So cellulite is a hot topic, and has been for many years.
There’s many different opinions as to what exactly causes cellulite, or indeed if it’s an actual ‘thing’ at all!
What I’m going to do in this article is lay out my thoughts on the matter, and then ask you to take our Anti-Cellulite challenge for yourself.
First up let’s look at some of the agreed ‘possibilities’ for what causes cellulite.
(This is an exert from the website www.MedicalNewsToday.com)
1. Hormonal factors – hormones likely play an important role in cellulite development. Many believe estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones, and prolactin are part of the cellulite production process.
2. Genetics – certain genes are required for cellulite development. Genes may predispose an individual to particular characteristics associated with cellulite, such as gender, race, slow metabolism, distribution of fat just underneath the skin, and circulatory insufficiency.
3. Diet – people who eat too much fat, carbohydrates, or salt and too little fiber are likely to have greater amounts of cellulite.
4. Lifestyle factors – cellulite may be more prevalent in smokers, those who do not exercise, and those who sit or stand in one position for long periods of time.
5. Clothing – underwear with tight elastic across the buttocks (limiting blood flow) may contribute to the formation of cellulite.
OK, back to me!
Let’s look at each of the possible factors, while we remember it could in fact be any combination of these too.
Hormonal factors, yes I would absolutely agree with this, but in no way should it be used as a ‘poor me, I suffer from hormonal issues’ type of situation. Almost all hormonal issues are impacted by the way we live, so they can almost always be reversed or at least minimised by us through the dietary and lifestyle choices we make.
Genetics, OK some people could be genetically predisposed to have more fat in their buttocks and thighs, but again, this shouldn’t be used as a ‘get-out-of-jail’ card to give in to legs you hate.
Diet. Now we’re getting into it. In the statement above it addresses fat and carbohydrates as a blanket issue, later we’ll look at this deeper and see where most women are missing the mark in their anti-cellulite efforts.
Lifestyle factors. Again, this is massive! We’ll delve into this a little later too.
Clothing, now this may seem like clutching at straws, but if circulation is a contributing factor then wearing Bridgette Jones undies that are a size too small, isn’t going to help.
Now for my opinion. I believe the biggest contributing factor to cellulite is TOXICITY!
(It should be noted that this isn’t based on any clinical trials I’ve conducted, but rather on hundreds of female clients over the last 10 years who’ve followed the advice I’m about to share, and have drastically changed their bodies!)
Why Does Toxicity Matter?
All humans, in fact most mammals, store toxins that can’t be processed in their fat cells. This is a protective mechanism designed to save the vital organs from circulating toxins, after all, if the liver, respiratory system, lymphatic system and all the other processes we have to eliminate toxins are ‘shut down’ then what is the body to do? We can’t have toxins floating around causing damage to the brain, heart, lungs or kidneys, can we?
Nope, it’s into the fat cells they go, safely tucked away from doing any harm.
The downside to this rather clever system? You hate your legs.
Now, most women unwittingly put too many toxins into their bodies, and have an escalating inability to expel those toxins.
Let me explain.
Due to sedentary lifestyles (sitting in an office all day), lack of exercise, poor breathing technique, polluted environments, insufficient fibre, poor digestion, lack of hydration, and heavy grain based (bread, pasta, cereals) diets, the modern woman is set up to fail when it comes to being able to expel toxins from her body.
Then into a system that can’t deal with toxins we put:
Sugar, grain-based carbs (the old double edged sword!), trans fats, artificial sweeteners. This is most women, others may even have cigarettes, drugs (medical and/or recreational) and alcohol to deal with too.
And then there’s the personal care products we use, all the lotions and potions we spray on, rub in and bathe in can add to our toxic load.
I don’t say this to scare, however you need to be aware.
So the first step in moving towards lean smooth legs is improving your ability to process these toxins.
Answer these questions;
1. Are you sat for LESS than 4 hours a day?
2. Do exercise at least 3 times per week?
3. Does that include full body movements like squats, lunges and press ups?
4. Do you live in the countryside?
5. Do you visit the toilet (no. 2’s!) 2-3 times a day?
6. Do you consume at least 2 litres of water per day?
7. Do you limit bread, pasta and/or cereals to LESS than once a day?
8. Do you include fat in your diet?
9. Are you free of any medications/drugs?
10. Do you avoid/limit alcohol to once per week and keep it to a reasonable amount?
The more No’s you got the worse your ability to expel toxins will be.
