Loose Skin

What do you do with the loose skin when you lose large amounts of weight? It’s a great question, and I address it on this VLOG.


  1. Jane

    I am just about to embark on my Bright Lines Eating journey and I also have concerns about loose skin if I loose my weight too quickly. I am currently 59 and to get to my goal weight I would have to loose approximately 200lbs. My question for Susan is whether you think that taking collagen supplements in addition to eating a healthy diet may help?

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Hi there, Jane! How exciting to be on the cusp of your journey. 🧡 You will find some information about collagen in our FAQs here: https://support.brightlineeating.com/?s=collagen
      If you want a coach’s individual guidance on the subject with regard to your specific program, we’d suggest calling into a Boot Camp coaching call (assuming you’re getting your journey underway with a Boot Camp). 📞

      Reply ·
  2. Carole Landry

    Does exercise during the process of transformation help with the loose skin issue?

    Reply ·
    1. Bright Line Eating

      Hi, Carole! Exercise could possibly help, however, we don’t recommend exercise during the weight loss phase unless it is already a very-well established habit that requires absolutely no willpower. There will be time to exercise and tone-up during maintenance and for the rest of your life. <3

      Reply ·
  3. Deborah W Hobel

    Thank you Susan for addressing this issue and so many others with candor and transparency. Your work is so very much appreciated. One word, AUTOPHAGY. I am a beginner to BLE. I am currently in the 14 day challenge. I am 20 Lbs from goal weight after having lost weight (40Lbs) with a plant based, no sugar, no grains, limited fruit AND intermittent Fasting 18/6 regime (predominantly). Giving BLE a chance because I LOVE Susan and I am so grateful for her sharing her story and experience. I am a 9 on the susceptibility scale and just learning about how the brain works has been very helpful.
    Now, back to reason for this comment: Autophagy – This is how the body deals with and rids itself of excess skin. It will literally take care of it, we just have to be patient. See the clinical work and notes by Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist who has done remarkable work with paitents in Canada. He has the proof that the skin will go back to normal over time.

    Reply ·
  4. C

    I have heard skin brushing may help. I read a story about a young woman who always wanted to be in a pageant but was rejected for her weight. She lost weight but had excess skin and was rejected again. She did skin brushing and firmed up all the excess skin…..and made it into the pageant. I believe she was in her mid 20s though. I also met a mother of 6 who lost a lot of weight in her 40s and was able to get rid of excess skin via skin brushing. Maybe with luck, good genes, and as others have commented a healthy PLANT based diet it might work for some. Love and luck to you.

    Reply ·
  5. Cathy

    I would suggest compression wear! Now adays you can find it at Walmart! Massage might help with some sessentsl oils as well! I’ll take loose skin over this humongous body any day!

    Reply ·
  6. Evelin Ledebuhr

    About loose skin. I know of a woman who lost over a hundred lbs. She recommended to do rebounding, that is jumping on a mini trampoline, while in the process of loosing weight. She worked her way up to one hour a day. She has no loose skin after loosing all that weight. She was and still does eat a raw food diet and juices vegetables and herbs.
    When I started on a rebounder I had back, neck and ankle problems from a car accident. I could not stand and jump at all. All I could do was sit, supporting myself with my hands, and very, very lightly bounce. I worked with a chiropractor, did some back strengthening exercises, and day by day increased my ability to bounce. Within a week or so I was able to stand and lightly bounce, not actually leaving the trampoline surface. Soon I could bounce more and add arm movement. Now I can bounce without any problems. This is great for the lymphatic system. By five weeks my lymphatic system was no longer lumpy and congested.

    I would recommend shoes with good heal and ankle support if you have a lot of extra weight. Playmakers has a good arch and heal stabilizing insert, that I use.

