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Flabby skin can be a nightmare, both because it can wreak havoc on one’s figure and self-confidence (especially in swimsuits), and because it can be frustrating to no end to try and figure out what to do about it. Since this topic can be difficult to deal with, Vine Vera is here to shed some light on flabby skin and offer tips to help you deal with it.
Identify the Cause
Not all flab is created equal, and the appearance of loose skin that easily bunches up can come from a couple different places.
Flabby skin can be the result of an excess of subcutaneous (which means “under the skin” and is different from “hard” fat like belly fat, which lies further underneath) fat, just barely underneath and connected to your skin, making the skin and under-the-skin fat bunch up together. If your flab seems somewhat thick despite being pinch-able, this is probably the kind you’ve got.
However, sometimes, subcutaneous fat is not the issue, and the problem is that there is simply too much skin (more than you need to cover your body) that scrunches up like an oversized t-shirt, since the surface area it needs to cover is considerably smaller than it is. This is almost always caused by rapid weight loss, so if you’ve lost weight recently (congratulations!) and can pinch your flab without feeling much, if any, substance or weight to it, you’ve likely got a case of loose skin.
If you’re unsure, you can always ask a doctor to look at your flab and tell you which kind it is. Regardless, once you know where it came from, you can start doing something about it.
Get Rid of Subcutaneous Fat
The good news if you have a layer of fat under the skin causing your flab is that it’s fairly straightforward to deal with. The bad news is that it will take work and dedication, because as with any kind of fat, the best way to get rid of it reliably is diet and exercise. Try to eat a well rounded diet with plenty of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, and not too much fat (although don’t skimp on “good fats” like Omega-3s). Aerobic exercise (a.k.a. cardiovascular or simply “cardio”) is the best way to lose fat, so hit the treadmill, elliptical, stair stepper, run around your neighborhood, or whatever works for you, but try to get a minimum of a ½ hour of cardio per day, and adjust as necessary to try and burn more calories per day than you take in. Strength-training and other anaerobic exercises are fine if you want to get physically stronger, but they don’t really help you lose fat, just build muscle.
Firm Up Loose Skin
If the problem is simply loose skin, you’ve probably already had your share of diet and exercise on your way to where you are now, and you may be understandably frustrated that after all the work you put into shaping up, you now have this irritating loose skin issue to deal with. Lucky for you, it’s entirely possible to do something about.
One strategy is to build muscle under the skin. Don’t worry; it’s not necessary to make yourself look like the hulk to do this, and you can work on simply firming up your flesh by giving your body better definition—without getting bulky—by doing low-weight, high-rep strength training.
If you’d rather not pick up a weight, or you’ve tried and it wasn’t enough, work on getting back the elasticity of your skin by taking gelatin supplements, 500 mg per day. A clinical study performed by Stanford University determined that doing this increases skin elasticity, meaning that over-stretched skin that acts like an old, worn-out rubber band, will be able to snap back into place over your actual body size. You should also make sure you’re getting the required amount of vitamin C per day (60 mg), either through supplements or vitamin-C-rich foods like oranges.