- Exercise & Fitness
Popular myths on Cellulite: Fighting the cottage cheese
Cellulite is not age, size or gender specific
What is Cellulite?
The word cellulite has the equivalent affect on adults just as the words broccoli or spinach has on your little kids. It even sounds like it's nasty. Contrary to popular belief, cellulite is simply normal fat that is found right beneath the skin. The lumpy, dimple like protrusions are caused by this fat pushing against the connective tissues (herniation of subcutaneous fat), causing the skin to crease, giving it that daunted "cottage cheese" look. Cellulite is an extremely common condition and can affect both men and women, most often occurring in the abdomen, buttocks and leg areas. There are many variable factors that can result in/cause cellulite and an equal amount of different things that can aid in correcting it. We will sort through all the facts and all the myths that come along with having cellulite.
Some of the causes of cellulite
What causes Cellulite?
As I stated previously, there is a large range of factors that can produce cellulite. Something as simple as changes in your metabolism can pull the trigger on this effect. Your eating habits can effect your body, wellness, health, development or prevention of diseases and so many more other ways then you could imagine, it would take me all day to list them all. So yes, those jelly donuts, fast food and all your other bad eating habits can also cause cellulite. Hormones play a major role in the formation of cellulite, with estrogen being the most prevalent. Insulin and thyroid hormones have also been associated with the development of cellulite. There have been factors that show you may even be genetically predisposed to acquire cottage cheese. It runs in families. So if your grandmother and mom had it, you are at a high risk of potentially developing it as well. The lifestyle you live is probably the most important factor, how active you are, the weight you maintain, if you exercise at all, do you smoke, stressful environments etc. It's pretty simple when you think about it, if you have healthy eating habits and exercise regularly/stay active, you will stay in control of the cheese.
No one is exempt from getting Cellulite
Subcutaneous fat distribution by gender
After puberty is reached, pretty much anyone can get cellulite. It really isn't gender specific, however, approximately 85% of women will develop cellulite at some point in their lives. Men do develop it as well, but it is very rare. There are several logical explanations for this. First of all, men have more muscle in their bodies, thicker skin and the bands of their skin cross like an X, so it's much more difficult for the fat cells to protrude. Having thinner skin, vertical bands, more estrogen/fat and where their fat is stored are all contributing factors for women. Men are prone to carrying fat in their abdomen while women usually store it in their buttocks and thighs. The stomach is not a big muscle that is used a lot, unlike the legs and hips that are used in much of, if not all of your daily activity generating friction to push the fat to the surface of the skin. Being overweight can be an aspect, but skinny people are susceptible to cellulite as well. It doesn't require a lot of body fat to develop cellulite. Being overweight will cause it to be more noticeable, however development of "cottage cheese" is extremely common and does not just affect people who are out of shape.
Where does your body carry it's fat?
Laser treatment for cellulite
Treatment: Giving your cheese some crackers
Let me say this right up front, there is not a cure for cellulite unfortunately. As I stated previously approximately 85% of women over the age of 20 will suffer its wrath at some point in their lives. Since fat is part of the equation, your thinking weight loss will fix the issue. Burning excess fat, stretching and strengthening the plagued areas will help the appearance of it but it is really dependent upon the elasticity of your skin and whether it can "bounce back" from the weight loss. Aging and hormones can attribute to the skin losing it's elasticity. Sagging or hanging skin will make it look much worse. There are many different kinds of topical skin cream that will thicken the skin cover and temporarily camouflage the lumps and bumps. Injectable dermal fillers have shown to be favorable in aiding the appearance of cellulite. Non-invasive procedures such as massage techniques and laser treatment have been used for many years to significantly reduce the appearance of cottage cheese, although not permanent, it can be maintained for extended periods of time. There is a myth floating around that Liposuction is the solution. Sadly it's not and quite frankly it could even perpetuate the problem by making fat distribution more uneven. The best way to control your cheese is the old fashion way, with daily healthy eating habits and a balanced, regular exercise regiment of cardiovascular activities and strength training.
Healthy looks and feels good
There is no permanent solution
Unfortunately our society has become one of the quick fix. With a sense of entitlement, I want everything now without working for it mentality. Obesity is now considered a disease, which in my opinion is ridiculous. I am not implying that there are not people out there with real, underlying health conditions which weight gain/obesity becomes a side effect, but the majority of this obesity epidemic is simply laziness and bad habits. No one puts a gun to your head and forces you to go to Mcdonald's and stuff your face on a regular basis. The progression of our technology has brought out more long term solutions to cellulite such as Endermology (involves kneading of the skin), radio frequency devices that stimulate collagen production and an expensive surgical procedure that inserts a laser fiber under the skin to melt the fat and then sucks it out. Even that is not permanent. You can use all the creams, compression type clothing to reduce the jiggle or any other temporary resolution, but until science discovers a permanent solution, nothing will work and make you feel as good like simply eating healthy and exercising regularly.
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