Your Guide To Understanding Cellulite

| Health
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(Photo: iStock)

With warmer weather finally here, it’s time to hit the waters in our adorable swimsuits! But for so many women, it’s a daunting season that brings about many feelings regarding those lumps, bumps and bulges better known as cellulite.

Even when we try our hardest to convince ourselves to be body positive, we understand how it’s hard to really embrace something you never asked for. While numerous studies report 95 percent of American women have cellulite, the New Jersey Plastic Surgery center discovered 88 percent of them feel bothered by it during the summer.

For years, companies have marketed cellulite as a condition and even a disease, but the truth is it actually isn’t symptomatic of anything unhealthy. In fact, it’s the same kind of fat that causes those adorable dimples on a baby’s bum.

To help you stop worrying about your own beautiful dimples and embrace the normalcy that the amazing Mindy Kaling touts a “miracle,” we share what you need to know most about cellulite.

What Is It?

Originating from the French word “cellule” for “little cell,” we know cellulite best as a dermatological fat. While it’s a healthier fat than visceral fat that surrounds our organs, it’s still somewhat taboo. Often making the skin in these areas appear dimpled and lumpy, cellulite is made up of fibrous strands of tissue that come up between fat cells and attach themselves to the bottom layer of our skin. Like sewing a button on a cushion, the emergence of cellulite causes the surface of the skin to appear puckered.

Who Gets It?

No one is safe from cellulite — and that includes models, dancers, and Hollywood darlings. Found in all shapes, sizes, and ages, cellulite is found more often in women than men since our skin is thinner than theirs is. Generally storing this kind of fat in our bums and thighs, the University of New Mexico suggests this onset is due to differences in our hormonal makeups and genetics, which play an active role in developing and storing fat in our bodies.

What Can You Do?

First, let’s stop freaking out, Womanistas. Cellulite is a natural part of our bodies and something more of the norm since we all have it. But if you’re really bothered, there are ways to minimize its appearance. That said, there is no quick fix so don’t invest in miracle-melting jeans or sneakers that magically eliminate fat because they actually don’t work.

Exercise
While some women can effectively rid cellulite through exercise, others can’t. Keep in mind, it’s not you — it’s just your hormones. Since you can never choose whereabouts on your body you lose fat, focus on an all-over program that not only improves the fat-to-muscle ratio, but also help build muscle. Since weight training and cardio are integral keys in losing fat, choose a fitness plan that will increase lean body mass by training with fewer repetitions. Additionally, integrate cardio into the mix as it causes fat cell to shrink as you increase metabolism and burn more calories than you take in.

Diet
By now we know exercise works best with a proper diet, so eat healthy. Go back to the basics and stay away from trans-fats, additives, processed and basically, anything that you can’t pronounce. Eat fresher, organic foods and prepare your own meals. If you intend to reduce cellulite, try looking into the Mediterranean diet. Touted the anti-cellulite diet, this heart-healthy regime helps detoxify and thwart further formation of fatty cells through alkaline-forming foods, rather than acid-forming foods like red meat, white rice, and pasta. As a diet high in fiber, whole grains and healthy fats, you can indulge in the goods like avocados and olive oils.

Treatments
If you choose to exercise and utilize beauty products for the benefit of your skin, several topical treatments can help smooth the appearance. Of course, there is no fast-fix cream, but some of these remedies, which include caffeine, collagen, or aminophylline, can be helpful for that last minute event.

If you desire a long-lasting solution, opt for edermologie or more high-tech treatments that involve lasers and radio-frequency devices. While they are costly, they are equally painless and help shrink fat cells, boost circulation, and stimulate collagen production.

Tania Hussain |

Tania Hussain is a native of Toronto and a Hoosier at heart, studying journalism at Ball State University in Indiana. She has a mad love for fine cheese, film, music, and meeting people upon her many travels. When Tania’s not writing at Womanista, she can be found going for long nature runs, rooting for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Cardinals, photographing sights and food, or writing for her online magazine, The Hudsucker. She is also a member of the Indy-based, Society of Professional Journalists—one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists.