Congratulations on taking steps to improve your health! Gastric Bypass is a big step to take on your quest to becoming healthier. As you recover, work with your doctor on a plan to heal. You will indeed have some loose skin after your surgery, but there are a few tips and tricks you can do to tighten up that skin without undergoing another surgery. Give your body permission to heal and consider a few things you can do to tighten your skin after gastric bypass surgery.
Exercise to Build Muscle Mass
While you can't target one area of your body to lose weight with exercise, it can help you increase muscle mass and tighten skin. Muscle mass is the key to firm skin. Build in regular exercise into your daily routine including at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise at least 4 days a week. Be sure to get your doctor's approval before starting a strenuous workout, especially if you are recovering from surgery.
As you exercise more you can increase the duration of your cardio workouts and even your effort level. If you were walking, build in some running or cycling. Getting your heart rate elevated is best for a cardio workout.
One key thing to remember when creating your exercise plan — you cannot target weight loss around your abdomen. You can do all the abs and crunches you want, but that does not mean you are going to lose the extra skin around your belly.
Eat Lean Proteins
Your doctor will have you on a diet plan following gastric bypass surgery. That said, you want to build in as much lean proteins as your doctor will allow. Coupled with a good exercise plan, proteins will help you build muscle mass, which will help tighten your skin.
Eating a diet high in proteins and vegetables and low in saturated fats and carbs will also help you keep the weight off, which means you have a better chance at tightening any loose skin as a result of gastric bypass surgery.
In addition to proteins, consume a lot of fruits and vegetables. In addition to the nutrients they offer, they are also made out of a lot of water, which will hydrate your skin and help keep it firm.
This type of exercise is going to help you stretch all the muscles in your body. Follow the close guidance of a certified yoga instructor, and add yoga into your routine. Stretching your muscles regularly also helps to tone them and improve your muscle mass, which combats sagging, loose skin.
As an added benefit, your breathing will improve, which can help regulate your heart rate. By gaining flexibility, your skin will naturally tighten and you should see loose bits of skin slowly tighten.
Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
You want to give your body the right nutrients to get healthy again. Alcohol and smoking can both contribute to sagging skin. You don't necessarily have to eliminate these vices forever (although, that's not a bad idea), but for 6 months or so while your body recovers and you work to lose excess skin, consider eliminating these vices, which can stunt any progress you are working so hard to obtain.
Sometimes your body can be more thankful for what you avoid doing to it than what you do. Staying away from toxins is something your body will appreciate.
You need to hydrate both your skin and your body. You should be drinking a lot of water throughout the day and applying good skincare lotion to your entire body. Hydration (both skin lotion and water) helps your skin retain its firmness. Dehydration can be the enemy of your skin, which is part of the reason sunburns hurt so bad and your skin peels off afterward.
Water also helps flush out toxins from your body, which should help you have clear skin. When you are drinking you should focus on drinking water. Limit anything that has a lot of caffeine in it, as caffeine is a diuretic and can negatively affect your skin.
Ask your Doctor about Vitamins
Your doctor should give you specific nutrient recommendations after surgery. But, know that vitamin supplements can help with sagging skin. Ask your doctor before you consume anything, but it should be ok to take a multi-vitamin and maybe some B12.
These types of supplements can help you avoid malnutrition and put your body in the best position to heal itself from surgery. Your skin will not recover as well if your body isn't getting the nutrients it needs to flourish. Your doctor will have all of your blood work available and can advise you if you are low in any key nutrients, and he will recommend which vitamins and supplements to add to your diet.
A Few Last Tips
First off — it's important to be patient! Some of your skin will recover on its own if you are patients. You didn't gain weight overnight, and while you did lose weight overnight with the gastric bypass surgery, your skin needs more than a day or two to recover.
Don't forget to consult with your surgeons before you undertake any major diet or exercise changes. You are recovering from major surgery and it is critical to follow the direction of your surgeon.
You can also get a full body massage. While this most likely won't do a lot to tighten your skin, it won't hurt. Massages help flush out toxins and increase blood flow. Make sure you prepare for a massage by drinking a lot of water, which will help tighten your skin and eliminate toxins from your body.
For more Information
Reach out and contact us today! Our team can answer all of your questions about gastric bypass surgery, including how to prepare for it and how to take care of yourself after surgery. We have seen lots of patients tighten loose skin without surgery, and can give you all the information you need about your weight loss and health journey!