Did you know that nine times more women have cellulite than men? Yup. Even the almighty Serena Williams has been in the press with having cellulite.
So is it really that bad?! Knowing that 7 x Wimbledon single champion has it – like a lot of the rest of the population… why do women get so caught up on it?
So what is one of the main causes for cellulite?
Estrogen thickens the connective tissue in the skin and fat cells in the lower body, which is one of the primary causes for cellulite. What happens is that excess body fat pushes through the connective tissue and you can think of it as when you have a joint of meat trying to push out of the mesh that it comes wrapped in.
Cellulite is not this ‘special’ type of fat and responds the same to other fat cells – meaning it almost doesn’t respond to a lot of the ‘treatments’ which are on the market – which can also be quite invasive (fat loss generally improves the appearance of cellulite).
The presence of cellulite also seems to partially genetic as well – and this could be due to the elevated estrogen levels needed for its appearance.
Unfortunately women do have generally more fat cells around the lower body, as this is part of our body fat pattern to hold more fat cells in this area.
It can also be in relation to the amount of toxins which are in the bodies system as well. A toxin build up underneath the surface of the skin can also contribute to the amount of cellulite so properly looking after your liver can make a huge difference.
Our livers are our organs of detoxification, so when looked after properly and it is allowed to thoroughly do it’s job properly, this can also help with a reduction of cellulite.
Plan of Action
What we need to do is work on balancing hormones to reduce the amount of excess circulating estrogen and toxins which are in the body.
So what do we need to increase in our diets to reduce cellulite?
- Increase the amount of cruciferous vegetables in your diet. They have a compound in them, called DIM (di-indolylmethane), which helps phase 1 of our livers to detoxify excess toxins and hormones. Cruciferous vegetables are: spinach, kale, brussel sprouts; cauliflower; cabbage and broccoli. Try to aim to get at least 3-4 portions of these vegetables in per day. You can also use the supplement ‘DIM’ but I would recommend being under the eye of a healthcare practitioner before using.
- Replace your simple carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates. Use more plant based sources such as chick peas, lentils and other legumes. Other sources can be quinoa, rice based products, oats, fruit and root vegetables.
- Stay hydrated – trying to make sure we hit a minimum of 2.5-3L’s of water per day in order to make sure you’re getting enough fluids in. This helps with circulation and excretion of excess toxins.
And what do we need to reduce in our diets?
I feel as though most people will already know what is coming before this section begins..
- Firstly you need to reduce your exposure to environmental oestrogen’s – this can be from plastics (tuppaware as an example), the make up products you use daily, the chemicals you use to clean your home with – look for more natural brands such as Ecover & Method.
- Reduce poor quality saturated foods which will clog up the lymphatic system and also reduce the efficiency of your liver. This can be general ‘junk’ foods, such as biscuits, chocolates, cakes, crisps… you know the deal!
- Reduce refined carbohydrates such as white flours, pastries, and pies.
- Avoid too much coffee or alcohol. This again can put a lot of strain onto your liver, causing it to slow down and reduce its efficiency.
Lastly, you need to increase the amount of weight bearing activity you do. The higher the amount of muscle tissue you have, and the more you can reduce your body fat percentage the better your chances of reducing the amount of cellulite your body has.