The stomach region can be a trouble area for people trying to get fit. Lumpy, flabby midsections can result from excess visceral or subcutaneous body fat. If you want the washboard-abs look, reducing fat and building muscle can help make your skin appear firmer. Firming the appearance of skin around your stomach takes a combination of different exercises to tone muscles and burn through fat stores. Appropriate nutritional choices can help you avoid adding extra weight around your waistline. Although surgery might seem like an attractive option for quick-solution seekers, the associated risks make that option less preferable for most people.
Lose weight slowly rather than quickly. When you drop pounds too quickly, your skin doesn't have the chance to adjust to your smaller size. Losing weight at a rate of 2 pounds per week will allow your skin to slowly shrink to a tighter fit, according to Huffington Post fitness expert Ben Greenfield. This process can take up to two years, though, so be patient.
Add muscle to your midsection. Burning through extra calories and fat can help make your stomach smaller, but that loose skin is still unattractive. Building out slightly by developing abdominal muscles will stretch the skin slightly, creating a tighter fit, Greenfield states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that muscle training should occur at least twice weekly.
Eat right and drink water. Certain foods, including cottage cheese, milk, tofu, beans, seeds and nuts, help your body create collagen, which provides elasticity for your skin, helping it to stay firm and tight. Drinking water also boosts your skin's elasticity, increasing the chances of a having shrink-wrapped torso. Aim for 2 liters of water each day.
Stay calm and breath deeply. Stress can release hormones that make it harder to stay slim through your stomach area, according to the University of New Mexico. Hormones can affect the way fat is stored in your body. Committing to a more relaxed lifestyle by practicing yoga, meditating or getting enough sleep could make you feel more relaxed, permitting more efficient metabolizing processes.
Talk with a doctor. Individuals who have had more than one pregnancy and those who have lost 50 to 100 pounds might have difficulty firming skin around their stomach areas despite healthy eating and exercising habits, according to Go Ask Alice, a health information website hosted by Columbia University. Although it isn't the best option for everyone, some people might benefit from plastic surgery to tighten this region. Your insurance company might not consider firming skin around the abdomen a medical necessity, though, so you might get stuck with the whole bill. According to MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, abdominal wall surgery carries the risk of damage to nerves and internal organs.
- Huffington Post: How to Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss
- Go Ask Alice: Weight Loss and Excess Skin
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- The University of New Mexico: Cortisol Connection: Tips on Managing Stress and Weight
- MedlinePlus: Abdominal Wall Surgery