Today I will explain how and why cellulite takes hold and what you can do about it.
The bane of some women’s lives it can make skin look less attractive, and from what I have been told, forcing some women into changing which clothes they choose to buy and wear.
Cellulite causes bumps or an “orange peel” look to the surface of the skin. You will mostly find cellulite on the hips, thighs and legs, however, it can also be found on the stomach, upper arms and breast area.
Cellulite is often accompanied by stretch marks. It’s also associated with circulation problems, swelling and water retention (oedema). None of which are desirable in any way.
Some women find that having cellulite is a massive confidence drainer which really can affect their life in a negative way.
Cellulite is not harmful, and is sometimes referred to as a cosmetic condition.
I know people who get painful cellulite which is tender to touch, most people want to get rid of it for aesthetic reasons.
I believe cellulite is indicative of other problems within the body and is certainly not a sign of healthy tissue.
We will discuss the roles of food, exercise, hormones, circulation, dehydration and water retention, which all play a part.
Cellulite is not exclusive to people who are overweight, plenty of slim ladies suffer from it too.
Even Supermodels and Olympic athletes have it.
So What Causes Cellulite?
The causes of cellulite are multifaceted.
Anatomically or structurally – cellulite is caused by the fibrous connective cords, made of collagen, that tether the skin to the underlying muscle.
As the fat cells swell, they push upwards, against the tethered skin, and cause the lumpy or uneven look to the skin.
Cellulite on the whole affects mostly women.
Cellulite does not appear overnight, it’s a long term effect and creeps up on you over years not months.
If you have it, it’s because whatever caused it has been going on for some time. Weight gain and or body fat increases would have preceded the cellulite formation.
The things which cause cellulite are inter linked.
One major problem in cellulite formation is the hormone – Estrogen (get ready to learn a lot more about hormones, especially in next week’s article).
I would also say that lifestyle and toxins have a massive effect on levels of cellulite FOR THE SAME REASON – estrogen.
For example, in the long term, eating loads of highly processed foods will – disrupt your hormones.
This combined with other factors such as lack of exercise and dehydration can then lead to weight gain, water retention, loss of blood flow and cellulite will eventually appear on your body.
The Fat Cells Are Broken
In a general sense the fat cells are not working properly.
Toxins are meant to be removed from your system by your liver. When your liver is overwhelmed, it can’t do its job.
Then toxins in our food and environment are pushed back into the bloodstream and then absorbed by the fat cell. Long term, high levels of pesticides and other toxins mean the body will NEED to create additional fat to absorb the toxins or “mop up the waste”.
These toxins find their way into the fat cells where they can be stored for many years and cause oxidation/Inflammation (free radical damage).
The toxins are stored in the cell membrane and the membrane becomes tough and impermeable causing fat loss to be more difficult.
Constant exposure to all of the toxins in today’s world makes your fat cells toxic, this soon becomes cellulite.
Fat cells normally are nice and smooth but once these harmful toxins enter the fat cells it becomes misshaped, this is what the little bumps and lumps are on the outside of the skin are.
Exercise is also an important factor in determining whether you will have cellulite or not. The more exercise you do the less chance you have of getting cellulite.
There is also a lot of evidence to suggest that genetics are very important in determining if you will get cellulite and more specifically where. Have a look at your closest family members and if they have cellulite there is a chance you could get it in the same place.
Cellulite does not only affect overweight people, it can affect all of us.
Many of my slimmer clients have cellulite and have body fat levels over 35%, they are what is referred to as “skinny fat”.
Why do some women get it and others don’t?
It has been suggested that the collagen in fibrous connective tissue (which tethers the skin to the underlying tissue) may be a major factor in why some ladies suffer while others don’t.
Collagen is formed inside the body and the main substrates (or building materials) for collagen are – vitamin C, proline, lysine, glucosamine and chondrotin sulphate. So in theory supplementing with a product like Collagen Formula would help reduce the formation of cellulite.
The Cellulite Scale aka Nurnberger-Muller Scale
The stages are as follows:
Stage 0 shows no dimpling when lying down or standing, and a pinch test shows folds in skin but no visible cellulite.
Stage 1 shows no dimpling when lying or standing, but skin shows cellulite when pinched.
