What is cellulite?
Cellulite is fat cells found under the top layer of your skin. These fat cells have squeezed between bands of connective tissue, or collagen, attaching your muscle to skin. This is what gives it the dimpled lumpy appearance. So essentially the fat deposits push and distort the connective tissue. Here is a great illustration and breakdown of what cellulite is for us visual learners.
There are many things that can influence the extent to which cellulite is present. Some of these influencers are heredity, gender, skin thickness, lifestyle, age and the amount and distribution of body fat. Let's explore a couple of these influencers a little more.
- Heredity or Genetics - There is a meaningful hereditary factor to fat deposits. Certain genes are required for development of cellulite. These genes may predispose a person to develop cellulite. Obviously gender is a factor but so are things like slow metabolism, circulation and distribution of fat.
- Gender/Hormonal Factors - We've hit on the fact that cellulite affects 90% of women. Hormones likely play a role in its development. Many people believe estrogen is one of them.
- Lifestyle - For obvious reasons cellulite may be more prevalent in those individuals who do not exercise and those who perhaps sit or stand in one position for long periods of time. Inactivity can definitely contribute to the appearance of cellulite. Individuals with a more active life style are better able to maintain muscle tone thus diminishing the appearance of cellulite. The more weight you gain the more pressure that is placed on these collagen fibers that are connecting the skin to muscle. Hence, the dimpled look.
- Age - Yes, age is a contributing factor. As we age our skin loses its elasticity. This loss makes it much easier for fat to bulge out and create dimples/cellulite.
There are a lot of "supposed" treatments for cellulite. You have surely seen ads for cellulite creams, laser therapy, liposuction, diets, certain exercises, etc. Let's explore some of these treatments.
- Creams - The two ingredients that aim to reduce cellulite in creams are caffeine and retinol. Caffeine and related ingredients shrink fat cells. However, there is little evidence that these cream treatments work. Any improvements are likely to be very temporary and minor. In my opinion, a waste of time and money. Yet another example of society playing on the insecurities of women.
- Laser Therapy - Laser treatments are a temporary reduction of cellulite. Not only are these treatments costly but also require multiple treatments and again is TEMPORARY. It cost thousands of dollars to complete these treatments.
- Liposuction - Liposuction is not very successful at all in treating cellulite. In fact, it could possible worsen the dimpled skin!
- Diets - There are even some diets out there that claim to be effective in treating cellulite. They us a specific combination of foods that improve circulation and reduce inflammation. However, there are no published studies to support these claims. That being said, you should keep in mind that a healthy nutrition plan can decrease fluid retention and improve the overall appearance of your skin. Just eat clean and smart and you will be fine. Don't fall into yet another marketing ploy that plays on our insecurities.
So, most of the things I have mentioned are temporary fixes or don't aid at all in cellulite reduction. How about we take a look at some realistic recommendations. Generally speaking, women who have a lower percent body fat percentage have less cellulite. So a healthy nutrition plan with regular exercise that includes but is not limited to weight lifting should be implemented. The weight lifting program is essential. If your muscle is weak this can contribute to that bothersome bumpiness. As for cardio, it helps to choose exercises that you enjoy. So, taking into consideration everything that has been said a healthy eating plan combined with resistance training and cardio has the most promising and realistic results. Don't fall for the gimmicks. Just get out there and do what we all should be doing. Living a healthy lifestyle.
When you are ready to start your fitness journey, contact me and I will get you success.
Jill Smith BA, CFT 803-477-1371 cell 937-748-9905 office