Struggling with cellulite and lumpy belly fat? You're not alone. This may come as a surprise, but up to 90 percent of women have stomach dimples and uneven "orange-peel" skin. The dreaded cellulite can affect your confidence and self-esteem. But it doesn't have to be this way — there are a couple of things you can do to minimize its appearance.
It's not possible to completely eliminate cellulite. However, there are a few steps you can take to diminish its appearance and achieve firmer skin.
What Causes Lumpy Belly Fat?
The exact cause of cellulite is unknown. Researchers believe that it may result from genetic, environmental, hormonal or lifestyle factors.
The journal Menopause Review, for example, suggests that estrogen and progesterone — the primary female sex hormones — have a direct impact on skin appearance. Their levels decrease during menopause, which, in turn, affects collagen and elastin production. This can lead to the appearance of cellulite on the stomach, thighs, arms and other areas.
Fill Up on Anti-Inflammatory Foods
As the Internal Dermal Institute points out, inflammation plays a role in the appearance of cellulite. The normal inflammatory process may cause gaps to appear in the dermis and promote fluid buildup in your tissues. Poor circulation and exposure to toxins only make things worse.
If you're trying to get rid of cellulite, fill up on anti-inflammatory foods. Fresh fruits, nuts, leafy greens, extra virgin olive oil and fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, may help reduce swelling and improve the appearance of your skin. Fried foods, processed meats, soft drinks and refined carbs have the opposite effect.
Exfoliate Your Skin With Coffee
Cellulite creams and lotions rarely work, at least in the long run. If they worked, cellulite wouldn't be a cause of stress for millions of women worldwide. Consider trying alternative therapies to banish lumpy belly fat and regain your confidence.
A homemade coffee scrub might actually be the best way to get rid of belly fat and cellulite. A study published in the Annals of Dermatology in 2015 found that subjects who applied a slimming cream containing 3.5 percent water-soluble caffeine and herbal extracts on their skin experienced a 1.7 percent reduction in thigh circumference and a 2.3 percent reduction in upper arm circumference in just six weeks. Their skin appearance also improved.
Read more: Caffeine for Skin Care
Another study, which was featured in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology in 2014, suggests that caffeine may help reduce cellulite by stimulating lipolysis — the breakdown of fat cells (triglycerides). When combined with a healthy diet and other fat-burning ingredients, its benefits are even greater. Simply mix fresh coffee grounds with hot water, honey and coconut oil, massage it into your skin and rinse thoroughly.
Train Smart to Banish Cellulite
Regular exercise won't eliminate cellulite, but it can reduce stubborn fat, balance your hormones and improve blood flow. As a result, your skin will become firmer and less dimpled.
Some workouts are better than others when it comes to fat loss. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), for instance, burns fat and revs up your metabolism. According to a 2016 study featured in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, this training method is more effective than conventional workouts for reducing visceral fat.
Read more: Workout Tips to Remove Cellulite
Furthermore, HIIT has been shown to positively alter hormone levels, improve glycemic control and elevate metabolic rate. It reduces both abdominal and total body fat while boosting your overall fitness. For best results, mix HIIT and strength training.
Have Realistic Goals
There are plenty of diets, skin care products and exercises to get rid of cellulite, but none of them can completely eliminate those dimples. They can, however, minimize their appearance and improve your skin tone.
Anti-cellulite creams and lotions, for example, tighten the top layer of your skin, making it look firmer. Regular exercise improves blood and oxygen flow while burning fat. An antioxidant-rich diet can reduce free radical damage and help keep your skin young.
Clean eating combined with high-intensity and strength training, massage and proper hydration can make all the difference. Just make sure you have realistic goals. Remember, cellulite affects men and women of all sizes and shapes, so it's nothing to be ashamed of.
Is This an Emergency?
- American Journal of Clinical Dermatology: Cellulite: An Evidence-Based Review
- Advances in Dermatology and Allergology: Cellulite: A Cosmetic or Systemic Issue? Contemporary Views on the Etiopathogenesis of Cellulite
- Termedia: Cellulite in Menopause
- Dermal Institute: What Is Cellulite?
- Harvard Health Publishing: Foods That Fight Inflammation
- Annals of Dermatology: Efficacy of Slimming Cream Containing 3.5% Water-Soluble Caffeine and Xanthenes for the Treatment of Cellulite
- Dovepress: An Integral Topical Gel for Cellulite Reduction
- The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness: Eight Weeks of a Combination of High-Intensity Interval Training and Conventional Training Reduce Visceral Adiposity and Improve Physical Fitness
- American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism: Metabolic and Hormonal Responses to Isoenergetic High-Intensity Interval Exercise and Continuous Moderate-Intensity Exercise
- Journal of Diabetes Research: Short-Term High-Intensity Interval Training on Body Composition and Blood Glucose in Overweight and Obese Young Women
- The University of New Mexico: HIIT Training for Fast, Efficient Fat Loss
- Journal of Lifestyle Medicine: The Role of Functional Foods in Cutaneous Anti-Aging
- Health.harvard.edu: Glycemic Index