Cellulite is the bane of many women’s existence, but it doesn’t have to be. Aside from the foundational truth that you are beautiful and perfect exactly as you are, it’s also so important to understand not only what cellulite is, but where it comes from. Believe it or not, cellulite has a lot to do with how nourished your skin is, and this starts from the inside out.
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite is often called “cottage cheese skin” and refers to a dimpling of the skin that appears lumpy. It most commonly appears on the thighs, butt, back of the arms and stomach, and typically worsens with age and is more prevalent in women. What’s happening underneath the surface are small fat globules under the skin pushing against the connective tissue, creating the classic cellulite appearance.
While cosmetic surgery rates are on the incline, the reality is that these quick fixes are far less effective (not to mention unsafe and expensive) as some people think, and the real answer to preventing and removing cellulite lies in diet, exercise and lifestyle.
The Nutrition Cellulite Connection: Is Your Skin Malnourished?
Malnourishment can sound scary, but mainly what I mean in relation to skin health is that due to many factors of modern day living, your skin might simply need a little extra love and attention in the nutrition department. Cellulite is one of several skin problems that can have its root in the inner landscape of the body, which is why simply approaching it topically without addressing underlying issues isn’t very effective.
Along with cellulite, other signs and symptoms that your skin might need an injection of skin-supporting superfoods are fine lines and wrinkles, itchy and flaky skin, tender red patches, dry skin, oily skin, dull skin, rough, red and bumpy patches or more serious conditions, like eczema or psoriasis.
Skin malnourishment is by and large not your fault. The environment that we live in is full of pollution and other toxins that are often out of our control, and marketing campaigns lead us to believe that we need chemical-laden skincare products that can do more harm than good. A diet high in processed and unhealthy foods as well can be a big source of daily stress on the skin, and all of these factors combined culminate to create undernourished skin.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent, improve and, in some cases, even remove cellulite!
Top 10 Ways to Remove Cellulite
Enjoy Bone Broth
Bone broth is rich in collagen, which supports many bodily functions such as increased bone density, reduced inflammation, improved vascular function and more. Studies have also found collagen to cause a marked improvement in the appearance of cellulite.
When it comes to your skin collagen can make a huge difference, as it provides key nutrients that help support skin texture and strength. When skin is healthy, it is more efficient at retaining moisture and is more elastic and less prone to develop fine lines, wrinkles and cellulite.
If making bone broth isn’t feasible, there are many high quality supplements on the market. This one from Vital Proteins is one I’ve found a lot of success with personally and working with clients.
All types of exercise are beneficial for cellulite, but strength training is best, with interval training being a close runner-up. Lifting weights or bodyweight strength exercises increases muscle tone and helps to burn fat, while high intensity interval training in particular has been shown specifically to reduce subcutaneous fat, which is the fat underneath the skin.
Squats, step-ups and lateral lunges are especially helpful for fighting stubborn cellulite on the thighs. If you struggle with being overweight or obese, check out these science-backed ways to burn an extra 500 calories per day.
Drink Green Tea
Although more research is needed, some people believe that drinking about three cups of green tea per day can help to reduce cellulite. This is likely due to green tea’s ability to increase metabolism and help you burn more calories, and its powerful antioxidant profile that fights free radical damage, a key for overall skin health and anti-aging.
Indulge in a Coffee Scrub
You might have noticed coffee as a popular ingredient in natural skincare products, and you can make a highly effective DIY scrub to remove cellulite or reduce its appearance. Caffeine is thought to plump and revitalize skin due to its natural mechanism of dilating blood vessels, which improves blood flow.
To make your coffee scrub, combine 1 cup of coffee grounds, 1/2 cup of coconut oil (or another healthy oil of your choice), 2/3 cup coarse sugar like turbinado or brown, and if you’d like you can also add a few drops of lavender and vanilla essential oils. After showering, vigorously massage the scrub into areas of your body with cellulite, then wash off. You can do this every day if you’d like, and a little bit of redness afterwards is normal.
Try Dry Skin Brushing
The practice of dry skin brushing is incredibly detoxifying and a wonderful practice for everyone, regardless of whether or not cellulite is a concern. However, its ability to boost oxygen in the blood is thought to help remove cellulite, so basically it’s a win-win. While you’re at it, you’ll also be exfoliating your skin and unclogging pores.
Eat a High-Fiber Diet
Fiber is critical for so many reasons, not least of which is fighting cellulite. Fiber in the diet helps to maintain a healthy weight, cleanse the colon and maintain healthy gut flora. Most high-fiber foods are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, which are essential for healthy skin and fighting free radical damage. Include a myriad of dark green and brightly colored vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and moderate amounts of seasonal fruit to meet your body’s fiber needs.
Load Up on Healthy Fats
It’s true, you need to eat fat to lose fat, including fatty deposits that cause cellulite. Especially great fats for glowing skin and reduced signs of skin aging include medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil and MCT oil, EFA and DHA found in wild fish, or ALA found in flaxseeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
I always recommend keeping a gallon of this unrefined, raw and organic coconut oil brand on hand so that you’ll never run low.
Get Creative with Sea Vegetables
Seaweed and other sea vegetables are a unique source of trace minerals, and kelp in particular is thought to boost fat loss and reduce the appearance of cellulite due to a compound called fucoxanthin. You can buy kelp at most health food stores or online, and add it to soups, stews or enjoy tasty seaweed snacks now widely sold in many grocery stores. Some contain sugar, so be sure to read the ingredient list carefully.
Stay Well Hydrated
Pretty much the best thing you can do for the health and appearance of your skin is stay very well hydrated by consuming at least half of your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water each day, if not more. Water works to flush the body of toxins, promote healthy digestion and decrease the visibility of cellulite.
Avoid Toxic Foods
Along with the nourishing foods discussed above that you should enjoy to remove cellulite, it’s also essential to avoid foods that do just the opposite. This includes trans fats (margarine and anything labeled hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated), processed sugar, refined grains like white bread, pasta and commercial baked goods and any foods you know you are sensitive or allergic too.
By following these 10 tips you can significantly support your body in removing or improving cellulite, and you’ll be doing your overall health a huge favor in the process.