    Reply ·
    1. Lisa

      I see this comment is from June, but anyway… I recently purchased a rebounder. It’s amazing….it sits in my living room and I bounce during TV shows… or somedays I can do some bouncing if I have restless legs and don’t want to walk around the block. It’s too bad that it’s benefits are not more well known. I love that it directly helps the lymphatic system move “stuff” around your system so it doesn’t get trapped. I have read that NASA uses it to help their astronauts upon re-entry to the effects of gravity. Hey, if it’s good enough for NASA… 🙂

      Reply ·
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    Reply ·
  8. RM

    PPS (oops!) Also, using techniques like dry skin brushing, alternating hot/cold showers, massaging skin with good oils (maybe ask an aromatherapist for advice) and so on while losing weight can help keep skin healthy, supple, flexible and more capable of bouncing back. Just check with your doctor first before using these techniques because some might be contraindicated for you, especially if you are on medication or have an illness or health condition.

    Reply ·
  9. RM

    PS According to health writer Leslie Kenton in her book Raw Energy (I think newer editions have a slightly different title), people who lose weight eating plenty of fresh raw fruits and vegetables also appear to have fewer problems with loose skin.

    Reply ·
  10. RM

    Hi Sarah,

    I read a testimonial by a woman called Emily Boller who lost over 100lbs on Dr Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live diet. I think you might find it interesting.

    Unusually (according to Emily’s doctor) her abdominal skin retracted back to normal. Dr Fuhrman’s plan is a whole-food, plant-based approach. It is rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, raw food, plant protein, etc. I’m speculating, but I suspect the high level of nutrients in Dr Fuhrman’s diet helped make Emily’s skin tougher and more elastic while she was losing weight. She was 47-48 years of age at the time.

    Here’s the link to her story: http://emilyboller.com/?page_id=6 . The section about skin is ‘Cartwheels :: June 29. 2009’. Her experience is fascinating and her overall transformation pretty spectacular.

    There also seem to be parallels with ‘bright line’ eating in her approach. She talks about creating a safe zone of abstinence from certain foods.

    Hope that helps.


    Reply ·
    1. Valerie Bowman

      Thank you for the link to Emily’s story. Very encouraging.

      Reply ·
    2. Cindy M.

      Emily is a personal hero of mine, and I love her ongoing story. I think superior nutrition has a lot to do with her “resilience,” but part of her weight was also a very large fibroid, I believe, which would increase her weight and belly size in different ways than would just that same poundage of fat cells. (So it would be partly like the distention of pregnancy rather than a “beer gut.”) Just another consideration in comparing notes . . .

      Reply ·
  11. Sean

    I wanted to chime in with an item to consider. My wife lost about 100 pounds 6 years ago. Because she was obese and pregnant at the same time, her tummy was pretty stretched out after she lost her weight. She decided to go with the surgery option about 2 years ago, but was unprepared for the persistent loss of feeling in that area. Essentially, the doctor removed an 8 inch strip of skin below her belly button. He then created a new belly button. Unfortunately now after 2 years, there is a patch of about 6-8 inches below her new belly button that has no feeling. It really bugs her, but she is just trying to accept it.

    The bottom line was that she wishes that she had better understood this risk before going under the knife.

    Reply ·
    1. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

      Thanks for this, Sean. Yes, persistent numbness is a big issue after surgery. The consent form beforehand includes all the typical horrifying things, like “we’re not liable if you bleed to death on the operating table…” etc. etc. etc. So when it says the area may be numb, it’s just one caution among many. I don’t know what the statistics are, but after surgery I believe long-lasting numbness is quite common. Perhaps it would help if doctors made it more clear what the odds are for the various side effects. On the positive side, big congratulations to your wife for her tremendous weight loss! 🙂

      Reply ·
  12. Victoria

    Thank you. I have lost over 75 pounds, not in my 20s but in my 50s. I do not want surgery so that is a choice I make to prefer the saggy, wrinkled areas over what I would consider a drastic medical procedure. I do like the way I look in clothes (bras!). But the mirror is a more difficult proposition. There is a change in identity to deal with as I learn what it means to be in this very different body. I have a very supportive husband but it is my own self-worth I have to face. I hope to improve that with time and I appreciate your words.

