Most women will experience some form of cellulite in their lifetime. In fact, studies show that over 90% of women report having anywhere from small to large patches of cellulite on their body, typically in their thigh and buttocks area.
There are quite a number of ways to get rid of cellulite, though the ton of information can make the facts a bit confusing to discern. We’ve gathered all of the data regarding cellulite, and in this article, we will go over it with you so you can find the best way to get rid of your cellulite or make it less noticeable–YES, it’s possible!
What causes cellulite?
Cellulite can be caused by a number of different reasons. However, many doctors link it closely to genetics, diet, and overall health (with genetics being the first cause). Let’s take a closer look.
Studies show that there seems to be a connection between genetics and cellulite. You may be predisposed to certain traits. However, lifestyle choices can alter the expression of those genes. Women who may be predisposed to cellulite development will usually notice it in their 20s.
What is the lymphatic system? The lymphatic system essentially acts as a drain, which helps the body eliminate waste. Lymph nodes can become bloated from unhealthy lifestyles, such as poor diet, and insufficient exercise. This lack of drainage can often lead to cellulite and a bloated appearance in certain areas.
Many people believe that cellulite is caused by age, which isn’t necessarily true. Yes, cellulite is likely to increase with age, as aging skin loses elasticity, making it more noticeable. However, a good diet and an exercise routine that combined strength training and cardio can help to minimize this.
Toxins & Diet
Toxins don’t cause cellulite, contrary to what cellulite cream-manufacturing companies may promote. However, many studies show evidence that diet plays an important role in reducing or the increase in cellulite.
What foods are bad for cellulite?
Cellulite is not caused by any one lifestyle choice or food group. However, certain factors can exacerbate it.
Salty foods such as ready-made (aka “frozen meals) cuisines and processed foods can exacerbate cellulite, as they can increase water retention and cause bloating. So if you’re trying to lessen the appearance of cellulite, be sure to eat whole foods that are low in salt and minimally processed.
Sugar can cause fluid retention, inflammation, and fat storage–all of which can lead to cellulite. Pay attention to labels and try to reduce or eliminate added sugar. For best results, eat a healing diet that is low in both sugar and salt.
Also, try to reduce consumption of refined flours and refined grains products. These foods are super-high in calories and quickly break down into sugar–which can raise your insulin levels. Soft drinks, sugary fruit juice, and alcohol are high in sugar and can increase fat storage. Try to stock up on legumes and whole grains instead.
Trans fat & hydrogenated oil
These fats are often unhealthy and can be found in processed foods. Trans fats are common foods like frozen pizza, microwave popcorn, biscuits, cookies, margarine and shortening, and, non-dairy creamer. Try to stay away from or reduce these types of foods while you’re on your journey to reduce cellulite.
What foods can help get rid of cellulite?
Cellulite prevention and reduction are possible by adding healthy whole foods to your regimen.
Consume a diet high in collagen-boosting Vitamin C (found in tomatoes, grapefruit, oranges, and kiwis) to help your skin appear smoother and help your body rid of excess toxins (and free radicals). Vitamin C can also be found in leafy greens such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and lettuce.
Flax is good for your skin and is rich in omega 3s, fiber, and other nutrients. It modulates estrogen levels and can increase collagen production. Flax meal can be sprinkled on your breakfast or on yogurt, added to smoothies, or eaten by the tablespoon (try chugging it down with a glass of OJ).
Dehydration can cause bloating and dry skin. Try to eat more naturally hydrating food. Fresh fruits and vegetables, including berries, cucumbers, celery, and citrus fruits, are all good options. A tasty smoothie or veggie juice can be made at home and is a great way of consuming a lot of them at once.
“Whole foods” consist of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and berries are high-fiber foods. Fiber can cleanse your colon, curb hunger and support your metabolism. It also balances hormones. High-fiber foods rich in antioxidants (such as leafy greens and berries) are beneficial for their ability to reduce free radical damage, and lymphatic drainage (which is helpful in cellulite removal) which numerous studies have shown is one of the biggest culprits of skin damage and premature aging.
Clean protein sources
Good quality protein foods like grass-fed beef and poultry, free-range poultry, and pastured eggs can help support a healthy metabolism. They also aid in cellulite reduction by filling up your daily caloric needs with dense, nutrient-packed protein. To aid with weight loss support and cellulite reduction, try to aim for at least 3-4 ounces of protein with each meal.
Your body can experience deficiencies in certain minerals as a result of a bad diet or one high in coffee or salty foods. When you’re lacking in certain minerals (like potassium) your body’s circulation may slow down, which can cause cellulite to develop. Flushing out excess fluids from cells can help with reducing cellulite. Potassium can be found in avocados, bananas, and cultured dairy.
