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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Intermittent Fasting arrow Fasting and Loose Skin: Can Intermittent Fasting Save the Day?

Fasting and Loose Skin: Can Intermittent Fasting Save the Day?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 18, 2023
6 min read 1909 Views 0 Comments
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Dealing with loose skin can be frustrating, especially when it drains your confidence. Some people try intermittent fasting to reduce the appearance of saggy skin, but does it really work? We explain whether fasting helps with loose skin and the benefits of autophagy.

Fasting and loose skin

Loose skin can be a frustrating thing to deal with. 

You might experience saggy skin after weight loss, too much sun exposure, and even common stress factors. Of course, it may seem like you’ll never have smooth-looking skin again, but there are ways to boost your skin’s long-term health.

There’s a lot of talk about expensive firming creams and cosmetic procedures, but not all of them work. One thing that might work is intermittent fasting, which is a popular way to lose stubborn weight. Could fasting be the hero to those dealing with loose skin?

In this article, you’ll discover whether intermittent fasting helps loose skin.

Intermittent Fasting and Loose Skin: Can Fasting Help?

Yes, intermittent fasting can help maintain skin elasticity, but it won’t directly remove your loose skin. Since fasting triggers autophagy, your body generates new cells that benefit skin health by balancing sebum oils and regulating collagen production.

People who lose a substantial amount of weight might get loose skin. This is because the skin cannot retract and produce more collagen. A lack of elastin fibers means your skin won’t just snap back after extensive weight loss, leading to the “saggy” appearance that doesn’t go away. 

However, to prevent loose skin or improve firmness, you can try certain intermittent fasting methods. Not eating for a set period is known to trigger autophagy – a natural process that encourages the body to break down and destroy damaged proteins or cell components. 

While autophagy eliminates useless or broken cells, it also replenishes new ones that contribute to healthy-looking skin. These rejuvenated cells boost keratin, which is a type of protein responsible for maintaining skin thickness, sebum oil production, and collagen fibers. 

Just remember that fasting won’t get rid of your loose skin completely. It can only improve the texture of your skin and prevent more sagginess during weight loss. You may need to consider procedures like bariatric surgery to remove extra skin around prominent body parts.

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DoFasting also has daily articles that cover autophagy and how the body begins to lose weight safely. You don’t need to find rapid weight loss methods that eat away at muscle and fat mass indiscriminately, so it’s important to follow safe fasting techniques when preventing excess skin.

Does Autophagy Affect Skin Health?

Autophagy has a positive effect on your skin’s health. During this catabolic process, your body focuses more on boosting collagen production. More collagen means less sagging skin, leading to a plump appearance that doesn’t show wrinkles or excess skin.

During a fasting window, your body can enter autophagy and begin the “self-eating” mechanisms. This might sound intimidating, but getting rid of bad stem cells is important. Autophagy only strengthens functioning stem cells that help to maintain skin homeostasis

Now, skin homeostasis replaces damaged cells with new ones. Better adapting cells will repair any damage to the excess skin, including broken elastin fibers. Autophagy won’t completely eliminate loose skin from weight loss, but it can still make your skin look healthy. 

The time it takes for fasting to work varies from person to person. You might notice smoother-looking skin after one week, and others may see results in three weeks. Just make sure to follow the fasting method precisely and avoid breaking your fast during autophagy. 

Does Autophagy Tighten Loose Skin?

Yes, autophagy can tighten loose skin, but it won’t get rid of excess skin completely. Surgical removal options are the only way to contour your body shape. Autophagy is there to build healthier cells and prevent loose skin from happening in the first place.

Since autophagy helps to retain lean muscle mass while clearing out toxins, your skin will build more proteins. This internal process naturally strengthens the skin, encouraging a plumper, fresh appearance. However, excess skin from extensive weight loss will require surgery.

