First- just what is cellulite? How is it different than just plain ol’ fat? Cellulite is simply “fat pockets” that occur when connective tissues underneath the skin do not hold in the underlying fat, which pokes out causing dimples like you would see on an uneven surface like this orange.
Cellulite is usually found in places where we store stubborn fat – the thighs, bum, backs of the arms and stomach. Your body composition (muscle to fat ratio), genes, gender, skin thickness, age and lifestyle, all influence whether or not you have cellulite and how much you have.
Cellulite affects women more than men because of the female hormone estrogen and a woman’s tendency for thin skin. Estrogen tends to increase fluid buildup in fatty tissue and along with the thinner skin, the superficial fat shows through more easily.
Most women and even teen girls have some cellulite and, as I’ve said before, even “skinny” people can have cellulite.
So, no matter what the cause of your cellulite, if you’re exasperated by your dimply bits, read on to find out how to conquer them once and for all.
With that in mind, let’s dive into a few sneaky tricks that smooth cellulite fast, from my friend and female fat loss expert Sue Heintze, of IdealBodiesOnline.com…
Sneaky Trick #1: Eat Cellulite Smoothing Superfoods
Mom was right – you really do have to eat your fruits and veggies every day.
What she may not have told you is that fruits and veggies help supply the antioxidants that fight free radicals.
Antioxidants are sometimes called “free radical scavengers” because they come along and mop up the mess made by free radicals.
They also prevent future damage by providing a layer of protection for the cells and tissues in your body, just like a thick coat of wax protects your furniture and your car’s finish.
When it comes to choosing fruits and veggies for their antioxidants, go for the bright colors! Also, if you cannot get sun ripened ones, it will be important to get a vitamin supplement that includes these, otherwise you could eat every fruit and vegetable in the market and still not be protected. So what do you eat?
Carrots, squash, tomatoes, broccoli, peaches, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, berries.
Citrus fruits like oranges, limes and lemons are awesome too. Along with berries, these citrus fruits contain lots of vitamin C to help build collagen (which supports healthy skin). Dried fruits are excellent sources of antioxidants too, especially prunes, figs, apricots and dates. Just be sure not to overdo it because many fruits are high in sugar.
Sneaky Trick #2: Take Out The Trash
Supposedly, your body is a wonderland. John Mayer coined the phrase in a popular song. However, with today’s ‘on the go’ lifestyle of convenience, most people’s bodies are more like a toxic wasteland than a wonderland.
You’ve probably heard the term free radicals before.
Free radicals cause cell damage, disease, and premature aging. Toxins produce these harmful free radicals – which are treated like poison in our bodies.
Your lymph system is what flushes toxins from your body. Free radicals put a lot of pressure on your lymph system and make it sluggish. This sluggishness creates fibers that bind to the walls of fat pockets, making them thicker. This extra pressure squishes your fat further upwards and creates the appearance of cellulite.
Some of the leading causes of free radicals are: cigarette smoke, stress, alcohol, charred food, pesticides and internal inflammation caused by eating the wrong types of foods.
Certain foods lead to increases in pro-inflammatory hormones. Refined sugar and processed foods (things in boxes), are among the worst. The body treats preservatives, colors, additives and other chemicals in foods as toxins. They trigger an immune system response, which leads to inflammation. As a rule, all processed foods contain chemicals and increase inflammation.
Eating foods you are allergic to (or have intolerance to) also triggers a response from the immune system, causing more inflammation. Many people (without even knowing) have intolerance’s to wheat and dairy products, so these are good foods to test removing from your diet. (If you feel the same after 4 weeks you can add them back.)
Your body is constantly replacing and repairing free-radical damaged cells, but with the way the majority of people abuse their bodies these days, these free radicals are out of control and are a major cause of premature aging, disease and… yes, it can increase cellulite.
So, what do we need to be aware of?
Cigarette Smoke. You’re not gonna make me explain this one are you? OK, in brief, there are approximately 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes, hundreds of which are toxic. The ingredients in cigarettes affect everything from the functioning of internal organs to the efficiency of the body’s immune system. The effects of cigarette smoking are destructive and widespread.
So c’mon, give up the ciggies – and avoid second-hand smoke too.
Stress. There’s no way to completely eliminate stress from our lives – in fact, some stress is a good thing; it keeps us on our toes and makes us take action. But it’s good to be aware of how too much stress affects your body. Some signs that stress might be an issue for you: anxiety, insomnia, impatience/anger, headaches, high blood pressure and other diseases, etc.
Regular exercise, a good diet, massage and relaxation techniques will alleviate stress even when you’re not able to eliminate the source.
Charred Food. You probably cover your nose when you have to walk through a cloud of exhaust or cigarette smoke, or when you smell trash burning from a distance. Well, the same toxins in those fumes are also found in grilled and charred foods.
High Sugar Foods. You know the culprits here – chocolates, cakes, donuts, sodas, juices and so on. Sugar produces insulin — and insulin increases fat storage and the production of those dastardly free radicals.
Processed Foods. These contain additives and preservatives, and usually are high in fat, sugar and salt, which only contribute to fat gain and increase the toxic overload in your body.
Trans Fats. Margarine is sometimes called a “twisted sister” because of its awful combination of saturated fat and trans fat. Stay away from it.
Did you know more trans fats are used in commercially baked goods than in any other food? Do your baking at home so you can have control over the fat content.
An important note: just because a label says “low-fat” doesn’t mean there is no trans fat. Always read labels. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website says you should look for the following in labels if you want to avoid trans fats:
If the ingredient list includes the words “shortening,” “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” or “hydrogenated vegetable oil,” the food contains trans fat.
Alcohol. Alcohol increases free radicals and can boost fat storage as well. Again, don’t panic, because you don’t have to be a tee-totaller – but you MUST be careful of both the type of alcohol you consume, the quantity and what foods you consume it with. A few glasses of red wine a week are fine. Two a day and you’ve got big trouble.
Obesity-Causing Environmental Chemicals. Scientists have discovered that there are certain chemicals hidden in foods and beverages, and chemicals that seep into our foods and drinks from the packaging materials they are stored in, that alter the regulatory systems that control our weight. In other words, we’re getting fatter, and getting more cellulite not just from the calories in food but from chemicals within the food and chemicals we encounter in our environment. Pretty scary stuff. (By the way, make sure not to ever use any type of plastic cookware in a microwave. The intense heat can cause chemicals from the plastic to enter your food. Science is showing that these chemicals can disrupt our endocrine systems and even lead to added body fat including cellulite.)
Hey it’s Coach Josh again — pretty sneaky tricks, huh? Now make no mistake, cellulite is a very stubborn form of fat. It’s going to take a multifaceted, strategic approach to limit its visibility (or get rid of it totally), but it CAN be done.