Monday, August 3, 2009

How can I tighten my torso after losing a lot of weight?

Question: Monique, you say that the only way to get rid of loose skin after weight loss is through surgery and that exercise helps but cannot eliminate saggy skin.

I'm 20 and have recently lost about 3 inches off my waist (over a period of 2 months). There is some saggy skin, but I'm hoping that at 20, the skin should still be able to regain its elasticity with proper exercise and diet, especially since I didn't lose that much weight.

It has been about a month, however, and the skin doesn't seem to be tightening up much. You say that slow weight loss allows the skin to slowly adjust to your body weight.

I'm wondering if it's a good idea to regain the weight, so that the skin fills up, then lose the weight again, gradually this time.

What else could you recommend? It's not a lot of loose skin, so I'm hoping surgery wont be necessary. Serene

Answer: Hi Serene,

No, don't regain the weight you lost -- that is the worst thing you can do to your metabolism and your health!! You didn't tell me how many pounds of weight you lost in the 2 months, but 3 inches off your waist is a lot.

You said it has been about a month since you lost the weight, nothing happens overnight. Because you are 20 years old, your skin does have a lot of elasticity. Be patient and keep active.

You are right in thinking that at your age your skin should tighten up with proper exercise and diet. However, it will take several months before you see results -- but don't give up, it's worth the wait.

I don't think you will need to resort to surgery to eliminate loose skin. Surgery is only recommended for people who have lost massive amounts of weight in a very short period of time -- like when a morbidly obese person loses more than 100 pounds in 2-3 months -- you get the idea.

I would suggest that you look into doing Pilates exercises. The mat exercises are great at tightening up the torso (stomach, waist, back, hips, etc.).

The Pilates series of movements seem so simple when you first see them. But once you try them you will find that they target these areas better than any other exercises.

By the end of the series of movements, you will definitely know that you worked out. If you do these movements regularly, by the end of a month you will begin to see and feel the results.

For more information about the Pilates method, go to

A wonderful video that you can either buy, rent or check out at your local library is...

Pilates for Dummies with Michelle Dozios
(ASIN = B00005LQ1L).

I have tried this video personally and love it!
(Click Here To Buy This Video from

You may also want to check out the book ...

Pilates for Dummies by Ellie Herman
(ISBN = 0764553976).

(Click Here To Buy This Book from

I hope this helps, and congratulations on your weight loss. Keep doing what you have been doing, and try Pilates mat exercises to strengthen and tighten your stomach and torso. I have yet to try any exercise program that targets this area so well!

Health and happiness to you...

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Monique N. Gilbert, BSc. has offered guidance in health, nutrition, fitness and stress management since 1989. Through her writings, Monique motivates and teaches how to improve your well-being, vitality and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress-free living.


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