What is Cellulite?
Cellulite, that annoying lumpy, dimply skin on the back of your thighs and buttocks (and sometimes on the back of the arms). Cellulite mostly develops after puberty, as a result of hormonal changes that cause fat to be stored primarily on the hips, thighs and buttocks.
Put simply, these fat cells have enlarged, causing physical damage to the connective tissue that holds them in place. Couple this with poor circulation, the cells are surrounded by fluid, bathed in toxins and the connective tissue breaks down further. The fat cells, unconfined by connective tissue bands, push up against the skin causing the dimpled, bumpy appearance.
Certainly, being overweight or obese means that you will not be able to get rid of your cellulite before you lose the extra pounds. However, even those women who are not overweight can still suffer from cellulite.
Beneath the skin (the epidermis) lies the dermis, a layer of spongy tissue under which the fat cells sit. Fat cells are held together by connective tissue, collagen and elastin. When the connective tissue is healthy, the fat cells appear even. However, when the fat cells become ‘bloated’ and connective tissue breaks down, some cells push up against the skin, whilst others are held in place. This causes the uneven appearance on the surface of the skin.
There are various reasons for this:
– The connective tissue simply cannot hold the fat inside the cell anymore. The cells contain excess fat and toxins and have become enlarged.
– Fluid build up from a sluggish lymphatic and circulatory system causes inflammation in the area. This fluid contains toxins, which further breaks down the connective tissue.
– Breakdown of collagen in the dermis, so the skin is no longer ‘plump’. Between the skin and the fat cell lies the dermis. The reason that skin becomes wrinkly is because collagen breaks down and the dermis layer is no longer smooth. When fat cells push up against the dermis, it is unable to “smooth” the appearance of cellulite.
Why is the fat cell getting so big?
The fat cells in the thighs and buttocks contain a large number of oestrogen receptors. These cells not only use oestrogen to create more fat, and retain more fluid, but they also create more oestrogen. This oestrogen is used to create more fat cells, which in turn creates more cellulite. The fat cells that cause cellulite are involved in a vicious cycle of their own.
Whilst oestrogen is necessary for many of the body’s processes, once it’s done it’s job, it is broken down by the liver for safe excretion. When this detoxification process is compromised, the toxic by-products continue to circulate, causing there to be excessive oestrogen in the body. Excessive oestrogen causes metabolic slowdown, fat storage and a cascade of undesirable consequences.
This can happen either from exposure to ‘xenoestrogens’: external toxic substances that mimic oestrogen in the body, obesity or inflammation and poor nutrition. For a more in-depth look at how estrogen is affecting your cellulite click here.
Why is the connective tissue breaking down?
The fat cells become enlarged and put strain on the connective tissue surrounding them. The excess fat contained in these cells is holding on tight to toxins. Without adequate circulation and lymphatic drainage, fluid builds up around the cells. These cells are bathed in toxins, causing more damage to the connective tissue. The enlarged fat cells clump together even more, inhibiting circulation.
The result is that toxins are not being removed from the area, but all-important nutrients are not getting to the cells to assist with connective tissue and collagen repair. A diet high in inflammatory foods, coupled with lack of exercise and poor detoxification pathways is almost certain to result in cellulite. You can read more about improving circulation and lymphatic drainage here.
Why is collagen breaking down?
Collagen is what keeps our lips plump, our skin glowing and healthy. Collagen can be weakened by smoking, excess sugar consumption, consumption of inflammatory food and toxic exposure. Collagen also breaks down as part of the ageing process. Women’s bodies break down collagen quicker than men due to the menstrual cycle. Before the menstrual cycle, an enzyme called collagenase is released, which breaks down collagen to facilitate the shedding of the endometrium during menstruation. Eating foods rich in collagen, such as green-lipped mussels and bone broth, ensuring a diet high in antioxidants and vitamin C will help to maintain collagen. For more information on boosting your collagen, click here.
As you can see, there are many different aspects to the development of cellulite. The best way to treat cellulite is to take care of it from the inside and the outside. For tips on how to get started, click here.
No amount of creams will make any difference if nutrition is poor and detoxification is compromised. Here at Cellulite Matters we will give you all the tools and knowledge you need to treat your cellulite and enjoy the healthy body you desire.
Please share on Facebook, Twitter or your favourite social media platform!