4 Ways to Treat Cellulite Naturally

collagenstructureNearly every woman I know gets it.  Many women I coach ask me, “Dr. Nina, how do I get rid of cellulite?”  Well, to understand that process, we have to understand a little bit about what cellulite is and isn’t and why we get it in the first place.

Cellulite is not a medical term, but is a description of the look of skin that has an unusually dimpled texture.  Orange peel and cottage cheese often come to mind.  Cellulite can occur anywhere on the body but is most typically found on the thighs, buttocks, abdomen and even arms.

Women are more prone to getting cellulite because the structure of our collagen fibers differs from that in men.  In men, cellulite takes a lattice-like structure, while in women the fibers, or septae, run parallel like railroad tracks.   The top of the collagen fibers is attached to the upper layers of our skin.  As the fat cells sitting  in between these fibers get bigger, they bulge up, pushing the skin out.  But the collagen fibers, anchor the skin around the fat cells, causing the dimpled appearance we know and love to hate.

There are several things you can do to change or reduce the look of cellulite.

Diet: First and foremost is diet (I know, it seems to be the key to everything in menopause).  You’ll want to severely restrict sugars, or anything that will turn quickly into sugars, such as alcohol, pasta, rice, potatoes, corn and most fruits.  Eat all of the green leafy vegetables you can stomach, preferably fresh spinach, kale, and broccoli.  Increasing protein intake will also help build lean muscle, which can also help.  Healthy protein includes 5-6 ounces of white meat chicken, turkey and wild caught fish.  Whenever possible, eat organic fruits, vegetables and fish so as to limit exposure to environmental toxins that mimic estrogen.

Exercise: Building lean muscle is key to keeping the look of cellulite at a minimum.  Larger muscles take up more space and can help make your skin tighter and more toned.  Since buttocks, hips and thighs tend to be the worst affected by cellulite, lower body exercises such as lunges and squats should be part of your regular routine. Resistance/strength training helps to keep both bones and muscles strong.  More muscle also means a more shapely figure  and a faster metabolism, making it that much more worth it!

Hydrate:  most of us do not drink enough water.  Yet, 70% of our body is made up of water.  Without proper hydration, the body has a hard time doing everything from burning fat, to building lean muscle, repairing cell damage, digesting and protecting you against illness.  Hydrates skin is more elastic and looks younger and smoother.  A good guideline is to up your water consumption to a half ounce per pound of body weight.  You should consume more if you’ve been active or during hot weather.

Self-massage:  It is possible to ‘remodel’ the collagen fibers to reduce the look of cellulite.  Deep massage, foam rolling, cupping massage and special implements can be used to ‘break up the long septae and cause new fibers to form closer together.  This allows for fewer fat cells to be able to protrude into the superficial skin layers, effectively eliminating the look of cellulite.

 

 

 

 

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