My client had a baby 2 years ago, and her weight went up to well over 200 pounds. She stayed that way for a while then she started on a diet and exercise plan and has done amazingly well. On her own she lost a lot of it and since training with me, she has gone from 147 pounds to 130 pounds in just 3 months. She is showing great muscle definition and is eating very healthy. My concern is that her skin is loose and hanging. You can see it when she puts her arms up, it hangs down in the tricep area. Plus she showed me her stomach and she is very lean but the skin hangs off a lot. What can I do to help her. Will the skin stretch back to normal or has she worked this hard to still have to hide her accomplishments? I would appreciate any information you can give me on this.
It sounds like you 'guys' have done a good job of getting her weight down. However, as you know, body weight and body composition are 2 different things. I do not know how tall your client is or her age? The delivery method may also have some influence on her "loose" mid-section. It sounds like she may have been over weight before her pregnancy and increased from there, or has a genetic disposition for loose skin, or both.
The 3 months of "healthy eating" and training is probably not long enough time to correct the "stretching" of her skin. This inability of her skin to retract is called; poor skin turgor. Her lack of elasticity can be influenced by the method of her weight loss. You mention that she reduced her body weight on her own. This is commonly accomplished through a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) or all protein diets; both of which can produce some problems, like "loose" skin,and hair loss(1). This is due to the rapidly dividing cells of skin and hair not getting enough nutrients to create new cells,(2). If this is the case her skin will probably correct itself.
Another possibility is dehydration. A field test for dehydration is simple, place your clients hand on a table and pinch the back of the hand. If the skin responds within 1 second, then dehydration can be ruled out. If it "tents up" then there may be a problem. Low sodium levels may also be of question,(1).
Lastly, the potential for relapse into obesity is quite high. Without the constant support that you are giving her now, she is likely to regress,(3). Stick with your training plan, provide sound nutritional guidance that has enough fat in it(15-20% of total cals.) and keep her motivated. Let us know how things work out. Aloha
- Aguilar,O.et al. Images of Clinical Medicine. New England Journal of Medicine v338,n1.1998
- Gussler,J.et al. Very Low Calorie Diets in the Management of Obesity. Ross Laboratories Columbus,Ohio
- Weinstock,R. et al. Diet and Exercise in the Treatment of Obesity. Archives of Internal Medicine . vol.158, pp.2477-2483.1998