Cellulite is simply stored fat in fibrous bands of connective tissue below the skin. Its appearance is enhanced when there is an excess of fat deposition or water retention in the effected area or breakdown of the smoothing compounds such as collagen in the skin. Microcirculation, healthy lymphatic drainage, fat loss and muscle tone all play roles in aiding the appearance of cellulite, while hormonal balance will result in less formation. Cellulite effects all individuals to a degree while females and those genetically pre-disposed find it will affect them more easily, partially due to hormone production and connective tissue structuring.
Diet and Exercise
Avoiding chemically refined oils, trans fats and excessive consumption of saturated fats from animals will of course decrease fat stores and the appearance of cellulite. The same can be said for avoiding sugar in all processed forms and simple carbohydrates such as those from pizza pasta and rice cakes. It should be said that yes fruit juice and date bliss balls are still processed sugar, as the fruit sugars have been removed from the fiber bonds making them processed. If you had to ask me what the worst foods for cellulite are it would be baked goods that contain lashings of chemically refined cheap oils alongside processed sugar. Healthy weight loss through wholefoods eating and exercise regimes can make a big difference with cellulite appearance, but as many of us know being a healthy weight isn’t the be all and end all of cellulite.
Role of Hormones in Cellulite
Part of the role genetics plays with cellulite formation is to do with hormone balance. Specifically a decreased ability to clear excess estrogen in a healthy way that leaves us with estrogen excess or a relative estrogen excess, where we have an imbalanced ratio of estrogen to progesterone. This is because part of estrogens role as a hormone is arranging fatty tissue. Excess estrogens, especially stronger more inflammatory estrogen subtypes, increase the formation of fat stores in cellulite. Low estrogen or intense fluctuations as seen in perimenopause can also negatively effect cellulite formation so it’s important to only work with more intensive estrogen clearance if you are actually in an estrogen excess or dominant state confirmed via testing.
Supplements for Cellulite
Collagen and Vitamin C
Collagen supplementation aids in our bodies production of collagen and elastin, bringing supple and elastic smoothing qualities to skin and a less defined appearance to cellulite. Collagen and vitamin C also reinforce vascular integrity and healthy circulation in cellulite affected areas further halting the fatty acid deposition.
DIM and Methyl’s and Glutathione
DIM is a compound that can be naturally found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli or supplemented in higher doses. It has the ability to very effectively push estrogens into our healthy phase-1 liver detoxification pathway. Methylated B vitamins such as methylcobalamin (activated B12) work by donating methyl groups to push estrogen through one of the 2 pathways of the phase-2 liver detoxification that processes estrogen. The other phase-2 liver detoxification pathway, which clears toxic estrogens, can be activated with glutathione a key anti-aging antioxidant. It is very important not to use DIM as a supplement unless you have identified elevated estrogens on a blood, saliva or urine test. This is because it is easier to clear estrogen than it is to get it up if its low. You may read an article and feel that you have estrogen excess symptoms, however symptoms often come from toxic estrogens created from environmental exposure, medications and unhealthy phase-2 liver detoxification, this is different to having elevated healthy estrogen on a test result.
Dandelion Leaf and Hibiscus Tea
If fluid Retention is an issue for you, first try reducing your salt intake and ensuring you are getting 1.5-2L of water per day. If the fluid retention persists you can use a balancing diuretic such as dandelion leaf tea and hibiscus flower tea, hibiscus looks and taste delightful.
Coffee increases a cellular messenger called cyclic AMP (cAMP), which disintegrates stored up fat tissue through a process called lipolysis. Lipolysis is the routine breakdown of fat stores, while lipogenesis is the building of fat stores. For this to work it needs to be applied on a regular basis and left on the skin for a few minutes each time. Massaging the scrub also increases blood flow and microcirculation also of benefit. You can go for brands like Frank or make your own at home with ground coffee and healthy oils.
Massage with Essential Oils
Adding essential oils such as grapefruit and geranium to your body oil can aid in circulation and lymphatic drainage. Massaging them into affected areas nightly or using a massage gun will aid in circulation and lymphatic drainage to support the appearance of cellulite. Dry skin brushing is an alternative technique that’s wonderful for lymphatic drainage and if used regularly is also helpful for cellulite.
Another simple way to support circulation in cellulite-affected areas is to blast cold water onto the affected skin at the end of a hot shower. The temperature change is great for the vascular system and also for stress responses as it improves vagal nerve tone.
With cellulite treatment the key is consistency, choose two things you can implement regularly and really stick with them to notice the results you would like to see. Also keep in mind that some cellulite is a normal part of being a woman and we should all be working on embracing those unique variants that are ourselves with the same vigor we might try to erase them with.