In stage 2, cellulite is only visible when standing but not when lying down.
At stage 3 a person has visible dimpling, both standing and lying down, and may have raised areas and nodules.
Before I get into the top ways to remove it I would just like to say what won’t work. In today’s world the obvious answer to all of our problems seems to be in a pill.
A pill or cream won’t get rid of cellulite properly and in the long term. So ladies please don’t waste your money on expensive pills and lotions.
The top 3 ways to blast cellulite away:
Just a note to say, these solutions will take time. You will not be able to just snap your fingers and the cellulite is gone. It will require patience, hard work and commitment.
1. Detoxify Your Fat Cells by Changing Your Nutritional Habits
As we know the best way to get rid of these harmful toxins which play a huge part in the development of cellulite is to detox. Being regular blog readers of mine you should all be aware of what a detox is and how to do it.
The primary aim of a detox is to cleanse the body inside out and flush out all of the harmful toxins in the process allowing our body to function like it’s meant to.
As mentioned above some of the foods we eat bring toxins into the body which heavily influences the appearance of cellulite.
The first and most important step to removing cellulite from the body is just to remove unnatural processed foods from your diet.
So ditch the sweets, chocolates, fried food and fizzy drinks for healthy organic natural fruit and vegetables, good quality carbs and lean meat. Drink plenty of water too! This will aid the detoxification process and help to flush out toxins from the body.
Get hydrated, drink plenty of water – about 1 litre for every 3.5 stone you weigh.
One thing we need to remember is that these toxins don’t only enter our bodies via the food we eat.
Toxins also come from alcohol, perfume, make up, cleaning products and much more, so aim to use environmentally friendly toxic free products where possible.
2. Exercise More
Cellulite is more common in the lower body area. There are over 90 muscles in your lower body all waiting to be strengthened and smoothed over!
As mentioned earlier, pills and creams don’t address cellulite at the root, exercising will.
Working the areas efficiently where cellulite exists will help to improve circulation, smooth out and support the skin around the cellulite; this will reduce the appearance and give a better look.
A well thought out balanced exercise programme will really help to blast away the cellulite.
Mixing some quality cardio training with resistance training is the best way, again to increase the circulation to the area.
You need to really focus on the areas where cellulite exists. A shoulder press isn’t going to help the cellulite on your thighs. Exercises like squats, glute bridges and lunges will – indirectly.
(Please note: I’m not advocating “spot reduction”. (spot reduction is where people aim to reduce belly fat by doing sit up’s and bum fat by doing squats etc, this doesn’t work, fat is taken from all over the body, not evenly either).
The exercise is there to promote better blood flow and oxygenation of the tissues and stimulate the surrounding muscles.
To give yourself the best chance aim to exercise 3-5 times a week, it is also important to rest your body between exercise sessions.
Simply massaging the worst affected areas can help to reduce the appearance of cellulite, this is why some creams seem to work a little, a basic massage oil will be fine and much cheaper. You don’t have to worry about any fancy spa treatments or spending loads of money, you can do a lot of the things yourself or get your partner/friend to help, I’m sure they’ll be more than happy!
Toxins are eliminated from our body through the lymphatic system; applying pressure to the muscles stimulates the blood and lymph flow, this then helps the lymphatic system expel the stored away hard to reach toxins from our body.
Massage with circular motions and ensure you don’t press too hard, this can lead to bruising.
Ensure you massage all of the affected areas, if you aren’t comfortable in doing this yourself then you can easily get a professional massage which shouldn’t cost too much. From about £25.
So there are my top 3 tips for blasting away cellulite from the body, if you apply all of these tips properly the cellulite should disappear over the coming months and years, you should start to see improvements in as little as a couple of weeks.
Remember the longer the problem has existed the longer it will take to go away, so be patient if needed and if you don’t do it, I’m afraid to say it will only get worse in the long run.
Doing nothing is THE worst thing you can do. Avoid progressing through the levels, nip it in the bud as soon as possible is the best strategy.
If you have read this article then that’s a good first step, now take some action by implementing some of the tips!
Health and fitness is a way of life, and it’s a great way of life too.
Those clothes which you have stored away because you didn’t feel comfortable wearing will hopefully start to creep back in!
Any questions please leave them below.
Work hard and good luck,