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Skin's Elasticity

How can I restore my Skin's Elasticity?

Question

After losing weight and going from size 24 to size 12 in a fairly short time, I'm left with lagging skin on my breasts, stomach and inner thighs. To be honest, I did not do much exercise during that time, although now I visit the gym three to four times a week. I'm afraid my skin has lost its elasticity – and I'm only 28. What do You recommend?

Answer

I am afraid this is the downside of your valiant weight loss. If the fat loss under the skin had been only nominal, you would have had stretch marks but with extensive weight reduction, skin sags as you have found. Because the skin is elastic when you Put on a lot of weight it gets overstretched. Then if you lose the fat underneath, the skin collapse and sags because there is to underlying support.

Incidentally fat cells don’t break down, as is often said. In fact, the cells deflate as the fat is squeezed out of them. If you then put on weight, the cells get plumped up width and swell again. You don’t make new fat cells or lose existing ones - the number remains the same through out your life; so you may gain and lose weight even in old age. The number of muscle cells is. constant, too, and they gain and lose mass in a similar way. Muscles form bulk with exercise because the muscle fibre are elastic and physical activity sends protein to them, making them bigger - just as fat cells- (Again this can happen late in life - one American study showed that people over 90 could develop muscle mass).

Obviously, You have done wonderfully in losing weight obesity is a risk factor for many illnesses, including heart disease, osteoarthritis, diabetes and some forms of cancer. But being under weight especially if You achieve this by going on a very low-fat or fat-free diet, can be bad for your health in many ways.

Fats fall into two categories: good and bad. The good fats are called essential fatty acids (EFAs) for the simple reason that they are essential for our bodies and brains. We can’t manufacture them, so we have to get them through our diet. "Bad" or saturated fats come from meat and dairy foods. Trans-fatty acids (sometimes called hydrogenated fats), which are often found in processed foods, such as margarine, ice cream, cakes and ready 'prepared foods' increase cholesterol and fats in your bloodstream.

Good fats are to be found mainly in oils from plants, including olive, corn, sunflower, walnut and avocado, and oily fish, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and tuna. Evening primrose oil and borage are often used as sources of EFAs for supplements. Not only do EFAs keep your skin plump and soft, and your hair and nails health they play a part in the functioning of most systems, from fertility to rational thinking. Eating foods containing these good fats also lowers the risk of heart disease.

Since you unfortunately took no exercise as you lost weight, the solution now seems to be a surgical skin truck. You may find this is available on the NHS or medical insurance. It's a safe and effective procedure if performed by an experienced and qualified surgeon but you must always talk to your doctor first. (Picking a clinic from an advertisement in the back of a magazine is unwise).

My tips for anyone intent on losing weight is to take precautions early on to reduce sagging:

  • Using cocoa butter, stroke the breasts firmly with your fingers, starting from underneath and moving upwards. The lower part of the breasts supports the weight, so you have to work on maintaining its elasticity.
  • Use a body brush daily, in long smooth strokes from your feet up, always working towards the heart.
  • Pure mustard oil can be used on the abdomen, thighs and underarms. Apply three times a week for a month- First rub the oil on, gently kneading the skin and squeezing and pinching lightly. Continue for several minutes. Then, with your palms, rub the areas vigorously, creating maximum friction. The skin may become red and hot as more blood flows to the area. Depending on the body mass the entire process will take ten to l5 minutes. Be sure to rub the oil off with tissues as it stains clothing. Some People may find they bruise easily; this is due to weak blood vessels and should stop after a couple of applications.
  • Take one 400lU capsule of vitamin E daily.
  • Take regular fat-busting exercise, such as using the treadmill at the gym.
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