Yes, cellulite is definitely our worst enemy! Especially when bikini season has arrived. We, ladies, are unfortunately more prone to it than men (talk about unfair) but you know what, it is not a reason to hide underneath long dresses or pants this summer! There is a way (not magic) to fight cellulite and reduce its appearance!
What is cellulite
First of all, to start fighting back against cellulite efficiently it is important to know what it is exactly. Cellulite is basically fat underneath the skin. It is the result of pockets of fat pushing up against connective tissue underneath your skin. This fat contains high numbers of water-attracting cells and this water is stuck into those boxes, leading to more lumps and a “cottage-cheese” looking skin.
You don’t have to be overweight to have cellulite. Even the thinest person you know can have some.
The most common areas where you can find cellulite are on your thighs, hips, butt and the back of your arms.
Foods to avoid
You might have already guessed it but cellulite depends a lot on your diet. Basically, avoid processed fatty foods. They are usually full of additives, salt or sweeteners, which can cause toxin-overload in your body. Avoid high in sugar foods and drinks as sugar has been shown to reduce the production of collagen (protein that supports the appearance of smooth skin).
Below are some of the worst foods to avoid and some alternatives to them.
- Processed meats and cheeses: They are full of sodium! Only one serve of deli meat reaches a third of the daily sodium recommended intake (2000mg). Cheeses like Feta aren’t much better. The bottom line is that the high sodium level they contain causes water retention that can make cellulite more visible. Instead, try to find some low-sodium versions of these foods.
- Soda and other sweetened beverages: As their name indicates it, they are packed with sugar. So try to stick with water and natural fruit juices as much as you can or any unsweetened drinks.
- Industrial pizza: They contain lots of unhealthy fats that can slow blood circulation and oxygen flow in your body which leads to the appearance of cellulite. Bake a homemade pizza instead! But don’t load it up on cheese. It’s a fun way to cook when you have family or friends over, everyone can make his own.
- Soy sauce: Ever felt bloated after eating a meal with soy sauce? It is due to the water retained by your body after a sodium-packed meal. Yes, soy sauce is full of salt so switch for its low sodium version or try an alternative like tamarin sauce.
- White bread: You might not think that bread is bad for you but it contains lots of carbohydrates that you body converts into sugar and then glucose, a nutrient that damages collagen and makes cellulite look far worse than it actually is. Switch to whole grains instead and keep that glucose out of your system.
- Chips and other foods containing MSG: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is an additive that’s been known to increase your appetite and make foods taste more appetizing. Stay away from it altogether. There is nothing natural or good for you about it. Instead, bake your own veggie chips.
- Sweet snacks like biscuits, cakes: No surprise there, they are full of sugar and like sodas, they slow down collagen production in your body and make cellulite appear. Grab an apple or make a smoothie instead to satisfy your cravings.
Foods that reduce cellulite
While bad fats have to be banished from your diet if you want to get rid of cellulite, good fats are keepers and actually help your body beat cellulite. It is simple, the types of foods you need are the ones contained in a healthy balanced diet. Below are some examples of the best foods to eat to reduce cellulite.
- Water: I know it isn’t really a food but keeping hydrated is extremely important to help flushing out toxins that can contribute to the build-up of cellulite. If you don’t drink enough water, it may lead to water retention as your body retains water to compensate, making cellulite look worse. Make some infused water to change it up a bit. Check out my “Fruit infused detox water“post for some inspiration.
- Dark berries: Blackberries and blueberries help your body produce collagen to get that smooth looking skin. They also contain antioxydants which break down fat attached to the connective tissue.
- Apple cider vinegar: Rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium, apple cider vinegar helps flush out toxins and relieves water retention around the stomach and thighs areas. It results in reduced bloating and cellulite.
- Chili and Cayenne peppers: Rich in vitamin B6, they restore and fortifie connective tissue, improve blood flow by flushing out toxins and reducing fat deposits. So had a little spice to your life!
- Green tea: The Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) contained in green tea speeds up your metabolism and stops the expansion of fat cells that cause cellulite. Also, together with caffeine found in green tea, EGCG flushes out toxins and dehydrates fat, which minimizes fat cells pushing against your skin and reduces the “cottage cheese” look.
- Oily fish: Rich in antioxidants, oily fish like salmon and mackerel help breaking down fat cells in cellulite. Their omega-3 fatty acids reduce low-level inflammation, repair and strengthen skin tissue and fibres.
- Lemon water: Drinking a freshly squeezed lemon in room temperature water every morning might help you get rid of cellulite by hydrating your body, flushing out toxins and delivering a big amount of vitamin C to your body. Why room temperature water? The body will absorb it faster as it doesn’t need work to heat it up.
Which exercises to target cellulite?
Your diet is definitely an important part in the process of getting rid of cellulite but you also have to tone your tush! Having a strong and firm lower body will help reduce the appearance of cellulite as cellulite will have a stable base. So squat and lunge away! Any moves that will target your booty and thighs are good. Think about different types of squats, deadlifts, hip bridges, kickbacks, etc. If you need some inspiration, check out my “4 best moves for your booty“and “Killer inner thighs“workouts.
On top of these exercises, foam rolling is also a great way to target cellulite as it helps breaking up interwoven fibres of fat and promotes flushing of excess fluids and toxins from the area (both symptoms associated with cellulite). Try out my “foam rolling routine” and start breaking up these fat cells.
Dry brush and massages
I read lots of articles and blog posts about the benefits of dry brushing your skin. I personally have never tried it but it seems to benefit lots of people. But what is dry brushing? It is the fact of brushing your skin when it is dry (for example before showering) with a natural bristles brush. There are a few guidelines on how to dry brush your skin:
- Always brush towards your heart, as brushing the other way puts pressure on your veins.
- DO NOT brush over broken skin (cuts, etc.), varicose veins, or bruises.
- The process should take between 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the time you have.
- Take a shower after your dry brush.
Reducing cellulite is apparently not the only benefit of dry brushing. It also exfoliates dead skin cells, improves circulation, stimulates the lymphatic system and unclogs pores.
After writing this, I might give it a try. Let me know if you try it!
Massaging the problematic areas might also be a great solution to reduce the appearance of cellulite but can be painful at times, whether you do it at home or at a spa. If at home massage is what you like, check out this article about different massage techniques for cellulite.
These are my tips to help you get rid of cellulite. I hope this will help you. If you have any other tips, don’t hesitate to share them in the comment section below.