Cottage cheese skin, orange peel skin, whatever you want to call it. Cellulite. Such a cringe-worthy word, is it not? Though the majority of us have to deal with it, nobody wants to have cellulite on their body. Effecting 80% of women, cellulite is a one of the most common body complaints. While there is something to be said for embracing your body the way it is, improving the health and appearance of your skin’s surface through natural remedies may be able to help you look and feel your best.

What is Cellulite and Why Do We Have It?

Fat Cells

Before we can beat cellulite, we must first understand it. We all have fat cells in our body, and a certain amount is very necessary to help your body function properly. When fat cells push up against the skin surface, the fibrous tissue that connects skin to muscle pulls down, which causes the appearance of dimpled skin.

Ultimately, cellulite is a type of fat. This explains why women are more affected by cellulite than men, as genetically women carry more fat in their body. Aside from gender, cellulite may also be attributed to genetics, blood flow, and lifestyle factors.

Gender

Men are less likely to complain of cellulite due to a difference in their fibrous connective tissue. Where women’s connective tissue is aligned in a criss cross pattern, men’s fibrous tissue runs horizontally. This difference in the genetic make-up of tissue and the pattern promotes a dimpling effect in women.

You may notice that cellulite tends to show up on the lower part of the body. Just as the connective tissue in women is different than that of men, the lower body fat is also different. There are two types of receptors in the body, alpha-adrenergic receptors and beta-adrenergic receptors. These receptors bind to the fat burning hormone called catecholamine. When catecholamine binds to the beta receptors, fat is released. However, when they bind to the alpha receptors, fat release and fat burn is dramatically slower. Due to a higher amount of estrogen than men, women have significantly more alpha-adrenergic receptors in the lower body than beta-adrenergic. This explains why females tend to store more fat in their lower region than men, and why they also tend to have more cellulite.

Body Composition

A lack of muscle tone and a high body fat percentage due to physical inactivity and poor eating habits may contribute to the formation of cellulite. Also, constricted blood flow (due to inactivity or tense muscles) can contribute to cellulite appearance. The fat cells in the body store toxins as a way of preventing those toxins from flowing into vital organs and interrupting bodily functions. It is speculated that these toxins can get built up from a lack of blood flow, increasing the appearance of cellulite. The improper flow of blood and lymph throughout the body provides a better explanation for cellulite appearance than toxin build-up.

Age

In addition to gender, genetics, and lifestyle factors, cellulite appearance can dramatically increase with age. As you age, your skin becomes less elastic and thinner. Body fat percentage naturally increases with age. Pair these two factors together, and the cellulite may be more likely to lurk at the skin’s surface. Unfortunately, aging is one factor contributing to cellulite that is out of our control.

1. How to Get Rid of Cellulite: Movement

Regardless of the various causes of cellulite, one thing is certain, it is unwanted. There are many ways to reduce the appearance of cellulite. However, there are no true cures as cellulite is a type of fat, which though it is not appealing, is necessary for the body to function.

The most effective methods of decreasing the appearance of cellulite are lifestyle related and therefore take the most amount of effort. However, with consistent effort, cellulite appearance should decrease dramatically.

Burn Fat

Burning excess fat the old fashioned way, through cardio exercise, is one of the most effective routes. Though it will take several months to see a dramatic decrease in body fat percentage, walking, jogging, swimming, and cardio classes are all very effective ways to decrease cellulite.

Strength Training

Once you’ve burned the excess fat, the next step is to tone your body with strength training. Participating in activities such as yoga, weight lifting, and body weight exercises three to four times weekly can lead to toned, tight skin rather than bubbly, cellulite-ridden skin. Increasing physical activity is one of the most beneficial lifestyle changes.

Reduce Sitting Time

Unfortunately, many of us work desk jobs that require us to be sedentary for at least 8 hours a day. To decrease blood pooling, increase circulation and metabolism, and keep cellulite away, stand up and walk around for 2 minutes after every hour of sitting. Even if you exercise daily, your pre or post work routine may not be enough to offset hours of sitting. This 2 minute rule of repetitive, full body movement adds up to serious health benefits.

