Cellulite, a common skin condition millions of women across the globe struggle with. Lumpy, cottage cheese textured skin is not what most people would consider attractive, and many will go to great lengths to prevent it from forming.
What Is Cellulite?
Cellulite is caused by fat cells under the skin. As fat cells grow bigger due to various reasons, they push against the collagen, causing your skin to have that bumpy appearance.
Many clinics and gyms offer creams, procedures, and work out programs claiming to be able to make cellulite disappear. The truth is, however, there is no way to completely get rid of it once it is formed.
The good news is that they are completely harmless. Having cellulite does not mean you have poor health, as everyone could have it regardless of their size, age, or level of fitness.
What Causes Cellulite?
The exact reason is still unclear. However, certain factors have been found to be linked with the formation of cellulite, and there are some ways you can minimize its visibility on your skin.
Here are some possible causes and ways you can deal with them.
Cellulite Cause #1 – Your Gender
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Even though everyone can get cellulite, women are more likely to have this condition than men. In fact, around 90% of women have cellulite, while only about 10% of men have experienced it.
One of the reasons why it affects women more is that estrogen levels play a key role in the appearance of cellulite.
As women age, estrogen levels go down, which leads to the loss of receptors in blood vessels. This then causes decreased circulation, which means less oxygen and nutrition are carried to the affected areas. This also decreases the production of collagen.
Collagen (the primary component of connective tissue under your skin) holds fat cells in place, and men have stronger collagen structures than women do, which could also be why cellulite affects women more than it does men. With less collagen to hold the fat cells in place, they protrude through the collagen as they grow.
With decreased circulation, the decreased production of collagen, and growing fat cells, cellulite develops.
Cellulite Cause #2 – It’s in Your DNA
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Cellulite can be passed down in the family, so if your family members have it, then there’s a good chance that you might get it someday as well.
However, just because it runs in the family doesn’t mean it will show, you just have a higher chance of developing cellulite. With the right lifestyle choices, you might be able to prevent it from happening.
Cellulite Cause #3 – You Have a Poor Diet
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A poor diet that is high in carbs and sugar could also be a contributing factor to the formation of cellulite.
Carbohydrates, sugar, processed foods, and alcohol increase your blood sugar level. Carbs get turned into sugar glucose, and your body stores excess glucose as fat. Since cellulite is caused by growing fat cells underneath your skin, all that excess fat could make cellulite more prominent.
Fad diets could also contribute to the development of cellulite because of the drastic weight changes and nutrition limitation. Fad diets often have little medical evidence of their effectiveness, and some of them might even cause more harm than they do good.
Fad diets often tell you to avoid a certain category of food or eat foods from one food group only. These methods do limit calories, but they also prevent you from getting all the nutrients you need. Your weight could also fluctuate a lot because of an extreme diet plan you follow, causing your skin to go under a dramatic change in a short amount of time. None of that helps with reducing cellulite.
Eating a balanced and low-fat diet could slow down the build-up of fat, and you will supply your body with essential nutrients. Not only can you stay healthy this way, but you could also reduce cellulite on your skin.
Cellulite Cause #4 – You Don’t Work Out Regularly
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A low level of physical activity could increase your chances of developing cellulite. Sitting for long periods of time reduces blood flow, and as mentioned, bad circulation could cause the development of cellulite.
By exercising, you can strengthen the connective tissue under your skin, burn fat, and improve your metabolism, which are all positive things that could help reduce cellulite. An important tip is to do a variety of exercises regularly instead of sticking to a single type.
Aerobic activities are known to be fat-burning, and strength exercises help build muscle and improve the elasticity of your skin. Exercises that target a specific area could also help tighten the skin around those regions, and a combination of all of the above could contribute to the reduction of cellulite’s appearance.
Cellulite Cause #5 – You Smoke
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All of us have some habits that are not quite healthy, and some of them could be responsible for the cellulite on your body.
Smoking is bad for your health in general, and one of the things it does to your body is weakening collagen formation. Collagen is also one of the main components of your hair, skin, muscles, tendons, and bones, so it plays a big role in your health.
As mentioned, collagen makes up most of your connective tissue, and its job is to hold fat cells in place under your skin. It gives your skin structure, and it keeps it from sagging. As your connective tissue is weakened by smoking, your skin loses its plumpness and cellulite becomes more visible.
So, if you’re a smoker who wants to reduce the appearance of cellulite, cutting back on smoking or quitting it once and for all could be worth considering.
Cellulite Cause #6 – You Don’t Drink Enough Water
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The next bad habit that could lead to cellulite formation is not drinking enough water.
We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, but how many of us actually follow this simple health tip?
The European Hydration Institute recommends 8 to 10 glasses of fluids every day. Drinking enough water every day improves circulation and prevents fluid retention, which in turn reduces the appearance of cellulite.
It was found that people around the globe drink about only half the recommended amount. Americans on average only drink about 1.8 cups per day, which is nowhere near the recommended amount.
Water is the best for staying hydrated. If you don’t like drinking water, no worries because caffeinated or sweetened drinks also count towards your H2O intake. Coffee, tea, milk, juice, and soda are all drinks that can help you stay hydrated. However, you should watch out for the amount of sugar contained in your drinks.
According to the American Heart Association, the recommended amount of sugar consumption per day is 9 teaspoons for men and 6 teaspoons for women. A can of soda alone can contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is over the limit for both ladies and gentlemen.
Sugary drinks contain too many empty calories, and that could lead to weight gain and the loss of collagen, which could make your cellulite condition worse.
Cellulite Cause #7 – Your Clothes Are Too Tight
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Remember how bad circulation can cause cellulite? The clothes you wear could be a contributing factor as well. Skinny jeans and even underwear with elastic bands restrict your blood flow, and that decreases circulation.
As mentioned previously, decreased circulation could cause cellulite to develop because less nutrition and oxygen are delivered to affected areas for collagen production.
What counts as too tight? If there are visible marks caused by tightness after removing your clothes, then you might want to size up or go for something more relaxed for a change.
Fortunately, this is easy to fix. Simply avoid wearing skin-tight clothing for long periods of time.
You can try diversifying your outfits with culottes, skirts, and mom jeans. They will keep you stylish and comfortable all day, and they won’t hinder your blood flow.
If you cannot live without your skinny jeans, you can try changing into something looser or something with plenty of stretch when you get home.
Sweatpants and stretchy leggings with no added compression are both great options for relieving your legs.
Cellulite is not what people would want to have on their skin.
If you want to prevent cellulite from forming or reduce its appearance, you can try exercising, eating healthily, quitting bad habits, and wearing loose or stretchy clothes.
If you do have cellulite, just remember that it is normal, and it is not an indication of your overall health or fitness level.
Since there is no way to completely get rid of cellulite, these tips may not be able to eradicate all traces of it on your body. However, they will definitely help you become a healthier, happier, and better version of you.
So, stay confident and be comfortable in your own skin, both figuratively and literally.