Is this the key to natural cellulite treatment?
I’m often asked what’s the best natural cellulite treatment. My first answer is detoxification. There is no doubt that toxicity makes cellulite worse. It is one of the major factors in the formation of cellulite. Toxins that build up around the fat cells of the cellulite-prone area break down collagen. Collagen forms the connective tissue that keeps the fat cells contained and the skin smooth.
In advanced states of toxicity, “xenoestroens” – chemicals that mimic estrogen – bind to the alpha-receptors in the fat cells. This causes them to multiply. With multiplying fat cells and further collagen breakdown, cellulite goes from bad to awful.
Whenever I hear the words “detoxification”, I am haunted by thoughts of juice-fasts. Worse: water-only fasts or awful sludgy drinks and stickers to put on my feet at night. All in the name of “detoxifying” the body.
That’s nonsense. The body knows perfectly well how to detoxify. All it needs is the right support to be able to do the job. The organs of detoxification include liver, kidneys, skin, lungs, blood and lymphatic system.
Toxins are everywhere these days. We are exposed to more man-made chemicals than ever before. These can accumulate, and overwhelm our detoxification process. This wreaks havoc with our health. Not just our cellulite.
These sneaky substances corrode our body from the inside. They alter chemical reactions, create chronic inflammation and immune response. By blocking many normal bodily functions, they create a cascade of reactions. These cause a variety of symptoms, from acne and obesity to autoimmune disease and chronic illness.
When the detoxification process is overloaded, energy is diverted away from other sources. Feeling fatigued? Bloated? Puffy? Not sleeping well? Chances are that your body is not detoxifying properly.
So where are all these toxins coming from?
There are the toxins that are created from within our body:
- Waste products from normal cellular process: e.g.. hormone production and lactate from intense exercise.
- Digestive disruption from eating under stress, or constipation allowing reabsorption of waste matter in the intestine
- Disruption of the micro biome (“good bacteria”) in the gut, allowing “bad” bacteria to proliferate which excrete toxic waste.
Then there are the plethora of artificial external toxins
- Cosmetics and toiletries are loaded with parabens, phtalates, aluminium, and artificial fragrance.
- Detergents, dry cleaning fluids, household cleaning products. These all contain chemicals that can get into our body through the skin.
- Furnishings in our home. Carpets and new sofas treated with chemicals, dust, dander. Air fresheners diffuse toxic chemicals. Toxic molecules breathed in will enter the bloodstream and circulate.
- Car fumes, smoking, atmospheric pollutants from industry and agriculture
- Water supply. Most urban water supply contains chorine to kill bacteria (cells). We are just a bit bigger than a bacterium so it doesn’t actually kill us. Highly toxic traces of industrial toxins make it through the water treatment plants. We are exposed to these by drinking this water, but alarmingly, also by bathing and showering in it.
And now I’ll move on to the most alarming one of all:
- We’ve all heard that plastics leach toxic chemicals, so why is most of our food packaged in plastic? Know those little styrofoam trays that meat is packaged in? Yup, that leaches toxins too. In fact in one study, 100% of the participants had styrene detected in their fat cells.
- Meat and poultry products: unless pasture-raised, organically, most intensively farmed meat is loaded with hormones and antibiotics. Living in artificial environments these animals become inflamed. This results in their meat containing more of the pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids than the anti-inflammatory Omega-3’s. The antibiotics that kill their bacteria, also damage our ‘good’ bacteria. When fed with corn that has been sprayed with pesticides and insecticides, the meat contains these toxins too.
- Farmed fish have been shown to contain much less Omega-3 fatty acids than wild-caught fish.
- Vegetables, sprayed with toxic chemicals to protect them from pests and to preserve their shelf-life for long journeys abroad. Even chemically waxing them, so they look more vibrant on the supermarket shelves. A less-known problem is that today’s fertilisers are predominantly nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium based. This takes no account of the 50+ other minerals a plant needs to survive. Does this matter? You bet. A lot of the Western population is deficient in Magnesium thanks to farming in these degraded soils.
- Then we have all the processed foods. Ready-meals, condiments loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup (fake sugar), Trans-fats (fats made in factories instead of nature). Diet sodas full of chemical flavourings and preservatives. Radiation and pasteurisation that increase shelf-life causes damage to our cells.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
We’ve all heard the expression “you are what you eat”. Our cells behave in the way the food we eat directs them to behave. All day they are going about their business in countless chemical reactions. The waste products from these processes are captured by other cells and excreted. This can be by sweating, excretion, even breathing. If these detoxification pathways are disrupted, toxins will accumulate.
Our body operates in a fine balance. Disrupt one process, and it has an effect on other processes too.
Toxins can block a necessary enzyme, or stimulate a particular function that causes damage. They can kill the good bacteria in our digestive tract (did you know that 80% of the immune system is in the gut?). They can interfere with DNA synthesis, block absorption of necessary vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
In order for our detoxification pathways to operate effectively, we need certain nutrients. If we are not getting these nutrients from our diet then adequate detoxification cannot happen.
