One of the most common complaints that women have when they start a program with me is about ‘cellulite’.
There are some who think nothing can be done about it, and there are those who think that a few intensive weeks of a ‘bootcamp’ style program will solve it. Wrong on both counts.
What is it exactly?
Cellulite is found underneath the top layers of the skin that have made their way between the bands of connective tissue, or collagen, attaching your muscle to your skin. It is a perfectly normal condition but is of enormous cosmetic concern to many people.
About 95% of women and hardly any men (damn them!) have cellulite. Why is this? Female hormones play an important role in the formation of cellulite. Estrogen stimulates the storage of fat which is needed for menstruation, pregnancy and lactation. In addition, during pregnancy, estrogen also causes the breakdown of collagen fibres which sets the stage for cellulite.
You can reduce cellulite and start to feel confident in your shorts and bathers (‘togs’ if you’re in Sydney) - but there is no such thing as a "miracle cure" or "gone in 30 days". You may dream of a cellulite-free body, but unless you have been 'airbrushed' you are unlikely to achieve this completely. Even top models, and naturally slim women, suffer from the dreaded 'orange peel'.
How can you reduce cellulite?
There are a few things you can do.
1. Eat the right foods
Food that is rich in nutrients like lecithin, essential fatty acids, amino acids and antioxidants can reduce cellular inflammation and increase circulation. Increasing circulation stops cells from travelling to the surface and having that ‘cottage cheese’ look.
The following foods are the best to eat:
Avocado, Beans & pulses, Berries, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Eggs, Fennel, Fish – especially fresh tuna and salmon, Lettuce, Nuts, Onions, Pomegranates, Spinach, Tomatoes, Water, White meat
The foods to stay away from include:
Alcohol, Artificial additives and sweeteners, Saturated fat (butter, red meat, dairy products, processed foods, salty snacks), Pasta, Rice, Sugar, White bread.
2. Reduce your body fat
If you are overweight, it will make cellulite worse.
3. Get your circulation pumping
Get moving! Xardio and toning/strengthen exercises will work wonders for cellulite. On top of that, cardio and toning exercise will also help to tone up your body so you feel 100% confident in how you feel!
4. Don’t smoke.
5. Reduce the amount of toxins in your body
This includes processed foods, alcohol and caffeine. Your lymphatic system acts as a filter, so make sure it functions as best it can. If it is poor the toxins will accumulate as fat cells and push them towards the surface of the skin, causing the cellulite effect.
6. Reduce saturated fat and sugar in your diet
This will increase your body fat, which you don’t want!
7. Avoid yo-yo dieting
This causes women to lose fat in the upper body, while increasing fat deposits in the lower body. It isn’t great for your metabolism either!