Getting Rid of the Flab During and After Losing the Weight

October 3, 2011 · 1 comment

This is a guest post by Erin Weems.

The Problem

So, congratulations! You’ve worked hard and lost all that weight, but crap. Now you have flabby skin as a thank you note from your body. Lovely, and thoughtful too don’t you think? Many are afraid of losing weight too quickly even if they can’t always control exactly how much they lose at a time, because of it resulting in flabby/saggy skin. (I know it’s been a big worry for me.) Well unfortunately I can’t offer you a miracle product to get rid of it; as they don’t exist. What I can offer you is some information and hope on how to get rid of the flab.

First and most important to understand is that “Flabby (or saggy) skin” is actually a misnomer. What’s still ‘flabby’, despite any weight loss you may have obtained, is fat. Yes fat. It’s still there. What gives the skin its overall shape is actually the fatty tissue layers underneath the skin. It is also a common misunderstanding that saggy skin is due to the skin not having enough elasticity.

There is a simple test to check whether your skin has elasticity. Pinch a small area of your skin in any area of your body (without actually trying to fold the skin); if it bounces back to its original state then you have plenty of elasticity in your skin. I know what many are thinking: “but if I need to lose more fat that would make me skin and bones!” Good point, but that is why the “cure” for saggy skin is gaining muscle!

Imagine for a minute that 20 lbs of the fat on your body was turned to muscle instead. Including any trouble spots or saggy skin you may have and also keeping in mind that muscle weighs more than fat. Whether your body is big or small right now, I think it can be agreed that your body would look quite a bit different.

The Plan

Now, it is important to say that neither doing cardio alone will help, nor will doing weight training alone help you to achieve your goal. Also important to note is that whenever our bodies lose a pound, ¼ of that is lean body mass (bone and muscle). This is the body’s way of compensating for weight change and pressure on the body. For example a 300 lb person needs more lean body mass to support them than a 150 lb person. (So we technically are big boned!)

If you’re a male and still need to lose quite a bit of weight, you’ll want to do equal parts cardio and weight training, but if you’re towards the end of needing overall weight loss (at or almost to your goal weight) then doing 60-70% Weight training and 30-40% cardio will help build more of that lean body mass that your body has naturally lost while it was dropping the Lbs.

If you’re a female and still need to lose a bit of weight, you may want to do 70% cardio and 30% weight training. This is different than men simply because the male body generally loses weight easier than a female body’s does (grumble grumble). Once you get to or almost to the end of your weight loss goal, shifting the ratio to 55-60% weight training and 40-45% cardio will redeem lean body mass and even better get rid of that flabby skin as you near your goal weight.

As many failed TV exercise gadget commercials can tell us, doing the small exercise to whatever specific targeted trouble spot you have is not what gets rid of the problem. It is VERY important to combine cardio with building muscle (along with a balanced diet) if we want to say goodbye to excess skin and say hello to sexy muscle!

For more information on the properties of skin check out these sites:

http://dermatology.about.com/cs/skinanatomy/a/anatomy.htm
http://beauty101.org/the-skin%E2%80%99s-subcutaneous-fat-layer/

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{ 1 comment }

Erin Weems October 3, 2011 at 10:26 am

Thanks again for publishing the post 🙂

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