The bane of many women’s beauty programs, cellulite has become a national obsession. About 95% of all adult women have some cellulite on their body. It is responsible for a huge part of the billiondollar cosmetic surgery industry and is the reason many women will not wear bathing suits or appear at beaches or swimming pools. So much grief caused by a single villain. How can we eradicate it? More important, how can we rid ourselves of cellulite without expensive and dangerous surgical techniques? And how do we prevent cellulite in the first place? Why do some overweight people have very little, while other people, only slightly plump, have a lot?
How is Cellulite Formed?
You don’t have to be overweight to get cellulite, but it helps. Here’s how cellulite is created: Weak blood vessels can’t carry as many nutrients to the skin. When less blood and, consequently, fewer nutrients are circulated through fat cells on their way to the surface of the skin, bands of fibers surround fat cells and harden. These hardened bands contract around the fat cells, pushing them out toward the skin surface, creating cellulite’s dimply appearance.
Good circulation equals less cellulite. Since the fat cells of women behave differently than those of men (being more rigid and prone to bulging toward the surface of the skin), women suffer from cellulite much more than men do. It has also been documented that Caucasian women are more prone to cellulite than women of other races.
There is likely a hormonal component to cellulite as well, because an increase in estrogen often leads to an increase in cellulite—even in men.
What’s more, fat cells, once created, are not destroyed—even if the fat inside them is burned off. That’s why it’s so easy for dieters to gain their old weight back again. The cells are already there, ready to return to their previous state. So it’s important to burn energy before it gets stored as fat. It’s important to note that liposuction, which removes fat cells from under the skin, does not cure cellulite. Just because fat cells are removed, it does not follow that the remaining cells will stop pushing fat to the skin in their place.
Treatments to Reduce Cellulite
The process of eliminating cellulite is becoming less and less of a mystery. Today, we know much more about diet and the biochemical processes that result from our food choices. Here are the essentials:
- Rebalance your diet to include more proteins and amino acids and fewer fats, carbohydrates, and sugars.
- Exercise daily. Make sure your exercise is burning fat. You should be sweating and breathing hard at the peak of your exercise. Waterbased exercise programs are not effective for fat burning. The best exercises are aerobic workouts, running, and bicycle riding.
- This is critical: Eat before you exercise, not after. Eating before stimulates the catabolic process of the body (to burn fat), while eating after stimulates the anabolic process (tissue building).
- Include vigorous massage or skin stimulation in your health program to physically break down cellulite structures.
- Increase your intake of bioflavonoids and vitamin C for healthy connective tissues. Mangoes, seahawthorn, and citrus fruit are good sources of bioflavonoids.
- Drink plenty of water for cell health.