Cellulite is ripply fat around the buttocks and upper legs and it has affected women since the beginning of time, but seems to be more persistent these days. Let's take a look at what's causing it and what you can do to get rid of it.
What Is Cellulite?
Cellulite is the product of two things – fat and connective tissue, otherwise known as collagen. You could also make the argument that there's a third factor – being a woman. Women have three layers of fat under the most cellulite-prone areas of skin; men only have one. Also, for men, collagen has a cross-linked structure which essentially means it's more rigid. For women, collagen is structured into rows and holds fat in place by forming fat compartments. This combination of factors is responsible for cellulite's ripple effect. It's worth mentioning that strong, toned muscles can do a lot to reduce the amount of rippling. However, cellulite isn't just an issue for heavier women; even the most slender women can find themselves with cellulite.
What's Causing Cellulite?
Cellulite has a number of causes – too much estrogen, lack of exercise, excess weight, a toxic lifestyle, and poor diet. It's thought to affect 90% of women in industrialized nations despite being, at one time, uncommon in women under 35. High estrogen levels have been linked to the formation of cellulite. Often estrogen and other hormones are imbalanced by endocrine disruptors such as pesticides, plastics, and a huge array of other chemicals that we're all exposed to.
Cellulite is worse when circulation is interrupted. In other words, tight clothing around the hips, buttocks, and thighs is best avoided.
A low-activity lymph system is also a factor in the development of cellulite. Your body's lymph system is your waste network and lymph is fluid that carries waste and toxins away from cells so it can be expelled from your body. Unlike blood, which is pumped by your heart, the lymph system has no pump. It's entirely dependent on you using and moving your muscles. This is a big reason by exercising, being active, and strengthening your muscles can help reduce cellulite.
What Can You Do About Cellulite?
I'd like to tell you that getting rid of cellulite is a quick remedy away but that's not quite accurate. Unless you're interested in liposuction, the only way to get rid of the orange peel complexion is time and concerted effort. Natural approaches that may reduce cellulite include:
- Balancing your hormones.
- Avoiding processed omega-6 fats, which means staying away from soy oil.
- Limiting your caffeine intake.
- Avoiding foods and products that contain or have been exposed to pesticides, plastics, harsh cleaning chemicals, and non-organic personal care and cosmetic products. They all contain hormone mimickers that disturb natural endocrine balance.
- Getting enough sleep! Your hormones simply will not stay balanced if you're not getting enough sleep.
- Getting adequate omega-3 fats, such as those found in fish, olive, and nut oils.
- Adding one to two tablespoons of coconut oil in your diet every day. It's a great building block for your hormones.
- Getting your lymph moving! I mentioned exercise before, but dry skin brushing can also be beneficial and it's easy. Just use a soft natural-bristle brush and brush your skin in one direction for about five minutes once or twice a day. It's relaxing, feels good, and is a great way to eliminate toxins!
- Exercising with weights to strengthen your entire body, but specifically your buttocks and legs.
- Eating a diet high in healthy fats and proteins and low in refined, processed carbohydrates.
- Katherine Harmon. Is Cellulite Forever?. Scientific American. May 8, 2009.
- Dr. Diana Howard. Cellulite. The International Dermal Institute.
- Peter Crosta. What Is Cellulite? What Causes Cellulite?. Medical News Today. May 10, 2009.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.