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How Can I Tighten the Skin on My Abdomen if I Lost a Lot of Weight?

By Michelle Ullman ; Updated July 27, 2017

Losing a large amount of weight is an accomplishment to be proud of. It takes willpower to stick with a diet and exercise plan long enough to really make a difference. Unfortunately, losing a lot of weight, especially in a short time, can leave skin loose and sagging. The best way to avoid loose skin on the abdomen is to lose weight slowly and exercise regularly. If extra skin is an unsightly problem after your weight loss, there are ways to help tighten it up -- but it can take up to a year to restore elasticity. You may need plastic surgery to get the appearance you want if you have severely hanging skin.

Eat a diet high in lean protein and low in fat. Drink eight cups of water a day to avoid dehydration. This allows your muscles to respond better to strength training.

Exercise to build up muscles, which will help fill in the space under your skin. Strength training such as weight lifting and resistance machines will boost muscle growth and help reduce the appearance of loose skin.

Continue to do aerobic exercise at least three times a week. Running, fast walking, swimming, aerobics classes or dancing are all great ways to lose fat and help tone your muscles and skin.

Apply skin tightening creams to your abdomen and trouble spots. While these cannot perform miracles, they do help restore collagen and elastin formation, leading to tighter skin.

Exfoliate your skin daily to help improve circulation. Rubbing your skin with a dry brush or a salt scrub in the shower removes dead skin cells and improves circulation.


Be patient. It can take a year or more for skin to tighten, especially if you are older than 40 or lost more than 50 pounds. If skin is still very loose after a year, you can talk to your doctor about plastic surgery to remove excess skin and tighten the skin around your abdomen


Rapid weight loss is likely to lead to loose skin. Aim for a loss of one to two pounds per week.

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