The main organ for detoxification is the liver. Requiring a number of vitamins, minerals, amino-acids and antioxidants to function properly.
There are two phases in the liver’s function:
- Phase 1, the toxin or waste product is split, altering its structure. This interim metabolite can be more toxic than in its original form.
- Phase 2 conjugates this interim metabolite (often with an amino acid) to make it water soluble for safe excretion.
If Phase 2 is disrupted, overloaded or lacking the nutrients needed to conjugate, the toxic compounds will enter the blood and circulate.
There is another way that inadequate detoxification can cause obesity and cause cellulite. When the body detects a nutrient deficiency, it turns on the ‘hunger’ signal. In order to try to make up the deficiency, we end up eating more. And often we are not eating the right food to make up the deficiency!
So with all these toxins all around us, what can we actually do?
Apart from reducing our exposure, which can be difficult. It’s more practical to support the body’s natural process of eliminating these toxins. We don’t want them building up!
One of the main reasons that I am against the use of juice-fasts is that they don’t provide all the nutrients needed for detoxification. Juice doesn’t provide any of the amino-acids required. A body that is already toxic and nutrient-deficient will often experience a “healing crisis”. As the toxins are mobilised too fast, the liver can’t keep up and the body becomes even more toxic.
There are simple ways you can improve and support your detoxification pathways. Resulting in healthier skin, reduction in cellulite and better overall health:
- Reduce – as much as possible – your exposure to chemical toxins. Compare the cosmetics you use with the Environmental Working Group’s Most Toxic list. Read food labels. If it contains something you can’t pronounce or don’t recognise, don’t buy it. Buy organic, seasonal produce as much as your budget permits. Opt for pasture-raised meat and free-range poultry. Steer clear of all processed food, condiments, dairy, all processed cereals and alcohol for at least two weeks.
- Add to your daily diet plenty of colourful fruit and vegetables. Have a nutritious green smoothie instead of cereal in the morning. Eat two-three fist-sized portions of green vegetables at every meal. Ideally, they should be organic. The fibre in vegetables will pull toxins from the colon and prevent reabsorption. Vegetables and fruit contain the essential anti-oxidants and polyphenols required to neutralise toxins.
- Drink plenty of filtered water. Without water, detoxification is impossible. Add fresh lime or lemon for added detox ammunition. Aim for 2-3litres per day, and if you are not urinating once an hour, you are drinking too little! Eliminate coffee, tea (except green/herbal tea) and sodas (even chemical-rich diet sodas).
- Rotate protein sources. Don’t simply eat beef three days in a row. Try to incorporate a variety of different meat and fish (wild caught fish and pasture-raised meats, of course) daily. This will provide a range of different amino acids profiles, and help clear up any deficiencies.
- Ensure you are not constipated. Bowel movements should take place as a minimum once per day. Preferably two to three times. This keeps the bowel clear of waste products which can be reabsorbed.
- Support collagen by making bone broth. Bone broth also contains glycine, an important nutrient required by the liver. Sipping on bone broth between meals can thwart hunger whilst providing these essential nutrients. See our recipe, and more information here.
- Exercise: In addition to burning calories, it boosts circulation, promotes sweating, reduces stress (a major source of inflammation and toxicity), stimulates the bowels and promotes deep breathing. All essential for any detoxification process.
- To take your detox to the next level, try an Infra Red sauna. The heat from these saunas is very effective for reducing cellulite. Sweating eliminates toxins – just remember to drink plenty of water. Skin brushing promotes circulation and lymphatic drainage, transporting toxins away. Massage not only detoxifies the body but it’s wonderful for de-stressing. Stress increases toxic load.
- If you feel you are not eating enough vegetables, there are some excellent powdered greens. Spirulina and Chlorella are a useful addition to top up some vital nutrients.
In our modern life, it’s very hard to avoid toxicity altogether. Being aware of the sources of potential toxins is a start. Giving your body the nutrients it requires to neutralize the inevitable toxicity is essential. Our bodies are very resilient but when overwhelmed, unwanted symptoms proliferate. A build up of toxins is one of the major factors in cellulite formation.
Food is what makes us. What we put into our body influences a multitude of cellular processes. Isn’t it about time we regained control of what goes into our bodies?
Instead of going on a juice-fast, having a horrible week and then going back to your old eating habits, it’s better and easier to incorporate these tips on a day-to-day basis. That way your body is equipped to take care of the additional toxins we are exposed to every day.
Make supporting your body’s detoxification part of a lifestyle change. It is certainly one of the best natural cellulite treatments, as part of an overall lifestyle change. Isn’t it worth it?
Try these tips for a week or two and see the difference in your skin tone, your cellulite, your energy levels and your quality of sleep. Please leave a comment, or a question and we’ll be happy to help.