Need to know how to tighten loose skin on your stomach? Many people are left with extra skin after losing a lot of weight and belly fat. This can feel defeating to all the hard work you went through losing it in the first place.
Skin naturally stretches out with weight gain. Then depending on a few factors, it can make it harder to “snap back” after you’ve lost weight and belly fat. And the good news is you can always improve the integrity of your skin despite past weight gain.
If you had 30 or more pounds to lose then there’s a chance you may end up with loosened skin on your stomach that needs tightening. Having loose extra skin on your abdomen can cause you to feel defeated without any hope of tightening your skin again.
Having loose saggy belly skin can also give you the impression you’re still overweight even though you may have had some impressive progress so far. Fortunately, there are some proven home remedies you can use to get results so you don’t have to get a tummy tuck surgery.
If you have loosened belly skin on your stomach then here you’ll discover how to get rid of it. I know it can feel terrifying and defeating to have saggy belly skin after losing weight. But here I’ll show you the best-proven ways to tighten it up naturally.
How to Tighten Stomach Skin
Before you plan on getting tummy tuck surgery to tighten your loose belly skin try giving it at least one to two years. Use some of the methods below before you decide to pull the trigger on surgery.
But of course, depending on how much weight you’ve lost you might be able to only do so much. If you lost a lot of weight really fast then there’s a chance there might always be a little bit of loosened belly skin on your stomach. And then that could require surgery.
Men tend to have more extra skin on their chest and belly. Women tend to carry more extra skin on their stomachs, hips, thighs, and booty.1
The best non-surgical and home remedies thing you can do to naturally tighten your belly skin is to lower your overall body fat percentage. You’re going to need to “firm up” the loosened skin by building muscle and improving your body composition.
The key to getting rid of your loose belly skin is to lower your body fat percentage. You do this by continually burning fat and replacing it with lean muscle mass.
Loose stomach skin can also be just excess subcutaneous body fat that’s right underneath your belly skin. Sometimes your “loose” skin is actually just fat right underneath your skin that can appear to be loosened skin.
A good rule of thumb is if your loose extra belly skin is more than a few millimeters thick then there’s a good chance there is some extra fat right underneath it.
This means the fat can be burned and tightened. But this is also known as troubled or stubborn fat which can seem like it’s the hardest to burn off.
Tightening Loose Belly Skin (After Weight Loss)
One of the problems with extreme rapid significant weight loss is you could very well end up becoming “skinny fat.” Skinny fat is kinda like deflating a balloon. You might lose a lot of weight but you also lose a lot of muscle too.
So even though you’re losing weight your body fat percentage won’t change or might even get worse. This is what happens when you end up starving yourself to lose weight. You waste away a lot of your muscle mass in the process.
The good news is if you don’t have a ton of extra loose belly skin then you might not even need surgery. But if you lost more than 100 pounds really fast then there’s a chance you might still need it.
The integrity of your belly skin will also affect how easy it is to tighten the loose saggy skin on your body. Depending on how your skin responds to your weight loss is critical.
Try losing weight slower and healthier since crash dieting can make your loose belly skin even worse. When you lose weight too fast it doesn’t give your skin enough time to retract into a tight new formation.
This can end up giving you the loose, saggy belly skin that can drive you crazy. Your skin can only stretch so far before it stretches beyond what is repairable.
But the good news is if the damage isn’t too bad then you can definitely fill out your loose excess belly skin.
Natural Skin Tightening for the Stomach
One of the best tips I can give you to minimize your loose stomach skin is to make sure you’re well hydrated. Drinking a lot of water can help you maintain elasticity in your belly skin.
Your skin is an organ too and it’s mostly made of water. It’s important to keep it well hydrated or else it might lose its natural tightness and elasticity.
Make sure you add strength training to your workout routine. Resistance training will help you maintain and boost your lean muscle mass.2 This will fill out your loosened belly skin with new lean muscle.
Naturally increasing your collagen production will play an important role in retightening your belly skin. This will not only help to improve your body composition but it’s also very beneficial to the integrity of your skin.
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Taking cold showers could also help keep your belly skin a little tighter. They’ll improve blood circulation which will help transport nutrients to your skin.
