Cellulite 101

Having questions about the “orange peel” look of your skin on your butt and thighs? Want to know what it is, what causes it and how to get rid of it? Well, read on!

1. What is cellulite?

Cellulite is deposited fat underneath the skin that pushes up against the underlying connective tissue. As fat deposits grow, they are placing a lot of upward pressure on the connective tissue and the fat is forced against the top layers of skin causing the “orange peel” look. Cellulite is developed in 80-90% of women over the age of 20. Most common areas of the body affected by cellulite are the butt, thighs and abdomen.

2. What causes cellulite?

Think you can solve the orange peel syndrome by identifying and correcting the causes of it? When it comes to cellulite you might want to think that again. While there are some factors you can change like your diet and physical activity, there are others, like genetics, where you can’t have much of an impact. Anyway, these are some of the causes of cellulite:

  • Genetics – There are certain genes that can make you susceptible to cellulite. So, if women in your family have it, it is very likely that you will have it too.
  • Hormones – Overproduction of estrogen may be one of the causes of cellulite. It is common among woman and rarely seen in men.
  • Improper diet– High salt intake, excess consumption of saturated fats and too much sugar will contribute, not only in the formation of cellulite, but in overall weight gain.
  • Stress – High-stress lifestyle is harmful for our overall health and beauty and it is also associated with the formation of cellulite.
  • Lack of physical activities – Regular exercise will reduce the appearance of cellulite. Want proof? Find me a picture of a fitness model with cellulite. What? No luck? Sorry.

3. Will I get rid of cellulite by losing weight?

You will definitely reduce the cellulite, but you will not remove it completely just by losing some weight. The thick layer of subcutaneous fat tissue, common with obese people, disrupts the circulation of fluids. At the same time it affects the appearance of cellulite and makes it difficult to get rid of it. Losing weight until you reach the recommended body fat, in proportion to your height and body shape, will help in the fight against cellulite, but will not remove it completely without regular exercise and cellulite targeting treatments.

4. Is there a special anti-cellulite diet?

Diets to fight cellulite are no different from diets recommended for all women who wish to lose the extra weight or maintain their recommended weight. A balanced, healthy diet, which will provide your body with all the essential nutrients it needs, will maintain or improve your general health, contribute to your beauty  and will aid the fight against cellulite.

5. Which fitness activity is best to get rid of cellulite?

The exercises that target cellulite actually have three objectives: to promote the reduction of excess fat, re-establish proper circulation and improve muscle tone. Such effects are achieved by fast walking, running, outdoor cycling or riding a stationary bicycle and performing weight training exercises.

6. Do anti-cellulite creams work?

Anti-cellulite creams can improve the appearance of the skin, reduce fluid retention and stimulate the breakdown of excess fat. All products are not the same and their main effect and it greatly depends on the active substances they contain. For example, sweet chestnut, ginkgo biloba and myrrh strengthen the walls of blood vessels, caffeine and theophylline stimulate fats dissolving and drainage, and collagen and elastin – tone and hydrate the skin. First results are usually visible after 6 weeks, if the cream is applied continuously, once or twice a day. It is recommended to massage the cream in, so that the skin can completely absorb it. The massage will also stimulate the circulation in the top layers of the epidermis, which will help in reducing fluid retention.

7. Are there any homemade remedies for cellulite?

Salt water wraps or clay wraps that you can make at home can help diminish the appearance of “orange peel” skin and reduce swelling. To prepare the salt water wraps add 2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt to 1 liter of water. Apply the wraps on the entire leg (from ankle to groin) and then wrap with dry fabric strips. For best results apply them every day for 15 to 20 minutes. When using clay wraps, apply the clay on the affected areas and wrap that body section with a plastic foil. Leave it on for 30 to 45 minutes and then rinse it warm water. Repeat this wrpas at least 2-3 times a week.

8. Do tight clothes really increase the amount of cellulite?

To avoid a worse situation with cellulite one should avoid all clothes that fit tightly around the upper area of the leg. Tight clothes don’t allow a proper circulation because they disrupt the return flow of blood from the leg to the heart

9. Can certain body postures worsen the cellulite condition?

Some irregular postures disrupt blood circulation, making the cellulite situation much worse. Good examples of this are prolonged standing, sitting with your legs crossed or laying in a position where your feet are below the level of your head. However, this can be easily resolved. When you have to stand for a long time, try to make a few occasional steps. When sitting down, do not cross your legs, because the pressure one of the legs is under slows down circulation. It is also recommended to keep your feet elevated while sitting, for example on an under the desk foot rest, like the one in the picture.

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