Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cellulite Removal: Is It Possible?

Ninety percent of all post-pubescent women are affected by cellulite in some kind of way; this leads me to believe that 90% of all post-pubescent women are also interested in cellulite removal. Cottage cheese thighs, orange peel skin, whatever you want to call it, it’s never a pleasant thing to deal with, and all of us would much rather be rid of it altogether. The real question that floats around in most women’s heads is “Can I really even get rid of this stuff, or am I doomed to deal with cellulite thighs (or hips or buttocks) all the days of my life?”

Once again, I feel it is important for me to emphasize that there are no “magic cures” for cellulite, no matter how much we all may wish there were. Cellulite removal normally requires a multi-faceted approach to increase the potential for effectiveness. Cardiovascular workouts never hurt, no matter if your aim is to get rid of cellulite or not. I’m a huge proponent of exercise, as in the long run, it will promote overall good health, which is what we’re all after to begin with. I would discourage any type of activity that promotes abnormally rapid weight loss, as the “shock” to your body’s system that fast weight loss can facilitate may end up being counter-productive. Many times, when people attempt to lose weight too fast, their body may actually retain fat because it’s going into “starvation mode”, since the body is not accustomed to such erratic changes in weight and/or diet. Success in these matters can be perfectly illustrated by the tortoise vs. the hare—slow & steady always wins the race. This mentality of patience is counter-intuitive to most people, especially in the era that we live in, where everything is microwave, instant pudding, and gotta-have-it-now. Some things never change, and we cannot circumvent the system, no matter how much we wish things were another way. I believe that this mentality of patience is what can make cellulite removal more attainable.

So what do I mean by a multi-faceted approach? I definitely don’t want to “preach” against any type of anti cellulite creams, even though many times I have emphasized natural cellulite remedies (see my post about how to diminish cellulite through proper nutrition). I also wouldn’t want to sound like I’m opposing any medically based cellulite treatments or procedures, such as dermabrasion, ionithermie, or others that I have already covered (check out the post archives for more information). At the end of the day, whatever gets the job done, with the least amount of “collateral damage” as possible, is what you should go with. It would be foolish to endanger your overall health just for the sake of changing an aspect of your appearance, so I would never advocate questionable methods of cellulite reduction. I guess I’m simply saying that balance is the key in all of these situations. Without balance, even the best of intentions can end you up in a heap of trouble, and your health may be endangered for a bad or out-of-balance decision.

It’s funny, because as I’m writing this, I’m looking back at the previous couple of paragraphs I’ve written and it looks like I’m trying to sound like some kind of “wise cellulite sage” or what have you. I just want people to understand that these things take time and patience, that’s all. We live in such an impatient world, where instant gratification is the norm, and where people no longer have the maturity to realize that something worth having is worth waiting for and working for. It’s easy for this mentality to creep in to all different types of areas of your life, and health & beauty is definitely no exception.

As we move along with this blog, I will continue covering more aspects of cellulite reduction, including other procedures and cellulite treatments that I am continually researching. I will also begin to explore some of the anti cellulite products that are on the market, to provide yet another aspect of reducing cellulite that should not be ignored. Until then, continue in your battle, and do your best to be patient with yourself. There’s not a person on this planet that feels like cellulite removal is happening fast enough, so you’re not alone. So long until next time…

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Getting Rid of Cellulite -- Is Today Going to Be the Day?

I was thinking of ways to memorialize my tenth post about getting rid of cellulite, which is quite a big deal, for those who know how long my posts normally are. I kept thinking about how much information we are all flooded with on a daily basis about diet and exercise, and how many advertisements show us people with ripped bodies who are so happy to be ripped, and how "easy" it is for you to do the same thing. I thought about all the different things that people can think about when it comes to losing weight and diminishing cellulite, such as your body mass index, body contouring, aerobic exercise, anti-aging cream, etc., etc., on and on and on. It can almost get dizzying how much information is out there, telling you what to do and how much you are falling short when you don't do it. And that's when it hit me.

You can know all of the right things to do, down to a "T". You can know how much food to eat, what type of food to eat, how much exercise to do, and what type of exercises to do. You can walk around with a head completely crammed with knowledge, but if you never do anything, you're no farther along than the person who knows nothing.

