It is a bane of every woman aged 25 onwards. Some may have less, some more, but almost all have it. Yes, we are talking about cellulite, that stubborn fat that is most reluctant to leave your body. In varying cultures, it is called by varying names viz cottage cheese, thigh dimples, orange peel legs etc, but the fact remains that it is that annoying dimply fat that appears everywhere from your belly to your thighs and everywhere in between and gives the most fatal blow to your body image. So what we can do about it? Let’s discuss.
What is cellulite
First things first; Cellulite is a completely normal fat present beneath the skin. Appearance wise it is bumpy because it pushes against connective tissue, causing the skin above it to pucker. It is an absolutely normal occurrence, and according to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy this kind of fat affects anywhere between 85-98% of women, though it is less visible in dark skinned ones.
In fact, men too have cellulite but again it is less visible on men’s body as their skin is thicker than that of women.
Why does one get cellulite
Around the age of 25 onwards, the estrogen levels in a woman’s body start to decrease as a natural part of aging. As estrogen decreases, so does circulation and you start to lose receptors in the blood vessels and the thighs. And while this is happening, fat cells become bigger and spread between the connective tissue squeezing it. This is what cause dimples in skin.
Lack of physical activity, poor diet, hormonal changes, dehydration, all contribute towards formation of cellulite in the body. Sometimes it is genetic which means if your mother has cellulite, chances are you will also have it at some stage in your life!
How to get rid of cellulite
There is no permanent treatment to get rid of cellulite. Like any other kind of body fat, the only way to lose this sort of fat is to lose overall body weight. Losing weight helps reduce the size of fat cells and hence minimize the appearance of cellulite. But this is helpful for those people who have a lot of extra pounds to lose. For those who are already at a healthy weight, dropping a few kgs can loosen skin, making the cellulite even more prominent.
Cellulite isn’t harmful and having this sort of fat doesn’t mean you are overweight (even thin people have it). But you must try to get rid of it because it gives a very unflattering look to your body.
Then again, while you are doing so, go natural. Do not go under the knife or adopt artificial means. For, special creams and oils, toning lotions and herbal remedies that are widely advertised in print and electronic media offer only temporary relief; these are not permanent solutions.
Some natural ways to reduce cellulite
1. Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.
This balances body pH, helps detoxify, hydrates lymphatic system, helps get rid of toxins and helps with weight loss.
2. Keep yourself sufficiently hydrated
Drinking lots of water helps. Proper hydration is the key to keeping your tissues and lymphatic system clean.
3. Cardio exercises
Cardio exercises are best way to sweat a lot. Sweating helps clean the lymphatic system.
Hot yoga and the sauna are other great ways to break a sweat.
4. Healthy and low-sodium diet.
Have a healthy fibre-rich vegetarian diet. Focus more on vegetables and fruits and stop or at least reduce the intake of processed and fried foods, flavor enhancers, dairy products, meat and soy products from your diet. Alkalizing foods, like kale, spinach, arugula and chard are very good options. Sodium causes water-retention in body and makes the skin look more lumpy and dimply.
5. Weight training.
Working out with weights speeds up the metabolism. It improves circulation, removes excess fluid and tones muscles, which means that skin will look smoother, regardless of the cellulite.
Indulge in aerobic activities like running, dancing, jumping anything you feel like. Do anything that pumps your lymphatic system, for, unlike the blood circulatory system, lymphatic system does not have an organ (like heart) that would pump the lymph. Therefore you need to move to pump it!
7. Dry body brush.
This is a great way to improve circulation and lymphatic drainage and helps remove the cellulite.
8. Take hot and cold showers
Bathe alternately with hot and cold water. Contrast shower improves circulation and lymph drainage.
9. Lose body fat overall.
This will make fat cells smaller thus the cellulite can become even invisible.
10. Get a massage
Go for a deep tissue or lymphatic drainage massage or a vacuum cup massage. You can seek professional masseurs or even do it yourself.