Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimised by cellulite! Cellulite has been known to affect up to 90% of females and is characterized by the formation of dimples on the skin. The dimply orange peel appearance seen on the skin is caused due to connective tissue congestion and is commonly seen on the buttocks and thighs among other areas. Cellulite is a sign that the body’s circulation has started to slow down and has become sluggish. Due to this, our lymphatic circulation functions at a reduced rate which leads to congestion and inflammation.
Many people are under the impression that cellulite only forms in people who are overweight, but in fact, one’s weight has no influence on whether or not cellulite develops.

What actually causes cellulite?

There are a number of things that influence the formation of cellulite, two of the main ones being hormones and genetics. Research has shown that hormones, especially oestrogen and progesterone, play a prominent role in the formation of cellulite. Most women are likely to develop cellulite due to the amount of hormonal changes occurring in our lifetime.

Other contributing factors include:

Smoking:
Nicotine is found in cigarettes and uses up oxygen in the body, which in turn decreases the amount available to be used by cells. Oxygen is a stimulator as well as a blood cleanser, therefore reduced oxygen causes cellular functioning to become impaired and consequently the body’s circulation is affected.

Caffeine:
Caffeine hinders the intake of certain essential nutrients. If there is too much caffeine in the body it places additional strain on the Kidneys. Thus causing a potential build-up of toxins.

Excessive alcohol consumption:
Alcohol places extra work onto the liver which can quickly become overloaded. Adding alcohol to the total amount of non-nutrients already entering the body, causes the liver and the kidneys to ineffectively manage the excess waste.

Unhealthy eating:
Processed foods lack nutrients but are rich in sugar, salt and chemicals. Fresh fruit and vegetables increase the performance of the liver and colon. They also assist in quicker removal of waste products. The more natural food is, the quicker the digestive system can break it down. When too much waste material gathers in the body, cellulite starts to appear.

An inactive lifestyle:
Lack of activity results in poor circulation, sluggish lymph flow and ineffective digestion.

Stress:
Stress interferes with digestion, elimination, circulation, sleep and energy levels. Stress inhibits micro-circulation and increases the formation of cellulite.

Low water intake:
This inhibits the optimal functioning of the kidneys which in turn causes sluggish circulation.

Stages of cellulite

There are 4 stages of cellulite and each stage has different severities.
Stage 1 is characterized by a smooth surface of the skin while one is lying down or standing up and only wrinkles to the pinch.
Stage 2 is similar, the only difference is that the skin dimples to the pinch.
In stage 3 dimples become noticeable while one is standing, without pinching as well as with pinching.
By stage 4 one can see the dimples distinctly when standing and the skin is painful when pinched.

Ok, so how do we treat cellulite?

We need to focus on increasing microcirculation in order to flush away waste products and excess fluid. It is also important to strengthen the skin and try to breakdown the adipose tissue in the area of concern.

Products that treat cellulite cannot be solely relied on in order to solve cellulite.
You also want to make sure that whatever cellulite product you are using actually contains active ingredients (e.g caffeine, algae, Centella Asiatica, guarana, heparin, horse chestnut, liquorice extract and rosemary ) that will penetrate to the area needing to be treated.
Body brushing is a great at-home treatment to increase one’s microcirculation, I usually recommend that one does this before a bath or shower.
In order to obliterate cellulite, we need to focus on consuming foods that help cleanse the body while also being nutritious. This will, in turn, detoxify the body and re-establish order in the internal environment where the problem is occurring.

A particular amount of tissue damage occurs in the presence of cellulite build-up. This damage can be repaired with foods that restore collagen and elastin fibres to help produce a healthier appearance of the skin. As the cells are repaired and renewed, changes begin to take place and major improvements are seen in the appearance of the skin.
Digestion plays an important role in an anti-cellulite programme because poor digestion results in poor absorption of nutrients. What this actually means is, even if you are following a healthy diet plan your nutrients will not be absorbed correctly.
Ideally, you want to try and avoid processed food, fatty meat, dairy products, fats, sugar and high amounts of salt. Foods that you want to boost in your diet are fruits (especially ones containing collagen renewing enzymes like pineapple and papaya), vegetables, whole grains and any other foods with high nutritional value. You want to focus on foods that provide maximum nourishment and minimal waste.
Last but not least you need to focus on exercises that will help to tighten and tone your underlying muscles.

Look, I’m not saying follow all these tips and poof your cellulite will vanish. Cellulite is a tricky one as there are a number of contributing factors involved, but there is definitely room to improve the appearance of one’s cellulite by simply living an all-round healthy lifestyle.