Cellulite may not be harmful to our overall health, but its presence can often lower our self-confidence and self-esteem. The most common area where cellulite manifests is on the thighs and backside. And while we might forget about it during the fall and winter seasons, it’s harder to ignore it during the summertime. But there is an effective way to fight cellulite? Let’s break down how to combat it with our at-home pro tips and enjoy smooth skin year-round.
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What is cellulite?
Cellulite is a harmless dimpling of the skin that results from the structure of fat below the surface. Having less fat softens the appearance of the dimples, but they will always be present. It should be noted that this is completely and totally natural.
The most common areas on the body for cellulite are the legs, buttocks, hips, arms, breasts, and abdomen. And although men and women both can have cellulite, it’s most commonly seen among women and girls because of higher estrogen levels.
Generally, cellulite develops across 4 different stages. The first is the loss of skin elasticity. In this stage, cellulite is imperceptible to the naked eye and lumps are only visible when the skin is pinched.
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In the second stage, cellulite becomes gradually more prominent and skin changes become visible. This stays true in the third stage, where you’ll notice small lumps and the “orange peel” effect on the skin.
During the fourth stage, cellulite takes its most advanced form. The affected skin appears increasingly more indented and can resemble the surface of a cauliflower, with visible lumps and folds. This form of cellulite is the most difficult to get rid of, with remedies being invasive procedures that don’t entirely guarantee success.
What causes cellulite?
Cellulite commonly appears during pregnancy and is often inevitable in this situation. During pregnancy, the body produces more estrogen, which weakens the walls of the lymph and blood vessels. In turn, weak vessels allow fluid to enter intercellular spaces causing build-up beneath the skin.
What happens next? With not enough oxygen being supplied to the fat cells, blood circulation weakens. And as a result, fat cells increase in volume (even several times!).
But pregnancy aside, cellulite also manifests in women whose fat tissue is made up of smaller, thinner connective tissues. But whether we’ll develop cellulite or not is not up to us. We have no influence over our hormones or tissue structure. However, we can change some of our daily habits that promote the formation of cellulite.
Awareness is very important in this case since there are many factors, we might not even know affect cellulite’s development. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Diet predominantly based on salt and sugar
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of exercise
- Circulation problems
- Progesterone deficiency and predominance of estrogen
- Smoking addiction
- Frequent wearing of tight clothes
- Bad posture
Fight cellulite with diet & exercise—is it effective?
The right set of exercises and a properly curated diet is the most popular combination for fighting cellulite. Firstly, it’s important to make changes in your current lifestyle by introducing more physical activity into your daily schedule. Physical exercise can take on many different forms. As long as it’s done regularly, this can be anything from walks to bike rides to swimming or exercise sessions. This way, the fat remaining under the skin will be targeted and circulation will significantly improve.
What’s also important is a proper diet that’s rich in fiber, vitamins, and microelements. It’s recommended to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. But your diet should also include dark bread, lean fish, groats, sprouts, white cheese, and vegetable fats. Drinking large amounts of mineral water can further help remove toxins from the body. And on top of that, you can support your metabolism by drinking green or herbal teas (like birch or horsetail). Keep in mind though, that this is not advisable for women who are breastfeeding—but dill tea is the exception here.
If you’re wanting to effectively fight off cellulite, then sweets, salt, processed foods, and meat filled with antibiotics and hormones are what should be avoided. These types of foods give us the opposite effect we want and actually promote the formation of cellulite.
Sample exercises for kicking cellulite’s butt
Health is wealth—and exercise goes hand in hand with health. When cellulite appears on the most common areas of the body, the legs and butt, lower body exercises can be a powerful tool to fight it off. These can be lunges, squats, or even hip thrusts. You’ll likewise achieve good results by running, swimming, cycling, and using the elliptical machine. The options are really endless, but the most important aspect is just staying in motion the entire time. Movement will speed up your metabolism and help reduce excess body fat. Remember that regularity is the key! Here are some exercises to try out:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Stretch your arms out in front of you and push your hips backward—but remember to keep your back straight. Maintaining this posture, slowly bend your legs, lowering your body towards the ground. Make sure your feet are touching the ground at all times when you’re squatting. The knees, on the other hand, shouldn’t extend beyond the line of your toes or merge inwards. Do several sets of 15-20 squats about 3 times a week, gradually increasing the number of repetitions.
- Hip raises
Lie down on your back, straighten your legs, and place your arms alongside your body. Then, place your feet hip-width apart and bend them at the knees. After positioning your body, breathe out as you lift and tighten the muscles in your buttocks and hold for a few seconds. Support yourself with your toes, without resting the entire soles of your feet on the floor. While inhaling, slowly lower your butt until it touches the floor. At this point, repeat the exercise from the beginning. Remember to keep your arms, shoulders, and head on the floor. We recommend performing 10 repetitions 3-4 times a week, gradually increasing their number.
- Hip thrusts
You’ll need a sturdy prop such as a chair or a bench for this exercise. Rest your back against the edge of the bench or chair, keeping your body at a 45-degree angle. Then, bend your arms and place them close to your torso. Place your feet wide, with your toes turned forward. Your knees must also be bent and resting on the floor with your head slightly raised. Once you’re in the correct position, tighten your abdomen and buttocks, then try to straighten your hips as much as possible. Your torso should be parallel to the floor. After a few seconds, gently return to the starting position and repeat the exercise several times. Try to do 3 series of 10 repetitions.
Other remedies for cellulite
In addition to diet and exercise, there are other methods that may help you get rid of cellulite. However, like exercise, they also require regular use. Many try to eliminate cellulite with special caffeine-based creams. These sorts of products effectively improve blood circulation, prevent fat accumulation, and reduce the permeability of blood vessels. However, when beauty products don’t help and cellulite is at an advanced stage, many people choose to undergo treatments that aim to reduce excess fat.
One of the least invasive methods of fighting cellulite is a proven home remedy. These mainly include scrubs made from sea salt, sugar, or brewed coffee grounds. Massaging these products in using a rough glove is also a good way of “breaking up” cellulite. When used once or twice a week, they’ll not only firm the skin but also improve blood circulation and speed up the metabolism.
After your first home treatment, from the outside, you’ll notice the skin is much smoother and more pleasant to the touch. If you want to combat cellulite from the inside, get some lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Fill a glass with water 3/4 of the way, then add fresh lemon juice and a little cayenne pepper. Stir the mixture well and drink it—consuming this concoction 3 times a day may help target cellulite.
Read this blog for more DIY remedies.
In order to keep our health in check, it’s not enough to just eat healthy. It’s also necessary to include regular exercise into our routines, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the human body. If you notice signs of cellulite on your body—start by acting right away! By targeting the problem in the start-up phase, you’ll have a better chance of success in the long run.