Q: I had always been little until I gained a lot of weight due to depression. After keeping the weight on for a number of years, I finally lost it. I am starting to exercise, but my biggest problem is the loose skin. Is there any way to tighten this or is the only answer to go under the knife?
Gaining and losing weight over a period of a few years without exercise can cause the body some unfortunate issues. With diet alone, the body can in fact lose weight if the calories are less than the body expends in a day. Although, I don't recommend diet alone as the best weight loss avenue. I'm glad to hear you are adding in exercise. Aerobic activity and strength training will help you lose more weight if necessary but more importantly, strengthen up the muscles. Loose skin is a common problem when a lot of weight is lost.
There are ways to combat this issue. First is strength train. Building muscle between the skin and the bone will tighten up the area and give the appearance of smoothness. Secondly, drink plenty of water. Hydrating the body in turn keeps the skin supple, less dry and more elasticity to bounce back after weight loss. Be sure to tone up all muscles around the problem areas. Certain muscles attach in places and wrap around the bone where you may not be aware. For instance, if the tricep area has loose skin, be sure to build muscle in the shoulders and biceps as well. Going under the knife for tightening loose skin is not recommended as the procedures are not advanced. Please try these other strategies as I'm sure you will find they are helpful. Good luck!