If you have been fortunate enough to avoid being in the ranks of those who battle cellulite only a brief glimpse at your local beach will well acquaint you with a particular type of fat, called cellulite.
Facts about cellulite
Cellulite is a condition in which the skin appears to have areas with underlying fat deposits, giving it a dimpled, lumpy appearance.
1. The actual cause of this swimsuit foe
is damage from misplaced cellular water, weakening the skin cells and connective tissue. Water may stay between the tissues instead of entering the cells—where it needs to be! Skin that has deteriorated to the point that buoyant fat cells are able to push into the dermis, the middle layer of skin and show, through the surface, gives the characteristic bumpy appearance of cellulite.
2. Cellulite generally increases in severity as we age,
because our bodies lose the ability to utilize water as they did when we were younger. The good news is: By hydrating the skin cells and fortifying the cell membranes, you can force the fat cells below the surface of the connective tissue and keep them there.
3. People who eat too much fat, carbohydrate, salt and too little fiber are likely to have greater amounts of cellulite.
4. Hormonal balance plays an important role in cellulite development, namely estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones, and prolactin.
5. Certain genes are required for cellulite development,
predisposing an individual to particular characteristics associated with cellulite, such as gender (female), race, slow metabolism, distribution of fat just underneath the skin, and circulatory insufficiency.
6. Cellulite may be more prevalent in smokers, those who do not exercise, and those who sit or stand in one position for long periods of time.
7. Underwear with tight elastic across the buttocks (limiting blood flow) may contribute to the formation of cellulite.
With so many products alleged to help remove this particularly unsightly type of fat
What are some tried and true rules for waging your own successful war against cellulite?
Stay well hydrated to help prevent cellulite
From a preventative standpoint, dehydrated skin is more susceptible to the other imbalances that lead to cellulite. Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of pure (chlorine- and fluoride-free) water daily.
Protect Your skin’s infrastructure by emphasizing foods that are anti-inflammatory and adequate in protein
Prolonged inflammation causes free-radical damage and deterioration of cell infrastructure. The foundations of an anti-inflammatory diet is avoiding foods to which you are allergic, minimizing glutinous grains like wheat, barley and rye and building your diet around vegetables with moderate amounts of fruits and starches from low-glycemic sources such as root vegetables, beans, legumes. Adequate amounts of lean proteins, such as fish and chicken, egg white or beans and legumes, raw nuts and seeds. Proteins are important for cellular repair, providing adequate levels of amino acids to stimulate production of collagen and elastin. Avoiding damaged, hydrogenated fats forms the remainder of the foundation. Why not check out these 6 secret foods that will help you fight cellulite?
Strengthen the blood vessels
Foods like citrus peels and whole grains are rich in bioflavonoids which strengthen blood vessels while citrus fruits, tomatoes and raw green bell peppers supply vitamin C. Rutin is an excellent supplement for strengthening the blood vessels. (Watch out for the high doses of this supplement if you are pregnant.)
Increase blood flow
Eat your green veggies and foods like beets to increase production of nitric oxide. Green vegetables, as well as spinach and beet roots help increase production of nitric oxide, a substance produced by your blood vessels that tells the arteries to relax, normalizing blood pressure, reducing inflammation and improving blood flow, immune function and nutrient absorption. Supplement glucosamine and phosphatidylcholine to help rebuild the dermis of the skin and the cell membranes. About 650 mg of glucosamine sulfate twice a day is a generally needed and 450 mg of choline daily as phosphatidylcholine is a goal. A natural source of phosphatidylcholine is great-tasting lecithin. Just sprinkle over fruit, yogurt or cereal. You can also purchase softgels of phosphatidylcholine.
Get your trace minerals and B-vitamins to encourage production of connective tissue
Even if you supplement glucosamine to help rebuild the dermis, trace minerals like iron, zinc, manganese, copper, fluoride, molybdenum, iodine, chromium, and selenium) and B-vitamins are necessary to mobilize glucosamine to glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) to rebuild the dermis.
Get Your EFAs
Avoid damaged fats while consuming an anti-inflammatory diet. Consume essential fatty acids like the Omega 6 fatty acid gamma linolenic acid GLA (150 to 270 mg) from evening primrose oil, blackcurrant seed oil or borage oil. And the Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from fish oil, and small amount of flaxseed oil (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) daily. These essential fatty acids are necessary nutritional elements to repair cell membranes. Normal cell membranes help prevent fluid from seeping between the cells and connective tissue. This “wasted water” that has seeped between the cells produces gaps that buoyant fat cells can squeeze through toward the surface.
Don’t forget those lifestyle changes!
In addition to making dietary changes, you can prevent free radical damage from cigarette smoke, sun exposure and pollution by avoiding it, participating in an enjoyable form of stress management, making adequate, quality sleep a priority and exercising moderately. Target problem areas three times weekly. Remember to stretch. Exercises like lunges exercise and tone the gluteals, while squats tone the hamstrings and leg lifts target the lower abdominals. Not allowing your body to recover from strenuous exercise creates oxidative damage. Consider purchasing therapeutic cushions that reduces pressure if you sit a great deal, and move it to your car, desk chair or favorite TV spot.
Fine-tuning Your Program
Topical products can be of some assistance in reducing the appearance of cellulite, but the most effective approaches combine diet and supplements, exercise, exfoliation, lifestyle changes as well as topical care. Hydrating ingredients include sodium PCA, hyaluronic acid (sodium hyalurate), phospholipids, safflower oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, glycerine, goji berry extract and an occlusive agent to prevent water loss (Vitamin E is a natural occlusive agent.) Topical anti-oxidants may improve circulation and include Vitamin C, vitamin E, pomegranate extract, goji berry extract and topical Topical Anti-inflammatory Agents include Arnica, aloe vera, allantoin, chamomile, zinc, goji berry juice and licorice extract may improve the appearance of the tissues.
Exfoliation, such as dry brushing the skin in circles before a bath stimulates stronger, new cells. Avoid long or hot showers or baths to avoid dehydrating the skin. Periodic massage therapy can be beneficial, but very aggressive work can be counterproductive, damaging already fragile tissues. Periodic chiropractic adjustments can help to keep the pelvis and back aligned. Sitting improperly due to position or misalignment can place undue stress on tissues. When sitting for long periods of time try to get up at least once an hour and stretch. When driving on long trips, plan for hourly stops if at all possible for a brief stretch.