Wild-caught and coconut oil contain have a ton of healthy fats that promote radiant and healthy skin. To get a daily dose of healthy fats, try to consume 1 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil each day and 1 serving wild-caught fish every day (or 1,000 mg of fish oil per day).
Kelp is rich in a compound called “fucoxanthin,” found in chlorophyll-bearing plants. It supports metabolic health and skin health– and you want your skin to be as healthy (and supple) as possible while trying to get rid of cellulite. So sprinkle a little bit of it on your savory dishes for added health benefits.
Water, Water, Water
We’ve been told since we were 4 to “drink water” to help with yada yada yada. But water is good for your skin and it flushes out harmful substances and toxins–which can reduce the appearance of cellulite. So yea, drink water. Aim to consume 8-10 glasses of water each day. Hydrated skin appears more even and has less wrinkles. If you’re “allergic” to water, try flavor enhancers or a bit of lemon or lime juice.
What exercises are best to reduce cellulite?
At the end of the day cellulite is caused b/c of fat. Cellulite is subcutaneous fat that sits right beneath the skin but above the muscle. One way that the body stores energy is through subcutaneous fat. In order to get rid of subcutaneous fat, it must be burned into energy–this is why strength training and cardio exercise routines are SO effective.
Don’t believe it? Think about it.
Take a look at the body of any female bodybuilder, track star, gymnast, ballerina, or swimmer.
Notice how they have little to no cellulite? It’s not b/c of “good genetics”. It’s because they have well-developed muscles in their thighs and buttocks and a lower body fat percentage overall. So to say, a healthy and lean body can help reduce cellulite.
Do you have to train like an Olympian? No. But getting lean and mean can surely help!
Cardio exercise and aerobic exercise
This category includes all fitness routines that increase heart rate, such as running, swimming, and jumping rope. The longer the exercise is, the more calories it burns.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
HIIT can increase the fat-burning ability of aerobic exercise–check out the vids below. This involves short bursts followed by shorter periods of less activity. A HIIT routine could include running for one minute, followed by a two-minute walk, and then running for another 2 minutes or another intense exercise such as jumping rope.
Strength training, especially with the glutes and thighs, can help to reduce the appearance of cellulite, as it allows you to build more muscle. Hamstring exercises, such as leg curls, leg presses, dumbbell step-ups, and dumbbell lunges, are best to reduce cellulite (you almost want to train as if you’re a football player–meaning do heavy leg work).
Note that cellulite typically can’t be reduced by cardio alone. Strength training and a healthy diet will play a crucial role and how much you can remove and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Check out these vids on exercises to try:
The Cellulite and Cortisol Connection
If you’re trying to lose weight (and cellulite), it’s important to be mindful of your mental health. Cortisol, a hormone that is released continuously by the body due to chronic stress, can be caused by prolonged stress. Cortisol can be harmless in small, brief bursts.
However, prolonged cortisol exposure promotes weight gain–which can exacerbate cellulite. People who consume a lot of sugar are particularly vulnerable to cortisol. Stress-related eating should be avoided, especially if you are suffering from hormonal issues, as it can cause you to gain weight easier than you normally would.
Best Cellulite Cosmetic Treatments
For the best results, many doctors recommend Cellfina and VelaShape. These treatments can range anywhere from $900 to over $5,000 depending on your location, the amount of cellulite you have, and how many treatments you receive.
VelaShape, a short-term treatment, uses radio-frequency, vacuum suction, and infrared light to pull the skin into a thicker layer. This makes cellulite less obvious. This option is not permanent, and you will need to have the procedure done multiple times to keep the results. However, this, combined with a healthy diet and strength training, can help to reduce the appearance of your cellulite.
Cellfina is the best choice for long-term, wrinkle-free skin. This award-winning treatment can be used for up to two years and has the longest FDA approval for cellulite treatments. Cellfina works by changing the structure of cellulite.
It does this by breaking down the fibrous tissue bands that pull on the skin. Women in a clinical study for Cellfina were 96% satisfied after two years, and there was no evidence that cellulite had returned. Many women describe the pain as moderate and fairly consistent with other cosmetic procedures.
Dermal fillers or collagenase enzymes can be injected to smoothen skin imperfections caused by cellulite. Radiesse, a dermal filler like Radiesse, costs around $800 to $1200, depending on how many injections you need. Qwo, another popular treatment, is the FDA’s first approved injectable treatment. Prices can vary depending on the location and severity of cellulite.
Wrapping It Up
So there you have it ladies, you CAN reduce the appearance of cellulite, whether it’s on your thighs, glutes, or stomach. With hard work and patience, you may find that your cellulite appears less within a period of anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks.