Cellulite. It's a topic that most women cringe over. It's frowned upon, making women believe they are "fat" or unattractive. The result - most women are on a never-ending mission to get rid of it. Today I am going to share with you some simple yet effective strategies to achieve this. However, before I dive into the details, I want to assure you that cellulite is normal and, if you have it, stop beating yourself up for not having the "perfect body". No one does! We can't airbrush our imperfections away like they do in every single image found in the media. By following the steps I share in this article, you will go a long way to not only reducing the appearance of your cellulite, but also improving your overall health and well-being and that, my friends, is what really matters.
According to statistics, 90% of women over the age of 20 have cellulite and, contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be overweight to have it. Cellulite is not a symptom of eating too much and not exercising enough, although these two factors do contribute. It is a symptom of poor circulation and poor lymphatic drainage. So, slathering problem areas with an expensive department store lotion or potion, is not going to address the issue. You have to work on the root cause through diet and lifestyle.
Cellulite develops in stages. It starts with damage to your lymphatic drainage system caused by a combination of a number of factors, including:
Strategies for Reducing Cellulite
If you are overweight, it is important that you lose weight. This is not only beneficial for the reduction of cellulite, but also for overall health and well-being. This said, don't be overly concerned if cellulite is still noticeable even after losing 10lbs or more. The fat accumulations within the cellulite are usually the last fat to be eliminated. These strategies will help ensure that you get rid of the cellulite that you have and prevent it from returning.
This is the number one place to start for addressing most health concerns. When it comes to cellulite, the more you can support you body's circulation and detoxification process, the better your results will be. As with any nutritional protocol, a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruit is key.
It is also important to ensure you are getting adequate protein from clean sources. Conventionally raised, factory farmed meats are not your best choice. Aim for pastured and, if possible, organic sources of meat, as well as plant sources of protein including beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. A diet deficient in protein will lead to water retention, reduced cellular repair, and cellulite.
Eliminating caffeine, as traumatizing as it may sound to you, will help accelerate your cellulite reduction program. Too much caffeine restricts blood vessels and promotes cellulite. Make the switch to herbal teas or some of the amazing herbal coffee substitutes on the market.
Detoxification juices are also a great way to support the body and reduce cellulite. Most health food stores will sell pure, unsweetened pomegranate, cranberry and blueberry juice that will help boost circulation and support the lymph and liver. These can be mixed with sparkling mineral water such as San Pellegrino. Of course, you can always create your own detoxification juices at home if you own a juicer or a good blender.
Detoxification baths use hot water to increase blood flow to the skin's surface and open the pores, encouraging perspiration and toxin elimination.
To take a detoxification bath - fill the bathtub with water as hot as you can tolerate it. Filtered water is ideal and you can purchase filters for your showerhead and faucet at most health food and hardware stores. Begin with a five-minute soak and gradually increase your time in the bath to thirty minutes if you do not experience any adverse reactions to the bath. After soaking, shower and wash with soap to rinse off any toxins that have accumulated on the skin. Be sure to drink a few glasses of purified water before, during and after the bath to stay hydrated.
Epsom salts can be added to your normal bath routine as they eliminate toxins by increasing the blood supply to the skin and drawing toxins from the body. Add 1 cup of Epsom salts to a regular bath (not a hot water detoxification bath) and gradually increase your amount to 4 cups per tub. Stay in the Epsom salt bath for no longer than thirty minutes and be sure to rinse well afterwards.
A nice way to end off your bath is to rub some pure essential oils into your skin using a carrier oil such as almond or sesame oil. Peppermint, eucalyptus, wintergreen, juniper and clove are all good options as they increase circulation and blood flow.
Saunas and Steam Baths
Sweating is one of the best ways to help rid the body of toxins and increase overall circulation. The primary storage site for toxins in the body is in our fatty tissue and a good sweat helps release these toxins into general circulation so they can be eliminated through our skin, lymph and liver detoxification pathways.
Your sauna or steam bath should ideally be preceded by at least 20 minutes of exercise and followed by a good cleansing shower. Additionally, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your sauna or steam bath as you will lose up to 4L of water during a 20 minute sauna. Do not spend more than 30 minutes in a sauna.
Dry Skin Brushing
Dry skin brushing is a great daily practice that you can do just before your regular shower or detoxification bath. Dry skin brushing not only removes unwanted dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, it also stimulates circulation and lymphatic flow, and helps open the pores for elimination of toxins and cellulite. Never dry skin brushed before? Not to worry! Check out my How to Dry Skin Brush instructions for all you need to know to get started.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Your lymphatic system is a critical component of not only your body's detoxification processes, but also your immune system. It circulates lymphatic fluid throughout your body which carries toxic wastes and bacteria to your lymph nodes where they are engulfed and destroyed by specialized white blood cells of the immune system. The thing to remember about the lymphatic system is that it doesn't move unless we move it. We do this by dry skin brushing, rebounding exercises and lymphatic drainage massage. Keeping our lymphatic system uncongested and flowing freely is key to detoxification, cellulite elimination and prevention of disease. Most registered massage therapists provide lymphatic drainage massages as part of their services and I would recommend scheduling one at least once a month if you can.
Weight Bearing Exercise
This is more important than many women realize. The more frequently you move blood and lymph around in the affected areas, the more you can reduce the visibility of cellulite, and taking part in weight bearing exercise, such as weight lifting, is a great way to do this.
Another cellulite-related benefit of weightlifting is that as your muscles grow, every area of your body naturally tightens, giving you a smoother, fuller look.
Keep in mind that eliminating cellulite is not an overnight affair. It takes time and a commitment to a wholesome diet and healthy lifestyle habits that assist the body in eliminating toxins, balancing hormones and assisting with weight loss. There is no magic bullet that is going to do it for you.
This all said, I want you to remember that cellulite is, by and large, an issue of perspective. It isn’t unhealthy per se, and isn’t nearly as noticeable to other people as it is to you.
Being lean, strong, healthy, and fit are far more important (and beautiful) than just having smooth skin.
Want to get started with eating wholesome and cellulite-banishing foods but not sure where to start? Check out my free "Quick 'n' Easy" Meal Plan for a full week's worth of wholesome and nutritious meals and snacks that will help you lose weight, detoxify, improve energy and balance hormones. All meals take 30 minutes or less to prepare, and the plan comes complete with recipes, a shopping list and handy prep guide to take all of the guess work out of the equation.
If you would like to explore how working with a nutritionist can help you reach your health and wellness goals, book your free 30-minute consultation session where we can discuss how I can help.
Jill Taylor is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. She is the mom of two pretty awesome teenagers, s very dramatic dog, a hedgehog and a snake (yikes!). Jill assists her clients in achieving true wellness through thoughtful and compassionate dietary and lifestyle coaching. Feel free to visit the "Contact" page to get in touch. Jill would love to hear from you!