WHAT CAUSES CELLULITE AND HOW TO REDUCE IT
Firstly, yes that is my butt haha, please excuse it – I just wanted to show you that a cellulite-free booty is achievable. Secondly, my cellulite used to be so much worse than it is now (and it still shows a little when I sit in certain positions). I had always had it a little even while I was pretty fit, but it was right after my 25th birthday that it suddenly started to become a noticeable issue for me and I began my research on why and trying everything to try to make it go away.
(this picture is a little older than that from before it was really bad – I guess I deleted those ones haha – but you can see the difference anyway)
Thirdly, I guess you need to know what cellulite even is. Haha. It’s basically just the uneven spread of fat beneath the skin, which can make certain areas of your body look “dimpled” or “lumpy”. It is completely normal to have cellulite… most of us do! It is just more visible in some people than in others.
What Causes Cellulite?
Women tend to have it more than men, because of the way our skin is structured differently. You can see in the second picture that the collagen bonds in males (in which the fat cells sit) are criss-crossed compared to in women where they run more vertically. Men also tend to have a thicker epidermis (top layer of skin) to us women. What this means is that as fat cells expand (when we get fatter), women’s skin tends to appear in lumps, where as men’s skin will appear more smoothly in comparison.
These skin structures can also vary from person to person with different genetics, which is why some females can have it more than others at the same body fat percentage. Asian people for example, tend to have much less cellulite than the rest of us.
Lifestyle and other factors that can also increase cellulite include:
- Inactivity and poor circulation
- Getting old and loss of elasticity in the skin
- Over-production of Oestrogen (hormone) and/or hormonal contraceptives
- Weight gain and/or poor diet
Unfortunately you cannot change your skin structure, but there are a few things you can do to help dramatically reduce its appearance…
So, how do we get rid of it?
– If you have excess body fat, then reduce it. The less fat you have, the less you’re going to see, whether it’s lumpy or not. The best way to do this is with a balanced, healthy diet and regular exercise. (If you’re not sure what this is, see my note at the end of this article).
– Regular resistance training. Placing your muscles under load (whether lifting weights or using your body weight), causes them to become stronger and tighter, which pulls on and “tightens” the collagen bands that encase the fat. The tighter these are, the less your fat will appear in lumps. Resistance training is also a great way to burn fat.
– Eat unprocessed, nutritious foods…
- Foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect or that are high in antioxidants will help stop free-radical damage that weakens the dermis (remember the weaker your skin, the worse cellulite will appear). Think berries, apples, kiwi, melons, mango, citrus, dark leafy greens, beans, broccoli and lettuce.
- Foods that encourage circulation, such as spices; chili and pepper.
- Taking a glucosamine supplement can help to repair damage to the dermis and re-strengthen the skin.
- Protein sources that boost collagen and elastin production inside the connective tissues (“plumps” the skin) such as poultry, eggs, fish, nuts and wheat.
- Essential Fatty Acids help maintain hydration of cells and connective tissue. Best sources are nuts, seeds and cold water fish such as wild caught salmon.
– Lose the tight underwear! Constriction of the tops of the legs and thighs reduces the blood flow which can increase cellulite. Go for g-strings or loose fitting undies instead. Or just don’t wear any. Haha 😉
– Stress Less. Take 3 deep breaths. Half the time this will fix you right up. But if not, check out this post [ link to https://www.avrilmathie.com/work-smarter-not-harder/ ] I wrote on dealing with stress. Yoga and meditation are also great ways to put yourself at ease. When you are stressed, blood circulation is redirected away from the skin, which decreases the flow of nutrients and toxin removal. Also, most people eat sh*t when they are stressed, which will only makes things worse.
– Lay off the Grog. (That means alcohol for anyone who doesn’t know how to speak Australian haha)
– Be a man. Or an Asian. Or an Asian man. Haha, just kidding.
– Reduce dairy for 2-3 months. Note that just cutting out dairy without doing all of the above things first will probably get you little or no results. But if you have tried everything else, this may help. There is no solid research as yet to back this, but it is theorised that as dairy contains high levels of oestrogen, removing it from the diet for a period of time and then very slowly reintroducing it back in smaller quantities may help the body to get its own levels under control, if this was an issue. I love dairy and used to eat/drink about triple the recommended amount, haha oops! 😉 In my case, I already did most of the other things I listed and I believe this and a few other little changes to my diet (as above) to have been the game changer.
If you’re not sure what to eat or what exercises to do and need a little help, check out my BodyBAM online program now