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Extra Skin After Pregnancy

I have this chub roll right under my belly button that I just can't seem to get rid of.

I have just started a regime of power walking/jogging 5 day's a week for 30 minutes. Will this help to get rid of it? After my 3rd baby..it seems hopeless.

The rest of me is fine..it's just that chub that i can't shake off!


That is a very common question! Check out wha fitness expert, Tom Venuto, has to say about this topic. Even though he's talking about extra skin after weight loss, it still applies to post-pregnancy as well.

There are 14 things you should know about loose skin after very large weight losses:

1. Skin is incredibly elastic. Your skin can stretch and expand or tighten and retract to a great degree. Look at what women go through during pregnancy. Some women do experience stretch marks after pregnancy, but obviously skin is remarkably elastic.

2. Elasticity of skin depends on both genetics and environment/lifestyle. 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 returns 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 may influence 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. With extreme obesity, the probability of there still being loose skin after weight loss is higher.

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. (This is yet another reason to lose fat slowly; 1-2 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; For example, people who gained and then lost incredible amounts of weight quickly at age 50 or 60, and their skin returned 100% to normal.

9. Creams probably don't work. There are many creams advertised as having the ability to restore the tightness of your skin. the late bodybuilding guru Dan duchaine used to recommend topical creams made with pycnogenol, which contain the antioxidant bioflavanoids called proanthocyanidins. But to the best of my knowledge, none of the topical creams are scientifically validated. I haven't even heard much anecdotal evidence that they work -- at least not permanently and measurably -- and especially if you have a lot of loose skin. There are definitely some topicals that will pull water from under your skin, but remeber, that is temporary. Buyer should beware with topical products. (as an aside, Ive also heard anectodal reports that skin brushing was helpful, but again, I am not aware of any scientific evidence proving this is effective).

10. Nutrition has a lot to do with the health of your skin. Essential fatty acids in particular are very valuable for many reasons, and one of them is for the health of your skin. It would be worth taking an EFA supplement such as fish oil, flax oil or an oil blend like Udo's choice. Antioxidants are also very important, so be sure to consume copious amounts of a variety of vegetables and fruits. Also pay very close attention to hydration. Drink approximately a gallon of water a day or a minimum of half your body weight in ounces. (By the way, whey protein is high in a powerful antioxidant called glutathione).

11. Exercise has a lot to do with how your skin appears after you lose body fat. If you use very low calorie diets, you are likely to lose lean body mass, and this is going to exacerbate the loose, hanging skin appearance. On the other hand, if you are exercising regularly and increasing lean body mass with weight training, you will be more likely to minimize the appearance of loose skin.

12. Get second opinions if you are considering surgery.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 might be recommended in situations where it's not 100% necessary). Surgery should be left as the absolute final option in extreme cases.

13. Give your skin time. Your skin will definitely 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.

14. Know your body fat percentage before even thinking about surgery. Loose skin is one thing, but still having a lot of 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 complain about loose skin yet, your body fat is still high. Press onward and keep getting leaner and be sure to focus on strength training to increase lean body mass as well."

Average body fat for men is in the mid teens (16% or so). Average body fat for women is in the 20-25% range. 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. Women shouldn't expect to have tight abdominal skin unless they are in the low to mid teens in body fat.

Except in extreme cases, you are actually unlikely to see someone with loose skin who has very low body fat and especially someone who has not just "lost weight" but has altered body composition by adding lean muscle as well. It's quite remarkable how much your skin can tighten up once your body fat goes from "average" to "excellent" and even more so when lean body mass increase. 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 improve your body composition (muscle to fat ratio), and lose more body fat, slowly and sensibly, 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.