Cold showers also promote the release of skin tightening and fat-burning hormones. Plus they’ve been found to boost your immune system.4
I would also try recommending minimizing the damage done to your belly skin. Damage to your skin from the UV rays of the sun can make it harder to get rid of your loose stomach skin.5
It’s always a smart idea to make sure you’re wearing zinc oxide-based sunscreen. A recent study found the chemicals in sunscreen seep through your skin and into your body.6 It’s best to go with a more natural sunscreen.
And it goes without saying that smoking is bad for your skin. Here’s a study finding smokers’ skin looked nine times older than those who didn’t smoke.7
Intermittent Fasting and Loose Skin
How does intermittent fasting help loose skin?
One of the best ways to lose weight is through intermittent fasting but it can also help tighten your skin.
Fasting will not only lower your daily calorie intake but you’ll also release fat-burning and muscle-building hormones in your body.
Another benefit of these hormones is they’re great for strengthening the integrity of your skin. This will help to reverse the loosened skin on your belly.
One of the ways intermittent fasting is great for loose skin is it naturally increases catecholamine levels.8 This helps to increase the blood flow to your extra stomach skin which will naturally help tighten it back up.
With intermittent fasting, you can expect to not only burn off more fat but also preserve your lean muscle when you’re strength training.9 This too will help fill out your loose stomach skin.
Fasting naturally improves your body’s insulin sensitivity.10 This promotes fat burning from stubborn areas such as right underneath your loosened skin.
Ideally, it’s best to fast for 12-18 hours daily. I’d recommend starting off at the lower range and building your way up to at least 16 hours.
It can be kinda hard at first to get used to intermittent fasting. Start off on the lower end and work your way up. Your stomach will continue to shrink and it will become easier.
Autophagy and loose skin…
Intermittent fasting will also promote autophagy in your body.11 This is a process in which the cells in your body consume themselves. This can help with tightening your loose skin as well as reduce scarring from stretch marks.
You’ll get better and faster results by taking Keto Elevate while you’re fasting. This contains highly efficient C8-MCTs that your body instantly converts into ketones signaling enhanced fat burning.
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Best Exercises to Tighten Up Stomach Skin
You’re going to need to use resistance exercises if you want to improve your total body composition.12 You’ll end up losing muscle as you lose weight which will make your loosened skin appear worse.
Having muscle on your body will help not only fill out your skin but also give you a lean and shaped look to your body.
Lifting weights during your workouts will add more lean muscle, burn fat and tighten your loose skin.
Losing lean muscle mass is one of the big reasons you’ll get loose stomach skin after weight loss.
The less muscle you have on your body then the harder it’ll be to “fill out” loosened skin.
The better you continue to lower your body fat percentage then the more results you’ll get.
Your stomach skin will start to tighten back up as your shape and physique improve.
Don’t worry about getting big bulky muscles too. If you’re lifting weights the right way then there’s no chance you’re going to end up looking like a bodybuilder anytime soon.
The best exercises are going to be ones that elevate your heart rate, target your core muscles in your stomach, and push the intensity.
Below are my 10 favorite exercises for tightening loose stomach skin:
- Bicycle and Rotates
- Mountain Climbers
- Rotating Planks
- Scissor Kick Crunches
- Leg Drops
- Flutter Kicks
- Squat Thrusts
- Leg Raises
- Body Saws
Workouts for Loose Belly Skin
Implementing the above best exercises for tightening loose belly skin into a workout will be key to getting the best results.
The best method for doing this is to combine high-intensity exercise with the above stomach skin tightening exercise into one workout.
High-intensity exercise can help tone and tighten your stomach by increasing:
- body temperature
- blood flow
- hormone delivery
- calories burned
To do this, start with 1-3 high-intensity exercises then add in one of the above loose belly skin exercises. An example would be:
- Jumping Jacks x20
- Bicycle & Rotates x20
- Burpees x10
- Mountain Climbers x20
- Flutter Kicks x30
Combining high-intensity exercise along with the above skin tightening exercises will give you the best workout for getting results.
