Having loose skin in certain areas of your body after weight loss surgery is almost guaranteed. Skin stretches as people grow, and it shrinks as people shrink.

If you’ve just had weight loss surgery, you’re about to start shrinking.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that as you shrink, your skin won’t be able to keep up with the pace your body will be setting for it. In fact, if your weight loss surgery is ultra-successful, it might be impossible for your skin to shrink enough to remain taut against your muscles.

Extra Skin Post Weight Loss Surgery|BeLite Weight

Hence: loose skin.

There are some things you can do after weight loss surgery to minimize the amount of loose skin you have. Here’s a look at four of them:

1: Try not to lose weight too quickly. When you lose weight too quickly, you’re not just losing fat, but also muscle—and muscle is part of what holds your skin tight against your body.

If possible, try to lose one to two pounds of weight a week, and make sure to mix in some muscle-building exercises to your workout routine.

2: Drink water. Dehydration is important to helping your skin maintain its elasticity—even when you’re rapidly losing weight. Drink water every day—at least two liters—to keep your skin properly hydrated and tight against your body.

3: Eat well, and eat protein-rich foods. Foods that have a lot of protein—think chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, tofu and eggs—are super good for your skin because they are chock full of elastin and collagen. Elastin and collagen are the things that help your skin stay plump, which is important making sure that it doesn’t become too loose.

4: Take extra good care of your skin—all of it. It’s typical for a lot of people to only worry about the skin that is visible to others—on their faces and hands, for example. But you should take care of all your skin. Moisturize. Stay away from harsh shampoos and soaps. Exfoliate. Use skin-tightening creams with soy protein, vitamin C and vitamin E. All are good for your skin.