Q&A w/ The Powells: The Low-Down on Skin Removal Surgery

During each season of?Extreme Weight Loss,?we get a ton of questions regarding the skin removal surgery that many of our contestants undergo at the end of their journeys. In many ways, it is a symbolic act of taking that final step of their transformations?removing the last reminder of their old selves. ?So this often begs the question: Why not do their final weigh ins shirtless to show off their new hot bods? ?For the behind-the-scenes answers, check out my latest video!

Have a question? Not to fear, help is here. This is far from the last time we will share ?Q&A with the Powells? videos, and would love to answer YOUR questions! Tell us what you want to know in the comments below.



Related videos:

Q&A With The Powells: EWL Behind The Scenes

Q&A With The Powells: Why Do Contestants Weigh-in Shirtless?


30 Responses

  1. I’ve always wondered.. what do you tell the contestants at the beginnning of the episode why they are being filmed, right before they are suprised by Chris and told that they have been chosen to participate in the show?

  2. Hi. I LOVE the show and have a question about diet. I’m actually searching for the ideal eating plan for myself. I’ve been vegetarian for 20+ years now (vegan for the last 13 or so) and I was eating for my blood type, which seemed awesome for a while. But now, at age 50 and after some stress-inducing life events, I’m finding that I’m having some joint issues, hair loss, and trouble maintaining my weight (I’m not gaining, I’m losing). I also started eating salmon on occasion for the good Omega-3s and have heard of the paleo diet, but I really cannot stomach the idea of eating MEAT! I’ve also read recently that even whole grains and legumes (my staples) like brown rice, lentils and seeds have harmful phyto nutrients. I’m confused and I don’t know what to do for my body. Do you have any good options for optimum protein or a meal plan that might help me get protein and balanced nutrition to refuel and heal my body? One of my jobs is as a performer for children’s parties and I want to continue that for many years to come. I don’t want pain in my elbows, shoulders and hands to prevent me from doing the balloon twisting and face painting that I love (and the kids adore). Please help, April a.k.a. Miss Pickles

    1. Hi April: Thank you for your comment! You might be interested in checking out Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program – it does have some protein options other than meat. You can learn more about the nutrition basics here: https://heidipowell.net/2713. Hopefully it can give you some ideas you can use to achieve your transformation goals!

  3. With such a long recovery time post surgery, do EWL participants struggle with time away from the gym? I would imagine it’s really hard to go through a years worth of changing your life with exercise and diet and then for that to come to a halt while recovering from surgery.

  4. I have watched your show for a Long time.I have met Chris here in Mesa while he was filming a az rehap one time with Richard. I would like to know how much do you have to weigh to be on the program an the skin removal I heard is very painful is that true

  5. Debbie,

    I can answer that question for you. It depends. I was overweight, literally my entire life. Highest being 385 at the time I had gastric bypass in 2006 @ age 32. I lost over 215 lbs and so I had A LOT of extra skin, to the point where I had a hard time working out, sitting in an office chair etc. without some level of pinching/pain. I am still roughly 40lbs from goal, but started the skin removal process 2 years ago. WHAT a difference! I had 4 surgeries overall, approx 50 lbs of skin. I am still flabby in areas but no longer am I in any pain so I can workout freely now and finish the goal.

    Think of skin like a rubber band. It can handle temporary stretches, but hold it out long enough and it will loose it’s elasticity.

  6. Hi Heidi.
    I love the show. You and Chris are so compassionate and understanding to the struggles that each of the contestants go through. My question is why don’t they show more of the food side during the show? There is a little of Rocco but not the food they contestants eat, how they prepare their food, the kinds of healthy food they now eat, etc. I would love to see some of the ways they make food healthier (eating this instead of that).

    I love the 2 hour episodes. I think so much is missed when it is just an hour. I can’t wait until the show comes back for a new season. 🙂

    Take care.

    1. I agree with you. I love to work out but I struggle with healthy food ideas. I wish they showed more meal ideas and prepping in the show.

  7. You recently had a female client on the show (your season finale I think) that after her transformation couldn’t wait to get pregnant. I was shocked that the Dr approved her for skin removal surgery, because everything I’ve ever read about skin removal or tummy tucks is you should be done having kids. Why remove skin, only to get pregnant and stretch out the skin left behind again. Doesn’t seem healthy. Why aren’t your Doctors taking this into consideration?

    1. I have been wondering the exact same thing. I’ve had two kids so my skin isn’t all it should be. I would want to have kids before a tummy tuck in my opinion.

  8. Hi…I have read chris’ book but really struggle with how to take the approved foods list and make meals that me and my family will eat…do you have a good resource for all kinds of recipes for breakfast lunch dinner and snacks?

  9. Hi Heidi,
    I was curious about the skin removal surgery. Why do the contents need it? Why wouldn’t the skin go back into shape once the weight is lost? I know as we age skin isn’t as resilient as it once was, but most of the contestants are young.

    By the way, I think you and Chris are so inspirational. Thank you for doing what you do.

    1. Skin definitely is elastic to a certain extent. When you lose a large amount of weight, it doesn’t matter how young you are, you can most definitely still have excess skin. It can be pretty rough when you’ve worked so hard to lose the weight and you still have many many pounds of extra skin! I’ve lost 170 lbs and still have more to lose – but I know I will have a lot of excess skin, and I’m 26.

      Check him out as well, he’s younger than I am: http://www.muscleandfitness.com/athletes-celebrities/news/obese-beast-guy-bravely-strips-down-show-what-extreme-weight-loss-does

    2. When someone loses that much body fat in that amount of time, it’s pretty unlikely that the skin will bounce back to normal. I remember at least one contestant off the top of my head that her skin DID bounce back and she didn’t need surgery. But when someone that big loses half their body weight, it definitely is a common thing to have excess skin.

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