Cellulite affects 85% of women. Whether they be skinny, fat, tall, short, young, or old–cellulite has reared its lumpy head to each of these women. That’s the thing about cellulite, having it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re fat or overweight, all it means is that there is something you are not doing to take care of your body. The human body is a beautiful, amazing thing. It tells us when something is wrong. You break your leg, you are in excruciating pain. You have a brain tumor, you get headaches everyday (don’t quote me on this, there’s no M.D. after my name). The same can be said for our once smooth and taut legs. When we aren’t doing what we need to do to keep our legs at peak physical condition–it shows. The result? Lumpy, cottage cheese-looking skin that calls for a cover up every year at the beach.
Women have searched high and low for treatments to remedy their unfortunate ailment because make no mistake, having cellulite is no walk in the park for women. It’s embarrassing and a women’s self-esteem takes much of the blow. Always insisting to keep the lights off, or scurrying from the bed to the bathroom while hiding your behind so your man doesn’t see your dimples is getting old….fast. We need a solution that works! And I’m not talking about a miracle cream, or doing one exercise everyday for two weeks that will finally get rid of the dreaded cellulite forever. What I’m talking about is a few lifestyle changes that can virtually eliminate cellulite forever. Yes I said it: forever.
As with anything that I do, I do my research. I have found what I believe to be the root of the cellulite enigma. Researchers and doctors can both agree on the causes of cellulite which are increased estrogen levels in combination with bad circulation. To really know if you have increased estrogen levels, you must go to a specialist, don’t just assume that you do. And don’t think that just because you are extra moody, or extra sensitive you have increased estrogen levels. Hormones have different ways of presenting themselves to us, so let’s leave the deducing to the experts.
What Are the Causes?
According to an article published by LifeScript.com, it further explains how the combination of irregular or high estrogen levels and poor circulation can result in the appearance of cellulite: “Estrogen, which happens to play a number of other roles in the body, is the hormone responsible for softening the fibrous tissues of the womb right before birth. It has the same effect on the connective tissue that anchors the skin to the muscle. This tissue forms the compartments that store fat directly under the skin. Weakened connective tissue from excess estrogen production pulls down on the skin and causes the stored fat to push up, resulting in the irregular appearance of cellulite. Now, it may be perfectly normal for women to have an excess amount of estrogen, but when this is complicated by bad circulation the result is an increased appearance of cellulite.” So all one would need to do is increase circulation, and decrease fat intake. As for the imbalance of estrogen levels, there isn’t much you can do short of ingesting hormones which have tricky and sometimes extreme side effects (not recommended).
The Results of Poor Circulation:
The secondary cause of cellulite is poor circulation. The lymphatic system is a network of capillaries that disposes lymph (toxins) and fluid into the bloodstream and out of the body. The lymphatic system also absorbs fat from the body, and releases it into the bloodstream to be used as energy. With poor circulation, the fat does not get absorbed into the lymph nodes, and does not get used as energy, therefore it gets stored as fat. Makes sense, right? Of course it does, and it sounds so easy, doesn’t it? All you have to do is increase the rate, and quality, at which your blood circulates throughout your body. Sounds easy enough, but how do you do it?
HOW Do You Increase the Quality of Circulation ?
There is one fool-proof, most recommended method that I know of, and a method that I know first hand which yields amazing,and quick results: Dry-brushing. “Dry Brushing is a technique for exfoliating skin using a dry, natural bristle brush to gently brush the skin. It is also called skin brushing or body brushing.” (taken from: drybrushing.net) You can buy one from Amazon for $8. They are relatively cheap. The great thing about the lymphatic system is that it sits so close the dermis, your skin! So the treatment can be a topical cream, or a more hands on approach like dry-brushing. Dry-brushing should be done right before a shower, so you can wash away all of the dead skin cells you’ve just exfoliated. Also, there is a strict method to dry-brushing that should be adhered to because then you will just be wasting your time, and irritating your skin (those bristles take some getting used to). Dry-brushing works with the lymphatic system, so there is a certain way to brush the skin to get your blood flowing in the most effective way possible:
- First you start with your tummy. Brush upwards towards your heart. Anything above your pelvic should be brushed towards the heart to get maximum results. This will get your blood flowing, working with the lymphatic system to absorb toxins and fat to release into your bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the toxins and fat will then make their way to the kidney and liver to be disposed of properly. Told you the human body is an amazing work of art! ***It should be noted to always start with the tummy as that will give you maximum blood flow. Remember you are brushing in the direction of your heart, the biggest blood pumping organ in your body! It’s probably a good idea to start there. 🙂 (Brush for about five minutes for best results).
- Now to the good part: the legs! Start by brushing upwards from your ankles, brushing your shins around to your calves. I would brush for about a minute or so on each part. Then move onto your thighs, again brushing upwards all around your thigh. Again, spend a minute or so brushing this part.
- Even better part: the buttocks. Now you don’t brush your booty the same way you would your legs because of the placement of your lymphatic capillaries underneath your skin. They run horizontal from your buttocks to your pelvic. So you would start from the back (your crack) brushing in very wide arches to the top of your thighs, ending near where your pubic hair usually is (for those of you who go bare). I would spend more time on this part, only because the booty (well, for me) contains more fat than my thighs, so 2 or 3 minutes should suffice.
What Else Can You Do?
Sadly, just dry-brushing isn’t the only thing you should do to completely rid yourself of cellulite. Exercise plays a major role in the eradication of cellulite, especially aerobic or cardio exercises. Aerobics like walking, running, jogging or swimming can be hugely helpful in getting your legs back to their smooth, tight appearance. Getting at least 45 min of cardio a day, 3 to 4 times a week can make all the difference in the world.
Any type of exercise that involves weights that focuses on the butt, thighs and hips. Apply weights to your ankles while on all fours, and keeping your leg at a 90 degree angle, lift your leg. Do two reps (two sets of 12) on each leg. Remember to squuuuuueeeeze that butt! Pilates is also a great way to create lean muscle, and increase flexibility. Pilates is a personal favorite of mine, and have seen great results.
Cut down on the junk food, in fact cut it out completely! That stuff is like poison to your body. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, especially those with natural anti-oxidants. Pomegranates are a great source of this. Green tea is also a great substitute for an anti-oxidant. Having chocolate once in a while is fine; I try to go for once a day, but moderation is the key here. No fast food! Need I explain why? It’s jam-packed with preservatives, not a nutrient in sight, and will only be stored as fat. There’s no point in having to work double time for a cheeseburger.
Take Your Vitamins
Taking a multivitamin to supplement key nutrients you aren’t getting from your diet is a great way to maximize your cellulite blasting power. I take one with Iron, since I am anemic so make sure to get the right kind of vitamin for youself.
Putting my money where my mouth is. I will embark on a journey that will implement all of the techniques, and lifestyle changes I have mentioned above. I stand by my word, and my research, and I will report back to you each day with results, food journals, how I’m feeling that day, struggles and triumphs. I will take photos of my legs that will be posted the first day, the 15th day, and the last of my experiment to show my results, and put to rest many of the myths that surround the cellulite mystery.
It’s going to be a bumpy ride… (pun not intended).