Fitness, Nutrition

Banishing Cellulite

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Cellulite is something that most people can’t escape, in fact about 90% of people have it somewhere on their body, and it’s something that affects both men and women. Cellulite is one of many reasons why we tend to dread bikini season and feel all the more self-conscious about how we look. Is there a solution to this? A real and legitimate solution to banish cellulite for good? We’re going to get to the bottom of this today and really look at what cellulite is, its causes and what you can do about it.

Cellulite (a.k.a. adiposis edematosa) consists of subcutaneous fat that causes a dimpling effect of the skin; it’s basically fatty tissue that lies directly under the skin. There are unfortunately many factors that can cause it. For one, changes in certain hormone levels including estrogen, insulin, thyroid hormones and noradrenaline can trigger cellulite to appear, as do genetics. Sorry to say, but if you’re parents have it you’ll most likely develop it as well at some point. Lifestyle also plays a big part. Smokers, non-exercisers and those who sit down or stand up for too long in the same position tend to be prone to cellulite. Then there’s diet; excess carbs (especially simple carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta and pretty much anything with added sugar), excess fat (especially from diets heavy in fast food), excess sodium and little fiber, all lead to cellulite. On the bright side, many of the causes listed here can be controlled by you, that being said once you have cellulite on your body it’s very hard to get rid of it, but it is possible.

I remember during my younger years when I first discovered topical anti-cellulite creams that claimed to have the miraculous ability to diminish cellulite.  So naturally I bought into it and every day I would rub the gelatinous concoction right below my booty where my dimply skin liked to show its ugly face. I can honestly say that it was a complete waste of my time and money.  Topical creams and gels do not work at all, so don’t bother. You may think your cellulite is disappearing, but really all that’s happening is the gel contains ingredients that moisturize the skin (which makes it feel smoother) and also slightly change the color of your skin, much like very mild self tanner. Like I said don’t bother with topical creams. There are some other, more expensive options including lymphatic drainage massage which is only really useful to improve overall circulation in your body, or cosmetic procedures usually involving some laser machine-thing or surgery, which all cost thousands of dollars. The latter two options are really extremes so I suggest that you (once again) save your money and try a more holistic approach to finally banishing cellulite.

The only real way to rid yourself of dimply skin is by having a low percentage of overall body fat; for men that means about 14-17% body fat and for women that would mean about 17-21%, anything lower than these can be very damaging to your health in the long run. Getting to a low but healthy body fat range is possible through the right nutrition and workouts. In terms of your diet, you want to focus on getting lots of fiber from fruits (best eaten only before and after working out) and non-starchy veggies, with some whole grains throughout the day. Don’t go overboard on fats, but do including healthy fats in each meal like a handful of unsalted nuts, a tablespoon of olive oil in the your salad or a tablespoon of almond butter. Stay away from added sugar (including honey, syrups, or pretty much any ingredient ending in ose), completely remove it from your diet save for treat meals only. Be aware of this in particular as sugar is added to almost all packaged food including those touted as healthy including yogurt, juice and protein bars. Get your sweet fix from fruit, juice with no-added sugar, or you can try stevia in moderation as it will not cause a spike in your insulin levels as sugar will, but be resonable. You may be thinking of using an artificial sweetener instead like splenda or sweet n low, but you really shouldn’t as these have been proven to actually alter your taste buds so you end up developing an even bigger sweet tooth that never goes away. It will be tough to let go of sugar and the artificial stuff at first, but it will have a huge impact on your body composition. In terms of workouts as I’ve probably mentioned before, doing endless hours cardio is no good; you need to include interval training one to three times a week with steady state cardio at most once a week. The real kicker when it comes to cellulite is weight lifting, this is really the key to getting a rocking bod. If you’re like most people and your cellulite is on your hips and thighs, then focus on weighted squats, lunges, hip thrusts and deadlifts and really push from heels with these, and when I say weighted I mean lift heavy; you want to be challenged and sweating by the time you’re done. As with any workout make sure to warm up and cool down properly, and never workout the same body part 2 days straight; you need to give it at least one full day to recover in order to see it change for the better. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider, nutritionist or personal trainer for more information and tips.

When it comes to dimply skin, most of us only notice it on ourselves only and we beat ourselves up about it so much. Don’t be so hard on yourself for this as cellulite really doesn’t have to be such a big deal. Remember that with a healthy lifestyle you can control what your body looks like and how strong you are. So toss out that expensive thigh cream, challenge yourself in the gym, eat well and reap all the rewards that come along with it, including a dimple free booty.

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