The dreaded C word…cellulite, something that affects up to 98% of women.
Although it isn’t harmful to your health, many ladies see it as undesirable and would prefer to get rid of it.
What is it?
Cellulite (gynoid lipodystrophy) is where the skin appears dimply and bumpy, usually around the thighs and bum.
It’s caused by changes in subcutaneous (under the skin) fat cells and the connective tissues. An increase in fat cells with a loss of elasticity in the connective tissue mixed with restricted blood flow to the area to be more precise.
What causes it?
What causes these issues in the first place is not fully understood by the world of science though it is logically assumed to be to do with a combination of factors including hormones, lifestyle factors and inflammation…so allow me to give you my theory and possible reasoning’s.
1. Oestrogen and Fat Storage
Oestrogen is the prominent female sex hormone, it is needed to develop female sex characteristics, regulate the menstrual cycle, build bone density and many other bodily functions including storing energy as fat. It is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands and FAT CELLS.
The female body has many oestrogen receptor cells which attracts oestrogen, mainly in the bum, thighs and arms. The issue with oestrogen is when there is too much of it in the system through someones poor diet.
Poor Diet = Fat Storage = Oestrogen Production = More Fat Storage
When this occurs gradually the fat stores increase around the areas oestrogen receptors are prominent – bum, thighs and under arms.
2. Oestrogen and Water retention
As stated above, many believe water retention in and around the cells has an impact on the bumpy, orange peel look associated with cellulite. There are a few presumptions as to why the body retains more water around these areas however the simplest in my eyes is the fact
Oestrogen is a water retainer
So the more oestrogen you have in your system the more fat you store AND the more water you will retain.
3. Poor blood flow
This is something I am very well aware of, especially in women. Poor blood flow to areas in the body is a major factor in a slower rate of fat being taken from those areas for fuel, the thighs and bum is one of the areas where blood flow is poor making it harder for you to burn fat from your lower body..this is why you may find when you do lose weight it goes from the upper half of your body first.
So a simplistic overview of what is likely to cause cellulite is this…
How to Shift It
Again, like the reasons for it, there are many pieces of advice on how to reduce cellulite without any clear “cures”, a few examples of advice given is topical creams to apply and to where "loose fitting underwear", thongs or to even…go commando. INTERESTING!
However I am going to be a little more pragmatic and instead of advising you on what underwear to put on…or take off, I am going to give you 5 food and fitness Tips to help reduce cellulite.
1. NATURAL DIET
Eat a healthier, more natural diet high in lean protein, healthy fats, plenty of fibre and high in antioxidants whilst reducing the amount of simple carbs and sugars.
2. CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES
Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale are nutrient superheroes that are packed full of vitamins and minerals that not only help our body block oestrogen production but also aid the breakdown of them too. A plate full of green veg is a sure fire way of assisting your body keep oestrogen levels from getting out of control.
3. DRINK MORE WATER
If you drink more water, your body will theoretically not hold on to as much. It also aids your liver in the metabolism of oestrogens and fat.
*Tip: Aim for 37ml per kg of body weight per day.
4. GET YOUR LEGS MOVING
As I’ve mentioned, the lack of blood flow to your bum and thighs is one of the factors in cellulite creation, the more active you are, be it walking around, swimming, going for a jog or getting in the gym it’s about increasing the blood flow to your legs which will enable better fat utilisation for fuel, reducing the fat around your bum and thighs.
*Tip: Get walking and aim to build up to 10k Steps a day
5. RESISTANCE/WEIGHT TRAINING
One sure way of improving the shape of your thighs, toning them up and reducing cellulite is increasing muscle mass in your legs and bum. Exercises such as lunges, step ups, glute raises and squats will massively help you build the legs you want, help increase blood flow to the areas to increase fat loss and help strengthen the connective tissue.
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