Cellulite: What can you do?

Secrets of Cellulite 

What is cellulite: Cellulite is usually found when there is a decrease of estrogen in the body.  This causes a decrease in circulation, which leads to less oxygen and nutrition to the area, which then leads to less collagen production.  The other problem with decreased circulation is the fat cells in the area are unable to be broken up as effectively, so they begin to increase in size and push through the collagen, causing the appearance of bumpy skin or as we know it cellulite.

Why do women get Cellulite and men do not:

 This is actually a misconception!  Though cellulite is more prevalent in women, with up to 90% of women (skinny or obese) having it, 10% of men also have cellulite.

Why is the prevalence of cellulite higher in women than men:

If you take a look at the diagram, you can see how the collagen looks more like a picket fence in women, but in men it looks more like a cross linked fence, allowing for more stability against the growing fat cells. There are a few other reasons such as hormones (estrogen vs. testosterone in the body) and adrenergic receptors (Beta increases fat burning, Alpha receptors increase fat, to keep it simple).


Are there other factors:

There are other factors as well, such as genetics, diet , lifestyle, clothing, and stress.

The cellulite Solution:

It’s true, there are certain predispositions which  make for a tough uphill battle.  However, in this case, you can overcome this predisposition by being proactive.  The good news is that being genetically predisposed to cellulite does not necessarily mean you will have it.  This means that you must focus on the factors which are in your control. Here are 4 tips to decreasing your chances of developing cellulite.

Tip #1 Do not wear restrictive underwear! 

If your body already loses effective circulation through hormone loss, don’t add to it by wearing elastic bands in the gluteus region.  The blood that should be flowing to those regions gets backed up. Remember the goal is to increase the blood flow in these areas, not decrease it.

Tip #2Diet:

Be proactive and focus on keeping lean.  Look back to past articles for nutrition information.  It’s important to not increase body fat.  If you already have cellulite, having a healthy, nutrient-dense diet can still help improve your look and decrease the amount of cellulite. Remember, specifically for women, due to the collagen structure and a decrease in estrogen, any increase in body fat will begin to push through the fibers. This does not mean stop eating! This just means you need to eat more clean!

Tip #3 Exercise:

Yes, this means a resistance program (weights, bands, body weight exercises etc.) in addition to cardio. Exercise, specifically resistance exercises, increases the blood flow in the particular area, so meet with a qualified exercise specialist (personal trainer) and develop an effective program (email me and first session is free!).

Tip #4 Cellulite services:

There are various treatments out there, but many are expensive and have little effect.

  1. Creams: The focus with creams is on fat burning not increasing blood flow.
  2. Vacuum rolling: rolling the area increases the blood flow, and the heat helps in fat burning, but this will have to be a monthly reoccurrence, results vary!
  3. Subcision surgery: correcting the area with placing more fat into it can make the cellulite move or get absorbed, which may make it worse.

Attack the cellulite head on before it becomes an issue. Once it starts its very tough to overcome, The best choice is the proactive approach.

By: Kirill Vaks
Fitness and exercise specialist
BA, CSCS, ACSM-cpt, NFPT-sns 

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