Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Is There Loose Skin After Atkins Weight Loss?

I don't know about you, but I am LOVING these new videos about the Atkins diet that my fellow low-carb loser and blogging buddy Kent Altena has been making recently. His video series so far includes an energetic and inspiring music video about his 200-pound weight loss, a how-to tips video on doing the Induction phase of the Atkins diet, and a detailed list of foods you can eat on Atkins Induction. Kent is doing a great service to help others find the success that he has on livin' la vida low-carb.

His latest video is one that hit's close to home for me because I've blogged about it previously here at "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb." And, like Kent states in the video, it is a question that comes up often from people who are curious about somebody who has lost a couple hundred pounds. It's the "loose skin" issue. If you wanna see what mine looks like as of a few months ago, then just CLICK HERE (WARNING: It's pretty gross!).

Someone said that what I think is "loose skin" is actually MORE FAT that I needed to lose although my body fat percentage was measured at 11 percent. It's certainly an intriguing topic in the context of defining what an obese man is and I'm glad to see Kent address it directly.

Here's his video segment:


As you can see from Kent's video, he's comfortable in his own skin--despite it being a bit loose, scrunched up and hanging. It was nice to see someone else dealing with the same thing. More than vanity, I would like to have mine removed to get rid of another 15-20 pounds of weight. I fully intend to lose more weight on my "30-In-30" Low-Carb Weight Loss Challenge, but the "loose skin" won't be going away...EVER! Like I said at the end of my book, it's a future dream of mine to have that tummy tuck surgery done. I NEED it to happen for my own psyche.

In his blog post commentary about his video and in the video itself, Kent said some excellent things about the "loose skin" issue that I could not agree with more.

People who are fearful about losing weight on low-carb don't need to let that stop them from doing it. That's about the stupidest thing I've ever heard of! Sure, I'd LOVE to keep a 62-inch waist with my belly full of fat rather than having to suffer with squishy, squashy skin and a 38-inch waist. HA! There's no comparison, my friend.

Add to that the health benefits of weighing less which will help you more than you will ever know. The "loose skin" can be looked at as a battle scar (Kent calls it a "badge of honor") of where I have come from and where I NEVER want to go back again.

Interestingly, Kent notes that people who follow a low-fat or low-calorie diet generally have WORSE problems with loose skin because they don't have adequate amounts of fat and protein to keep the skin healthy and the elasticity intact as well as livin' la vida low-carb. Hmmm. Now THERE'S a good reason to low-carb if I ever heard one!

Kent says he is around 11 percent body fat as well, so he may just try to drop into the single digits on his body fat percentage. I'm sure I will as I continue to lose weight towards my goal of 210 pounds. We'll get there and see what happens, but I still hold out GREAT HOPE for that abdominoplasty...someday...someday...

Doesn't all this talk about "loose skin" just make you hungry for something sweet? LOL! Well, even if it doesn't you might want to check out this BONUS VIDEO featuring Kent's world-famous low-carb mock danish recipe from start to finish. If you are looking for a quick snack or dessert idea to add to your low-carb lifestyle, then you won't want to miss this one.

See the step-by-step instructions from Kent about making this:


THANKS again for the EXCELLENT videos, Kent! Don't stop now, you're on a roll!

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Anonymous Brian said...

