If you’ve undergone extreme weight loss then you deserve a huge congratulations! Getting your health back on track and going through the ups and downs of extreme dieting and exercise is certainly a challenge. But whether you’ve completed it or have found the motivation to get started, good for you!
For many people losing weight can mean their jeans feel a bit looser or their arms are looking more toned. There aren’t necessarily any side effects you wouldn’t expect. But, for anyone who has achieved extreme weight loss, there are some things you may not have considered about life after you’ve lost weight.
Below we’ve run through 9 kay factors nobody tells you about extreme weight loss. If you’ve got an extreme weight loss story you’d love to share or tips from your own experience, we’d love to hear more. Tell us about your experience in the comments below, what was the most unexpected result or side effect of your weight loss journey?
Extreme Weight Loss Means Loose Skin
Okay so maybe this is obvious. But if you’re planning on losing a considerable amount of weight, the chances are you will be left with sagging skin. Now, the severity of sagging skin really depends on the size you are, to begin with. For example, someone who is classed as ‘obese’ may weigh 200lbs. If they lost 20lbs there’s not necessarily going to be a huge amount of sagging skin. On the other hand for a person classed as ‘morbidly obese’ and weighs perhaps 300 lbs. Should they lose 100 lbs in weight, there will be loose skin once the fat is burnt away.
If weight is lost at a dramatic rate, or for example if the extreme weight loss comes off the back of surgery, then there is more chance of the skin becoming loose. However, if the extreme weight loss is a slower process and lost in small amounts over a longer period, there is a better chance of maintaining some electricity in the skin.
For many people losing weight is an absolute dream, but dealing with excess loose skin afterwards can come as quite a shock. Whilst there are surgical options available, for many people the cost is too great and loose skin is a by-product they have to live with.
Loose skin can also come with more side effects, if you’re left with a large flap of skin on the stomach, arms or legs, for example, this is a breeding ground for bacteria. It’s vital you keep such areas clean and dry as sore patches and infections are a common problem. If you are dealing with such side effects, ensure you shower daily, dry thoroughly and use a talcum powder to soak up excess moisture.
Your Boobs Will Shrink
For most women, when losing weight we only want to get rid of certain parts, especially not from our chest! But, with extreme weight loss weight will be lost from every inch of the body. Of course, it depends how much weight you lose, but chances are your fuller bust will shrink somewhat. Another impact of extreme weight loss includes smaller and saggier breasts. Whilst it’s not every woman’s ideal, your health should always come first. Losing large amounts of weight can reduce the risk of many health conditions, so smaller boobs is definitely a small sacrifice for a healthier lifestyle!
Unhealthy Food Will Rid You With Guilt
Now that you’ve lost the weight, whether it be through surgery or a kick-ass diet and exercise regime. You will always struggle eating bad foods. Whilst you are entitled to a balanced diet that may include a treat once in a while. It’s hard to stop thinking that people are judging you. Let’s be honest, the odd candy bar or fast food meal isn’t going to reverse all of your hard work. But your relationship with food will definitely change.
It’s important to stick to healthy, balanced diet once you’ve lost the weight and have a plan to help you maintain. You need to allow yourself a treat or a bad day every once in a while and don’t punish yourself or overthink every time you eat something unhealthy. It really comes down to your mindset and learning to not overthink or worry that others may be judging you.
If you’re scared about slipping into your old ways, make a list of healthy alternative foods. So, if you fancy a McDonalds for tea, instead make homemade burgers from scratch with sweet potato fries and a side salad. Always carry a bag of nuts in your handbag, this is a quick and tasty snack that will fill you up and curb your cravings. Fancy dessert after a meal out? Opt for frozen yoghurt or a fruity green tea to satisfy sugar cravings. Being prepared and having the right mindset is key to managing your guilt. You don’t need to feel bad, you should enjoy life after your huge achievement of losing weight!
You’re Going To Bore People
Okay so you’ve lost a lot of weight, you go girl! You’re also now somewhat an expert in all things health and nutrition. Whilst many people will admire your commitment, knowledge and enthusiasm, it can easily become annoying or boring when you constantly share nutritional advice with every mouthful they take. But I mean, who cares?! You’ve learnt a lot on your journey and others can benefit from your advice, so keep at ‘em!
People Will Encourage Your Old Habits
Perhaps it’s jealousy or just a test to see how committed you really are. But, you may notice certain people will tempt and tease you to fall back into bad habits. Maybe they struggle seeing others succeed but be sure to prove them wrong! What you need is support and positive encouragement from your nearest and dearest. Anyone who tries to sabotage your success should give you the motivation to keep going and prove the naysayers wrong!
You’re Going To Have To Throw Out Your Favourite Clothes
Okay, so that’s obvious. But did you really consider this before you began your extreme weight loss journey? When you lose an extreme amount of weight you’re going to need an extreme clear out of your closet. I mean, EVERYTHING! Nothing is going to fit you once you reach your goal weight, not even your favourite party dress or those comfy sweatpants you love to lounge in. But you know what that does mean, it’s time to go shopping!
You Will Need To Go Shopping For New Clothes
Not only new clothes but a new size and a new style. Your body shape has changed completely, so chances are you don’t actually know what clothes are going to suit you. Trial and error, spend the day trying on clothes, take lots of pictures, take a friend along whose opinion you value. At the end of the day review what looks good, what feels good and what you’re going to buy! This might sound daunting, but really it can be a lot of fun.
Don’t be afraid to try new things. There are bound to be lots of styles of clothing which you’ve totally avoided in the past. But you need to get out of your old frame of mind, you are a slimmer version of you. You have a different body shape and you can totally pull off lots of new styles.
Check out Inland Weight Loss’s 7 top tips for shopping for clothes after extreme weight loss.
Your New Body Might Not Meet Your Expectations
So you’ve lost weight and your goal was to look like *insert celebrity here*. Extreme weight loss can mean less control over where the weight is lost. What stretch marks appear and how loose the skin becomes. Whilst you might want to slim down to a size 10 from size 18. Your body isn’t necessarily going to look like that of a typical size 10 woman. Whilst it’s difficult to know what to expect, you should try to keep an open mind when losing weight. Remember that you are you, nobody else! Once you reach your goal weight you need to learn to love your new figure. Find out what you like and don’t like about it and don’t compare yourself to others who’ve not walked the same path.
Weight Loss Doesn’t Equal Happiness
You might be fooled into thinking to lose this weight will mean you are finally happy. But don’t rest all your hopes on this, extreme weight loss comes with a lot of implications, whether it’s accepting your new figure, dealing with excess skin or battling cravings and slipping into bad habits.
Life is all about balance. Being fit and healthy is hugely important and reaching your goal weight will bring you an immense sense of achievement. Whilst there are many things about your weight loss journey that will bring you happiness, don’t lose focus on what really makes you happy along the way. Spend time with friends and family, enjoy good food, do what you love and don’t lose your identity.
What was the most unexpected outcome of your extreme weight loss journey? Let us know your best piece of advice for others just getting started in the comments below.
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