Cellulite is a multifaceted problem that effects women in all age categories. It is often impervious to nutritional and lifestyle choices and with many fat removing techniques available it is very challenging to know what the best option for you is. I personally have had my own battle with cellulite and tried many different cellulite treatments and none have given me the results that I so longed for. What I basically realized is there is no quick fix for cellulite. Unfortunately, I had a friend who had liposuction and after the procedure that she paid an outrageous amount for, she looked worse after the procedure than before. With that being said, there are women who have had temporary success with liposuction but after my own numerous failed attempts and my friends results I opted to go a more natural and less painful approach.
What causes cellulite? It is a combination of different things. I think we all have a pretty good idea that certain lifestyle choices can have a major effect on the possibility of cellulite becoming a problem. Several factors like hormonal changes, body weight and gender play a role in the development of cellulite. Eating foods that are high in unhealthy fats and nutritionally deficient foods are the number one contributor and then add in a sedentary lifestyle with little or no physical exercise being another contributor, and the risk increases as women go through menopause. Whatever the reason for the weight gain, be it lifestyle or hormonal changes, the unfortunate outcome is generally the same. Being genetically predisposed to cellulite is not a guarantee that a person will get cellulite and there is very little evidence that cellulite is genetic. A healthy lifestyle and eating a well-balanced diet of lots of fresh vegetables and low glycemic fruits are a great way to prevent cellulite. What is cellulite? Cellulite is lumpiness or dimpling on the skin surface. The legs, butt, hips, and thighs are normally the affected areas. Hormones play an important role in cellulite. Estrogen, insulin, and thyroid hormones are a few that are part of the cellulite process. As women age and go through menopause, blood flow to the connective tissue decreases resulting in lower collagen production. Fat cells enlarge making fat deposits more visible. Equally important is the lack of exercise especially to the lower half of the body, the legs, thighs, and butt areas. The combination of extra fat and muscle atrophy cause the appearance of cellulite. This is why exercise is important as well. There are many simple leg and butt exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home to reduce the appearance of cellulite. How to treat cellulite? Out of several different procedures available very few have been proven to work and are often quite costly. Pills, creams, and cellulite brushing are a waste of time and money because they cannot reverse the causes of cellulite or drooping skin. My approach is to attack cellulite from a natural positioning as eating a healthy diet and exercise can improve the appearance of cellulite and prevent it from coming back. From my experience, when I lost weight (35lbs) and started to work out 3-4 times a week I definitely saw a difference. Here are the foods I put into my diet daily to help break down fat and improve the appearance of cellulite.
- Apple Cider Vinegar– Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits. It improves your digestion health, lowers LDL cholesterol, is a natural fat burner, ananti-viral acid, has live enzymes, prevents dangerous intestinal bacteria, strengthens your immune system, regulates blood sugar, reduces high blood pressure, just to name a few. One to two tablespoons a day diluted with 8 oz.of water is a great fat burner. Mix natural organic honey if you have a hardtime with the taste as it is not the most pleasant taste and can be quite strong if not diluted. Don’t forget the apple itself. Apples are low glycemic and have over 10,000 phytonutrients.
- Lemons and lemon water are packed with vitamins C, B6, and A. They also have minerals, antioxidants, calcium, potassium and folate. I start my day with a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning before anything else. One main reason is it jump starts the liver and encourages liver detox, promotes healthy digestion and provides a refreshing energy boost.
- BlackBerries are a super food that most people do not realize the incredible benefits of. One thing that most people do not know is that blackberries are higher in antioxidants than blueberries. Black berries pack almost twice the amount of antioxidants than blueberries.They are also high in fiber containing 7.6 grams per cup. I like to make a bowl every morning of blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. I cut half of an orange and squeeze the orange juice over the berries with a sprinkle of cinnamon. This is a great way to start to the day and low on the glycemic index, super nutrient, low calorie and man does it taste good.
- Cucumbers are an amazing aid in fighting fat. Cucumbers are a low- calorie food high in fiber, phytonutrients, and water content. One cup is about 14 calories making this a great choice for a snack that promotes fat burning. It is also high in vit. C an antioxidant that promotes collagen production. I like to cut up half an organic cucumber and squeeze lemon juice over it for a very refreshing snack.
- Arugula is one food that I can not live without. This amazing leafy green has been a part of literature for centuries because of its health benefits and has been studied by pioneers of medicine for centuries. Arugula is an excellent way of bulking up your meal with a low calorie highly nutrient dense food. It is one of the best vegetables of weight loss because it is very low calorie but packed with super nutrition and fiber. If I am not eating this everyday with my meals in my salad I will do a vegetable smoothie and pack the arugula in as a main ingredient with spinach and multi-colored baby peppers.
- Walnuts are known to be the healthiest of the nut family. Walnuts are a great help in weight management because they are associated with lowering levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and are packed with polyunsaturated fats and ALA’s that help reduce abdominal fat and improve insulin metabolism. I eat a handful of walnuts everyday as mid-morning or afternoon snack. I also like them in my oatmeal in the morning.
- Green tea instead of coffee in morning or as an energy boost in the afternoon is another of my favorites for weight management. Green tea is an evergreen shrub native to South Asia. I have read several articles in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that suggest that green tea has many benefits in aiding in weight management. Green tea is probably one of the most highly researched teas due to its enormous health benefits and should be a part of your daily routine. One cup a day can assist in improving blood flow, aids in the prevention of heart disease, boost the immune system, stabilizes blood sugar and helps lower cholesterol among many other health benefits.
The bottom line is after my own struggle with cellulite, I found that results speak louder than words and after trying cellulite treatments, supplements and creams the most effective way to lose cellulite and keep it off is through healthy nutrition and exercise. It is not a quick fix but when you start to see the results yourself and know that you, not a pill or cream or abrasive procedure, were responsible for achieving these results you will have a great sense of accomplishment and a healthy beautiful body.