How to Lose Weight Without Sagging Skin

As great as weight loss is, it can come with a down side: sagging skin. If you're significantly overweight, especially if you're older, your skin won't snap back easily, and you run the risk of having sagging skin after you've reached your goal weight. While genetics plays a big role in this, you can give your skin a little help.

Step 1
Take it slow. Just about every diet expert advises you to lose no more than 1 or 2 pounds a week, usually stressing that this will better ensure that you can keep the weight off. However, it also helps the skin "keep up" with the weight loss and shrink along with the fat underneath.

Step 2
Exercise. As you lose weight, you need to keep or build your lean body mass as you work off the fat. A good exercise regimen will do this. Cardio workouts will help maintain your lean muscle while burning fat, and strength training will add muscle mass to take up the space under your skin where fat used to be.

Step 3
Eat smart. Just cutting calories will help you lose weight, but certain foods contribute to the health of your skin. Tom Venuto, author and personal trainer, stresses the importance of essential fatty acids, recommending that dieters take a supplement such as fish oil or flax oil. Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables are important as well. Healthy skin is more likely to bounce back after a big weight loss. According to an article in Diets in Review, eating cucumbers, tomatoes and coconut can also improve the skin's elasticity.

Step 4
Drink a lot of water. Well-hydrated skin is more elastic.

Step 5
Exfoliate your skin daily. This encourages elasticity and circulation in your skin, helping it to tighten up.

Step 6
Give it time. Venuto says that he has known of people whose skin eventually shrank back into place, even a year or two after their major weight loss, if they maintained their new healthy habits.