However, in most cases, small amounts of weight loss, such as 20 or fewer pounds, typically don't lead to the development of loose skin. However, larger amounts of weight loss, such as 50 pounds and over, especially over a short period, can considerably increase your risk of loose skin.
Amount of weight lost: As you can imagine, the more weight you've lost, the more likely you are to have loose skin. Someone who has lost 30 pounds may not have any loose skin, while someone who has lost 100 pounds or more is more likely to experience hanging skin.
Losing a lot of weight can leave a person with saggy skin, especially if weight comes off quickly. Unfortunately, there's no magic lotion or cream that can get rid of extra skin after weight loss. You should keep seeing improvement, but you may need to give it more time.
Excess skin can appear when you lose between 40 and 50 pounds. A dramatic weight loss of 100 plus pounds will almost certainly result in loose skin. If you drop 20 pounds or less, your skin will not produce excess, much less get so loose as to hang off your torso and limbs.
Reduced Chance of Heart Disease and Diabetes
Losing 30 pounds by eating a heart-healthy diet low in saturated fats and exercising can reduce your chances of heart disease and diabetes by increasing the levels of HDL and lowering your LDL cholesterol values.
Skin laxity can change after losing about 30 pounds, says Desai. “If you notice changes in larger areas of the body, like arms, abdomens, thighs, and buttocks, you may get that change in the face as well.”
Generally, most health experts recommend aiming for about 1–3 pounds (0.5–1.4 kg) of weight loss per week, or approximately 1% of your total body weight ( 33 , 34 ). Therefore, it may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to lose 30 pounds safely.
However, larger amounts of weight loss, such as 50 pounds and over, especially over a short period, can considerably increase your risk of loose skin. Your genetics and age will also play an important role in determining how much weight loss causes loose skin.
For small to moderate amounts of weight loss, your skin will likely retract on its own. Natural home remedies may help too. However, more significant weight loss may need body-contouring surgery or other medical procedures to tighten or get rid of loose skin.
“In general, it can take anywhere from weeks to months—even years,” says Dr. Chen. If after one to two years skin is still loose, it may not get any tighter, she says.
But many health care providers agree that a medical evaluation is called for if you lose more than 5% of your weight in 6 to 12 months, especially if you're an older adult. For example, a 5% weight loss in someone who is 160 pounds (72 kilograms) is 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms).
Does everyone have loose skin after major weight loss? Nope—it's not inevitable, says Dr. Prachand. But it's also not easy to predict who is going to experience it, he says.
After shedding the pounds, you might notice a smaller waist or a thinner face before the fat melts away from other stubborn areas. But one thing's for sure—losing 30 pounds or more will make a noticeable difference on pretty much anyone's frame, no matter the starting point or the goal weight.
“The general recommendation is to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, which translates to 4 to 8 pounds per month,” said Lizbeth. Our skin is made of elastin and collagen fibers, enabling it to stretch without tearing. Weight gain causes your skin to stretch tight like an over inflated balloon.
Rapid weight loss
So who can expect loose skin after weight loss? While it varies, mild weight loss (think: 20 pounds or less) typically doesn't lead to excess skin, Zuckerman says. Weight loss of 40 to 50 pounds can seem as massive as a weight loss of 100+ pounds.
Exercises like cardio, yoga, and crunches may tone your muscles and strengthen your lower abs, but they won't “erase” fat deposits. The only way to lose fat on your lower stomach is to lose fat overall. A calorie deficit helps with this.
Building Muscle and Reducing Excess Skin
When you gain a lot of weight, your skin expands with it to make room. Just the same, when you loose weight, your skin retracts with your body. If you lose weight too quickly, your skin can't shrink at the same rate as quick as fat cells. This creates loose skin.
If you have lost large amounts of body fat, it is likely you will have some extra skin. Stretch marks and sagging skin can often be left behind as reminders of large amounts of belly fat.
One to two pounds per week is the recommended amount of weight loss. So if you crunch the numbers, this translates into losing about 50 pounds a year.
Many diets and fitness regimens claim a 30-lbs weight reduction in an unreasonably short period. Losing 30 lbs may appear to be a big undertaking, but it is a doable goal if you allow yourself time, create good habits, and work hard.
On average, a 15 to 20-pound loss (approximately 2 to 5 percent of your starting body weight) is enough to notice "significant changes in your body," he said.
Aiming to shed roughly two pounds per week falls into the general guidelines for safely getting to a targeted weight. With this example, this woman would probably plan to lose 30 pounds in about 15 weeks. Your situation will vary based on your current weight and how many pounds you'd like to shed.