Nine out of ten women are affected by cellulite.
In addition to being unsightly, it can be embarrassing, even painful. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to get rid of it and regain a toned and firm figure
A woman’s curse?
Although you may think otherwise when you drop your sarong at the beach, cellulite is not a curse. It is a natural phenomenon that affects mostly women, but also some men, about one in ten. In concrete terms, cellulite is a swelling and inflammation of the fat cells, the adipocytes, located under the skin.
This adipose tissue also contains fibroblasts, which produce collagen and elastin, and blood vessels.
When fatty tissue is damaged, swollen and consequently deformed, the appearance of the skin covering it changes: this is the dreaded padded appearance of cellulite. The main function of adipose tissue is to store energy, from lipids, or carbohydrates transformed into lipids, that we ingest through our diet. Our adipocytes are therefore energy reserves that can be mobilized when needed, for example during a major physical effort.
Thus, in theory, when energy intake and expenditure are balanced, fat cells do not multiply and do not grow. They are regularly emptied. It is then unlikely that cellulite will set in. But this is of course only the theory.
We must also take into account the body’s prudence, which, in order to ensure our survival, will always strive to build up reserves to cope with a possible period of leaner times. This is even more true for women who can potentially carry a child and then feed it. Thus, under the influence of estrogen, women store fat, mainly in the hips, thighs and buttocks.
This is why almost all women are affected by cellulite. But it must be admitted that some are more affected than others. Why are some women more affected than others?
The six main factors
The appearance of cellulite is multifactorial. If your mother was prone to cellulite, it is likely that you are too. The genetic factor plays a role. Being overweight is of course another factor to consider, but it does not explain everything, because cellulite also exists in very thin women. So beyond genetics and overweight, what are these factors that explain the appearance of cellulite?
▪ Poor blood and lymphatic circulation promotes water retention, while decreasing intra- and extra-cellular exchanges. The cells are therefore locally less well nourished and oxygenated. Toxins are less well eliminated and end up accumulating, generating inflammation and therefore swelling of the adipocytes. At the same time, the support tissue, made up of collagen and elastin, is damaged and becomes deformed. A vicious circle then sets in because the more the fat cells swell, the more the circulation is impeded, and the more the fat cells swell… This poor circulation is often due to a lack of physical activity. Also be careful about wearing tight clothes and high heels that hinder proper circulation.
▪ An unbalanced diet, too rich in refined sugars and saturated fatty acids, is a determining factor in the appearance of cellulite. Sugars, refined and industrial, but also natural sugars (such as honey or wholemeal sugar) and complex sugars present in cereals, when consumed in too large quantities, are easily stored as fat in the adipocytes, making them swell. In addition, sugar is responsible for the glycation of collagen. Collagen is a fibrous protein that surrounds fat cells. When there is glycation, that is to say when sugars bind to proteins, collagen fibers harden and become rigid, thus imprisoning the fat cells. The fat contained in them becomes difficult to mobilize and cellulite sets in permanently. As for saturated fatty acids, they are a source of energy, easily stored, but unfortunately not easily mobilized during exercise. They are therefore difficult for the body to burn. In addition, they stiffen the cell membranes of adipocytes, thus promoting cellulite. You will find them mainly in fatty meats, deli meats, cheeses and ultra-processed products, especially those containing palm oil. Finally, some foods promote water retention. This is the case with salt and foods that contain too much of it, as well as deli meats and industrial dishes, to name but a few… Also avoid sweeteners and flavor enhancers (again, very present in industrial products!). And beware of “light” drinks and products, false friends par excellence…
▪ A hormonal imbalance. We speak of estrogen dominance when they are present in excess compared to progesterone. Yet these two hormones have antagonistic effects. Not only do estrogens promote fat storage, but they also promote water retention, causing adipocytes and all fatty tissue to swell. On the other hand, progesterone stimulates the use of fat as a source of energy and is diuretic. It therefore helps to fight cellulite. Thus, any hormonal imbalance related to age, taking a contraceptive hormone treatment or menopause, can promote cellulite.
▪ A weakness in the connective tissue. A lack of collagen and elastin leads to sagging skin and therefore less support for fat cells, which are more easily deformed and visible. This weakness of the connective tissue may be due to a deficiency of protein and gelatin in the diet.
Three types of cellulite
Aqueous cellulite is mainly present in cases of water retention linked to venous and lymphatic insufficiency. Water accumulates, especially under the influence of hormones. The phenomenon can therefore be more marked at the time of ovulation or before menstruation. Swelling can also be present in the feet and ankles, with a sensation of heavy legs.
Adipose cellulite is linked to an excessive storage of ingested fats that the body cannot use, either because they are ingested in too large quantities or because they are of poor quality (saturated fatty acids).
Fibrous cellulite corresponds to an advanced stage, in people who have suffered from cellulite for several years. The tissues have hardened. The cellulite is then visible, hard and painful to the touch. It is sometimes said to be indurated. It will be much more difficult to eliminate.
