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Is cellulite forever?
Why do we have cellulite?
I had an inspiring conversation with a friend of mine a few days ago, and we came to a conclusion that we usually don’t talk about issues or things that bother us until it’s too late. That’s why I think it’s important we talk about cellulite. Moreover, winter is the perfect time to talk about the choices we make – it’s time we come up with a list of good resolutions for next year.
When it comes to cellulite, if we do not understand habits and routines that are our allies, we might lose the battle. After all, holidays are here and unless we start thinking about our eating habits, cellulite will become our obsession with the first sunny days of spring.
But, let’s start from the beginning.
What do we know about cellulite?
I remember an article I came across in Scientific American Is cellulite forever? Written in 2009. It has a threatening title, don’t your think? But it’s a good question I would like to answer.
Many theories are trying to explain how cellulite appears and why. It seems that cellulite starts to take shape when small protrusions of fat cells beneath the skin protrude into the dermis, the second skin layer. This gives skin the recognizable “bumpy” appearance. Another theory explains that cellulite occurs when the connective tissue bands in the dermis, leading to fat protrusions.
Besides trying to understand how cellulite attacks our body, the fact that all women have it is another thing we are trying to understand. Approximately 86% of post-pubertal women have one of the two types – a typical mattress-like appearance or the orange peel skin that is visible while standing or lying.
So can we say that cellulite is genetic?
Yes and No.
Genetics plays an important role. According to researchers, men can also get cellulite if they happen to have a sex chromosome anomaly. Hormones are mostly the idea researchers are looking into when they are trying to explain the connection between genetics and cellulite. Although further research into this subject is needed, the assumption is that women are more prone to develop cellulite because of the vertical fiber strands that connect our skin to the muscle that allow fat pads to protrude.
Men, on the other hand, have crisscross fiber strands that don’t allow fat bumps. It all comes to how our bodies store fat, which is quite different because of the structure of connective tissue.
Do all women have cellulite?
Yes. Cellulite strikes women of all ages and all sizes. Although cellulite doesn’t increase with skin’s aging, it might increase with a decrease in collagen. Poorer circulation results in less collagen and the breakdown of connective tissue. As we age, we also reduce physical activities and faster gain weight (fat).
Another important thing to remember is that contraceptive pills largely contribute to cellulite because they increase the level of estrogen, which in turn, impacts the development of fat cells, commonly in hips and thigh area. This happens because estrogen increases anti-lipolytic enzymes that prevent the breakdown of fat. This brings us back to the assumption that due to hormones women are more prone to develop cellulite.
What about treatments?
Some things can help us reduce cellulite, other things have temporary results and most of the recommended treatments are simply marketing tricks.
Massage and thermotherapy contribute to better circulation and blood flow and thus have positive, but temporary results. A good massage can help us with the removal of excess fluid. Topical and herbal treatments show modest or no positive results. Both treatments contribute to better circulation, but science does not show any conclusive results.
What can help?
When we cut down on the toxins, we can reduce the cellulite appearance.
The first step is to reduce the consumption of over-processed food, food with additives, even coffee, and alcohol, or course. Why? Because this is the food and drinks that bombard our body with toxins.
Alcohol is a major culprit. Alcohol contributes to storing fat and carbohydrates, increases the appetite, causing poor circulation. When we drink alcohol regularly, we also lack energy. When we combine alcohol with sugary foods, the effects are even worse.
Smoking also causes oxidative damage to our skin, contributing to poorer circulation and damaging skin’s elasticity.
Change Diet and Exercise Regularly
The idea behind a healthy diet is to keep your connective tissue strong, among other things. A plant-based diet is perfect because it can help us reduce inflammation, and thus help us maintain a healthy weight.
Antioxidant-rich food is what you need to include in your daily nutrition – strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, and broccoli. The antioxidant rich food contains a lot of vitamin C, the vitamin that can protect our skin by getting rid of free radicals that are connected to premature aging.
Staying hydrated is another important notion – water keeps the connective tissue stronger. Think how to include watermelons, cucumbers, and bell peppers into your diet.
Don’t forget apples – these fruits help with detoxification and toxin buildups. Rich in soluble fiber, apples help with digestion as well. Besides apples, carrots and cabbage are also great for digestion.
If you can, choose fresh and raw fruit and vegetables because you will get the maximum nutritional benefits.
One more great way to stay hydrated is to drink herbal tea. Dandelion and green tea are great for detoxification, apart from great antioxidants properties they have.
While a regular exercising will not miraculously remove cellulite, it will prevent or reduce its appearance. Exercises improve blood circulation, making connective tissue elastic, improve muscle tone, and can effectively burn fat. The less fat you have in your body, the less is the pressure on the connective tissue.
The best is if you can exercise at least 3 to 5 times a week. You can also choose among aerobic dance, cycling, swimming, and jogging – each activity will significantly contribute to body’s health.
To sum it all – your best weapon is to listen to your body and thus make healthy choices. And now it’s the best time to start.
Images credit: depositphotos.com
What’s your take on this? Have you tried to address the problems with cellulite and how?