With springtime just around the corner, many people will be heading back to the gym in the hope of busting cellulite, a seemingly unshakeable curse for many women. However, cellulite, which has both genetic and hormonal causes, can be improved with a comprehensive long-term strategy. Here are a few facts and fictions about the dreaded "orange-peel effect" before you get started.
Exercise gets rid of cellulite
FALSE. Unfortunately, exercise alone isn't enough to shift those lumpy fatty deposits anchored deeply under the skin. This type of fat corresponds to metabolized fat from food and genetic fat stores often found around the buttocks and thighs. However, exercise (walking, running, water biking, skipping) forms part of an overall cellulite-busting strategy, giving a real boost to venous and lymphatic circulation.
Hormonal balance affects cellulite
TRUE. Harmonizing your hormonal balance could help reduce and halt the further development of adipocyte fat cells. A lack of progesterone can often create a cellulite effect. Borage oil and chaste tree are herbal remedies that are recommended for boosting the hormone progesterone. Changing to a contraceptive pill with a different dose of hormones can also be an option. Ask your healthcare provider for more information.
Cutting calories is the only way to get rid of cellulite
FALSE. Slim women have cellulite too! Losing weight by forcing yourself to follow a drastic and highly restrictive diet won't solve the problem. In fact, it can prove counterproductive, since you also risk losing muscle mass and accentuating any cellulite buildup.
The Mediterranean diet is the most effective
TRUE. Cellulite, by definition, is an inflammatory condition. A Mediterranean diet based on foods rich in antioxidants (fruit and vegetables, seeds, nuts, wholegrain cereals) is the best weapon of mass destruction in the fight against lumpy deposits. Foods containing fast-acting sugars, with high glycemic indexes, should generally be avoided because they promote the storage of fat and cause insulin levels to spike. Watch out for hidden salt too, which is often responsible for water retention. Avoid soup in the evening and fill up on protein.
Herbal remedies can help tackle cellulite
TRUE. The key active ingredients in certain plants can help the body to eliminate toxins, flushing out tissue that's full of water and fat. These include dandelion, birch, fennel, artichoke, black radish, fumaria, red vine leaf, witch hazel and ginkgo biloba, which can help boost blood flow back to the heart and aid the lymphatic system. Drinking lots of water will also stimulate digestive transit to help get rid of inflammatory toxins.