It’s nearly universal, those unsightly lumps, bumps and dimples that show up on the hips, buttocks and thighs of women (and men too!) known as cellulite. Even slender athletically built women can develop it. Don’t resign yourself to hiding under a Mumu just yet, though. There is a cellulite diet along with great cellulite exercises that will help you avoid it, or at the very least make it less visible.
What Is Cellulite?
Cellulite is just another word for fat. It specifically refers to the lumpy, bumpy bulges that usually appear on a woman’s hips, thighs and buttocks. It can also show up on your stomach and even your arms and men can develop it too.
Orange peel skin is the result of the fatty layer on top of muscle pressing up through the support bands beneath your skin made of collagen and elastin. It primarily affects women after puberty rather than men because we have thinner skin and less muscle mass overall. Other primary causes of cellulite are:
- Hormonal changes after puberty – estrogen is thought to be the main culprit
- Genetics – if mom has it, chances are you will develop it too
- Diet – a poor diet and excess weight are nearly a guarantee you’ll develop it
- Lifestyle – a lack of exercise and/or wearing tight constrictive clothing that limits blood flow can cause it develop over time
While up to 90% of all women will have cellulite at some point life, there are things you can do to prevent the most noticeable type and delay it from worsening indefinitely with a few dietary and lifestyle changes.
Related: Detox for Clear Skin
Prevention Is Key
The best way to get rid of cottage cheese thighs is to not let cellulite form in the first place. There is an old saying that goes; “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and that is certainly true of cellulite.
The single most important thing you can do to prevent cellulite is to adopt a cellulite diet, or rather anti-cellulite diet. This can delay it from showing up on your body even if you are genetically predisposed to it. Excess weight stretches the skin and increases the layer of fat that we all have over our muscles. Eventually that fat will start to build up and bulge between the supports bands beneath the skin and once cellulite appears it is tough to get rid of.
There are so many other good reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates, but cellulite prevention is a fantastic side effect of healthy eating.
Another important cellulite buster is staying hydrated so that you can metabolize foods more easily and avoid retaining water. Go easy on the salt and caffeine you consume and drink more water. It’s really that simple.
Exercise is a lethal weapon in the war on cellulite. In addition to keeping your weight in check it also tones your muscles and makes dimples and bumps less noticeable if they do show up eventually. Consistent, regular exercise, a mere 30 minutes of a moderately intensive cardiovascular activity four or five times a week can greatly slow down or even prevent cellulite from forming.
To really fight off those unsightly bumps and dimples do regular strength training to keep muscles toned for a smoother appearance and additional fat burning. Great cellulite exercises include squats, lunges anything that targets thighs and buttock muscles.
If you already have cellulite and want to banish it for good, there is good news and bad news. First the bad news; there is no cure for cellulite. Lots of cosmetic companies make so-called miracle creams but none of them get rid of cellulite permanently.
The good news is you can reduce the size of those fat cells and diminish the appearance of cellulite through diet, exercise and some wardrobe tweaks.
- If you are overweight, make a plan to lose those extra lbs. No crash diets though. Take the weight off slowly and naturally by decreasing your caloric intake and increasing the time you spend exercising.
- Do regular cardiovascular exercise and strength train. Both will help diminish the appearance of cellulite. Toning up the muscles in your thighs will automatically make cellulite there dramatically less noticeable.
- Limit the amount of salty foods, alcohol and caffeine you consume. These cause you to retain water, which makes cellulite look worse. It is worth noting that creams with caffeine can very temporarily make cellulite less visible by constricting blood vessels and tightening up pores.
- Speaking of constricting – don’t wear overly tight clothing around your lower half that inhibits blood flow to the skin. Choose well fitting clothing that does not pinch or bind.
- Self-tanners, not actually tanning in the sun or in a booth, can help camouflage it temporarily for a day at the beach or a night out in a short cocktail dress.
Other things you can do to diminish the appearance of cellulite is to exfoliate your skin regularly, get massages to boost circulation and avoid long-term stress. Check out ‘dry brushing,” a natural technique known to increase circulation and prevent cellulite.
If you have cellulite you are in good company with about 90% of the rest of the female population on the planet. If you start taking steps now, though, you can delay the development of cellulite and enjoy smooth, dimple free skin longer.