Easy Tips for Reducing Cellulite
Cellulite: the dreaded nemesis of me and countless other women across the globe. The name alone strikes fear and loathing into our hearts—or at the very least, makes us pretty frustrated.
As a marathon runner, I’m in tip-top shape, but even I am not immune to cellulite. I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve tried every lotion, cream, and ointment promising to reduce the appearance of the dreaded dimples. I’ve been disappointed time and time again.
What Causes Cellulite?
While we assume that fat and our fat distribution is the only cause of cellulite, this is simply not the case. There are other theories that explain why some people, even thin people, get cellulite and others simply do not:
- Hormones: Some believe that predominately female hormones such as estrogen and prolactin, and others such as insulin, noradrenaline, and thyroid hormones increase the production of cellulite which may explain why men rarely get cellulite.
- Genetics – This may not be just another excuse; your genes may, in fact predispose you to having cellulite.
- Diet – This factor is in your control, of course. People who eat a healthy, well balanced diet composed of whole foods are less likely to be plagued by cellulite.
- Lifestyle - cellulite may be less prevalent in those who exercise regularly and maintain an active lifestyle.
- Clothing - Wearing tight elastic across the buttocks (which limits blood flow) may contribute to cellulite.
With several of these factors out of our control, it’s important to focus on what we can.
Tip #1: Stay Hydrated
Atma JoAnn Levitt, head of the integrative weight-loss program at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts, explains that "Cellulite is a symptom of reduced lymph circulation." Lymph is a bodily fluid which contains white blood cells, so in order to reduce it’s the appearance of cellulite and help the lymph flow more freely we need to be fully hydrated.
Furthermore, avoid drinking excess caffeine (bad news for coffee lovers like me). Caffeine constricts blood vessels and dehydrates you which can make the appearance of cellulite more noticeable.
Tip #2: Eat Healthy Foods
Ditch the processed foods high in refined sugars and salts in favor of healthy, whole foods. Aim for two fruit or vegetable servings per meal—the goal here is to eat these foods instead of other unhealthy, highly processed alternatives.
Also, be sure to avoid foods that are particularly salty. High sodium foods, as you’d expect, will not only make you bloated, but will increase the puckering effect of cellulite. Some foods you may not necessarily associate with sodium (lunch meats and processed cheeses, for example) can be a particularly nasty contributor to your daily allowance of sodium…so be on the look-out.
Remember that cutting 500 calories per day equates to one pound lost per week. While cellulite is not merely a problem of the overweight, fat lost through a healthy diet will fade its appearance.
Tip #3: Strength Train
Cardiovascular exercise is great for losing weight, but strength training is essential for building lean muscle and inevitably winning the battle against cellulite.
Some moves to try:
- Forward Lunge
- Reverse lunge
- Side step (with an exercise band)
- Hip extension
- Squats (with weights)