Need help getting rid of that last bit of body body fat? Click here to find out how to do it the natural way: www.burnthefat.com

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer (CPT), certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle.” Tom has written more than 200 articles and has been featured in print magazines such as IRONMAN, Australian IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise, as well as on hundreds of websites worldwide. For information on Tom's Fat Loss program, visit: www.burnthefat.com

Comments for Extra Skin After Pregnancy

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saggy tummy after pregnancy NEW
by: Angela

Hi people i am 20 years old and have two children after having my oldest child nearly three years ago i was only 17 and literally bounced back in about 2 days after having her my tummy was still flat. After having my 2nd child who is now 14 months old i was 19 when i had him,i could still get into my pre pregger jeans at the hospital but my tummy was very droopy,it's ovbiously calmed down alot now but it is still saggy i've tried all different types of excercise, i'm generally quite a fit outgoing person nyway tried loads of different exercises and creams etc. but ovbiously it's helped a little but not enough any ideas on a solution, or am i doomed forever to have a saggy tummy? please help i wasn't being vein btw in any of that just honest.

by: Anonymous

I'm 19 years old and my daughter is now 18 months, I started exercising a month and a half ago. Been loosing weight but I won't be happy until my lower belly is gone. I need any good advice please!!

by: Anonymous

I have a three year old a three old, she was born 7lbs 5oz by c-section. I gained 60lbs while pregnant! Through these past three years I have stuggled with diet n being consistant with excersie. I have tried alot of lotions, vitamins, and creams. There as been little change! But I still have some hope that it will go away, just need to stick with eating healthy and consistant excercise. In the real world of college, work and maaging a family were is there time?

What I did and still doing about extra skin
by: Samantha

Hey im 23 years old I just had my third daughter and for the first time I didnt bounce back into my former pre prego jeans, I was devasted! My daughter was 8' 13 and I pre prego wore a size 5 and im 5'7. So she streched me very very badly I had tons of extra skin on my belly. I was so depressed. But I discover the ab circle pro and what I do is ride my stationary bike for 20/ 30 minutes for cardio, and start my ab toneing on the ab circle pro , along with weights and lounges and a healthy but not starveig diet. 60% of my skin has drawen up and my child is 6 months old. Extra skin is the most difficult thing to get rid of but be paient ladies it does happen! Stressing out about it will only back fire on you, it adds weight. Good luck!

help saggy belly after pregnancy
by: Anonymous

im 21 years old and my child is now 14 months old and i have yet a slight reduction in my saggy belly. i try to do crunches, leg lifts, and high intensity cardio dancing at least 2-3 times a week. my diet consists of small snack type meals throughout the day such as low fat smoothies, nutrigrain bars, or a vegatable juice drink. and a small portioned meal for dinner like lean meat and a vegtable. i drink water and fresh squeezed juices but i cant seem to drop this saggy belly.. do you have any advice on some other things i can do or take that would help. i have considered cosmetic surgery but i cannot afford it probably ever. please help!!!

advise on loose skin please
by: Anonymous

Hi I'm 18 years old and have had a child she is now 8 months old and my stomach is no better than when I first had her. I am only 9 stone and in size 8 clothes now and put on 3 stone exactly throughout my pregnancy and lost 2 1/2 stone within 2 weeks of having her, meaning all that weight was on my stomach and nowhere else. I now have a lot of excess skin that is very wrinkly and folds over itself, I am very self conscious about it, I'm wondering if there are any ways that I can make it flat again? i would be grateful for any comments on how to achieve this

There are creams that do help with loose skin after pregnancy.
by: Sophia

I struggled with my loose skin after having 3 children in a relatively short period of time. So much so that you could see wrinkles folding in on wrinkles on my stomach and I'm only 27! I did find something that worked for me and it had to do with a cream. You can see proof of my personal results if you check out my page on facebook. My name is Sophia Walter and you can either friend me on facebook or find my business page there to see my photos. My business page on facebook is called Sophia Walter, It Works Independent Distributor. My stomach looks 10 times better than it did and I was able to lose almost 5 inches in a very short period of time. I would have never believed it until I tried it but there is stuff out there that works you just have to look in the right places! My email is sophia_doski@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

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