Take this blog for instance. I have researched and provided tons of information on Endermologie®, ionithermie, mesotherapy, and other ways to reduce cellulite or fight cellulite. I have also explained the other side (the more holistic side) of cellulite reduction that deals with nutrition and the proper types of exercises to help you get rid of cellulite. But the bottom line is, if you don't DO anything with all the information, you'll still be in the same place you are right now. I think a lot of times we think that if we learn enough, that's what's going to make us take action and do what we're learning about. But there are some people who never move past the learning stage, and end up learning for decades without doing one single solitary thing to move them closer to their goal. If this happens, they're never going to see the very thing they're hoping for. I know that this blog is primarily about cellulite reduction, but this applies to all areas of life. You have to actually get off your butt and take some ACTION to get what you want. So I'm hoping that this post will give you somewhat of a "kick in the butt" to move you towards your goal of getting rid of cellulite.

I guess you could say that this is more of an "editorial" type post than the normal types of posts I write, which are admittedly dry, and oftentimes even clinical-sounding. But I'm determined to keep providing more and more information about this subject, because I know that if I give people more tools in their toolbox, so to speak, I'll provide a decent value to them. To this end, I will continue to do more and more research about all kinds of cellulite reduction methods, and present my findings here, hopefully to help someone out there in cyberspace.

If you think about it, I'm 10 posts into this, and I haven't even scratched the surface. I still have to talk more about the many different anti cellulite creams that are out there, as well as giving some decent attention to creating an anti cellulite diet. But, before I get off on a tangent, I just want to encourage whoever is reading this to become a person of ACTION. Talk truly is cheap. And although I do provide a ton of information on this blog, it will do you no good if you don't take some aspect of it and act on it to make something happen. Not to get cheesy on you, but if you remember that song from the movie "Flashdance", it said "take your passion and make it happen". Yes, that is an extremely bad 80's reference, but it does make good sense. Become passionate about getting rid of cellulite, passionate enough to do something about it instead of just talking the talk.

As always, stay tuned for more to come as we move forward...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cellulite Exercises -- Workouts to Help You Get Rid of Cellulite

For those of you that have been with me for a while, you know I can get quite wordy with my posts about cellulite reduction, cellulite treatments, and so forth. As I am continuing to explore the myriad of ways to get rid of cellulite, it didn't occur to me until recently that I could use other types of media on my blog to provide quality information to my visitors. To this end, I decided to search YouTube for some decent videos on getting rid of cellulite. Of course, some of the first to pop up dealt with anti cellulite exercises. I thought that I would feature them here to add a visual touch to my blog, as well as to continue to provide useful information for anyone searching for the "cellulite solution".

I found two videos that feature an energetic young lady performing anti cellulite workouts...from the look of the videos, you better be ready to sweat if you want to follow along! Here they are...

Anti Cellulite Workout Video (Part One)

Anti Cellulite Workout Video (Part Two)

Until next time...continue in your quest to get rid of cellulite!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How to Diminish Cellulite Through Proper Nutrition

Diminishing Cellulite Through Proper Nutrition

This post is for people who are interested in how to diminish cellulite, but maybe not through the more "traditional" means (if you want to call it that) of buying some type of body sculpturing lotion or thigh cream, or even engaging in some sort of cellulite treatment procedure such as mesotherapy or ionithermie. While I'm not against any of those methods, and have covered (and will cover) a wide variety of ways to get rid of cellulite, I have always taken a special interest in adopting a more preventative method rather than something where you're "catching up from behind", so to speak. In other words, as I have stated before, the old adage is very true: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

To this end I created two posts in April regarding how to prevent cellulite at its onset. Feel free to check them out at the links below:

Eight Methods of Cellulite Prevention (Part One)

Eight Methods of Cellulite Prevention (Part Two)

This post is going to follow in that same vein of attacking celluite by a more proactive approach, rather than a reactive approach. We will cover the importance of proper nutrition in helping to reduce cellulite, and how truly vital it is to feed your body the right fuel it needs to combat the ever-stubborn "cottage cheese thighs" that we're all trying to conquer.

One thing that must be cleared up before we even get started is the fact that there really is no known concrete absolute cure for cellulite. All we really have are methods and products that can treat cellulite, and hopefully reduce its appearance. That being said, there are ways to set yourself up to be a better candidate for cellulite reduction, and put the "odds in your favor", so to speak. Proper nutrition is one of those ways.

