Cellulite is described as a fat accumulation on the thighs and hips. It usually causes a dimpled effect and even extremely slim women aren’t immune to it. Most naturopaths know that the whole picture is more complex than just a fat accumulation: cellulite is also a toxin accumulation. The cause may be a hormonal imbalance, a poor diet and/or lack of exercise. Because of the toxin accumulation, the body of those prone to cellulite piles fat on the thighs and hips, giving them an orange-peel look. The fact is that when cellulite attacks it has a tendency to stay.
There are no proven products or techniques to reduce fat in a specific spot. Vanquishing cellulite needs a global approach. Let’s review the different ways to reduce cellulite (these may also help you to get rid of any other fat deposit or toxin accumulation).
- Drink a lot of Water. Everybody seems to know it, but very few people drink the four to eight daily glasses of water needed to naturally eliminate body toxins. Water retention is often given as an excuse not to drink plenty of pure clean water. The body is much more intelligent than we think. If it holds on to water, there has to be something it wants to dilute. Water is not the problem, toxins that accumulate in fat cells are.
- Exercise Regularly. Exercise is the number one way to lose fat. It is also considered by many to be the key to a healthy long life. Exercising with weight also increases the amount of calories you burn after the workout, even at rest. Weight lifting of any kind increases your muscle mass and muscle cells burn more energy than fat cells. Your basal metabolic rate increases allowing you to burn fat while you rest. Exercise also helps your body eliminate toxins, another key to effective cellulite control. It has been proven that regular exercise (30 minutes, four times a week) increases your serotonin (mood neurotransmitter) level as effectively as an antidepressant.
- Stick to the Right Fats. Your body needs fat, but it needs good fats, such as the ones found in fish and flax seed. Modified vegetable fats such as margarine or those in fried foods are not only extra energy for you to burn but also a source of toxins that your body will store.
- Get Fruity. The Canadian food guide recommends eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Do you? Most Canadians don’t. Five servings is a minimum. Experts suggest eating foods that are rich in nutrients and poor in calories. You can’t find those in the meat and dairy departments. Fresh organic fruits and vegetables are your best allies.
- Don’t Go for the Quick Fix. Your goal has to be health; weight and looks will follow. Remember that someone can look like model Kate Moss and not be healthy. The process of gaining a new better lifestyle will guarantee that the kilograms or centimetres lost will not come back. If you go for the quick diet that starves your body, you will be sorely disappointed. You may lose a few kilograms at first but you’re sure to gain them back again (and more) when the old habits kick back in.
In today’s fast-paced society most people want results for yesterday. Some supplements may help to increase the effectiveness of the lifestyle changes.
Green tea (Camelia sinensis) has been demonstrated to be a safe thermogenic to increase weight loss safely and with minimal side effects. Green tea does contain caffeine, but less than one per cent and in a less bioavailable form than coffee. Green tea also has beneficial effects on blood lipids, cancer and as an antioxidant.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a nutrient that has recently been studied in relation to healthy body mass. CLA has been found to stimulate the body to increase its lean mass and inhibit part of its ability to store fat. In a pilot study at the University of Wisconsin’s Food Research Institute, subjects experienced a 20-percent reduction of body fat and an increase of lean muscle after three months of treatment with CLA.
The essential oil of the bitter Seville orange (Citrus aurantium; Zhi shi) has been known in traditional Chinese medicine to improve circulation and liver function, stimulate gastrointestinal function and treat indigestion. Recent findings have demonstrated that Citrus aurantium contains amines that increase the metabolic rate. This thermogenic effect is much safer than that of ephedra because is does not affect the brain or the heart. Citrus aurantium also increases lipolysis (fat break down). No side effects have been found.
St John’s wort contributes to a weight loss program by supporting mood and reducing depression (which can be an underlying factor of obesity). It is especially useful to curb sweet cravings.
Kelp can increase the metabolic rate and be a source of iodine for a sluggish thyroid. Depurative herbs are useful because they stimulate the release of toxins. Be careful with the use of laxative herbs, as they can be habit forming and cause all sorts of health problems, rebound constipation being the least of your worries.
To achieve a healthy weight and vanquish cellulite follow these five rules and aim for a maximum loss of one pound (500 grams) a week. Or, forget the scale and focus on your well-being; you’ll feel the difference.