Do I have Excess Skin or Excess Fat?
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So you maybe looking at your body as you are getting older, after having a baby or like me after losing a lot of excess weight and you don’t like what you see in the mirror, it’s not the body you want or dreamt of. You are faced with sagging, wrinkly and jiggly bits which you just don’t like. I know how you feel I’m there with you!
However, I’ve come to learn that these wobbly bits can be caused by two things - Excess skin or Excess fat and both can be dealt with.
So what's the difference?
Excess or loose skin is where your skin has lost its elasticity and collagen from many different factors like ageing, being overstretched and not being nourished enough. Excess fat is where you still have too much subcutaneous fat under your skin - even though you maybe in your healthy weight range to understand this a little more I suggest checking my other posts To Weigh or Not to Weigh? and What is BMI?
So what can you do...If you’ve read my book and followed my journey you will know that I believe to achieve anything in life it doesn’t happen overnight - it takes steps and being consistent! and to get your body to become the best it can be, it’s no different.
Step 1 - Determine if you have excess skin or excess fat
A very quick and simple way to start you off at knowing if you have excess skin or excess body fat is to ‘’pinch an inch’’. If, when you “pinch an inch” or more on your belly, thighs or legs and the fingers you are pinching with are not close together, then you have some excess subcutaneous fat, the fat that lies just under your skin. We all need a certain amount but too much causes the ‘squidy’ look we all want to get rid of.
If, when you “pinch an inch” and your two pinching fingers are close together then you have excess skin. You will probably also notice your skin takes longer to spring back into place after being pinched. Another way is to use Body Composition Scales like I do or Body Fat Callipers
Step 2 - Burn the fat & build your muscles
Our muscles are attached to our skin, so if you have weak and saggy muscles this is going to contribute to the look of saggy skin! By working out to burn off any excess subcutaneous fat you can build lean muscles which will not only keep you strong, helps keep weight regulated, tighten up your muscles and in turn it will help lift and pull in your skin. Basically you can’t look toned without it!
If you have established in Step 1 you only have excess skin, don’t dismiss this step, keeping a toned, strong, healthy and lean body is a lifelong commitment.
Step 3 - Inside Out - Nutrition & Nourishment
Your skin is the second largest organ in your body, with the inside of your small intestine being the first, so you need to take care of it. Your skin regenerates itself, for better or worse, roughly every 27 days. But your skin can only repair itself properly when it has all the right materials to do it so, you need to ensure what you put inside your body is going to fuel your skin to regenerate itself for better and not for worse. The best way for this is through the foods you eat, highly nutritious food fuel is the optimum way, however, to truly get all the right nutrients we need this can be extremely hard.
Even with my nutrition, which I would put as being pretty damn good, I still take supplements to ensure every part of my body, not just my skin, is getting everything it needs to build strong and healthy cells.
Remember, skin takes time to rejuvenate and repair itself, results don’t happen overnight and they won't happen by themselves - you need to take care and invest in yourself and your body as you only get one of them!!
Step 4 - Hydration
Our skin and body are made up of over 37.2 trillion cells and these cells are made up of 70% water!! So you can see why drinking water and keeping hydrated is so important to not only our health but our skin too.
A good way to show why water is needed in our cells to keep our skin looking at its best, is this…
The dried or dehydrated apricots at the front don’t look smooth, they look wrinkled and shriveled, which is just what happens to our skin if we don’t keep our cells hydrated and full - they shrink and shrivel up and make our skin dehydrated!
Keep hydrated and drink plenty of water, our cells will be full and plump and luscious, just like the apricots on the right. The benefits of water are simply amazing and if you want to know more, be sure to check this book out!
Step 5 - Outside In
I’ve mentioned about looking after your skin from the inside but it is also important to look after it from the outside in too. Not just for aesthetic reasons, our skin also needs to be nourished topically to fight and protect against external elements like UV rays, pollution and climate which all attack and affect our bodies cells leading to unhealthy skin.
It is important to build a daily skincare regime into life if you really want to combat having aged, wrinkly and excess skin. Click here to find out more about my skincare regime.
Step 6 - Reduce Excess Ageing Factors in your Life
There are a few other external factors that should be addressed over time if you truly want to do everything you can for your skincare health and your overall health too.
- Quit or at least cut back on smoking
- Learn to try to control and lower your stress levels
- Don’t over exercise (too much exercise actually causes skin ageing!)
- Get enough sleep (sleep is the time our body rejuvenates and repairs itself - give it the time it needs!)
So don’t give up and think the only way to get rid of it is with surgery! Try the steps I am taking as in time I believe that I can abolish my excess fat and firm up any excess skin I may be left with - without surgery!
So, Never give up until you have exhausted all means and ways to improve your excess fat or excess skin. Understand it is going to take time before I believe you should even consider having surgery, which is a route I have decided I will never take. If need be I will embrace my jiggly and wobbly bits rather than put my body through the trauma of ‘going under the knife’.
I try to keep my blog posts short and sweet - an overload of information can become mind boggling - so be sure to check out my other posts here.