How To Reduce Cellulite: 5 Natural Strategies
If you’re wondering how to reduce cellulite, I understand the struggle is real! But if it’s any consolation, most women grapple with cellulite at some stage in there lives – even the slimmest among us. You’re not alone!
If you’re a bit confused on what to do about it, I really don’t blame you either. There’s a TONNE of mixed information out there when it comes to how to get rid of cellulite, or even how to reduce it. Some sources say that cellulite is genetic. It’s not going anywhere, so you may as well embrace it 😐 Other products promise to get rid of cellulite overnight! Say whaa?
Well, if you ask me: Is it possible to reduce cellulite? I’d say the answer is YES!
Thankfully, in my own experience I’ve found some natural strategies that really do work to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, cellulite.
Now, I’m not one to blindly follow a recommendation – and neither should you. That’s why I also want to explain what causes stubborn cellulite and why it can be tough to beat. Looking at the underlying causes of cellulite and what impacts its appearance is the key to understanding why these natural methods work. But if you’re keen to skip to the steps and start taking action – by all means go ahead!
What Causes Cellulite?
Since cellulite isn’t a life-threatening condition, and the more promising strategies to get rid of cellulite (like the ones I’m sharing with you) won’t turn the big bucks for pharmaceutical companies, scientific research on cellulite is pretty scant. However, the general consensus is that cellulite is linked to the structure of the “fat cell chambers” that are bound by connective tissue directly beneath our skin.
Some cellulite science. Our skin is made up of two layers (the epidermis and dermis), and beneath both of these layers we have multiple layers of subcutaneous fat. When it comes to cellulite, we’re interested in the first layer of subcutaneous fat, which is organised by connective tissue “chambers” that separate our fat cells. Lovely, right?
In women, these connective tissue chambers stand side-by-side as rectangular, standing chambers. The dreaded dimply, uneven appearance of cellulite appears when fat cells within these chambers are pushed up into the dermis layer. Typically, these bulges occur at weak spots of the connective tissue chamber, and worsen with stress on that connective tissue. That’s why cellulite on our legs looks worse when sitting down or when pinched!
Now men are a different story. Have you ever noticed how men hardly ever get cellulite, no matter how fat they get? That’s because when it comes to these connective tissue “chambers” below the skin, men have a different structure in place (see here). Instead of side-by-side, standing chambers, men have a much stronger structure of criss-crossing connective tissue holding those fat cells down flat. Combine this with the fact that men typically store less fat in their butt and thighs and there you go – smooth legs despite the beer gut!
So just by looking at the difference between men and women, there’s no doubt that structure of connective tissue plays a huge role in the development and appearance of cellulite.
But that’s not the whole story. The integrity of our connective tissue also determines whether our fat cells will push up into the dermis layer and give us that orange peel effect. It’s known that our connective tissue walls can be weakened by hormone imbalances, lack of exercise and muscle tone, excess fat and circulation. And these, thankfully, are areas where we have some real control.
Why is it SO Hard to Get Rid of Cellulite?
As we saw – cellulite is a tough one since it’s inextricably linked to how our bodies are made as women. There are also multiple factors impacting on the appearance of cellulite – including our hormone balance, muscle tone, body fat levels and circulation.
The need to dial in each of these factors makes getting rid of cellulite a bit like getting abs – it’s one of the last things to go, once you’re doing everything right! I’m talking diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, the whole shebang!
In a similar vein to achieving defined abs, I will say that it may not be realistic (or healthy) for you to be 100% cellulite-free.
BUT I promise you, once you start paying attention to your overall health in a big way you’re going to see results. From personal experience, I can say that a couple of years on from changing my diet and lifestyle, cellulite is no longer something I worry about. And I used to really worry about it!
On that note – I’m going to share with you my top 5 natural strategies to get rid of cellulite.
And I want you to know this: don’t worry if some of these tips sound like big lifestyle shifts for you!
NONE of this stuff happens overnight. It takes time – and that’s perfectly ok. All it takes is a belief that change is possible, and positive actions (however small!) in the right direction every day.
