I have a theory about loose skin, which I haven't been able to test out because I am still in the process of losing my excess fat, and I am curious to see what others have experienced in this department. My theory is that if we are working with our bodies natural processes - getting complete nutrition, eating when our appetite tells us to rather than restricting calories and going hungry, staying in some degree of ketosis - our bodies will rearrange themselves in such a way that there won't be any loose skin after weight loss. The most prominent example I know of of this is Jon Gabriel. He never comes out and says he did paleo since he has his own weight loss book to sell, but my impression is that this is basically what he did. He lost a staggering amount of weight and had no loose skin after. Google him if you want to see the pix. Of course, I am sure there are factors that will limit the ability of the body to snap back - age, etc. - but I think we have a much better chance of not having loose skin if we allow the body to want to get thinner through proper nutrition rather than pushing it by starving ourselves and working against our body's hormonal signals.
So, if you've lost quite a bit of weight through paleo, what have been your experience with loose skin? And, the most important factor I am looking for is were following your appetite and hunger signals during the process or did you restrict calories and "force" the weightloss?
ETA: Jon Gabriel's before and after:
I've read anecdotal evidence that drinking collagen-rich bone broth regularly can improve skin elasticity - reducing wrinkles and improving the look of cellulite. Dr. Cate Shanahan and Luke Shanahan, authors of Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food, claim that this is the case, and I know people who swear that bone-broth cured their cellulite. It makes sense to me then, that if consuming collagen improves the elasticity of your skin, then it could also help it to bounce back after extreme weight loss.
It certainly couldn't hurt anything! Seems like cultures who eat a lot of gelatin i.e. Koreans (bone broth soup bases); Asians (agar-agar) have terrific skin.
Well, I don't have any real experience with this, but I do have a theory: One of the good things about bone broth is that we're getting all of that cartilage in the broth that goes straight to our joints. I.e., we let the chicken do all of the work to make the cartilage from their food and we just use it. I imagine that eating skin of the animal is good for our skin, at least in some way. So maybe people who lose weight slowly on a animal based paleo diet could have a better time having their skin recover versus people losing weight on a low-fat (also bad for skin) grain-based diet. But I'm sure there are still tons of variation among people. I guess the only real thing I could argue is that paleo can't hurt.
I just hit 140 lb. weight loss and have done it right - mostly Paleo and slow. I've been working at it since May 2010. Yep, quite a bit of loose skin, especially in the abdominal area. I've had folks tell me that they can't believe I don't have loose skin, but they aren't seeing the "full" me - the one I see in the mirror after a shower. I think exercise has helped a lot as I can tell I've developed decent muscle tone. I have another 30-40 pounds to go, so I don't know if I'll need to have some corrective surgery or not. I'm 55 years old and not too vain, so maybe I'll just be happy to have my life back and forget about the surgery!
Sorry to burst your bubble but I don't think your theory holds water. The skin is damaged on the way up not the way down. You damage it getting fat. It's all over with at this point. Your fate has been determined. If you lose it quickly you may want to give it some time because sometimes there will be further retraction but this one dude seems to give a lot of people some false hope that they will be bikini models once they lose their extra 100+ lbs and that simply is not the case for 99% of the people who ever actually do lose the 100+ lbs. Yes age and genetics play a part so hope you got some good genes. Yes some peoples skin is in better condition and there will be some retraction. But there is nothing anyone can do about it diet or otherwise IMO. I've talked to at least a dozen plastic surgeons about this subject and they all are in agreement on this and I believe them based on what I have seen of many others out there who have lost massive amounts of weight. I should also add that there has been quite a bit of speculation over that man's photos over the years. I am certainly not convinced they are not retouched especially given that he now sells his diet secrets online.
If you are asking about this for yourself then I say don't worry about it. Just focus on losing the weight you need to lose because the odds are very much stacked against you that that will ever happen. Lose the weight and then you will see what you get in the end. Eat a healthy diet and optimize your chances but to insinuate that people left with puddled of skin somehow did it wrong is really unfair. While I wasn't strictly paleo through my entire weight loss I did eat a low carb whole foods diet with very little grains, no legumes and almost no bad oils and I ended up with 15 extra pounds of skin that had to be cut off. I dry brushed and slathered myself with all kind of goop trying to avoid it. I did NOT lose quickly at all. Turns out my years of yo yo dieting took its toll and there was nothing that could have been done to get a different outcome and avoid the 10 ft of surgical scar I now wear on my body.
I'm happy to show my before pics (I looked like a melted candle) and my battle scars to anyone who's going to LA in August for the symposium. Well you might have to get me drunk first, lol. Otherwise I don't post those online as it's just too personal for e but for some reason I have little difficulty showing my scars in person so if anyone wants to verify in person I'm happy to oblige, lol.
To the OP, I think I may sound negative here and I don't mean to. This is definitely a sore subject for me. I just don't like false hope and honestly you just cannot possibly know what your own skin and body will do so speculation seems futile to me. I think you should just focus on the job at hand -the weight loss - and let what ever else will be, be.
I lost 125lbs all Paleo following hunger cues. Ain't no magic gonna undo this stretchmark saggy BS I got goin' on, other than plastic surgery.
There is NO way that guy's photos are real, unless he was fat at 16 for 5 minutes.
after my patients lose their weight we use a few things to tighten skin over about 12 months.....high dose Vit K2 and teprenone Oral and topical caprylic acid and high dose dietary palm and coconut oil. It does amazing things to adipocytes and the skin once the weight is gone.
We also add a couple of high dose supplements too....NAC and R-lipoic acid and resveratrol.
I got those answers on my similar question:
On me the loose skin is getting gradually better but will never be perfekt again. I started to develop striae on my arms and brests and legs during rapid growth in puberty without being overweight. Can't imagine that up to finger wide scars can vanish...
At my highest weight, I was around 165lb. I lost about 40lb doing slimming world, mostly "green" days which was lots of rice & pasta etc. veg & litre meat/fish. I felt great, but my tummy was still really flabby!
I have type 2 diabetes & after two pregnancies using insulin (why didn't I know about low carb then???), my tummy is not a very nice sight. I'm a complete apple shape.
Anyway, I've lost about 20 (I went up to 140ish when pregnant) since my last pregnancy doing low carb on and off (still breastfeeding). But, I'm stuck at 126lb ATM & have been for about the last six months.
However, what I have noticed is my overhanging fat tummy is receding - without any further weight loss. It's very slight, but I'm pretty sure that it will recede some more. I don't think it'll be perfect - I have a lot of stretchmarks (which appeared with a sudden increase of weight, possibly when diabetes took over?) that do look a lot better and no longer feel sore like they used to. So, things can change but I don't think it's a process that happens overnight and I don't think it will work for everyone. I'm hopeful though!
Everyone's skin is different. It mostly depends on the elasticity of your skin. Muscle building exercise while losing the weight definitely helps. If you are doing all cardio and not building muscle you will probably have more loose skin. I have lost over 80 lbs. and only have a small amount of loose skin in my lower abdomen. I have also given birth to 2 large babies. I am now Paleo, but did not loose the weight on the Paleo diet. I did however eat low carb with the exception of oatmeal and whole wheat bread. I agree with the others that have said you really can't know until you lose the weight and find out and it really doesn't matter just lose the weight. If you have a few pounds of loose skin it's a whole lot better than having 100 or more pounds of FAT!
Lost 80 lbs. In 8 mos. Eating zone paler and I have loose skin....I especially call my stomach pooch my battle scar and I can act like elastic woman when I pull skin from my trices. Thank goodness im not vain!