Generally speaking, cellulite is not a sign of bad health or being overweight. At least 90 per cent of women develop cellulite, making it a very normal part of being female. Plus those who lead a healthy lifestyle in terms of nutrition and exercise can still have cellulite and so can women with low body fat.
Despite these facts, I am still asked regularly “How can I get rid of my cellulite ?” Lifestyle and what you eat can be the difference between mild and chronic cellulite so here are my top tips on reducing the dreaded “orange peel skin”.
What causes Cellulite ?
Cellulite usually appears in areas of poor circulation. Factors that can contribute to poor circulation include a sedentary lifestyle, ageing, genetics, sickness, poor nutrition, smoking, injury and a build up of toxins in the body. If your lymphatic system isn’t working efficiently to remove toxins from your system, this results in a build up causing swelling and weakened connective tissue, which hardens around swollen fat cells, causing them to protrude into the dermis, in turn giving the bumpy “orange peel” appearance…a.k.a cellulite !
Tips on how to reduce Cellulite
An inactive lifestyle leads to poor circulation, weakening of blood vessels and poor lymphatic flow, which all results in connective tissue tightening onto their hold on the fat cells, which causes cellulite. They best way to combat this is to get active ! Ensure you have variety in your exercise routine including both resistance training and cardio based exercise. Speak to a Certified Trainer about designing a safe and effective program to achieve this.
Is a fantastic way to flush out toxins and stimulate stagnant areas in the body. A Certified Massage Therapist can also do Lymphatic drainage to help improve lymphatic flow. Combining Massage with dry body brushing will not only help release fat cells and encourage lymph flow but will gently exfoliate your skin leaving it soft and smooth. Add this to your daily beauty routine !
At home you can also massage the cellulite area daily using essential oils specific for cellulite, blended with fractionated coconut oil. These include oregano, juniper, grapefruit, lemon, fennel, cypress, celery, thyme, rosemary, sage and basil. Look here what oils are safe to use during Pregnancy, or to purchase some quality essential oils click here.
Another way to move lymphatic fluid around the body is to breathe deeply. I focus on learning to using the breath effectively in all my sessions, as when you breathe correctly, you utilise the diaphragm, a muscle found below your lungs, which causes movement of your lymphatic fluid, enabling it to collect toxins and prevent fluid retention. Best of all using correct breathing techniques during exercise also helps to tone your pelvic floor, as your pelvic floor is connected to your diaphragm – an important focus during and after pregnancy. Deep breathing also helps to tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, reducing stress and fat retention. Deep breathing can be improved with mediation and mindfulness. I love using the Insight Timer App for a selection of fantastic guided mediations.
Nutrition and Hydration
A balanced diet with foods rich in antioxidants will protect your skin against free radicals and enhance lymphatic heath; plus provide you with essential vitamins and minerals all essential for firm and toned skin. Avoid Sugar and other refined foods; as high blood sugar levels will deplete your skin of vitamin C and destroys collagen and connective tissue. Low levels of Vitamin C can also contribute to week blood vessels and varicose veins. Try to consume plant based foods at every meal, as a variety of coloured fruits and vegetables mean lots of different antioxidants, especially if you choose organic. Also ensure you drink enough water to stay hydrated. Dehydration can damage your skins cells, cause constipation and compromise gut health. The best way to enhance hydration is to drink 6-8 glassses of water at room temperature, not cold. Natural electrolyte drinks such as young coconut water are also excellent for hydrating and boosting skin cells.
Reduce your Toxic Load
Excess oestrogen can make cellulite worse. Xeno-oestrogens are toxic substances that mimic oestrogen and can give our bodies an extra surge when it’s not wanted. These are found in beauty products, pesticides, dioxin (present in bleached products such as tampons, toilet paper and disposable nappies) and some plastics. Read more here.
“The women of Peru don’t have cellulite, says New York-based Dr Lionel Bisson, author of The Cellulite Cure. He puts it down to a diet high in natural phyto-oestrogens, which he says balance oestrogen levels, whether there’s too much or too little. Foods such as flaxseed, wild yam, soy, red clover, dong quai, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli all contain these helpful plant chemicals.
Many of the toxins in our food, personal care products and skincare products are stored in fat cells, alcohol included. This accumulation of toxins makes the fat harder to budge.
Above all, trust that your body is constantly working as best it can to detoxify cells and rebuild damaged tissue. All we need to do is support this natural process, to help the body along its natural path to healing.