I don't think anyone would argue staying overweight is preferable to having loose flaps of skin once the weight is gone, but that shouldn’t trivialize the matter itself. I’m 28 and have been overweight for about 20 year - most of my life. To say it’s screwed with my self-confidence in a lot of ways is an understatement.
I want to lose weight for my health, absolutely, but a big chunk of my motivation is also the possibility of achieving a better self-image of myself. Call me vein, I don’t care, I don’t just want to be healthier, I want to look better; and there should be no reason not to want, or have, both. There may be no doubt that my self-image and self-esteem will rise as the weight plummets, in a lot of ways, with the weight I’ve already taken off, it has, but at the end of it, I don’t want to still hesitate at the prospect of taking my shirt off in front of people. That’s an insecurity I’ve had to overcome over the years, and to this day it still gives me pause; so naturally, should I get down to my ideal weight, I’d rather not have this remain a pressing concern, much less be more insecure about it, by the way this vide and everything I’ve found connected to it have made it sound. I think anyone who is able to commit to a diet and lose a significant amount of weight has earned the right to want to not be ashamed of their body any more. But this video is a prime case in point, where everyone, even the guy in video himself, go on and on about how grotesque his stomach and loose skin looks – gee, I hoped to still gross people out with my stomach when I’m skinny!
Seriously? It’s bad enough not to want people to see your fat gut or flabby man-breasts, but here’s a guy who’s virtually a poster boy for weight loss, a pillar of hope whose footsteps we want to walk in, and he says to just wear shirts a lot…What the hell kind of advice is that????
I may have been overweight for most of my life so far, but if I get rid of the extra fat, I sincerely hope to not still be carrying a reminder of my misspent youth with me for the next 60 or 70 years.
I’ve been scouring Google in search for real advice on measures to take to lessen the likelihood of left over, loose skin once the fat was gone, but so far most sites have amounted to the mentality of “would you rather still be fat?” But of course no one would want that, but it shouldn’t be either or. For all the people on this diet, I expected there to be a deeper well of conversation about this, with techniques for exercises to do and lotions to apply, or whatever might be of use to actually tone your body and tighten your skin as you take the weight off; or even just discussions in general about the science of what allows the skin to shrink in some cases, or what might keep it from shrinking in others. Those answers must exist, yet for some reason I’ve only found one or two sites that offered any insight in to that, and at least one of them was a site trying to hock a fitness regime or something, I think. Everything else has been the same story, the loose fan is what it is and we just have to live with it; and they all seem to link to the same video.
I’ve been on a low-carb diet for about 6 months and have so far lost approximately 90 pounds, which puts me at just shy of the half way point of my inevitable goal, which will loosely be somewhere in the 200 lbs range - I haven’t decided what that exact number will be yet, ‘cause I’ve got a ways to go. Obviously, I’m sticking with the diet, because it’s worked better than anything else I’ve tried and has been easier to stick with than anything else I’ve tried. But I’m not going to just accept retaining loose, saggy skin once it’s all said and done. I’m going to explore every option, other than surgery, that I can’t afford; and if I find anything that looks promising, I’m going to shout it from the mountain tops, so that anyone in the future who find themselves in the position I am now, of trying to find those answers, can hopefully find something more encouraging than “C'est la vie”

3/31/2011 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Brian. I'm 40 and after decades of being fat have finally found a diet that works. As it happens I'm following the advice of a different low-carb diet by Charles Clark, which doesn't limit carbs quite as severely as Atkins. I've got the same worries about the loose skin issue. I've lost weight before and put it back on, but I was a lot younger and didn't have quite as much to lose. So I didn't realise loose skin is such a big issue, but I am very disheartened to find that it seems to be inevitable.

I was reassured reading Professor Clarke's book because he says that as long as you are taking in the right kinds of protein and fats and limiting your carbs to the -40 gram level, you're feeding your skin what it needs to stay elastic and that will minimise the loose skin effect we all dread.

Could time also be a factor? People seem to rush at diets and crash weight off, and that doesn't give the skin time to keep up - apparently. I also find programs like The Biggest Loser strange because they have their contestants on low calorie diets and make them exercise like crazy. So of course they are going to have loose skin!

I'm about a month into my diet and I can actually stick to this one! I'm not weighing myself because it isn't about losing weight, but losing fat. I definitely feel slimmer, but I started at around 25 stone and I'm hoping to shed 10 of that although I'm not going to weight myself for months.

Oh, another thing Clark says is that you should do some kind of resistance training to improve your physique. I intend to get myself a machine of some sort. As I want to develop muscle, which weights more than fat, weighing is pointless. That's another thing I can't understand on The Biggest Loser. Surely these guys are developing muscle, yet they are being judged on weight lost.

Good luck with it all Brian. I wish I could go back 10 years and lose the weight. My weight has damaged my knees so I now have that issue to deal with, as well as all the confidence and self-esteem stuff. Don't be me! Good luck!

8/04/2012 10:39 AM  

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