A 5-step strategy
Regardless of the type of cellulite you have, the strategy is the same.
1. The battle begins on your plate
Eliminate all refined sugars and those with a high glycemic index, which are responsible for excessive fat storage and the glycation phenomenon. The same goes for ultra-processed and industrial foods, which are too rich in sugars, salt, sweeteners and flavor enhancers. They also contain too many saturated fatty acids. For the same reason, limit dairy products, which also promote inflammation and lead to a high insulin response and therefore fat storage. Limit salt, without eliminating it completely, as it is essential for a good electrolyte balance.
Make room for vegetables and fruit. Rich in potassium, they help eliminate water. Their richness in antioxidants supports and strengthens the walls of the blood vessels and therefore the blood circulation. Eat enough proteins, they help maintain and elasticity of the skin, particularly through the synthesis of collagen and elastin. Bone broths or stews cooked with marrow bones are very rich in collagen. Put them on the menu more often. If your diet does not contain enough collagen, think about food supplements. A daily intake of 2.5 grams of collagen improves skin quality and reduces cellulite.
Consume omega-3, lipids easily burned by the body, which, as a bonus, bring fluidity to your cells, promoting the elimination of toxins. You will find them in small oily fish (sardines, mackerel) and in vegetable oils such as rapeseed, flax or walnut. Finally, drink enough water. This might seem counterintuitive, but it is the best solution to fight against water retention. Also consider green tea, two to three cups a day. It promotes the elimination of fat and water.
2. Get moving!
Regular physical activity will increase your energy expenditure, thus limiting fat storage. Better yet, if you engage in sufficiently intense activity, your body will release the fat stored in your adipocytes and cellulite will gradually fade. For this, opt for running, brisk walking, swimming or weight training. A good point for aquabiking which, in addition to burning a large amount of energy, promotes drainage thanks to the massage performed by the water! Physical activity is also the best way to stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation. Your muscles will also be strengthened, which will improve the support of the skin and your fatty tissue. Little by little, cellulite will become less visible. Finally, moving will help you better manage your stress and therefore fight against cravings that promote weight gain. It is also an asset to regulate your hormones and avoid cortisol discharges, which cause weight gain in the stomach and waist area.
3. Support your circulation
In addition to physical activity, many plants improve blood and lymphatic circulation, thus helping to eliminate cellulite. Choose a cocktail of veinotonic and anti-edematous plants that you drink throughout the day in a cure lasting several months. Be patient, the results will be there in the long run. To fight even more effectively against water retention, add a diuretic plant every other day to your cocktail that will activate the elimination of water by the kidneys. This can be pilosella (Hieracium pilosella) or orthosiphon (Orthosiphon Staminaeus), at a rate of 25 drops of mother tincture. They should be used for a period of one to two months maximum.
4. Balance your hormones
To restore a good hormonal balance, add sprouted broccoli seeds to your diet. Rich in indol-3-carbinol, they help the liver eliminate estrogens, thus avoiding accumulation and excess in the body.
If you think you suffer from estrogen dominance, characterized by water retention, unusual weight gain and a very marked premenstrual syndrome, take a phytoprogestagenic plant, which mimics the effects of progesterone in the body. One of the best known is chasteberry (Vitex agnus). Take it 14 days a month, from the 12th to the 26th day of your cycle, at a rate of 15 drops of mother tincture twice a day, away from meals. Allow at least three cycles to see an improvement.
5. Act locally
The best weapon against cellulite is still massage, the famous palpate-roll, which consists of pinching a fold of skin between your fingers and rolling it to dislodge trapped fat. The ideal is to massage twice a day the concerned areas (thighs, hips, buttocks, stomach) with a mixture of draining, decongesting and lipolytic essential oils. Try the following mixture.
Finally, before your shower, brush yourself for 5 minutes on dry skin with a soft brush made of natural hair. Start with the lower part of the body and gradually work your way up, in light circular motions, to all parts of the body, except the chest and injured or sensitive areas. This stimulates blood and lymphatic circulation, the elimination of toxins and the renewal of the skin, which becomes smoother and softer.
We know that summer has already arrived and it may take some time to see the first results. With a little luck (but mostly effort), some of you will be able to see the benefits of this natural strategy this season. For others, you will have to persevere. Above all, don’t give up, you’re on the right track!
Triple effect massage oil
In a 30 ml bottle, add:
▪ 20 drops of essential oil of juniper (Juniperus communis): draining and decongesting, it is very effective against water retention.
▪ 20 drops of essential oil of Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica): venous decongestant, it promotes the destocking of fat through its lipolytic action.
▪ 10 drops of cypress essential oil (Cupressus sempervirens): great venous decongestant, it also has anti-inflammatory properties and tones the venous tissue.
▪ Calophyllum inophyllum (Calophyllum inophyllum) vegetable oil (QSP), both tonic and protective of venous tissue.
This blend is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, in cases of hormone-dependent pathologies, asthma and epilepsy.