I’ve had cellulite since I was a teenager, and I’ve always felt very self-conscious because of it.
In high school, I used to run track and cross-country. But even though I played so many sports and led a very active lifestyle, I still felt like I had cottage cheese on my thighs. “How is this possible?” I often asked myself. During my teenage years, I didn’t even want to wear shorts or skirts because I was so embarrassed about the way my legs looked.
If you can relate to my story, read on.
Over 90% of women have cellulite – regardless of their weight or body size.
Cellulite is basically fat tissue that’s located right under the skin. It lies within the connective tissue that connects our skin to our muscles. As the fat tissue grows due to various reasons, such as hormonal imbalances, or lifestyle and diet changes, the connective tissue pulls on the skin and the fat pushes upward. This is what creates that cottage cheese-like appearance that we all dread. But what exactly causes cellulite and why do we obsess over it?
What Causes Cellulite?
First, let’s start with causes. For starters, genetics play a huge role. You know how some girls never have to exercise, and yet their legs still look perfect legs? Some women are just born without having to worry about cellulite.
Besides being “genetically unlucky”, other culprits for developing cellulite include:
- Sedentary lifestyles
- Poor circulation
- Diets high in processed foods
- Hormonal changes (for example during puberty and pregnancy)
- Smoking; and
- Age (as we age, we lose skin elasticity which leads to cellulite, yikes!)
How can I get rid of or combat my cellulite?
The bad news is that we can’t completely get rid of cellulite, but we can immensely improve its appearance. First, let me make this clear: lotions, potions and massages that promise to get rid of this pesky problem are a waste of money! Sure, in some instances, these methods can be seem effective at the time, but their results are only temporary.
But before you give up all hope, I do have two solutions that will work for you!
Solution #1: Exercise
I’m not just talking about any type of exercising – but specifically, I’m talking about strength training with a combination of high intensity cardio intervals. The reason why this type of training works so effectively, is because it increases lean muscle mass and decreases overall body fat. Better muscle tone improves the appearance of cellulite.
Strength training stimulates testosterone. You might be wondering: why would females want to have testosterone in their bodies, when it’s a male steroid hormone? Well, we females already have testosterone in our bodies to some degree, and it plays an important role in maintaining our muscle tissue and strength. Testosterone also protects our bones, gives us energy, and improves our sex-drive.
I just want to ease your mind and assure you that lifting weights will not raise your testosterone level to a point that will leave you looking masculine. However, it will help to diminish the dimples on your butt and thighs. Think about it: Do you see male or female athletes with cellulite? I would say: NO.
For optimal results, you should aim to strength train three times per week, for 20-40 minutes. Focus on heavier weights with a lower amount of repetitions, which translates to 12-15 reps of each exercise for a total of at least 3 sets. In each session, work all of the muscles in your whole body. Working just your legs or butt is not optimal; spot reduction doesn’t work as the body pulls the fat for energy from the whole body and not just the area that you are exercising.
See my Anti-Cellulite Total Body Workout at the end of this post!
Solution #2: Good Eating Habits
A combination of diet and exercise will always give you the best results. The number one priority when it comes to cellulite, is to always stay hydrated. Drinking water helps to flush out toxins from your body and is essential for the fat burning process. Giving your body the right nutrients is also super important. These nutrients include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon or flax seeds)
- Unsaturated fats (found in avocados and nuts)
- Dark chocolate; and
- Alkaline forming foods found in leafy green vegetables
Apple cider vinegar is also a great toxin remover that also helps speed up your metabolism. You can add apple cider vinegar to your salad dressings or drink one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with warm water and honey once per day. Also, be sure to avoid processed foods, too much caffeine, sugar and excess salt. When it comes to salt, a good tip is to switch your table salt to sea salt or Himalayan rock salt.
As women, we are very critical of how we look. We have this notion that “the perfect figure” looks exactly like what we see in magazines and on social media. But these images are not real! It’s called Photoshop, baby! Although, I must confess, I’m guilty of being too critical of myself and I always complain to my husband. But he doesn’t care about the cellulite on my legs – he loves me just the way I am. So why am I so concerned? I have no right to complain! I’m a healthy, strong woman and my legs allow me to run, jump and do all the crazy activities that I do. I’m a fitness professional with a little bit of imperfection, and so what? I also realize that if I didn’t do strength training and eat a healthy diet, my legs would be much more dimpled.
So now, I invite you to let go of perfection, respect your body for what it does for you, eat healthy foods, and strength train with me!
Here’s my Anti-Cellulite Total Body Workout!
You can also watch this video on my Gosia Cano Fitness YouTube Channel by clicking here.