Now there are other factors to be considered like meal frequency and quality of the food we eat, i.e. is it nutrient dense? (As a side note, the more nutrient dense a food the less toxic it’s likely to be!). But for now lets look at changing your No’s to Yes’s.
(I know moving into the countryside might be a tad extreme, but getting into the open outdoors, if you live in a built up city, is an excellent step in the right direction!)
I’ll keep this as simple as possible.
Bread, Pasta, Cereals, Rice.
All processed foods
Sugar, in both solid and liquid form (Check your drinks!)
Trans Fats, things like margarine, any cooked oils like in crisps etc
Any medications/drugs that aren’t necessary, and get retested regularly by your Doctor for the dosage you actually need.
Lots of vegetables – massive nutrient density and great for fibre
Some fruits – try to focus on berries and citrus fruits
Healthy fats – like Coconut oil, Olive oil, Grass Fed Organic Butter
Nuts like almonds and pecans – excellent for fibre
Water – build yourself up to 2 litres a day as a minimum
Fresh air – get outdoors, away from busy roads and factories
Now you might look at this list and think ‘how can these small changes make a difference?’
Well let me ask you this; Was there one big thing you did that caused your cellulite in the first place?
No, I didn’t think so. It was just an accumulation of poor (or probably misguided) decisions that over time got you to the point where you looked in the mirror one day and thought ‘Why do my legs look like THAT?’
The small changes I’ve recommended above will have a dramatic effect if they’re implemented together.
Do I Have To Do All Of Them?
Well you don’t HAVE to do anything, but the less you implement, the slower your results will come.
Maybe you’re looking at the list and thinking ‘Well I don’t want to stop eating bread or drinking alcohol’, well that’s fine too, just be clear in your own mind that you like bread more than you hate how your legs look, if that’s the case then you carry on as you are. But if you can’t say that, and you truly want to change, this is my best way forward for you!
Now we’ve covered the most important area, let’s look at other things you can do to make yourself more comfortable in your shorts this Summer.
If you’re not exercising currently, then you need to start. Simple.
If you’re exercising but it consists of running (jogging, walking) on a treadmill or outdoors, then we need to look to step it up into some workouts that will involve you using more muscles in more movement patterns. Things like squats, lunges, press ups etc
Our Prime Mover App is an excellent introduction to this type of exercise, find it here Prime Mover App
Why Is This Important?
Well the aforementioned lymphatic system, which is a big player in us eliminating toxins from our bodies, doesn’t have a ‘pump’. The circulatory system has the heart that pumps blood around the body, but the lymphatic system requires us to MOVE to help pump the ‘lymph’ around our bodies, without it our lymphatic system becomes stagnant. Bad times!
But beyond what it does to the inside of your body (which is FAR more than just the positive effects on the lymphatic system), it’s what these exercises will do to the outside of your body!
Think of any pair of legs you’ve ever looked at and thought ‘I’d like to look like that’, that was tone. Tone is simply a firming and increasing of the size of the muscle, whether it’s the hamstrings (back of the thigh), the quads (the front of the thigh) or the glutes (the bum), but most probably all three.
Most women may freak out at this, ‘INCREASE the size of my muscles? I don’t want to get bulky’
The increase in size we’re talking about is very small, and what do you think is going to fill your skin out when you start to reduce the fat?
If you don’t increase your tone, you’ll end up with the ‘Skinny Fat’ look, which is a smaller leg, but it doesn’t look good, and it wobbles!!!
As I said before, every leg you ever saw that looked good, had some nice tone to it!
Muscle is tone
Tone is happy place!
Well that is more likely to end up with you feeling bulky. A slight increase in tone, with no loss of fat means you’ll look, feel, and BE bigger!
Nutrition is your primary focus, coupled with the right exercise, and backed up with good lifestyle choices (no alcohol, no cigarettes, getting out in the fresh air often)
I hope this has opened your eyes to the possibility that changing your body is something you can do, and in a relatively short space of time.
Don’t expect results to come in the first week (although they could), but stick to the plan and you’ll soon start to look and feel smoother, firmer, and ultimately more confident!