The Skinny on Cellulite
Beach season is around the bend…which means it’s time to get our bodies in shape, like, yesterday. While we’ve got our workout routine on point (yoga, Soul Cycle, Barre, check), we’re still seeing some unfortunate dimples (a.k.a. cellulite) on our backside. Regardless of the amount of working out we seem to work into the day, those cottage cheese legs don’t seem to want to go way. WTF?!
Keep reading for fitness expert, Joe Dowdell (he’s worked with celebs like Natalie Portman, Eva Mendes, Anne Hathaway, and Claire Danes – not bad bodies all around) and dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi (who has served as a consulting dermatologist for L’Oreal to assist in advanced skin care product development) exclusive insight and tips on getting your body beach-banging-ready and cellulite-free:
BEAUTY BANTER: How do you get cellulite? Is it genetic as I’ve been lead to believe?
JOE DOWDELL: Yes, genetics play huge role, but you can help diminish the possibility of cellulite occurring, especially if you know that your family is predisposed to it. Make sure you are eating clean, free range, grass fed, organic, unprocessed, hormone and pesticide free food sources. Build a diet around lots of lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, berries and lots of good fats (i.e., nuts and seeds) and in particular, make sure you get enough Omega 3 Essential Fatty acids via Fish Oil supplements.
DR. TANZI: Cellulite affects upwards of 90% of women after puberty. Genetics is part of it, but also weight, exercise and hormone fluctuations are involved too.
BB: What exactly IS cellulite?
DR. TANZI: Cellulite is the combination of fat pockets that get caught between fibrous (firm) bands under the skin. The fat gets squeezed by the bands and puckers up under the skin that leads to the “cottage cheese” appearance. It’s definitely worsened by female hormones which is why women are affected much more than men.
BB: Do food choices make a difference? if yes, what types of foods increase cellulite?
JOE DOWDELL: The less sugar and processed foods that you eat, the less negative hormonal impact you will place on your body, making it less likely that you will store excess fat.
DR. TANZI: Food choices are only important if they cause you to gain weight. Although even skinny women can have cellulite, it’s much more noticeable in women who are overweight.
BB: Are there foods that decrease cellulite?
JOE DOWDELL: Fish Oil supplement is a big step in the right direction. In addition, it has been hypothesized that following these same strategies will reduce the incidence of varicose veins.
BB: What is the most effective way of treating cellulite?
DR. TANZI: There is no permanent treatment for cellulite, only treatments that can offer long-term (months) improvement after a series of treatments. In my opinion the best treatments are Velashape and Thermage. The cost of treatment can range from $500 to several thousand dollars depending on the areas of desired treatment.
BB: Are there any workouts or treatments that can help diminish the appearance of cellulite?
JOE DOWDELL: Yes, a combination of total body strength training and energy system training (i.e., high intensity intervals and/or aerobic intervals ) will help increase lean muscle mass and decrease body fat, which will definitely affect the appearance on cellulite. It should be noted that there are plenty of skinny models that have a ton of cellulite, mainly because they are “skinny fat,” and are often misguided by the desire to be thin at all costs via calorie restricted diets, minimal protein intake, an overabundance of poor carbohydrates choices and very little strength training rather than trying to be lean and fit. Big, big mistake!!! As for magic creams or solutions, keep walking past those bottles and boxes at your local drug store, save your money, buy a gym membership and eat well.
BB: How can you treat cellulite from home?
DR. TANZI: Topical creams that contain caffeine or aminophylline will work temporarily, but they must be used every day to see the results.
BB: Are there certain products that you would recommend for cellulite reduction or are these products on the market just gimmicks?
DR. TANZI: Many of the products are gimmicks, there is no way that you can “massage” cellulite away. There is a reason why there are hundreds on products for cellulite on the market – because none of them work very effectively.
BB: Does everyone have cellulite? Is it inevitable that we will get it at some point in our lives?
DR. TANZI: Yes, most women will deal with cellulite at some point. In fact, it’s more normal to have cellulite than not, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up trying to make it look better!