While some of the medical profession are eager to duck the question of cellulite, there are thousands of women living with its ugly pockets of dimpled fat. For those women (men don’t get it) who have the problem, the French have come to the rescue with an understanding of cellulite.
Cellulite is not ordinary fat and has little to do with being overweight. It looks like dimpled flesh (the orange peel look) and occurs in spot areas such as the thighs, tummy, buttocks, hips, legs, upper arms, and ankles. If you squeeze it with your fingertips, you will feel the tiny nodes of fat lying under the skin. Ordinary fat has a smooth, even feel. Cellulite may also feel quite sensitive to squeezing.
Cellulite forms under the skin in the connective tissue, through which nourishing liquids pass. For an unexplained reason, the body selects its own isolated corners as a dumping ground for some of the waste carried by the liquids. As the wastes pass through the connective tissue they are trapped in the sponge-like substance, where they harden and transform into tiny nodes of almost impenetrable fat. This is cellulite.
A combination of factors explains its existence. Basically they are:
- An imbalanced diet.
- The modern problems of stress and tension.
- A lack of exercise and fresh air.
- Insufficient fluid in the diet.
- The consistent use of diuretics also appears to encourage cellulite.
Cellulite does not form quickly. It takes a very gradual build-up of those tiny deposits before it becomes visible. When it does you need an army of weapons to fight the affected areas and an understanding of what is causing it.
Certain foods rank highly among the cellulite encouragers, although one factor to emerge in tests was that women who lost a lot of weight did not necessarily lose their cellulite.
The foods we need less of include the mostly highly processed ones like fast foods, junk food. You should ration flour, tinned fruits, butter, cream, fatty meats (sausages, mince, and pork), commercially made sweet biscuits, jams, white sugar, most sauces, tinned soups, preserved foods like salami, pickles and sausages, low-calorie drinks and alcohol.
The object of an anti-cellulite diet is to purify the body by eating fresh, raw, natural food. A good diet with a high content of roughage “revs” up the inside of the body, causing the digestive tract (kidneys, stomach, and bowel) to work as effectively as it was designed to. Eating foods that encourage cellulite also allows the digestive tract to become lazy.
High on your list of foods to eat should be fresh fruit and vegetable juices (which also gives good skin color), white meats (chicken, veal), fish, cottage cheese, walnuts (the only nuts allowed on anti-cholesterol diet), raw or steamed vegetables, and salads.
For a total anti-cellulite regime, a blender or juice extractor is a good investment. A multi-press juicer not only extracts the juices from any fruit or vegetable, but it also juices the pulp so you get all the goodness. Think of juicing carrots, celery, apples, strawberries, tomatoes, pears, oranges, grapefruit, watermelon, rockmelon. If you don’t have a juice extractor, dice the vegetables into salads, the fruit on to breakfast cereals.
Guidelines for daily eating
- Breakfast: Half a grapefruit or one piece of other fruit in season; one or two eggs, poached or boiled; and a cup of weak black tea or decaffeinated coffee.
- Mid-morning: A piece of fresh fruit or a glass of freshly extracted vegetable juice.
- Lunch: Raw vegetables – carrots, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes tossed in a salad, half a carton of cottage cheese and a carton of natural yogurt.
- Mid-afternoon: A glass of freshly extracted vegetable juice.
- Dinner: One portion of grilled lean meat or fish, steamed green vegetables, a leafy salad, and fresh fruit.
No cream or sugar can be used in drinks and no alcohol must be taken. Salads may be eaten with a dressing of pure vegetable oil. You may also eat low-fat cheese. Drink eight glasses of water a day, but avoid taking it 15 minutes before a meal or two hours after.
Water is a much-maligned juice in most dieters’ diaries. They think water is absorbed and therefore puts on weight. Not so. Water helps eliminate waste materials and is an essential part of any anti-cellulite regime. Water is only retained when trapped by starchy foods.
Exercise can help or hinder, so don’t jog off to the nearest gym and start a round of strenuous activity before you understand the consequences of some exercise.