2. How to Get Rid of Cellulite: Diet

In addition to burning calories, the calories you put in your body in the form of food are an important factor in cellulite appearance. The less fat you have in your body, the less you’ll have on your body. Some amount of fat is very necessary for the body to perform all of its functions properly; however, this should come from healthy sources.

Food

Healthy fats include:

  • nuts,
  • oils, and
  • avocados.

In addition to healthy fats, a diet full of the following will be the most optimal for the body and the decrease of cellulite appearance:

  • fiber,
  • whole grains,
  • vegetables,
  • protein,
  • and fruits.

While some resources recommend very low carbohydrate diets to reduce the appearance of cellulite, a balanced diet is always the best options. Shorting your body of a certain food group is detrimental because your body will be lacking the nutrients and energy that that specific source can provide. For example, carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the brain. And let’s just say the brain is awfully important as no other body functions would go on without a healthy brain!

Many believe that an alkaline diet can help minimize toxins in the body. With fewer toxins in the fat cells, the concept is that the fat cells will not grow and press up against the skin surface, creating cellulite. Vegetables and fruits are alkaline foods that should be eaten frequently. The key is to eat many kinds of fruits and vegetables. You’ve likely heard that the more colorful your plate is the better. This is true! Gradually increase your fresh produce intake over the course of a few weeks as to not shock your body or overwhelm yourself. Like all lifestyle changes, increased physical activity and dietary changes do not happen overnight. Make small steps towards these healthy changes daily and watch the benefits appear (and cellulite disappear!).

Hydrate!

Hydration is also important to the disappearance of cellulite. Water helps your body release excess toxins it may be holding on to. It can also help strengthen collagen, which is responsible for keeping the skin tight and taught. It is recommended that women drink at least 9 glasses of water daily, and men aim for around 12 glasses. Optimal hydration can help decrease the appearance of cellulite.

Adding apple cider vinegar to your diet may be an effective tool in reducing the appearance of cellulite, as well. Apple cider vinegar has vitamins and minerals such as potassium and calcium. These minerals, in addition to other properties of apple cider vinegar, are believed to help decrease weight and body fat percentage. With a lower body fat percentage, cellulite is less likely to appear on the body.

To add apple cider vinegar to your diet, you can add it as a dressing to many meals. You can also drink 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water (add some honey for sweetness) daily to reap the benefits. Some are bold enough to try an apple cider vinegar detox, which entails drinking the apple cider vinegar concoction mentioned above throughout the day, up to 11 times, for an extended period of time, usually 2 to 7 days. While we recommend a well-rounded diet of produce, protein, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates, many others swear by detoxes.

Always listen to your body and fuel it with whole and proper nutrition, even if that means deviating from a detox or cleanse.

3.How to Get Rid of Cellulite: Exfoliation and Massage

While many of us are used to drinking our caffeine for a morning boost, exfoliating the skin with caffeine may help decrease cellulite.

Caffeine Scrub

A caffeine scrub can exfoliate dead skin cells and massage the body to stimulate blood flow. Caffeine is also known to help tighten skin and stimulate blood and lymph flow. Lymph is a colorless fluid in the body that carries the white blood cells and picks up toxins throughout the body. Just as with other fluids in the body, lymph can build up as it isn’t pumped but rather propelled through the body by the muscles. So, stimulating circulation may be beneficial.

To create your own natural caffeine scrub:

  • Combine ¼ cup coffee grounds, 3 tablespoons white or brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil.

  • Massage the scrub into skin for several minutes in a circular and upward motion.

  • For a more simplistic application, massage the skin for 10 minutes in the shower with pure coffee grounds twice weekly.

Users of both methods reported seeing less cellulite in as little as 3 weeks. Be sure to massage firmly as to break up fatty deposits in the body.

