5 useful tips for a summer-ready body
Orange-peel, cottage cheese, plain old unsightly lumps – whatever you want to call it, cellulite is like a fact of life: almost everyone will have it at some point in their lives. And though the media is trying to convince you you’re the only not-perfect one out there, cellulite doesn’t discriminate: famous or not, fat or skinny, young or old, it affects us all the same. The question is: what can we do about it?
Cellulite is a tough one to beat – first off, it’s genetic. Second of all, it has more to do with the way fat is stored than with the actual amount of fat you have in your body: as fat cells get engorged, they put pressure on the connective tissue around them, deforming collagen layers and thus creating the wavy appearance you see on the surface of the skin.
In a nutshell: you know how they say “beauty is skin-deep”? Well, cellulite actually goes deeper than that, so forget about magical creams and serums that promise to melt away the cellulite. So, the question remains: how to get rid of cellulite?
Below you can find 5 tips on how to get rid of cellulite that actually have a shot at working, so before you decide to never put on a swimsuit again, give these a try!
1. Burn and tone
Cellulite is basically a fat gone rogue, so the best way to get rid of cellulite is to burn off that extra fat. Cardio exercises, such as running or swimming are your best bet to slash fat deposits and improve the appearance of problem areas.
But if you really want to see a difference, you’ll need to build some muscle, too. Growing muscle stretches out the skin, significantly reducing visible cellulite. Strong and toned muscles also burn more calories, which eventually leads to a lower fat count. Focus on exercises targeting your problem areas: legs, thighs, abdomen, and buttocks.
If done properly and regularly, anti-cellulite massages can be effective against the orange-peel appearance. However, keep in mind that a proper anti-cellulite massage isn’t as pleasant and relaxing as a regular massage – it can be quite painful, actually. The increased pressure is necessary to get the flood flowing in the deeper layers of the skin and gradually smooth out the lumpy tissue.
3. Improve circulation
Fat-burning hormones travel like everything else in our body – through the bloodstream. In areas where we naturally store more fat (which are also the areas preferred by cellulite), such as the thighs and buttocks, circulation is poorer, because blood vessels are smaller and compressed further by the excess fat. So, it is fair to assume that in order to get rid of cellulite, we need to improve blood flow to the respective areas.
Improving circulation can be achieved in many ways: being physically active (even walking counts!), drinking coffee (caffeine widens blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily), taking alternating cold/hot showers, avoiding extremely tight clothing, and so on.
No, you can’t exfoliate fat away, no matter how hard you try. But exfoliating gels and creams, as well as luffas and sponges, stimulate local circulation and can have similar benefits to a low-impact massage. Exfoliating regularly can also make the skin appear brighter and healthier, contributing to an overall improvement in appearance.
5. Give up unhealthy habits
That includes smoking, alcohol, not getting enough sleep, eating junk food, and sitting at your desk all day. The mechanics behind them are complex, but, in a nutshell:
– smoking builds up toxins in your body, and messes with your metabolism and hormones; it does suppress appetite, but your body eventually adjusts to the new rhythm and before you know it, nicotine won’t be enough to sustain your “happy” state, and cravings will start to appear, to pick up the slack. Never mind that it causes premature aging and makes your skin worse, with or without cellulite;
– excess alcohol consumption leads to dehydration, bloating and water retention, and it packs a hefty caloric intake, which adds up in time;
– sleeping is very important for many processes in your body, including weight loss; sleeping burns calories, and without it you will put on weight which will aggravate the appearance of cellulite;
– junk food and processed foods, in general, are problematic because of their saturated fat content (i.e. the “bad” fat that sets up camp on your hips and thighs) and large amounts of salt, which we know encourages water retention and makes us appear heavier than we actually are. Moreover, processed and refined foods are digested quickly, burning next to no calories in the process, and they don’t keep you full for longer, which leads to more unhealthy eating., which in turn leads to more fat and more cellulite.
If you want to know how to get rid of cellulite, the truth is there is no sure-fire way. Every person is different and so are their bodies – they react and adapt differently. But if you change your lifestyle and follow these 5 steps religiously, you will certainly notice a positive change, not only in the appearance of cellulite but in your entire body.