It must be noted that cellulite affects people that are underweight just as much as people that are obese. That being said, it is also widely documented that lower levels of bodyfat do dramatically improve the body's ability to combat the formation of cellulite. This is where diet comes into play. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the importance of exercise; yes, like it or not, it's hard to get around the dreaded "E" word if you want to make some serious progress in getting rid of cellulite. The whole exercise piece is much too big to try and cover along with the diet piece, so I will have to devote several posts just to address the exercise portion of the formula. For now, however, diet takes the spotlight. This post will primarily discuss the different ways that diet affects the formation of cellulite. But before we can even get into the type of foods necessary to facilitate the right reaction in your body to create a cellulite reducing environment, we have to give time to discuss the very fat cells themselves that are the stubborn source of the whole problem.

The Role of Insulin in Body Fat Regulation

The level of insulin in your body directly affects the body's ability to store or metabolize fat. Increased fat storage is a result of increased insulin secretion levels. From this fat storage comes the wonderful blessing to mankind known as cellulite.

One of the best ways to regulate the body's insulin levels is to eliminate (or greatly reduce) the "simple sugars" that can so easily dominate the diet. These simple sugars are also known as simple carbohydrates, which most of the time skyrocket your insulin levels in a short period of time. Think donuts, cookies, soft drinks, and basically anything that actually tastes good. Of course, right after the "sugar high" comes the sugar crash, and you're left wandering around looking and feeling like a zombie. In short, these are not the kinds of carbs that you're after.

Adding the more complex carbohydrates (also known as "slow burn" carbs) to your diet is much more desirable, because they metabolize at a more "stable" rate. Combined with a healthy dose of vegetables and fruits, you have a much better recipe for an insulin-regulating diet, which can facilitate a slower fat storage rate, thus reducing the potential for cellulite to form.

Collagen Breakdown and the Foods That Can Help Slow It Down

Many people (especially women) experience cellulite because of collagen breakdown. As we age, the elasticity of the skin decreases, and this is primarily due to collagen breakdown as well. I covered the importance of collagen and elastin production in Part Two of my posts about how to prevent cellulite. Looking back on those posts, I still can't believe how long they are, but they're well worth the read if you have a couple of spare hours or so (LOL).

As I covered in my very first post, "Welcome to Getting Rid of Cellulite", estrogen is one of the primary hormones at work in the development of cellulite. Estrogen is also a major factor in the breakdown of collagen, and can wreak havoc on the overall strength of the skin. As a matter of fact, it's almost a zero-sum situation: The more estrogen present in the body, the weaker the skin, and vice-versa. It therefore stands to reason that as estrogen is reduced in the body, collagen breakdown will lessen as well.

That's all fine and dandy, but how do you apply this information to proper nutrition? Well, it just so happens that there are several foods that have properties that act as a "fortress" against the production of estrogen. Without getting ridiculously technical about it, foods such as bok choy, various whole grains, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and various legumes contain a substance known in layman's terms as I3C. During the process of ingestion, I3C is converted into another substance with a handy acronym known as DIM (di-indollyl methane), which causes certain enzymes in the liver to effectively block estrogen production. Once the estrogen is "cut off at the source", so to speak, the body's collagen is at a much lower risk of breaking down, and the skin is strengthened as a result. So, in short, do what your mother always told you: "Eat your vegetables!"

It's no mystery that there's more to cellulite reduction than even what & how you eat. You have to implement some type of cardiovascular training to keep your muscles firm and your skin nice & toned. We will cover different types of cellulite reducing exercises in future posts. Until then...I hope this information has been informative and useful to you in your battle against that stubborn enemy known as cellulite.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mesotherapy as a Cellulite Treatment: Good or Evil?

If you have followed the trail of posts that I have created so far, you are well aware that I am officially on my cellulite treatment kick. As this blog develops and as I do more and more research, I am coming across a myriad of different cellulite reduction methods, all of which have their pros and cons. If you want to catch up on the cellulite treatments I have covered thus far, check out these two posts:

Cellulite Treatments: Is Endermologie® an Effective Solution?

