So, summer is approaching, and that means short-sleeve season is upon us. No matter how many salads we eat, it seems like we can never get rid of the lumps and bumps on the back of our legs.
Therefore we enlisted some expert help from Georgios Tzenichristos at Lipotherapeia on what cellulite actually is, what causes it and how to get rid of cellulite as quickly and naturally as possible, so you can worry about other things, like getting rid of fruit flies or adding some wow factor to your summer barbecue.
Keep reading for cellulite removal tips.
What is cellulite?
Cellulite is "the name for lumpy dimpled flesh found on thighs, hips, buttocks, and abdomens, usually on adolescent and adult women". It often appears in places where there is less circulation (see: backs of thighs) and can be caused by a combination of both genetic and lifestyle factors.
Georgios explains, cellulite isthe most complicated aesthetic concern, comprising skin looseness, skin fibrosis, fat accumulation, water retention and inflammation, so unless you make a concerted effort, results will be very temporary or very poor. Yikes!
Don't worry though, because apparently cellulite is normal and affects nearly 90 percent of us, which does make us feel a lot better. In fact, we are weird if we don't have it, right?
What causes cellulite?
There is not one factor to blame for cellulite. Everything from smoking, a poor diet, and lack of exercise can be to blame. It's also important to remember that cellulite can be genetic.
So how do I actually get rid of cellulite on thighs/bum/arms?
Georgios explains, "There is no difference between reducing cellulite on different parts of the body. The recipe is the same: strict but healthy diet, exercise (high intensity preferably), using a highly concentrated cellulite cream regularly, and, if possible, having a course of high intensity cellulite treatments. The reason I use the terms strict/high/highly is because with half measures, not much happens."
If you're serious about getting rid of cellulite, you either go hard or go home. Gulp.
What to eat to get rid of cellulite? Should I change my diet at all?
"Lots of greens and yes!" is the short answer. "Diet-wise, cutting out sugar, fried food, refined carbs and alcohol are as essential as having loads of vegetables, salads, berry fruit and vegetable juices." Lots of chocolate croissants and microwave cheesecake? Maybe not.
"Avoid too much fat, even so-called healthy fat, such as avocado, olive oils, nuts or coconut oil. Even those types of fat are healthier, they still contain calories and contribute to the body's fat stores, including cellulite fat stores."
But an olive oil dressed avocado is a lot better than...you guessed it: cake. "If there was a type of calorie I would be afraid of, sugar calories (desserts, cakes, croissants, sugary drinks, chocolate, etc.) would be the worst!"
Does smoking cause cellulite?
Bad news if you're a smoker as Georgios reveals, "it can have a big impact on some women (genetic predisposition) and a lesser influence on some others, but in all cases after 10-20 years is an important factor of cellulite creation."
If you needed another excuse to ditch the cigarettes, then this is it...
What exercises should I try to get rid of cellulite?
"Exercise-wise, it's important to know that there are no specific exercises to reduce cellulite on a particular part of the body, i.e. there is no such thing as "spot cellulite reduction with exercise". This is biologically impossible, regardless of what those YouTube videos say." says Georgios.
"A type of exercise that reduces cellulite, does so on the entire body, not on a specific area. The best types of exercise for cellulite are in order of importance: interval training (interval running, swimming, cycling, HIIT); continuous running; continuous swimming; uphill walking; hot yoga; power yoga / Power Pilates; power plate training. Lighter forms of exercise, such as slow walking, mild yoga and normal Pilates are quite ineffective, but still better than sitting on the couch."
Maybe tag along the next time your partner and kids want to go swimming! Or do a lot of lunges while listening to something.
How do I get rid of cellulite fast? I've got a vacation planned and want to look fantastic.
This is where creams and treatments come in...
The cellulite-pro explains, "Now health and exercise are great for cellulite reduction, they are (almost) free and they also improve your overall health and energy levels. However, they usually act slowly and are not enough for fast cellulite removal. Hence the need for a good cellulite cream and/or treatment."
MUST-SEE: The Truth About Cellulite
But, do cellulite creams actually work?
They can work.
"The problem with most cellulite creams though is that they do not contain enough actives to effectively reduce cellulite, hence the skepticism by the public, which is justified. Some creams however, do contain multiple actives and in high concentrations, in order to fight cellulite on many fronts."
What about intensive cellulite treatments?
Yes, if you're okay with parting with some big bucks. "If budget allows, a courses of intensive cellulite treatments would produce even faster results. Strong cellulite massages are the most cost-effective option, but do not bother with soft, lymphatic drainage massages that don't do much for cellulite. A high intensity radiofrequency treatment offers the best chance of reducing cellulite and at the same time tightening the skin, thereby producing the best results of all cellulite treatments. Again, be sure to do your research, as low intensity RF treatments may be an expensive waste of money. Some high power ultrasound treatments may work well too, while the low varieties are not very effective. In all cases, a course of at least 6 sessions is essential—don't believe the hype that 2-3 sessions are enough, peddled by some clinics."
So what works better, cellulite creams or treatments?
"Creams are most cost effective than treatments, as with the price of one good treatment you can buy an one month supply of a good cream. However, treatments work faster than creams."
This post was written by Aimee Jakes. For more, check out our sister site Closer.