From radiofrequency waves to lasers, there exist a plethora of both conventional and modern treatments which promise to help you get rid of cellulite. But, before seeking any treatment for cellulite, it helps to understand what it is and why it occurs.
What exactly is a cellulite?
Cellulite is fat, but with a different appearance than other fat. It looks like dimpled skin, sort of cottage-cheesy, and most often shows up on the thighs, hips, and buttocks. If it’s mild, it can only been seen when the skin is pinched. But in more severe cases, the bumpiness and peaks and valleys show even when the skin isn’t pinched.
Cellulite is much more common in women than in men and that’s because fat in women tend to accumulate mostly in the thighs, hips, and buttocks. Underneath our skin, the fat usually contains fibrous bands. In men, these bands are typically in even rows, but in women, even in women on their ideal body weight, the bands aren’t in regular, even rows but are in more of a zigzag pattern. This may be partly due to certain hormonal influences. This zig zag pattern of bands below the skin in women allows the fat to push through the connective tissue that typically keeps it distributed evenly and results in the bumps, peaks, and valleys that appear as cellulite.
Genetics play a role in determining your chances of getting noticeable cellulite but so does the amount of fat in your body. Since excess weight can make the cellulite more noticeable, it is crucial to shed the unwanted pounds.
Common Cellulite Treatments:
1. Diet and Exercise– Exercises, especially the repetitive, low-weight ones on the leg help.
In one study, around 80 women(in the age group of 45yrs) were put on an eight week long cellulite reduction program and the changes were evaluated. The program comprised of training the subjects for one hour, three days a week. Each session included about 25 minutes for strength training and another 25 for endurance training such as jogging on treadmill or cycling. The women lost fat and increased muscle, reversing the two problems contributing to cellulite accumulation — muscle loss and fat gain in the hips and thighs. This in turn showed considerable improvement in the appearance of the cellulite.
Actually, when the underlying muscle is strengthened, it makes the fat layer appear smooth and non crinkled. The basic strength exercises done were the leg curl, leg press, and hip adduction — as well as endurance exercise. In his study, the women who also reduced their calorie intake lost more weight — nearly 8 pounds compared to 1.5 pounds — and more fat — more than 9 pounds compared to a little more than 3. So, this point to the fact that combining appropriate exercise regime with a monitored dietary pattern helps in cellulite reduction.
2. Mechanical methods for treating cellulite and subcutaneous fat such as combining light energy and dynamic laser light.
The laser is used to liquefy the fat, and then a special light increases the permeability of the cell membrane, helping to stimulate the production of collagen, the main protein in connective tissue. Suction is applied with a special vacuum to ensure consistent light penetration to the tissue, and rollers are used to gently massage the skin surface. This helps to move the liquefied fats from the area into the body’s lymphatic system for drainage.
Lipo sunction refers to the removal of fat from beneath the skin using a hollow tube (inserted beneath the skin) and sucking out the fat with assistance from a vacuum. This technique seemed to work only to improve the condition but not to completely take away the appearance of cellulite. Moreover, it costs a lot and needs specialist physician.
4. Anti- Cellulite Creams and Potions
So-called anti-cellulite creams, widely available on the Internet and at drug stores, promise to improve the appearance of cellulite. But, scientific evidence and experienced dermatologists usually treat these remedies as a waste of time and money. The creams often contain caffeine with certain vaso constriction properties and massaging of cream on the skin also tends to help drain away a little fluid. So, the appearance of cellulite appear improved but is only a temporary effect.
5. Scientists are looking at a treatment called cryolipolysis — basically chilling your fat . The technique involves the use of cold above the freezing mark to cause the fat to be reabsorbed. The research in this area is still in infancy and hence you just need to wait and watch.
If you have excess weight, start focusing on reducing calories to shed the extra pounds, as well as doing regular strength training and cardio exercise to see improvement in cellulite. Avoid simple refined carbs like white rice, flour and sugar and fatty foods such as red meat and full cream dairy products. Opt for white meat and low-fat dairy alternatives instead. These foods are also lean protein foods that help build muscle and burn more calories than fat. Additionally, include lots of essential fatty acids (EFAs) in the diet(oily fish, nuts and avocados) as these acids also help burn body fat
However, it’s important for you to realize that there is no diet that is going to magically get rid of all the cellulite on your body. In fact, even the best diet may not completely remove cellulite or even improve its appearance. The good news however is that if you can lower the total fat in your body, this will surely reduce the amount and appearance of cellulite you have. And also benefit your overall health.
There are a ton of anti-cellulite treatments on the market today, out of which some work better than others, but unfortunately none will be able to cure cellulite without the help from your diet and activity pattern. Don’t lay yourself under a doctor’s knife, unless it is really needed. A diet and exercise plan will help fight fat in all the right places and perhaps is a safe and sure way to bid cellulite a good bye….a
Last and definitely not the least, remember to take pride in your body and yourself regardless of your shape or the amount of dimples you have on your thighs. Your beauty comes from within and that’s what matters the most to your loved ones!