In women, fibrous bands of connective tissue run vertically between the muscle and the skin, creating little jailhouses of fat cells locked inside. In men (and a few very lucky women), the connective tissue runs cross-wise, so the fat distribution is more even.
In those not so lucky, as fat cells grow, the skin on top puckers and dimples.
So, the idea that you can get rid of cellulite becomes about getting rid of fat.
In women, the formation of collagen fibers sets the stage for the buildup of fat between those fibers, which is what causes the dimpling. Whether you are thin or overweight, the issue is about collagen fibers. What can you do to fight cellulite?
Esther Blum, RD, joins Dr. Holly to discuss what cellulite is, why every woman is prone to having it and ways that you can get rid of it.
What you can do to eliminate cellulite:
- Build muscle: The firmer you can make your muscle, the firmer your collagen fibers will be thus reducing the dimpling on the skin's surface.
- Reduce body fat to reduce dimpling: When you gain weight, your body produces more fat cells. You can never lose the amount of cells stored in your body, but you can reduce the size of those cells. Building muscle while burning fat reduces the size of the fat cells and will reduce the appearance of cellulite.
- Avoid salty processed foods: Paleo-style foods are naturally high in potassium and low in sodium, keeping your bloating to a minimum.
- Limit starchy foods: One cup of white rice (37 grams of carbs, less than one gram of fiber) will have different metabolic consequences on your body than one cup of raspberries (15 grams of carbs, plus 8 grams of fiber). Bonus note: berries and vitamin C-rich foods will help tighten up cellulite.
- Follow the right exercise and diet prescription: The best protocol for reducing cellulite is the exact same protocol for those women who are pear-shaped and store fat in their lower body. Take a lower-insulin approach with a lower carb diet. And make sure you're working those squats, lunges, and lower body exercises so you can tighten up the underlying musculature in your thighs and shorten those collagen fibers. If you love to jog or run, lower body weight training will be even more imperative to counteract all the pulling and flopping around when you're on the move.