Unfortunately, cellulite is one of those things that women (and yes men) have to face. But rather than hopelessly sitting around and watching the bumps multiply, why not fight cellulite? The tools you need are right at your fingertips; daily cardio exercise, weekly weight training, a well balanced diet (whole foods), proper hydration and stimulating massage are all proven weapons to help you wage war and improve the appearance of cellulite.
Cellulite is actually a fancy name for collections of fat that push against the connective tissue beneath a person’s skin, which causes the surface of the skin to dimple or pucker and look lumpy. Whatever the cause of cellulite, it’s very important to know that there aren’t any miracle products, treatments or medicines that can make it go away. For example, some fancy salon treatments that promise to get rid of cellulite simply cause your skin to puff up through deep massaging, temporarily reducing the appearance of cellulite.
Treatments like liposuction (surgery to remove fat) and mesotherapy (injection of drugs into cellulite) are either expensive or may produce only temporary improvement. Many doctors even warn that liposuction is not an effective treatment for cellulite because liposuction is designed to remove deep fat instead of cellulite, which is close to the skin.
Causes of Cellulite:
The appearance of cellulite is caused by the fat cells in women’s bodies and the connective tissue that holds the fat in place. Since this connective tissue is generally inflexible and honeycomb-shaped, the fat bulges out through the connective tissue in lumps, thus causing the dimply, cottage cheese appearance on the skin. An estimated 90 percent of all women have cellulite to some degree. The connective tissue in men is structured differently, which makes it much less likely for men to develop cellulite.
Genetics also plays a major factor in the amount of cellulite one will develop. In general, if your mother had cellulite, so will you. The amount of cellulite your mother had may also indicate the amount of cellulite you may develop. Stress, poor circulation, high fluid retention, smoking, a poor diet and a lack of exercise can all contribute to the development of cellulite. Hormones also play a dominant role in the formation of cellulite. Estrogen may be the important hormone and initiate and aggravate cellulite. However, there has been no reliable clinical evidence to support such a claim. Other hormones including insulin, the catecholamines adrenaline and noradrenaline, thyroid hormones and prolactin are all believed to participate in the development of cellulite.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there is no real cure for cellulite, just a variety of treatments that provide temporary improvement (beware there are endless amounts of bullsh*t procedures and products on the market, that do nothing other than drain your checking account). Exercise and diet are really your best bet and the most effective way to combat this problem.
So forget about any of those quick fixes that are ineffective and often too costly and let’s get down to business. The following are some surefire ways to wage war on cellulite.
Fighting Cellulite with Exercise:
One of the best ways to reduce the appearance of cellulite is to stay in shape. According to the American Council on Exercise, experts recommend people get daily cardiovascular exercise combined with two to three strength-training sessions a week in order to really combat cellulite. Combining cardio and strength training will help you shed fat and build muscle. Any cardiovascular exercises are helpful, though some good ones to consider include running, kickboxing and boxing, power- walking, cycling, cardio intense circuit-type boot camp training and swimming. Kickboxing and swimming are particularly good since it is a total body workout. Cardiovascular exercises will help improve circulation and burn away excess fat. It’s best to start slow and within reasonable limits with regards to cardio, particularly if you’re just starting a new exercise program.
When doing strength training exercises, remember that “spot reduction” is a total MYTH. Spot reduction refers to the idea that you can work out a specific muscle group (the abs, the buttocks, the thighs) to decrease the amount of fat in that specific area, which is not possible!!! Rather than lingering around the leg machines or just doing lunges to eliminate cellulite, be sure to give your upper body and lower body a good workout. Don’t discount the effectievness of simple body weight exercises like body weight squats, lunges, push ups, sit ups, chin ups, pulls ups and a host of possible crunches. If you need any help determining a good exercise program to meet your needs, a certified fitness trainer is the best solution for you.
Reducing Cellulite with a Healthy Diet:
It’s a bit of a no-brainer that having a healthy diet will help decrease fat and hence help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Since cellulite affects people who are of all weights and body types–from overweight to slim–anything one can do to cut body fat will help reduce cellulite. One thing to consider is fluid retention. It’s been suggested that areas of cellulite have a high concentration of cells that attract water. Any excess fluid in the body will have a tendency to gravitate to those parts of the body, causing swelling. Reducing salt intake and drinking eight glasses of water a day should help deal with this problem.
A good anti-cellulite diet is just like any healthy diet. Ideally you should exercise proper portion control and eat foods that are high in fiber and low in saturated fat. You should eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables and seek out good sources of protein, such as lean meats that contain essential fatty acids. Many of these healthy foods are said to cleanse the body, hastening the removal of toxins and other waste products from the system and thus improving complexion while reducing cellulite.
The following foods are considered beneficial for an anti-cellulite diet: Apples , Asparagus, Eggs, Grapefruit, Low-fat dairy products, Mangos, Oily fish (salmon, trout, sardines, anchovies),Avocado, Bananas, Beans, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Bell peppers, Blackberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Spinach, Bran and oat cereals, Carrots, Chicken, Cranberries, Cucumber, Oranges, Papaya, Pineapple, Watermelon, Celery, Cherries, White fish (halibut, catfish, red snapper, sea bass). While eating right is important, remember that diet alone is not enough.
The proper combination of diet and exercise is necessary to help reduce cellulite and ensure overall health. And while the results of regular exercise and a healthy diet won’t provide immediate results, the gradual improvement of one’s physique and overall health should limit the amount of cellulite in those problem areas of the body.
Losing weight improves the look of cellulite, but hydrating from the inside out is the number-one natural way to plump skin so underlying fat cells are less noticeable. You can hydrate and slim down, by eating water-rich fruits and veggies. One study in Japan showed women who got their H20 this way had smaller waists and lower BMls than those who sipped their fluids. Some of the water richest foods are now in season!
Here are a few ways I found while doing my research to “eat” your water:
Puree seedless watermelon (about 92 percent water) in a blender with a handful of fresh mint leaves. Pour into popsicle molds, and freeze.
Split and pit a peach (about 88 percent water). Place cut sides down on a well-oiled grill, and cook 2 minutes or until grill marks form. Turn peach halves over, and cover grill. Cook 3 more minutes or until softened. Top with a splash of balsamic vinegar, and serve with fat-free sour cream.
Chop, then muddle one-third of a peeled cucumber (about 96 percent water) in a highball glass. Top with lime-flavored seltzer and a spritz of lime juice. Garnish with cucumber slices.
So if you decide that you want to try to reduce the amount of cellulite you have, the best thing to do is to decrease excess body fat. If you think and your doctor agrees that you are overweight, clean up your diet, eat fewer calories and exercise more.
Experts agree that a sound exercise program that combines aerobic exercise with strength training is no doubt the best weapon against cellulite. So what’s stopping you, start today! Remember a year from now you may wish you did.
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