Dream of a peachy derrière or silky-smooth pins? Don’t let the orange-peel effect dent your confidence this month; instead, read our cellulite-busting advice to identify the causes and beat the bumps!
1. THE CAUSE:WATER RETENTION
When water carrying waste accumulates in porous pockets under your skin, it is called water retention. It happens during periods of stress or before menstruation. Cellulite occurs when this water becomes gelatinous, hardens and creates pressure under your skin. “Only through an intense localised treatment of the fatty mass will you be able to dislodge this orange-peel texture, which will tend to become more difficult over time,” Frédéric Delavier explains, a fitness expert and author of the forthcoming Delavier’s Sculpting Anatomy for Women: Core, Butt, and Legs (humankinetics.com, £14.99).
Grant Powles, Technogym Master Trainer (technogym.com) adds: “Squats and lunges are both great exercises to fight cellulite but you need to do them effectively. Keep in mind that there’s more than one muscle in the bum, so you need to work it from different angles. If you’re in the gym, ask one of the staff or your trainer to show you the Technogym multi-hip, which is great for these exercises. If you’re exercising outside, perfect the squat for effective fat burning; make sure your tummy is pulled in tight, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and make sure your knees stay aligned with your feet. Stick your butt out and lower, making sure to keep a straight back.”
“For some, cellulite may seem to come and go, but may be more obvious when you don’t move as much,” says Lorna Driver-Davies, Nutri Centre Nutritional Therapist (nutricentre.co.uk). “It’s important to keep your lymphatic fluid moving to support the clearance of waste in the body.”
“Unlike your blood, which is pumped by your heart, your lymph has no such ‘pump’ and is stimulated by physical movement instead,” explains Lorna. “Also make smoothies, as vegetables and fruits have a natural diuretic action. Use a base of one glass of unsweetened apple juice and blend with two sticks of celery, a handful of watercress and half a cucumber. Add a pinch of cayenne powder to increase circulation.”
2. THE CAUSE: HORMONAL CHANGES
The appearance and development of cellulite is linked to important hormonal stages in women’s lives, such as puberty and pregnancy. Menopause is characterised by the ovaries ceasing to function and produce hormones. “At this stage of life, even though your body tends to activate fat cells less often, this does not mean you will not accumulate cellulite,” says Delavier.
“When choosing your gym kit, opt for technologically advanced clothing,” says Linda Jones, Zaggora Fitness Expert (zaggora.com). “We now have access to incredible new fabrics that actually help burn fat while working out. Try Zaggora’s stylish Hot Wear, guaranteed to help in the battle against the orange peel effect. The technologically advanced fabric means you burn more calories by using your natural body heat and your circulation will also improve.”
“There may be a link between hormonal imbalances and increased cellulite and body fat,” Lorna tells us. “If you suffer from PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), you may want to consider a natural hormone support. Vitamin B6 is important for female hormone balancing and the herb agnus castus is an excellent herb with proven action for supporting symptoms of premenstrual tension. Avoid eating foods that have been heated in plastic.
Heated plastic may leak microscopic amounts of chemicals into food, which can act as ‘disruptors’ to your hormone levels.”
3. THE CAUSE: STRESS
Cellulite can occur during a period of intense prolonged stress and be linked to gynecological, circulatory and digestive problems. “The liver plays an essential role in digesting food and if it’s not moving properly, fat and sugar will be stored and your body will retain toxins,” says Delavier.
“Use a foam roller,” says Linda Jones. “These have long been used in the fitness industry to improve flexibility, but are less commonly known for the positive effects they can have on reducing cellulite. Rolling the legs, butt and other parts of your body, massages the area and breaks down pockets of fat and grouped connective tissue, which greatly improves the orange peel effect.”
James Duigan of Bodyism (bodyism.com) tells us: “The more toxic your system is from environmental and dietary pollutants, the more prone to cellulite you’ll be. Living in a busy city toxifies your body, but the worst cellulite offenders are sugar, alcohol, caffeine and processed foods. Get your caffeine hit from green tea – it contains less caffeine than coffee and it’s full of antioxidants. Garlic is also a fantastic antioxidant, and the more finely crushed it is the better, as it releases fat burning enzymes! If you’re stressed, then shedding the orange peel is even harder, so make sure you’re sleeping well to get your day off to the best start, Take Bodyism’s Serenity supplement before bed, which is packed with calcium, chamomile and hops to help promote a relaxing and restful sleep.”
4. THE CAUSE: HEREDITY
Heredity is an important factor in the development of cellulite, just as it is for obesity. Women who have varicose veins and circulation problems often pass them on to their daughters. “By eating a diet without sugar and by working your legs, you can break the hereditary chain,” Delavier says.
“The appearance of cellulite is not only caused by excessive fat under the skin’s surface, it can also be due to a lack of toned muscle,” explains Linda. “Too much cardio and not enough resistance training can actually leave cellulite looking worse. Toned, lean muscle will smooth the appearance of cellulite and create beautiful, sculpted legs.”
“Even if you don’t have any lumps and bumps now, do what you can early on,” says Lorna. “Try drinking two litres of water a day, cutting down on tea and coffee and avoiding refined sugar and processed food. Buy a skin brush and do full-body dry skin brushing before your shower or bath each day.”