If you are post-partum or have recently lost an excess amount of weight, you may have loose abdominal skin. When you lose weight, skin that used to be stretched over many fatty layers of tissue may not adapt as quickly to your new, fat-reduced body. As a result, you may have loose, sagging skin hiding abdominal muscles. Your skin can slowly adapt to your new body shape with a nutrient-rich diet and exercise program. In some circumstances where weight-loss is large and skin integrity poor, you may need to consult a physician to discuss alternative options such as surgery.
Tighten Up and Decrease Loose Skin
Eat nutrient-rich foods that improve skin elasticity to decrease loose skin. Vitamin-C found in citrus fruits, strawberries and vegetables such as bell peppers aids collagen formation which is essential for tightening up the skin. Healthy fats also aid in collagen formation and increasing skin moisture to prevent a stretched, dry appearance. Add foods such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds and omega-3 rich salmon to your diet in moderation.
Add resistance training to your workout regimen to increase lean muscle mass and prevent wasting. Author Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple states that loose skin may be the result of decreased body mass, including muscle, during weight-loss. Increased muscle mass will tighten up the body and create abdominal muscle definition versus a flabby tummy. Strength-train three times per week targeting the upper and lower-body as well as core-strengthening exercises such as deadlifts, squats, front planks, side planks, hanging leg raises, bicycle crunches and medicine ball twists for the obliques on the sides of the trunk.
Drink eight to 10 glasses of water per day, more or less depends on your physical activity levels. Hydration is essential to maintaining skin elasticity as dehydrated skin will cause sagging and wrinkles. Water hydrates the skin's cells and tissues to plump them up for a softer, smoother skin appearance.
Consult with a health professional prior to initiating any new diet or exercise routine.