An intensive sport like running or tennis (the competition sort) develops very strong muscles in certain parts of the body without helping the real problem. The result: you gain muscles while cellulite doesn’t budge.
Swimming (not at a fast pace) is excellent for aiding cellulite removal, so is walking or slow jogging. Spot exercises for problem areas – thighs or arms, waist, or legs – are good too.
Massage is the fourth cellulite dis solver. A body massage turns up good results because the gentle kneading, stroking and knuckling motions disperse the solid cellulite, almost dissolving it away. But massage will slim your purse as well as your body.
Happily, it’s not the only way. There are two French products recently launched on the market that offer solid ways to combat cellulite. The most recent to arrive is a range of products called Elancyl. This method was discovered by a French pharmaceutical company that makes its products from wild plants and flowers. This process is called phytochemistry.
After years of research, they perfected Elancyl for the French woman, who, they claim, inspects her body critically every day looking for bulges and bumps. Elancyl works by toning the skin, improving the circulation, and tightening the muscle tissues. The method includes a mechanical action and a cream.
Elancyl has proved very popular with European and American women who have a problem with cellulite.
A specially designed glove, which encloses a herbal soap, is used in a rotating action on the skin. This is followed by the cream, put on when the skin is still warm and receptive from the shower. The pockets of toxins, waste, and water are freed by the glove. The massage must be continued daily for three weeks and at least twice a week after that to maintain the results.
There are two extra products, a refreshing gel, and the bath foam, but you can treat cellulite without them.
A second French product that treats cellulite is by Clarins, an elite French house. This excellent cream is called Anti-Cellulite Cream. Although Clarins agree their product must work in conjunction with a good diet, exercise and general good health, a nightly massage on the affected areas with Anti-Cellulite Cream will slim away the puckered fat. It is massaged into damp skin in broad, sweeping movements. The herbal cream contains lavender, extracts of broom, meadowsweet, ivy, and horse-chestnut. They suggest a treatment over four to six weeks to break down the cellulite.
You don’t have to pay for a professional massage, you can give yourself one at home. Start after a bath when the body is relaxed, the muscles no longer tense. Start with stroking movements and remember that all massages should stroke, knuckle, or knead towards the heart.
Start gently stroking your body with fingertips. Up the legs, up the arms, up the trunk of the body, and then repeat. Increase the pressure, but not the speed of the stroking, and eventually change the movements to pinching. Pick up the skin with your fingertips and pull it away from the bone, rubbing it between the fingertips. Cellulite areas sometimes react sensitively to this.
The last massage movement is kneading. Clench your knuckles and push down on the skin with both hands. Rotate the fists back and forward, keeping them pushed down into the skin. This stroke has the most effect on cellulite. Finally, stroke the skin again after the knuckling.
Tension is among the biggest contributing factors to cellulite. The tension cycle starts with stress, then there is an involuntary tightening of the muscles. This interferes with and unbalances the ease of movement of liquids through the body. If you know you suffer tension what you need to do is learn to relax.
Not difficult, you can begin at home or in a group team learning yoga for instance. At home, deep breathing is the best and simplest way to relax. Stand straight, hands at your sides, feet apart. As you breathe in deeply, raise your hands over your head. Hold for the count of five and then exhale slowly. Drop your hands as you do.
Repeat this exercise ten times. Deep breathing de-tenses the body and revitalizes it, too. It also improves the complexion, speeds up the body’s circulation, and consequently the circulation’s efficiency.
Probably the best way to learn yoga is with a teacher who will help you understand it. The next best way is to buy a book. It will teach you almost everything you need to know about how yoga can work for you.
A good night’s sleep is like a holiday to the body. It regenerates, revives, and repairs itself for the day ahead. If you skip on sleep you don’t give your body a chance to do those things.
It also means you’ve added another factor that can encourage cellulite. You know how much sleep you need (it differs for everyone) – do your best to snatch it every night.