What can you do to help fight it…?
Summer is here and the last thing you need to be worrying about is exposing your legs to the world. If cellulite makes you feel uncomfortable about wearing a pair of shorts or a skirt then you’re probably desperate to get rid of it. Well, sorry to disappoint you but there isn’t a miracle cure – although there are things that can be done to help the problem. There are so many treatments available now that it is hard to know what actually works and what doesn’t. Perhaps we should start by looking at what cellulite is and how it is caused.
Cellulite is excess fat trapped in pockets beneath the skin which lead to a dimpled or uneven appearance, sometimes likened to cottage cheese or orange peel. It is not a different type of fat, but a word that describes the physical appearance of the fat. The dimpled appearance occurs because the fat cells of women are closer to the surface than they are in men. The cells are held together by connective fibres that are similar to the shape of honeycomb. If fat and fluids accumulate in these compartments they tend to bulge and press against the connective tissue, creating a bumpy appearance. It’s a lot like the wires and buttons that hold your bed’s mattress together. The more fat there is the more likely cellulite is to show. It affects more than 80% of women in their lives’ – even celebrities such as Sharon Stone are afflicted! We all have some body fat, so no matter how skinny we are, we’re still susceptible.
Cellulite can affect women of all ages and sizes and there are many contributing factors. Poor circulation can play a role in the development of cellulite because the lymphatic and circulation systems work side by side. If these systems become sluggish, toxins and waste products are not eliminated and these toxins can leak into other tissue like fat cells. Research has found that cellulite is not a unique substance and it is no different from fat cells found in any other part of the body. Hormonal levels vary throughout our lives and are also a big factor, which explains why far more women are affected than men. At times such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause, hormones change dramatically and there is a build-up of fat reserves. This tends to worsen with age as the layer of fat below the skin which gives the smooth appearance, starts to break down. Cellulite also forms from taking medication such as birth control pills and diet pills as these increase the amount of oestrogen in the body which inhibits the elimination of toxins.
A lack of exercise also contributes to the formation of cellulite, as tissue gets blocked and toxins build up. Eating a bad diet won’t help a cellulite problem either. Fatty foods, as well as alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks all produce toxins that get trapped in the fatty tissue, and so make a cellulite problem worse. As well as this, not drinking enough water means toxins can’t be flushed away. Smoking weakens the skin, and even tension and stress can block the tissue which can prevent waste elimination. With so many causes of cellulite, it can be hard to prevent.
So what can we do to help fight cellulite…?
- Complete a regular detox regimen, at least once every 6-12 months.
- Get a regular firm massage to help eliminate toxins from the body and stimulate the lymph system.
- Keep active – try doing a combination of cardiovascular exercise to burn fat and resistance training to tone up.
- Cut out fatty, fried, sugary and spicy foods.
- Increase the amount of fibre in your diet.
- Eat at least five portions of fruit a day.
- Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks.
- Aim to drink seven glasses of water a day.
- Keep your calorie intake in moderation by eating smaller meals regularly.
- Try to limit taking medication to when it necessary to your health and well-being.
- Quit smoking.
There are several other options on the market for fighting cellulite other than purifying your body through diet and exercise. These are skin creams, anti-cellulite pills, body wrapping and liposuction. But do they really work? As to whether you try them really depends on how much money you are willing to spend and what you are willing to endure in pursuit of a “perfect body”. As cellulite comes from inside the body it is hard to believe that creams you apply onto the skin can actually work. They might give you smooth skin but what they won’t do is banish cellulite forever. The most effective cosmetic treatment would be liposuction but it is a very drastic way to get rid of cellulite. The best possible things you can do are to detox, eat healthily and remain active!