Cellulite Treatments: Ionithermie

In this post we will cover mesotherapy as a cellulite treatment. So far I have only covered cellulite treatments that were non-invasive in nature (no surgery required), or treatments that adopted a more naturalistic approach--which especially in the case of ionithermie, many in the medical community still frown upon to some degree. The FDA has remained silent regarding the safety and effectiveness of mesotherapy due to the nature of the treatment and its use of injections (we will cover this in more detail a little later in the post). Claims regarding the effectiveness of mesotherapy have also not been substantiated by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, due to lack of research targeted to that end.

What is Mesotherapy?

Mesotherapy is an anti cellulite treatment in which the patient receives injections of various natural and chemical substances, including but not limited to mineral extracts, plant extracts, vitamins, pharmaceutical compounds, and homeopathic substances. The quantity of each individual substance in the mixture is very small (microscopic, actually), and together they are somewhat of a "cocktail" designed to treat cellulite at the subcutaneous (below the skin) level. These miniature "power pellets" reportedly pack a wallop of potency in reducing cellulite. Usually the exact ingredients in the injections are determined by a trained mesotherapist, and can be specific to the patient based on their "cellulite profile", or the problem areas where cellulite treatment is needed most. The mesotherapist acts as somewhat of an "alchemist", concocting the appropriate combination of substances to achieve the desired result, based on the patient's individual profile. When done correctly, mesotherapy experts claim that the procedure greatly assists in breaking down the stubborn fat cells that cause cellulite.

As I stated earlier, the reason the FDA has not issued a formal evaluation of mesotherapy is because of the nature of the treatment; it is considered "minimally invasive", meaning there are medicinal injections that take place, but it does not fall under the category of an outright surgical procedure. At the same time, because of the degree to which the procedure involves clinical injections, the FDA defers to each individual state medical board to evaluate general compliance to medical safety standards.

Who Started All This Anyway?

The late Dr. Michel Pistor, a French physician, pioneered the practice of mesotherapy back in 1952. It popularity has increased over the last few decades, and it is now practiced by nearly 20,000 physicians in the U.S. (the most recent hotbed of mesotherapy), South America, and Europe.

The Mesotherapy Procedure

The needles used in mesotherapy vary from 4 to 6 millimeters in length, depending on the skin type. A test area is usually treated first to determine if the patient will have any allergic reactions to the compounds used. The mesotherapist usually maps out the areas to be treated, and then systematically makes injections in the target areas. In the case of a treatment offered to the legs, injections are made on all sides of the thighs, covering the general area between the knees and the buttocks.

An important point to note is that mesotherapy is not limited to just treating the most common areas where cellulite rears its ugly head, i.e., the hips, thighs, & buttocks, but it is also used as an anti-aging and cosmetic improvement procedure for such areas as the arms, hands and neck. In these instances, it is primarily used to reduce the appearance of sagging skin.

Mesotherapy in the Hot-Seat

Despite its long-term popularity (over 50 years worth), mesotherapy is still somewhat the "Rodney Dangerfield" of cellulite reducing procedures--it has yet to be officially recognized as a viable cellulite treatment, and has actually produced quite a bit of controversy due to some of the chemicals that are used in the injections. While a large portion of the substances used are vitamins, plant extracts, and other naturally-based compounds, there are quite a few chemicals in the mix that many experts believe are not safe to utilize in the treatment, and are reported to be potentially harmful to the skin, producing side effects such as chemical burns, inflammation, swelling, or skin discoloration. A couple of primary "suspect substances" are phosphatidylcholin (say that 10 times real fast), which is considered a relatively unstable agent, and dimethylethanolamine (okay, say that one 20 times real fast), an organic compound that is widely used for industrial purposes.

In all fairness, every cellulite reduction procedure has its risks and potential foul-ups, and mesotherapy is no different. Most procedures are completed without a hitch, and with a minimal amount of side effects. It should be noted that throughout the history of mesotherapy being practiced (50-plus years), there have been no deaths as a result of the procedure. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said about liposuction--but we'll delve into that in more detail in one of my future posts.

Gotta sign off for now--bedtime beckons. I hope that this post has given you more insight into the different pros and cons of mesotherapy. Stay tuned for more useful info as we explore more ways to help you get rid of cellulite!