    Reply ·
    1. Trudyann

      I had lost over 80 pounds whenI started to go to CrossFit. My aim was to tighten skin, not necessarily weight. It took about a year and a half but the pleats, bags and high flying wings have all tightened up.

      Reply ·
  13. Joseph Fleischman

    Thank you Susan for addressing this real concern. I would like to add to the discussion. There are those who have extremely loose skin and need the surgery, their insurance won’t pay for it and they can’t afford it. They may think they’re stuck, but there is another option. It’s called “medical tourism”. Mexico, Costa Rica, and India are all known for providing surgical procedures at a small fraction of the cost in the US or Canada. Of course, the question arises “how can you be sure that it’s safe?”. Answering that question is my purpose for writing in. why I’m writing this. Here’s a quote:
    “The Joint Commission, the most respected and demanding hospital accreditation agency in the U.S., has an international division called the Joint Commission International (JCI) that accredits hospitals internationally with equally rigorous standards.”
    – See more at: http://www.bariatric-surgery-source.com/weight-loss-surgery-mexico.html#safe
    Much love your way!
    Joseph in Missoula

    Reply ·
    1. Valerie Bowman

      Thank you for this information Joseph.

      Reply ·
  14. Jose DaCosta


    Your responses always reflect the full 360 degrees of possibilities of each person’s journey.
    If Sarah is currently concerned about how other people will perceive her folds, I suspect that when she achieves her goal weight the importance of what others think will diminish greatly. If her concern is driven by a very narrow negative, commercially driven “body beautiful” motivation, that force will likely be supplanted by a more wholesome and positive self-image energy. This positive force will be borne form becoming a more sovereign individual with control over many more aspects of her life than simply the amount and quantity of food she eats.
    I do not condemn those who choose surgery. I completely understanding surgery if that is a choice best for people to become the person they desire to be for themselves.
    May we each be more clearly guided by: “To thine own self be true”!
    Journey on Sarah!!
    Teach on Susan!!

    Reply ·
    1. Joseph Fleischman

      Hi Joe! You wrote: “I suspect that when she achieves her goal weight the importance of what others think will diminish greatly.” When I read it I thought “Perhaps, but some people have a more difficult time than others in not caring about what their friends and acquaintances think of them”. It seems to me that we’re programmed to care about what others think of us, and some have more of it than others. Besides, if you DO care about what your friends think, how do you stop caring about that? Isn’t such a concern an “intuitive” rather than a reasoned event?
      Joseph in Missoula

      Reply ·
      1. Jose DaCosta

        Thanks for your response; it gives me the opportunity to clarify the intent of my initial comment. My assumption is that Sarah’s close friends and family have been well aware of her long term issue with food and weight. Those that embrace her journey with love and empathy are unlikely to rididcule her for the “folds”. Those who don’t know her full story or feel she abandoned their group of food industry victims might ridicule her achievement and the consequent “folds”.
        I trust Sarah continues to care about the opinions of the former group and confidently dismisses the opinions of the latter group.
        Change is a very difficult process; I did not mean to suggest it is easy. I believe, however, that with Susan’s continuing guideline, Sarah’s transformation to her goal weight will affect growth on the mental and spiritual as well as physical dimensions. This will hopefully buoy the “self-worth” development that Victoria describes as her current challenge.
        I applaud all people who are on their respective journeys whether or not surgery is a stop along the way.

        Reply ·
        1. Jose DaCosta

          I meant ” with Susan’s continuing guidance”.
          Haste does make waste.

          Reply ·
  15. Linden Morris Delrio

    Much needed information! Timely, so thoughtful and caring!
    Much Love!

    Reply ·
  16. Kelly

    Yes, you give so much dignity and love with each vlog and email. I’m grateful to have met you in Durango. I can’t wait to know more about Bright Line Eating!!


    Reply ·
  17. Ajji

    I just love the dignity and kindness and wisdom with which you address this and other questions. I enjoy watching you, Susan. I wish you had a TV show–guest appearances, science, the concept refresher portion, AND the FAQs addressed………

    Reply ·
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