Blog, Health & Wellbeing, Nutrition

The Truth About Cellulite

Cellulite is a collection of fat that pushes the connective tissue beneath the skin, which causes the changes in appearance of the skin. It can make the skin look dimpled, lumpy in appearance. Cellulite can be most noticeable on the thighs, buttocks, stomach and usually occurs after puberty. 

Although cellulite can affect men and women, it is more common in females and can especially affect women over 35 years old. It can also be seen in slim women. Cellulite is more common in women than men because of differences in the way fat, muscle and connective tissue is distributed under the skin. 

Is Cellulite Fat? 
Cellulite is not ‘normal’ fat. It is the structure of the overlying skin and the underlying connective tissue that determines whether a given area has a smooth or rippled appearance.

Cellulite may appear to be worse in appearance depending on the amount of body fat proportion in affected areas. However, the slimmest women can also be affected. Although fat deposits do exacerbate the condition, fat itself is not the primary cause. Gender, genes, age, and the amount of fat on the body are all associated with the amount of cellulite you have or how visible it is.

What causes Cellulite?
The real causes of cellulite are not well understood, but there are several theories to the causes;

Hormonal factors.
Hormones play an important role in cellulite development. Hormonal changes, such as overproduction of Estrogen, prolactin, thyroid hormones, insulin and noradrenaline may play a role in the development of cellulite.

Certain genes are required for cellulite development. Genes may predispose an individual to particular characteristics associated with cellulite, such as gender, race, slow metabolism, distribution of fat just underneath the skin, and circulatory insufficiency.

Over consumption of saturated fats and sugary foods, carbohydrates, or salt and too little fibre can also lead to greater amounts of cellulite.

Lifestyle factors.
Sedentary lifestyle, and lack of physical activities are also responsible for the production of Cellulite. Cellulite may be more common in smokers, those who do not exercise, and those who sit or stand in one position for long periods of time.

Underwear such as tight elastic across the buttocks (limiting blood flow) may contribute to the formation of cellulite. 

How can Cellulite be removed? 
There are many methods and therapies suggested to remove cellulite or improve the appearance of affected areas. However, none have been supported in scientific or medical literature. Therefore, we do not know how successful any of these methods really are at removing Cellulite.

How can Cellulite be prevented? 
Exercise will help in many different ways. It will help to keep your body fat levels low. The best way to decrease body fat is to eat fewer calories and exercise more. 

A combination of proper eating habits, aerobic exercises and strength training are the best things you can do to fight against cellulite. Exercise will also help to improve circulation and muscle tone in cellulite prone areas.

Changing your diet.
A well balanced diet can help reduce cellulite. Avoid junk foods and processed foods. Always keep yourself hydrated and drink water throughout the day.

Quick Fixes/ Miracle Cures.
There are a few cellulite treatments and procedures that can improve the appearance of the skin, but none are a proven cure for cellulite. In fact, most of the cellulite creams, potions and solutions are little more than expensive placebos. It’s best to save your hard-earned cash. 

Thank you for reading! 

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Dal Dhaliwal is a health and wellbeing expert, educator and special advisor on physical activity. She is also an active professional speaker and TV/ radio presenter. Dal helps entrepreneurs and professionals with their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. She consults and presents for some of the UK's leading businesses and organisations within the wellness, sports and business arena.