxins through the bloodstream and sweat glands, further benefiting overall skin health.

 

If you want to add cardio training on top of your REHIT sessions, we recommend doing 2-3 longer workouts per week using CAROL Bike’s Zone-Based Free Ride program. By adjusting the resistance of this workout, you can keep low to moderate intensity and cycle for prolonged periods of time.

Eat more collagen

Collagen is the main building material for skin cells. If you want to improve your skin’s texture and turgor, increase the collagen-rich products in your diet. Bone broth and chicken contain a bioavailable form of collagen your body can use right away, making it superior to supplements. Chicken sternal cartilage extract was successfully used to reduce the signs of skin aging in some studies.

 

Other collagen-rich products include egg whites, fish, and shellfish. However, it’s worth noting that fish filet contains the least amount of collagen, while other less desirable parts such as the head, eyes, and scales contain more. Fish also happens to be an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for skin elasticity and combating signs of aging.

 

To further enhance your collagen intake, consider incorporating hydrolyzed collagen supplements into your diet. Research conducted over a 12-week period has shown significant improvements in skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density with collagen supplementation. 

 

Additionally, it is important to ensure adequate vitamin C consumption for optimal collagen absorption, which can be obtained from citruses, fruits, and berries.

Go to the infrared and hot sauna

According to studies, low-level red and infrared light increases procollagen and elastin fiber formation in human skin explants while decreasing the enzymes that then break it down.

 

High temperatures in the Finnish sauna significantly boost the level of human growth hormone linked to collagen production. A study of 55 volunteers reported 142% growth of the hormone after a 30-minute sauna session.

 

Adding a short sauna session at the end of your training will help your muscles relax and recover while rejuvenating your skin.

Do intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting has gained significant popularity as a potent method for combating aging. By inducing autophagy, the body utilizes old and damaged cells as an energy source, promoting the regeneration of new cells at an accelerated rate.

 

Intermittent fasting also combats protein glycation, a significant aging mechanism. Excessive glucose in skin fibers binds to collagen and elastin, impairing the skin’s firmness and structure. Research shows that fasting reduces the rate of skin protein glycation, effectively minimizing age-related accumulation of these metabolites in collagen. Additionally, intermittent fasting promotes an increase in human growth hormone, known for its role in collagen synthesis. The cumulative impact of intermittent fasting results in rejuvenated, healthier, and more youthful-looking skin.

 

The 16:8 eating scheme is widely recognized as the most popular and effective form of intermittent fasting, involving an 8-hour eating window. However, it’s important to note that this approach may have side effects, and it is advisable to consult with your doctor before incorporating it into your diet.

 

Healthy and well-regenerating skin naturally tightens within 2 months after weight loss. To expedite this process, incorporating massage therapy and firming creams can be beneficial. In cases of excessive loose skin following extreme weight loss, body contouring surgery and other invasive treatments may be necessary to address the issue effectively.

 

Prevent the issue of saggy skin entirely by adopting a gradual weight loss approach and sustaining healthy habits. Don’t forget to prioritize a proper skincare routine, including protection from UV radiation, regular moisturization, and staying adequately hydrated.

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