Reduce Cellulite

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Millions of people are looking to reduce cellulite through a variety of methods, including creams, massage, diet, and exercise. The classic techniques of fat reduction have proven frustratingly ineffective when it comes to reducing cellulite. That's because cellulite is a stubborn and singular formation of fat cells that does not respond to diet and exercise like regular fat does.

Cellulite occurs when the fat cells, which are located underneath the skin and above the muscle layer, become enlarged and bloated. Each subcutaneous fat cell is contained in a fiber compartment, which is attached to the skin layer above. When fat cells bloat, they stretch their fiber casings thin, causing them to pull on the layer of skin above. This causes the dimpling effect we're so used to seeing.

Causes of Cellulite

What causes fat cells to bloat, then? Poor circulation is one culprit. The normal functioning of the body's cells depends on free circulation of bodily fluids such as blood, water, and lymph. These fluids bring nourishment to the cells, as well as take away toxins and wastes expelled from the cells in their natural course of living. One theory is that when the bodily fluids become sluggish, they become trapped in the fibrous bindings of the fat cells, causing bloating. Poor circulation of body fluids in the epidermal layer may cause skin eruptions and a dull, poor complexion as well.

Diet is also a factor in bloated fat cells. However, it's not simply an overabundance of fat that swells fat cells. Too much salt in the diet will also do the job, as it causes the body to retain water, which in turn bloats the fatty tissues. Caffeine slows circulation of bodily fluids. Alcohol, sugar, and refined grains such as white bread and rice increase the amount of fat stored in the body, causing fat cell bloat.

Is Cellulite Normal?

Is cellulite normal? The answer, surprisingly, is yes. Cellulite has no impact on overall health, and the overwhelming majority of women, even those in great physical shape, have it to some degree. It's generally agreed that cellulite is caused by a combination of hormones and heredity. Some claim that poor diet and lack of exercise also help cause cellulite. They assert that poor nutritional choices and a sedentary lifestyle work to inhibit proper circulation among subcutaneous tissues, which they say contributes to causing cellulite.

However, cellulite should never be confused with obesity. Even very slim women can have cellulite, and no amount of dieting will change that. In fact, if you're already thin and start going on extreme diets to rid yourself of a cellulite problem, you can do yourself more harm than good. Instead, the key is to understand the nature of cellulite and to seek the appropriate treatment.

How to Reduce Cellulite

Diet cannot get rid of cellulite, but it may have an effect on cellulite reduction. Specifically, reducing your intake of elements that aggravate cellulite can reduce the appearance of waffled, dimpled skin. For instance, cutting sugar and processed grains from your diet will lower your levels of fat stored in the body, possibly shrinking cellulite bumps.

Cutting your alcohol intake may also help, as alcohol is a triple threat: it increases estrogen levels, which cause water retention; it causes the blood's fat levels to rise, slowing circulation; and it actually inhibits absorption of important fat-burning nutrients, such as calcium, zinc, and Vitamin C. Finally, specialized lotions containing cellulite-battling ingredients have also been found effective in improving the appearance of cellulite in the areas in which they're applied.

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