How do I know if this is fat or skin? Feel like body is worse after losing 130lbs. Scale says progress but not looks? (Photos)

I started at 315lbs and have went down to 175lbs within a year due to diet and cardio. Everyone is telling me this is lose skin on my arm, thighs, stomach and boobs BUT I feel like it's all fat except my arm and upper fat roll on my stomach. My boobs feel like deflated balloons now and I use to love my boobs. I see the bottom stomach roll as all fat in my head that I am failing to conqueror. I walk 10 miles a day and started weight training a few weeks ago. I need a new me! Any recommendations!?

Doctor Answers 4

Changes in body after weight loss


Congratulations on your weight loss!  You have taken a number of very important steps to becoming a healthier woman and you should definitely be proud of yourself. 

You are not alone in feeling that you look worse after weight loss. Many women and men feel that way because of the general deflation.  With your significant weight loss you do have a lot of excess skin.  Certainly there is still fat present but staying on course you will see continued fat loss.  Weight training is an excellent adjunct and will help you build muscle which will give some of the deflated areas, especially your arms and legs more definition. With increased muscle mass you also burn more calories at rest.

While some skin shrinking will occur, skin elasticity changes with significant weight gain, and in order to get a smoother contour you should consider post weight loss body contouring surgery.   This may be a single surgery or multiple staged surgeries in order to improve your appearance.  I normally have patients wait for any surgery until they are near their goal weight and have maintained it for 6 months at least.  You have worked so hard and you want to do things the right way to get that "new you!"

I would suggest consulting with a plastic surgeon about your options even if you are not at the right stage yet to get an idea of what your options are for the future. This is often a great way to motivate yourself to keep working hard.

Best of Luck!

Dr. Rednam

Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Loose skin and fat after massive weight loss needs body lifting procedures

You have loose skin and loose residual fat after massive weight loss. This is to be expected. Regardless, this lax tissue needs to be surgically removed if you want a tighter appearance. Your breasts will need reduction and lifting, your arms will need a brachioplasty, and the rest will require bodylifting. No need to do it all at once.

Marco A. Pelosi III, MD
Jersey City OB/GYN
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Full body lift

Congratulations on losing your weight. Your body is healthier, and you'll have a better quality of life if you maintain this weight loss. Unfortunately, losing a large amount of weight such as you have done can result in sagging of all parts of the body. This is both skin and fat. To improve your appearance, you should consider doing a full body lift. This would include a breast lift, tummy tuck, arm lift, and possibly a thigh lift and buttock lift. I would recommend you do these in stages and not all at once; after all, this is elective cosmetic surgery. Good Luck

Robert L. True, MD
Grapevine OB/GYN
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Loose skin or adipose tissue after significant weight loss?

Congratulations on your very successful weight loss; you should be very proud of your accomplishments and in no way should feel that you are "failing to conquer"…

 Generally speaking, when patients achieve such a significant weight loss, they are often left with loose skin as well as anatomic changes of their breasts, bodies, and extremities that leave them disappointed. This is where plastic surgeons can be very helpful.

 When the time is right, seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate lots of experience helping patients who have experienced significant weight loss. Then communicate your concern/goals carefully. Working together you will come up with a good plan to "complete the conquest".  You may find the attached link, dedicated to patients who have experienced significant weight loss, helpful to you as you learn more.

 Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.