A question as old as cellulite itself. Many women, and some men, feel that their cellulite is a direct result of some action or in-action on their part but is this really the case? I will attempt to explain what cellulite is, how it occurs and in the process hopefully alleviate some of the guilt a few of you may be feeling.
So what is cellulite?
It is a change in the skin that occurs in most females and appears as dimpling or a ‘cottage cheese’ look in areas generally from the stomach down. The look of the skin is altered due to structural changes occurring under the surface, namely fat deposits collecting there. These fat deposits are contained within chambers and separated by collagen fibers underneath the skin. These chambers increase in size for a number of reasons including:
Genetics – There is an inherited likelihood of cellulite,
Becoming overweight – Too much fat in each chamber,
Age – The fibers shrink and tighten pulling the skin ‘downward’,
Hormones (Oestrogen) – Stimulates the storage of fat for purposes such as menstruation, pregnancy and breastfeeding,
Poor blood circulation – The fibers shrink due to lack of oxygen and the accumulation of waste products resulting in the tell-tale cellulite look,
Poor lymph drainage – The waste products can not be drained from the area and increase the fat cells,
Exercise – Or lack of, can be a cause as there is no increased blood flow to the areas,
High fat foods – An increase in fat intake can cause the excess fat to be stored in the problem areas,
Sun – Lengthy exposure to the sun accelerate the skin aging process,
Dieting – On and off dieting causes the body to store fat in the problem areas in preparation for the next ‘starvation period’, and
Stress – A highly stressful lifestyle causes the release of hormones which are associated with cellulite appearing.
How can I avoid cellulite?
The short answer is, maybe you can’t. There are a number of things you can do to reduce the likelihood, the amount and the time at which cellulite will appear but for the vast majority of women, you will develop cellulite at some stage. Some of the things you can do to fend off its arrival are:
Diet – Eat a proper, low calorie diet consisting of vegetables, fruits and lean meats. Avoid high fat, sugary and processed foods.
Exercise – Have a regular exercise regime consisting of at least three sessions per week.
Slip, Slop, Slap – Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat when in the sun for long periods.
Avoid stress – Easier to say than do but there are numerous calmative techniques that can be used or applied in most situations.
So is it my fault?
Yes, er.. no. Well maybe. Now that you know what factors can cause the appearance of cellulite you are armed with the tools needed to make changes to your life to hopefully delay or possibly avoid its appearance. For some women, cellulite will appear regardless of a healthy lifestyle but continued diligence and adherence to that lifestyle may reduce the severity.