I am not sure that “average” weight people know this or not, but if you are obese you almost surely know that if you lose a lot of weight, you are almost surely are going to have a lot of loose skin to deal with.
Or are you?
Until recently, I thought for sure that loose skin was a sure outcome of losing a lot of weight.
However, as I started learning more about fasting, and particularly listening to podcasts and videos from Dr. Jason Fung, I started hearing him talk about “autophagy”. I really had no idea what autophagy was, but I kept listening. After hearing him on a few different videos, I finally heard Dr. Fung explain what autophagy was.
Basically, autophagy is the process where your body starts consuming protein cells in the body. Many people fear that your body consuming protein means that your muscles will waste away. This is not the case, though. Autophagy kicks in when you are doing an extended period of fasting. What I have heard is that after about the 3rd continuous day of fasting, that is when autophagy kicks in.
So, if your body is consuming protein, how can your muscles not waste away? Well, your body is smart enough that the protein that it consumes are damaged protein cells, or protein that is no longer needed!
Another fact is that during fasting, your body is producing much higher amounts of Growth Hormone. With all of this growth hormone, your body is producing more muscle rapidly during fasting! So, you don’t lose muscle during fasting, you gain greater amounts of muscle!
One of the 2016 Nobel Prizes was given to researchers into autophagy, so it is not some far out science that nobody believes in. It is becoming a much studied and accepted fact.
What does this have to do with loose skin?
Good question! Skin is protein. It is protein that is no longer needed or being used. It is “throw away” skin. To prove that the loose skin is no longer needed, you can have the loose skin surgically removed and there are no bad effects from simply removing the skin.
Through autophagy, your body can eliminate loose skin on it’s own without need for surgery! It is true, and Dr. Fung talks about this a lot.
Dr. Fung has treated literally thousands of patients with fasting, helped them lose weight, and helped them reverse diabetes. He says in many of his videos that it is only rarely that his patients need to have loose skin surgically removed. Nearly all of his patients lose all of their lose skin through autophagy!
I don’t know why some need surgery to remove some loose skin. My speculation is that people with large amounts of loose skin might need a little extra “help” through surgery to remove all of the loose skin, but I don’t know that for sure.
I have loose skin already
Back in 2000, I weighted 430 pounds. Over the years, I have lost a lot of weight – before I ever heard of keto or ever tried fasting. However, once I got down to about 300 pounds or so, my weight kind of stabilized there. I have been unable to loose weight, and keep it off, below that level. Until now. Right now, I am down in the 260 range, and going down nearly every day.
When I went from 430 to 300 or so, I developed a lot of loose skin. Yea, I was still plenty fat at 300, but I also had plenty of skin hanging off of my belly, and on my butt too. Funny thing is, though, in the past month and a half, though, since I have started doing regular fasting, I can see and feel that loose skin going away. I can only attribute it to autophagy! I mean, I have lost about 40 pounds in the past couple months, and if anything I should have more loose skin than I had 2 months ago. However, I have significantly less loose skin than I did back then! It is amazing.
I suspect that I will have loose skin when I do complete my weight loss journey, but I also think I will have significantly less loose skin than I expected. You know what, though? I am holding out hope that fasting might just eliminate all loose skin! Who knows?