Cellulite, a battle hard to win

90% of women have cellulite; it doesn’t matter if they are thin or not, if they are physically fit or not, if they are young or not – they all have cellulite. This phenomenon is so common that almost everyone knows what the “orange peel” skin means.

Cellulite is not a medical condition, it’s more an aesthetic issue: the normal fat beneath the skin appears bumpy and dimpled because of the way it is stored. The female fat cells are arranged in sacs and then in vertical columns. This fat pushes against connective tissue causing the skin above it to fold, pucker and have a lumpy appearance. Buttocks and thighs are more affected because of the gynoid fat distribution (women give birth and the fat from these areas are used as energy).

Beside of the genetic aspects and body composition that we cannot change, there are other factors that encourage this problem:

– weight gaining;
– yo-yo dieting – it will lead to slow metabolism and to damaged skin elasticity;
– female hormones – the estrogen stimulates fat and water retention;
– pregnancy, menopause, thyroid, adrenal and pituitary gland disorders;
– birth control pills;
– inefficient lymphatic drainage and poor circulation;
– lack of physical activity;
– dehydration;
– poor diet.

The bad news is that there’s no cure for cellulite; if you have it now then you have it always. But there are methods that may help you improve the appearance of your skin. You can choose to follow a healthy lifestyle, or cellulite treatments and procedures, or both. A healthy diet combined with physical activity and occasionally with a massage session represents a very good option.

A very low calorie diet is not as helpful as we would think: it will slow the metabolism, the fat from the upper part of the body will disappear first and the fat from the buttocks, hips, thighs, will disappear last (the body will preserve these deposits for a possible pregnancy or for breastfeeding, as our body is genetically programmed to maintain our species).

If you have cellulite, you should:

– avoid sweets and sugar (they give us a lot of calories and have no nutritional benefits), fried foods, alcohol, smoking, snacks between meals;
– decrease your daily salt intake (salt encourages water retention) and use instead aromatic herbs or other spices;
– avoid foods that are rich in lipids;
– drink a lot of water, do not exaggerate with coffee and tea;
– eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits: these are very rich in antioxidants, minerals, phytonutrients, vitamins (A, C and E vitamins are good against free radicals); the more colorful they are, the better. Hot pepper, onion, radishes, artichoke, celery, chicory, cabbage, broccoli are very useful in fighting against fats;
– use omega-3 acids: they are available in seafood, fat fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, herring), seeds and nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, flaxseed);
– eat lean meat, fish, eggs, soy, tofu, skimmed milk, fat free diary products.

Having three regular meals daily is very important, because in that way we will be able to avoid snacks. Complex carbohydrates, found in rice, pasta, beans, peas, whole grain bread, corn, cereals, should be eaten at breakfast and lunch. At dinner, the best choices are fresh vegetables and proteins from lean meat, fish, seafood, eggs, soy and tofu. Eating carbs at dinner (after 7 o’clock in the evening) is just a way to add more calories that our body will not use during the night. If you wake up in the morning and you feel that you are slightly hungry, then it means that you had a balanced dinner and the glucose from the previous day was used as energy. 

Read also: What is Orthorexia?

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