Foods That Tighten Skin After Weight Loss

Whether you’ve recently had a baby or intentionally lost weight, you probably want to know how to tighten your skin after weight loss.

While loose skin after weight loss is common, it can be frustrating when your extra skin lingers even after the weight is gone. 

Aside from medical procedures, there aren’t any guaranteed ways to get rid of this extra loose skin fast.

However, there are ways you can help support your body while it works to promote firmer skin.

Foods like chicken, egg whites, citrus fruits, berries, beans, lentils, and fish can help support your body’s production of collagen, the protein that makes your skin firm and elastic. Collagen supplements may also help, as well as working to build muscle through resistance training exercises.

DISCLAIMER: While this information was prepared by a certified dietitian, it is NOT a medical advice. Please consult your own medical professional before altering your diet. The information is strictly for educational purposes.

Foods to Eat to Help Tighten Skin After Weight Loss

You might be wondering how to naturally tighten loose skin on your arms, legs, or stomach after weight loss, or how to firm your skin once you hit 50.

Most people would rather firm their skin naturally through diet than undergo costly medical procedures. 

Focusing on collagen-promoting and vitamin-rich foods is a natural way to firm up loose skin. Read on to learn which foods can give your skin the boost it needs!

1.Chicken

Chicken is rich in amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins like collagen. Your body makes some amino acids, while others must be obtained through your diet.

Complete proteins are those containing all nine of the amino acids our bodies can’t make on their own, which are called essential amino acids.

Animal products like chicken are naturally complete proteins, providing all of the essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own.

2.Egg Whites

Eggs aren’t a source of collagen, but they are high in an amino acid called proline. Proline is necessary for the production of collagen.

Egg whites are also rich in protein, which means they contain amino acids that help build proteins like collagen.

Egg Whites

3.Citrus Fruit & Strawberries

Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant. Vitamin C helps form collagen.

Another bonus of vitamin C is that it helps prevent UV (sunlight) damage, which can damage skin and cause premature wrinkling and loss of elasticity. The more elastic your skin is, the more firm it will be.

Strawberries are also incredibly rich in vitamin C, with one cup providing over 140% of the recommended daily amount.

Citrus Fruit & Strawberries

4.Beans & Lentils

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’re probably wondering how you can get the essential amino acids you need.

Beans and lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and amino acids, with one cup of lentils providing 18 grams of plant-based protein.

Eating a variety of plant-based foods can provide the essential amino acids you need to help boost your body’s natural collagen production.

Beans and Lentils

5.Fish

Fish is a heart-healthy complete protein, which can help your body make skin-firming collagen. 

Diets high in fish and lower in red meat (like the Mediterranean diet) are associated with lower rates of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Fish

6.High-Water Content Foods

Most of your body is made of water, and your skin is no exception. Staying hydrated helps improve your skin’s elasticity and firmness. 

If you’re having a hard time drinking enough water, know that fruits and vegetables with a high water content count towards your fluid needs.

Watermelon, strawberries, peaches, cucumber, and salad greens are all high in water and can help you stay hydrated.

High-Water Content Foods

7.Bone Broth

Bone broth is one of the more popular sources of collagen, though the jury is still out in terms of its effectiveness to provide collagen in your diet.

As the bones and connective tissue are simmered under high heat, collagen is thought to be extracted in the process.

The collagen content of bone broth depends on the quality of the bones used. Instead of buying store-bought bone broth, you’re better off making your own using high-quality, fresh bones.

Bone Broth
Foods That Tighten Skin After Weight Loss
Chicken
Egg whites
Citrus fruits & strawberries
Beans & lentils
Fish
High-water content fruits & vegetables
Bone broth

Other Natural Ways to Firm Up Loose Skin

Don’t Smoke

Smoking can do a number on your skin, not to mention several other aspects of your health. Smoking worsens skin conditions and can contribute to premature skin aging.

If you’re trying to tighten up your skin, do yourself a favor and try to stop smoking if you are a smoker.

