Does Fasting Cause Loose Skin?

by Jimmy Akin

in Diet

dog-picture-photo-shar-pei-puppiesSince I started reporting on the amount of weight I was losing by Intermittent Fasting (IF), I’ve had various people ask or comment about loose skin.

Some have assumed that–as I’ve lost 70 lbs now–I must have a lot of loose skin, and they’ve wondered if I’m considering having a tummy tuck.

Others have said that they want to lose weight, but they’re afraid of getting loose skin, and so they are holding back from doing so.

Some have wondered if the prospect of getting loose skin causes me any worries.

To be honest, the idea of developing loose skin never even occurred to me until people brought it up.

Further, even if it were a problem, it would not deter me. I would get down to a weight I consider appropriate for my height and build and deal with any loose skin problems at the end of the process.

I’m determined.

Click here to get information about Intermittent Fasting and how it’s worked for me.

But the good news is: the problem isn’t really materializing.

There are a few places on my body where the skin is a little loose (particularly where my limbs join my torso), but this may only be a transient phenomenon, for reasons I’ll explain.

What I can definitely say is that loose skin has not been a problem where you would think it would be–around my stomach.

Like most people who’ve struggled with weight issues, I carried a lot of extra weight around my stomach, and so a lot of that weight has now come off.

At one point, I was wearing pants with a 44″ waist, and at that point I probably weighed around 80-90 lbs more than I do now.

I’m now wearing pants with a 34″ waist, so that means I’ve lost 10″–nearly a foot–from around my waistline.

But: I do not have loose skin around my waist. I certainly don’t have any 10″ of extra skin there. Instead, the skin around my waist has shrunk with my waistline.

Why is this?

If you Google “loose skin,” you will find pictures of people who have lost weight and who now have lots of loose skin. (I don’t really suggest that you do that, BTW. Rhett and Link could feature “loose skin” as one of their “Don’t Google That” segments. That’s why I went with a picture of puppies for this post.)

It thus seems that there are ways of losing weight that result in lots of loose skin, but it appears that Intermittent Fasting does not produce this effect.

A while ago, I saw a video interview with the Canadian nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung, who specializes in IF, and he says that at his clinic, he’s never had to refer a patient for a tummy tuck.

Instead, the patients’ skin shrinks as they fast.

His idea is that the reason for this is that, as your body is looking for things it can burn for fuel, it identifies any excess skin you don’t need as something it can re-absorb and so gets rid of it.

Presumably, there is some hormonal trigger for this: Your body originally sensed that it needed to make new skin as you gained weight, and with the hormonal improvements that accompany fasting, it identifies that skin as no longer needed.

That’s why I think the few places where my skin is a little loose may be temporary.

Frankly, though, I’m just delighted to have the weight off. Health is more important than cosmetic issues, and those can be dealt with other ways if needed.

As you might imagine, it’s a little weird talking about this issue, but I’ve tried to be very open about my weight loss journey, and I wanted to report the good news to people–especially those who have been very concerned about whether they’d get loose skin–that it really hasn’t been a significant issue.

And I can go you one better: A place that you might think you’d get loose skin, and where it would be especially problematic to do so, would be your face. Extra loose skin there would make you look older.

Well, this definitely has not been a problem. I have lost weight in my face and neck–enough that people volunteer the fact they can see the weight loss there if they haven’t seen me in a while–but I definitely haven’t developed new wrinkles or sagging skin.

See for yourself.

no loose skin

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Karen Heiby September 5, 2017 at 4:18 am

That’s great to know, Jimmy!

Nancy D. September 6, 2017 at 1:59 am

Congrats on your weight loss, Jimmy-

mosetsanagape September 7, 2017 at 4:23 am

you looking good Jim. but do not loose again I like you like that.


Jake September 14, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Fascinating! If that theory of why fasting is different is true – I wonder if fasting could help shrink loose skin that was already obtained from losing weight an alternative way.

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