1. Banish Processed Foods (Especially Sugar)
Notice I use the word “banish” and not “enjoy in moderation”. While we all indulge at times and this shouldn’t be a source of stress, an attitude of moderation won’t get you far in achieving an exceptionally healthy body. Processed food is essentially poison to our bodies, and so a moderate dose is still a dose. #harshtruth
There are many reasons why processed foods don’t serve our bodies well, but the effect on blood sugar is a big one. Heavily processed products like bread and pasta, and sugary “treats” like cakes and lollies raise our blood sugar to unnaturally high levels. This triggers our pancreas to secrete high levels of insulin.
Now, you really don’t want constant high insulin levels. Aside from the host of health issues that can arise from insulin resistance, constant high insulin levels will help drive the accumulation of fat deposits that produce cellulite. Eating processed foods and sugar will literally put your body into a state of fat accumulation, in which it actually cannot burn off body fat.
If that didn’t convince you, processed foods and sugars also accelerate a process in our bodies called gylcation. This is where sugars in the bloodstream bond to amino acids to create new molecules called advanced glycation end products. Ironically, AGEs for short.
AGEs are inflammatory and cause damage to adjacent cells – in particular collagen – and thus contribute to visible signs of ageing. So if your diet includes processed foods, you can expect to gather more wrinkles and have less smooth, supple skin. This WILL impact the appearance of your cellulite!
So seriously, just ditch the processed foods already.
2. Eat Collagen Rich Foods
If you want to have strong, supple connective tissue, you need to give your body the tools. Understand that our bodies want to make the best, most robust tissues possible (whether it’s our hair, nails or skin), however it can only do as good as the ingredients you supply.
One of our favourite, super collagen-rich foods is bone broth. A good, wobbly bone broth is packed full of natural gelatin (the broken down form of collagen) which our bodies can easily assimilate and utilise.
Gelatin supplements are another effective way to boost intake – and there are plenty of natural, grass fed varieties available on the market. Read: do not supplement with Aeroplane Jelly!
3. Eat Lots of Healthy Fats
We know that hormones play a role in the development and appearance of cellulite, and eating lots of healthy fats is a great way to support their careful balance. This is because our bodies need fat to produce many of our vital hormones, including sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, testosterone.
So if you were mourning the loss of your favourite sugary comfort foods, the good news is it’s completely fine to enjoy lots of delicious, satiating fats. These include saturated fats from grass fed animals and from coconut oil, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from natural sources such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
Enjoying more fats in your diet may not only contribute to a noticeable difference in cellulite – you may also notice far better moods, performance and overall enjoyment of life. Think of cellulite reduction as the bonus!
4. Incorporate Strength Training
Cellulite originates in the first layer of subcutaneous fat that sits directly on top of our muscle, and if that muscle is weak and untoned…you get the picture.
Toning the glutes, hamstrings and inner thighs is a great way to tighten the skin and flatten the appearance of cellulite. Studies have actually observed that female athletes with strong muscle tone and lower levels of body fat have less cellulite than average women.
And while cardio may help you to build endurance and lose some fat, it won’t necessarily work to improve body composition.
Strength training is your best bet when it comes to building muscle and boosting circulation in the legs. Squats and weighted lunges are two great exercises that you can use to start building muscle in your legs.
5. Use Dry Body Brushing
Dry body brushing is an effective way to boost circulation of blood and lymph in the body.
If you suspect sluggish circulation and long periods of sitting down are contributing to cellulite on your legs, try adding dry body brushing to your daily regimen. It’s a great self care practice to incorporate before your shower or bath, and it’s super relaxing too!
Putting It All Together
As with all the good things in life, the key to reaping the results with any of these 5 natural strategies is consistency and patience. It’s our choices moment to moment, day to day, that make the big differences over time!
Now…I want to know – have you noticed less cellulite since shifting to a healthier lifestyle? Let me know your tips to get rid of cellulite!