Vitamins and Supplements

Collagen supplements have skyrocketed in popularity over recent years. One of the most popular forms of collagen supplements is in powder form, which easily dissolves into both cold and hot liquids.

High-quality collagen supplements should provide all of the essential amino acids and be free of added sugars.

Some brands (like Vital Proteins) add hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to their collagen peptides.

Hyaluronic acid helps to improve skin elasticity and hydration, which both help to reduce premature skin aging and improve skin’s appearance.

Massage

Massage stimulates blood flow which may help tighten and plump loose skin. You can get a professional massage or learn self-massage techniques to help tighten your loose skin.

There are also massaging devices you can use to massage loose skin after weight loss, such as this one.

Resistance Training

Exercise won’t physically tighten your skin, but it can help provide the allusion of firmer skin. Building muscle can help make skin look firmer by replacing soft fat with firm muscle. 

Here are some of the best resistance exercises for beginners, according to a certified personal trainer:

1. Squats

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Lower your hips into a squat as you bend your knees and keep your back flat.
  3. Continue to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  4. Push into the floor through your heels to return to start. That’s one repetition (rep).
  5. Keep your heels flat and knees aligned with your second toe so they don’t cave in.

Once you get stronger and your form is good, try adding weights to make the exercise more difficult, or increase the number of repetitions you do.

Squats

2. Bent-Over Row

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides.
  2. With your core (abdominal muscles) engaged, hinge forward at your hips, pushing your butt back. Bend your knees and make sure you don’t round your shoulders.
  3. Gaze at the ground a few inches in front of your feet to keep your neck in a comfortable, neutral position.
  4. Perform a row by pulling the weights up toward your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body, and squeezing your shoulder blades for 2 seconds at the top of the movement. Your elbows should go past your back as you bring the weight toward your chest.
  5. Slowly lower the weights by extending your arms toward the floor. Bent-Over Row

3.“Hollow Body Hold”

This exercise helps build core strength, which is an important foundation for other exercises as well as protecting your back from strains.

  1. Lie faceup on a mat with your legs extended and arms straight over your head, keeping them close to your ears.
  2. Contract your abs to press your lower back into the ground.
  3. Point your toes, squeeze your thighs together, squeeze your glutes, and lift your legs off the ground.
  4. Lift your shoulders off the ground and keep your head in a neutral position so that you’re not straining your neck. Your legs and mid-back should both be off the floor, and you should be in the shape of a banana, with just your lower back and hips on the ground.
  5. Hold this position for as long as you can while maintaining proper form.

Moisturize

Dry skin means you’ve lost some elasticity, which can cause sagging, loose skin over time. If you’re prone to dry skin, be sure to moisturize it regularly.

This is especially important if you live in a dry climate, as well as during the winter when the outside air is drier and you spend more time in the low humidity indoors.

Choose a rich, unscented moisturizer like Eucerin, a highly recommended brand by dermatologists.

Some people prefer more natural moisturizers like coconut oil or olive oil applied directly to the skin, but remember that it can get messy if you over-apply the oil.

Moisturize

Loose Skin After Weight Loss

Losing weight can be a triumphant experience. You might be surprised that your skin didn’t seem to get the memo once you dropped the pounds, though. Loose skin after losing a significant amount of weight is common. 

Your skin stretches to accommodate more fat when you gain weight. When you lose weight, you might be left with loose skin that hasn’t tightened up.

This is especially common if you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time.

While there isn’t a quick cure for loose skin after weight loss, you can support your body’s natural collagen production to try to help your skin bounce back and firm up after weight loss.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and is found in your bones, muscles, skin, and connective tissue. Collagen helps your skin to be elastic and keeps it from wrinkling.

Your body’s collagen production declines as you get older, which is why you get more wrinkles as you age.

How well you take care of your skin and your genetics play a large role in how your skin will “bounce back” after weight loss.

The less collagen you produce, the more likely you are to have stretch marks and loose skin.

Collagen is only found in animal products that have connective tissue like beef, pork, fish, and so on.

There are also plant-based foods you can eat that support your body’s natural collagen production, but they don’t contain collagen.

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