So, what is cellulite, exactly? We know that it is the lumpy, cottage cheese areas we get on our thighs and buttocks. Some people may even have it on their stomachs and arms. But, what causes it and how can we get rid of it?
What Is Cellulite?
Basically, cellulite is fat. Fat cells tend to collect in certain parts of the body. When enough fat accumulates, it runs out of room and begins to put pressure on the connective tissue just under the skin. As it pushes outward it will appear as a lump or bump. When enough pockets of fat form in an area, your skin will eventually get that cottage cheese or orange rind look.
What Causes Cellulite?
Doctors aren’t really sure what causes cellulite, but there are many theories. Many people believe that the reasons could be different depending on the person. Some of the common factors include:
An imbalance of estrogen is thought to be a main contributor to cellulite formation. However, insulin and thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) may also play a role.
Some people are more likely to have cellulite than others. If your mother, grandmother, sister, or other family member has it, you have a greater chance of developing it also. This is why sometimes even thin people have problems with cellulite. Genetics can also be a reason for a slow metabolism or poor circulation, which may cause cellulite.
Cellulite is more common in women. More than 80% of women will develop cellulite somewhere on their bodies. However, only about 2% of men will complain about having this condition.
A diet low in fruits or vegetables and high in unhealthy fats or sugars can lead to cellulite. Improper eating can also cause weight gain and fat accumulation which is one of the main reasons cellulite will begin to form.
Lack of Exercise
When you lead an inactive lifestyle, it is harder for your body to get rid of toxins and excess fluids. A build up of toxins and fluids can make cellulite more visible. Since people who don’t exercise tend to have a higher level of body fat, many doctors believe that exercise is one of the best ways to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Cellulite is more common among smokers.
Underclothing with tight elastics around the buttocks can reduce blood flow to this area. Limited circulation is thought to be a possible cause of cottage cheese skin.
How To Get Rid Of Cellulite?
Do you feel self-conscious wearing a bathing suit or shorts? Are you always trying to cover up your lumpy, dimpled skin? Cellulite can be stubborn and unsightly. But, there are things you can do to reduce its appearance. And, many of the same things that get rid of cellulite will also help prevent it from forming in the first place. So, once it is gone, you can work to keep it from coming back.
- Avoid eating a lot of sugars, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats. These things can cause weight gain which is a main reason for cellulite formation. Also, cut out processed foods. Besides containing a lot of chemicals, these products are usually high in salt. Too much salt can lead to excess fluid which makes cellulite more noticeable.
- A build up of toxins in the body can also cause fat deposits. Drinking plenty of water will help your body flush out these toxins and make your skin look healthier.
- Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
- Besides diet, exercise is a great way to prevent or get rid of cellulite. Most important, it can help you maintain a healthy weight. It also improves circulation which is a major factor in cellulite formation. Choose a fun aerobic exercise like running, cycling, or tennis.
- Any activity that makes you sweat is beneficial. Sweating is one way that your body uses to get rid of toxins that can build up and cause fat pockets to form. Also, include some resistance training or weight lifting. Muscle can make the skin appear firmer, which will make cellulite less noticeable. Some great cellulite reducing exercises include lunges, squats, and stair climbing.
- Some people find that massaging the area where cellulite is present can improve its appearance. Hard massage may help break up fat pockets. If done regularly, it may also help prevent fat deposits from forming in the first place. Massage also stimulates the tissue and increases circulation. Both of these factors are important for the prevention or elimination of cellulite.
- Massage can also remove excess fluids but the results may be temporary. Many doctors believe that the effects of massage may be short-lived. But, that’s a great reason to keep going back for more appointments, right? Who is going to complain about more massages?
- These products claim that they can melt fat and firm the skin. Usually they are not effective at getting rid of cellulite, but some people find that they work for mild cases. Several creams include aminophylline. This substance may help with cellulite because it causes narrowing of blood vessels and pulls water away from the skin. However, it is not recommended for people with circulatory problems. If you have any health issues, make sure you check with your doctor before using a cellulite cream.
- This is a surgical procedure that can have many side effects. Basically, an incision is made and a tube is used to suck the fat out of your body. Some doctors believe that because liposuction removes deep layer fat, it may actually make cellulite worse in the long-run.
- There are different types of laser technologies for removing cellulite. They are a popular method because they are non-surgical and much safer than liposuction. Some machines direct heat energy into the fatty tissue. This melts the fat under the skin so your body can get rid of the fat cells naturally. It can also stimulate collagen and elastin production. These substances are important for firm, tight skin.
- Other types of laser machines use ultrasound waves to break up the fat cells. Some new technology uses radio frequency to dissolve fat deposits and smooth the lumps and bulges.
- Liposuction and laser treatments are a great way to get rid of cellulite. However, they do not deal with the reason why you got cellulite in the first place. These procedures can be expensive. So, if you are considering having your cellulite removed, be sure to make the lifestyle changes that will keep it from coming back.
Staying Without Cellulite
Maintaining a healthy weight, eating right, and exercising are the best ways to prevent cellulite. You can also reduce your risk by not smoking. And, if you wear really tight underclothing, you may want to buy something a little less form-fitting.
If you have a lot of cellulite, don’t despair. It is possible to get rid of those lumps, dimples, and bulges – or at least make them less noticeable. Before long, you will be wearing your shorts with pride.