As we venture more into the world of getting rid of cellulite, and into the different factors and predecessors of cellulite formation, it has become more and more clear to me that the problem of cellulite is much more complex and multi-faceted than it may appear at first glance. Some people may think that the “orange peel” look or the dimpled look is simply the result of genetics, while others argue that it’s diet, while others say it has everything to do with the type of lifestyle you engage in (sedentary vs. athletic, etc.). All of these factors have their place, and no one factor should be overlooked or carelessly examined. At the end of the day, cellulite formation is multi-faceted, and the approach to cellulite reduction must be equally multi-faceted. At its core, cellulite is an amalgamation of dimples that come from fat cells and subcutaneous connective tissue underneath the skin's surface. Usually located on the butt and thighs, primarily in women, it has the characteristic 'orange peel' look. It affects very few men relative to women, more than likely because of a distinction in cell structure between women and men. So what causes cellulite? No one is actually certain of the true cause of cellulite. Many experts suggest that it is caused by a condition in the fat cells. Others maintain that toxins in the system are the primary cause for cellulite. Yet and still other experts think hormones cause cellulite. Up until this point, no consensus has surfaced as to the primary cause of cellulite. One potential explanation - that also explains why so few men have to deal with cellulite - is based on the physical make-up of the fat cells in women as well as their connective tissue. The short version is simply that the connective tissue of a woman is relatively inflexible, leaving less room for the fat cells to “find a home” once the woman gains weight. This compression of fat cells due to a somewhat rigid connective tissue structure in women can lead to the “hail damage” look known as cellulite—simply put, the fat cells “run out of room”, so to speak, when they become engorged. Men generally store less fat in the hip, thigh and buttocks area, and in addition their outermost layer of skin is generally thicker, thus providing somewhat of a buffer and a cover for the fat cells beneath the epidermis.
Now here’s the “kicker question” of all time: Does being overweight make you a “shoe-in” for cellulite formation? Contrary to popular opinion, being overweight by itself is not a direct cause of cellulite. While it is true that many obese people have cellulite, and it is far more common to see obese people with evidence of cellulite, there are many cases also where obese people don’t have cellulite. Believe it or not, you will find that people even with athletic builds and slender figures can have cellulite. Cellulite is unfortunately versatile in this regard…it doesn’t seem to discriminate based on body size. Age is also somewhat of a factor, in that post-menopausal women are generally prone to having cellulite more than their younger counterparts, but then again there are several older women who don’t have a trace of cellulite. If I may emphasize again, you can’t “pigeonhole” the archetypal cellulite candidate. One thing must be made clear however, is the fact that there is a definite correlation between an overabundance of fat and cellulite. The smoothness and resilience of the skin is definitely affected by engorged fat cells. The skin can lose its suppleness (is that a word?—I mean the fact that the skin must remain supple), and sustain a level of “trauma” due to the pressure that is placed on the connective tissue by those ostentatious fat cells. Usually, a diet that is rich in bioflavanoids as well as Vitamin C can help maintain healthy skin. The cool thing about bioflavanoids is that they enable the body to more effectively utilize Vitamin C. If you maintain a diet that is filled with processed or high-fat foods, or a diet that includes excess amounts of alcohol or caffeine, you’re basically a sitting duck for cellulite. Nutritional factors, in my very humble opinion, weigh in on this equation probably at the very top of the list. We have all heard the old adage that “you are what you eat”, and even though we can be somewhat desensitized to the meaning of that statement due to “familiarity blindness”, there is a whole lot of truth to those words. Just like the old computer programming acronym GIGO (“Garbage In, Garbage Out”), the same applies to the human body. You can’t plant corn seed and expect to harvest apples. In the same way you can’t fill your body with a bunch of junk and expect to live a thoroughly healthy life. Every cause has an effect, and the area of diet is no different.
Now unfortunately, there is no non-surgical absolute cure for cellulite…nothing can make it just magically disappear. But, again, try to stack all of the odds in your favor by eating a nutrient-rich diet and engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise as well as strength (weight) training, as directed by your physician. At the end of the day, don’t feel hopeless…while science can put a man on the moon, but can’t figure out a way to get rid of the “orange peel skin” phenomenon, it’s still better to do all you can to get rid of cellulite, hopefully with the aim of total overall cellulite reduction. Seize the day!