Orange peel skin. Cottage cheese thighs. Sacks of fat… Cellulite affects over 85% of women- fat and thin. Yes, the unsightly rippled dimples are unbiased, tackling women of all shapes and sizes, even supermodels (both Tyra Banks and Kim Kardashian have admitted to having it). And guess what, some fat people don’t have cellulite at all. Because cellulite is not a fat problem, dieting and exercise is not the curative.
So what is it? Cellulite is free-floating fat cells that have penetrated a weakened lattice of connective tissue bands separating the layer of normal fat from the dermis (the middle layer of skin) and have become trapped just below the surface of the skin.
What actually causes cellulite to tack itself all over the average woman’s thighs, butt, and sometimes arms and abs?
-Hormones (which is why men don’t get it)
-Genetics (Thanks a lot mom!)
-Lifestyle (that’s all on you)
Despite its prevalence, doctors have yet to find that definitive cure. Thankfully they have come up with some incredibly effective techniques to slow the occurrence, minimize the appearance, and strengthen slackened tissues. Sure, cellulite is a cosmetic problem, but more than that, it’s a progressive medical problem that gets worse with age.
There may not be a cure, but (similar to diabetes and hypertension) you can manage it. Since it is a connective tissue issue, really the only thing that can help prevent and slow the spread of cellulite is by strengthening the fibers of the connective tissues so that the rogue fat cells can’t permeate the dermis even more.
So how can you manage cellulite?
In order to effectively manage cellulite you need to heal, strengthen and hydrate the cells and connective tissues. Sure, topicals and medical treatments can help tame the sticky situation… for a pretty penny. Thankfully, a lifestyle approach can be one of the most effective ways to minimize the unsightly stuff. Here’s how:
Certain foods and supplements strengthen connective tissues, repair cell membranes, and increase circulation. A few pointers:
-Start each day with a healthy breakfast of whole grains and fruits to boost antioxidant levels.
-Stay hydrated throughout the day with water, juice, fruits and vegetables.
-Eat one or two eggs each week (including the yolk which is filled with lecithin).
-Regularly consume raw fruits and vegetables (cooking them extracts much of their water and nutrients).
-Snack on goji berries– a fruit that is considered to be as close to a “wonder food” as they come. It is supped up with amino acids, trace minerals, anti-inflammatories, and 500 times the vitamin C of an orange and more beta-carotene than a carrot!
Jump on a Trampoline:
The jumping motion helps to pump the lymphatic system- the body’s garbage disposal. As lymph moves through the body, it pulls out toxins and fat. A congested lymphatic system can result is excess water and fat retention (as much as 15 pounds!) that, combined, can cause cellulite and varicose veins.
But here’s the thing: the lymphatic system has no internal pump and can get stuck unless you keep it going- which you can do by jumping on a trampoline, getting a lymphatic drainage massage, and deep belly breathing. The jumping also squeezes and wrings out the cells with each landing, helping to get the water, fat, and toxins out. Jump for 5-20 minutes a day and you WILL see a difference.
Do a daily pre-shower dry brushing with a natural bristle brush for 5 minutes. This will help to stimulate the lymph glands near the surface of the skin, encourage circulation and to gently exfoliate the skin. You will gently brush from your feet up to your shoulders, always brushing towards your heart in and upward motion.
Soak Up the Seaweed:
May sound strange, but take a seaweed or herbal bath (such as nettle, ivy, or Melissa) to re-mineralize the skin and detoxify your insides. Remember, your skin is like a sponge drinking up whatever it comes into contact with. Feed it well! It is also one of your body’s main modes of releasing toxins, which is why baths are a great way to detox. Soak for at least 25 minutes in medium warm water right before bed.
Coffee and Cayenne Pepper Body Scrub:
Coffee grinds help energize and speed up circulation when you drink. Same goes when you rub it on your skin, plus the coarse grinds also of course help to exfoliating, removing dead skin cells and making room for the fresh vibrate layers beneath. Cayenne pepper is known as a fat burning food thanks to its ability to naturally heat up the body, increasing circulation and metabolism.
It also helps with cell turnover, getting rid of weak bad skin cells and replacing with strong healthy cells. Combine ½ cup of coffee grounds and 1 tsp cayenne pepper with ¼ cup of nourishing and moisturizing olive oil, then slather the stuff on your butt and thighs. Leave it on for 5 minutes and wash off.
Cellulite or not, stop stressing and obsessing. It’s more common than not, so you may as well just take the best care of your body that you can, and love it unconditionally. It’s the only one you’ve got and you know what? It’s a beautiful thing.