The high-intensity exercise will elevate your heart rate and put your body into a prime fat-burning mode, and then the stomach-focused exercises will really target the area.
Best Diet to Tighten Loose Skin
Step number one is to make sure you’re eating a diet high in protein-rich foods. Studies have found those eating a high-protein diet had better skin health and a more youthful appearance.13
Having a lot of protein in your diet will also help you add more lean muscle while you’re losing weight.14 This, of course, will better fill out your loosened skin areas.
Be sure to add in more collagen and elastin foods. Some examples are oranges, kiwis, strawberries, grapefruits, cantaloupes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.
Here’s a study finding those using collagen peptides were able to significantly improve their skin elasticity, wrinkles & hydration.15 I recommend Ageless Collagen since it contains all the right types of collagen to get the best results.
Taking vitamin C every day can help aid in the formation of collagen.16 And it can also help to increase your skin moisture too.
Start cutting out all the junk which can make your skin quality even worse such as processed foods, sugar, bad vegetable oils, refined carbohydrates, and other junk foods. Alcohol should also be consumed in moderation since it can cause damage to your skin.
Consider taking a few supplements such as krill oil. Omega-3s are very good for your skin and can help reduce aging in your skin.17 Plus it can aid in your skin’s ability to snap back to its original position.
Eating a lot of veggies and some fruits in your diet as well will provide vitamins to your skin. These nutrients can help not only improve your body composition but tightening your loose stomach skin.
If you have trouble getting all your veggies in daily then I’d highly recommend MetaboGreens. It’s an all-in-one superfood shake that provides the same nutrients you’ll get in over 40 fruits and vegetables.
Stomach Skin Tightening Tricks
One of the best ways to get rid of loose belly skin is to take care of it in the first place. As you age your skin elasticity will also decrease. 18 And as your skin elasticity tends to go down you also find it a lot harder for your skin to “bounce back.”
It’s smart to use a zinc oxide-based sunscreen when you’re going to be out in the sun for long periods of time. Sun damage will weaken the elastin and collagen in your skin making your extra stomach skin look worse.
Try to daily exfoliate your skin through dry brushing to remove dead skin cells and boost skin circulation. Dry massage brushing your skin to help improve blood flow to your skin. Although it’s not backed up by much science there are a lot of people out there who swear by dry brushing their skin.
There are some skin-tightening creams out there many people swear by. Try taking retinol which can help not only fade deep wrinkles and sunspots but also help improve the look of your loosened skin stretch marks. 19
And you can try massaging the area to help tighten your loose abdomen skin. This study found those massaging areas of the skin combined with anti-aging cream helped to boost the effects of skin tightening 20
Will loose skin ever tighten?
This really depends on how bad your extra skin is and the quality of your skin. If you rapidly lost a lot of weight then the damage might be too far gone. Your skin can only stretch so far before it is too loose to spring back.
But keep in mind a lot of loosened skin also contains fat meaning it can still be burned off and filled out with lean muscle mass. I’d give it a year or two of trying to do it on your own naturally before going to a doctor to consider surgery.
Can you tighten extra loose skin without surgery?
Yes, you can tighten your loose belly skin without surgery up to a certain point. If you didn’t have too much weight to lose and your skin quality is still high then there’s a good chance you can tighten up the vast majority of your loose stomach skin.
But if you’ve lost 100+ pounds very rapidly then the damage might have been done for good. Keep in mind your skin is more elastic than you think so there’s still hope for you!
Try to give a little bit of time of following the above steps and if you don’t see any improvement after a couple of years then it might be time to consider surgery.
The Last Word
Just because it might seem defeating to have loose belly skin after losing weight it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it forever.
There are certain things you can do to help remove this loose stomach skin from your body naturally and without surgery.
Even though you might have already lost a lot of weight there might still be a lot more fat to lose. So you’re going to have to continue to burn fat off your body while replacing it with lean muscle mass.
If I were you I’d start monitoring your inches lost as well as your body fat composition. This will help you to better gauge your process instead of relying only on the scale.
Hopefully, you now know the best ways to tighten your loose belly skin naturally during and after weight loss so you can get the body you deserve and want.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.