If you want to prevent or avoid loose skin, intermittent fasting is the way to go. Fasting is the best way of inducing autophagy and improving your skin’s health. You could also try the keto diet, as eating low-carb foods triggers autophagy when the body starts losing weight. 

Is Water Fasting Effective for Loose Skin?

Water fasting can improve your skin, but it’s not the safest intermittent fasting method. Of course, adequate hydration is important for tightening the skin, but cutting out important nutrients for 24–72 hours can have more negative effects on the body.

Drinking lots of water is known to maintain your skin’s elasticity. Water improves blood flow in the skin, which naturally boosts stem cells and collagen production. During this type of fasting window, you’ll only be consuming water while refraining from eating food for 1–3 days. 

Naturally, you might think that consuming water can burn body fat while reducing loose skin. Even though it does support the fat-burning process, it can’t eliminate extra skin on your body. For beginners, choose a fasting method that still allows you to eat food during the day.

Benefits of Fasting for the Skin

Many people choose intermittent fasting when losing weight, but it’s actually great for improving your skin and immune system. Better immune responses will naturally reduce inflammation and free radicals that might cause premature aging, infection, slow wound healing, and skin disease.

During a fasted state, your body switches from using glucose for energy to burning clean body fat. Autophagy will naturally happen and target abnormal toxins first. Once these toxins are gone, your skin can start the repair process by boosting collagen and making elastin fibers.

Over time, the skin will start to look fresh, radiant, and firm. Combining your chosen fasting method with the right skincare routine may prevent loose skin in the long term. For example, vitamin A is known to strengthen the dermis and epidermis – the top layers of your skin.

Other benefits of fasting include weight loss, stronger heart functions, better brain health, more concentration, and less oxidative damage. Following the keto diet can also offer similar benefits, as it encourages you to cut out healthy foods and eat meals that enhance your skin.

Just remember that intermittent fasting won’t remove loose skin, and neither will rapid weight loss methods. To boost self-confidence on your weight loss journey, take your time to exercise and try weight training schemes to build lean tissue and achieve gradual fat loss.

Is Dry Fasting or Water Fasting More Effective for Tightening Loose Skin?

If you had to choose between water or dry fasting, always go with the water fast. Dry fasting means you can’t eat food or drink water for 1–2 days. Of course, not maintaining hydration levels will lead to constipation, headaches, fatigue, and dry-feeling skin.

People who attempt water fasting are still achieving adequate hydration for the day. As mentioned before, drinking water will help induce autophagy while repairing your skin. Neither of these methods removes loose skin, but a water fast can prevent it when you’re losing weight.

A dry fast essentially deprives your body of important electrolytes. You need electrolytes to maintain smooth skin and gain autophagy benefits. Adequate hydration is important for preventing skin disease and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

For people who want to try these fasting methods, consult with your doctor first. A medical professional can advise what is best for your health. They can also suggest surgical options that remove loose skin, which is better than trying crash diets that claim to induce autophagy.

A Word From MD

Noticing the saggy skin on your body can make you feel defeated. That’s why people try fasting methods to induce autophagy and gain better skin. Even though autophagy is great for managing body mass, it won’t remove excess skin, so it’s important to keep that in mind.

However, there are other ways you can prevent loose skin. Some of these comprise endurance exercises, natural firming creams, collagen supplements, and massages. A study found that a skin massage increases mitochondrial production – a process that keeps your skin firm.

Don’t forget that excess skin is normal after extensive weight loss. When someone loses weight in a short amount of time, the body can’t retract the skin back to its normal position. This doesn’t mean saggy skin is permanent or impossible to get rid of in the long term.


So, does fasting really help saggy skin?

Intermittent fasting is just one method that improves your skin’s health. Not only does it promote autophagy, but it strengthens natural immune responses too. A better immune system keeps skin cells in check by eliminating bacteria and toxins. 

Always consult with your doctor before trying any fasting techniques. This is especially important for people who currently have any health conditions.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 18, 2023
6 min read 1909 Views 0 Comments

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