Deep Tissue Massage

In addition to the gentle massage provided by a caffeine scrub, a deep tissue massage can help decrease cellulite. Myofascial release can improve circulation and break up tough connective tissue. By rolling on a foam roller you can break up tough connective tissue and smooth out the layers, potentially decreasing the appearance of cellulite. Bonus, foam rolling also soothes sore muscles and feels amazing. Simply roll back and forth on each of your large muscle groups for 30-60 seconds, pausing at any points of tension. To increase the benefit of myofascial release, you can also splurge on a deep tissue massage 1-2 times each month.

Dry Brushing

Dry brushing is a beauty and health routine that has been gaining popularity. If cellulite is due to genetics or hormones rather than an inactive lifestyle, this solution may help. Dry brushing improves blood and lymph circulation and breaks up the toxins in the most superficial (or top) layer of skin. Always brush from the feet up, moving left to right in motion (following natural blood flow patterns), and swipe up towards the heart. The idea is to trace the path blood should be flowing. This can be done for about 5 minutes each day before showering.

Some who swear by this method have also added that it’s more effective than coffee as a morning boost of energy!

4. How to Get Rid of Cellulite: Topical Remedies

Another natural and homemade cellulite fix involves moisturizing the skin and stimulating blood flow.

Oils

Simply combine 1 to 2 drops of juniper oil to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. You can massage this into the skin daily in the morning or after exercise. Remember, work from the feet up, left to right, and always towards the heart as the idea is to stimulate blood and lymph to flow back towards the heart. Repeating this moisturizing massage 3 times weekly has been claimed to produce visible results in a matter of a few weeks. Perhaps combining the caffeine scrub with a moisturizing, homemade serum would also lead to extremely smooth (and great smelling) skin! There are many different oils you can use for maassaging so choose the ones you like the best.

Detox

Lemon juice and cayenne pepper have been reported to reduce the appearance of stubborn cellulite, as well. A popular detox remedy of combining lemon juice and cayenne pepper in water and drinking the mixture three times daily has been reported to result in weight loss and firming of cellulite-ridden areas. For best results, be sure to combine this cleansing drink with a healthy diet full of vegetables, fruits, protein, and whole grains. As a bonus, many people who have used this technique also report higher energy levels.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a natural and organic substance gaining popularity in the health and beauty field. With many benefits including smooth skin and hair, optimal weight, natural energy, and more, coconut oil has also been shown to help reduce cellulite appearance. To utilize this method, massage a generous amount of coconut oil to the cellulite area. Next, massage the area in an upward motion with a dry brush. This process can help smooth skin and has been reported to generously reduce the appearance of cellulite. Users reported results in as little as thirty days. Perhaps the method that produces results the fastest, this coconut oil and dry brushing combination fix, paired with physical activity and healthy eating, may be the most effective solution.

5. How to Get Rid of Cellulite: Disguises

Less of a cure and more camouflage, adding a bit of color to the skin can help disguise cellulite. To get some natural and healthy color, take your cellulite-blasting cardio and strength workouts outdoors. Be sure to wear a safe amount of sunscreen (at least SPF 30). You can also use a natural self-tanning product to add a bit of camouflaging color to the skin.

Let’s face it; nobody wants to have cellulite showing on their body, though the vast majority of us are left to deal with it. Perhaps the best cure for this pesky body issue is to own it and embrace it. The excess fat women hold in the lower region of the body is there due to hormonal differences, making us able to carry children, among many miracles. While the appearance may not be favorable, it is a sign that you are human as well as something you have in common with so many others. We can stand united in our flaws, embrace them, and know that they are what set us apart from one another.

Stressing too much about every little detail of your perfectly imperfect body will leave you feeling and seeing negative stress-induced effects. So, exercise regularly, eat well, give a few of these natural fixes a try, and relax. Your body is wonderful just the way it is.

Manon McGovern

Manon McGovern, creator of The Traveling Trainer, is a fitness and weight management specialist who loves sharing her passion for a healthy lifestyle. She studied Exercise Science at The Ohio State University and started personal training and teaching group exercise classes to introduce herself into the fitness world. She enjoys personal training and teaching Yoga, Spinning, KickBoxing, and strength classes. Now working... Read More

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