60+ hot tips for smooth & toned legs this summer

© 2017 Georgios Tzenichristos & LipoTherapeia Ltd

 

 

The Über guide to cellulite removal & skin tightening

Welcome to the ultimate how-to guide for firmer, smoother, slimmer, hotter legs, brought to you by the leg experts, LipoTherapeia. This guide took several months to compile and is the outcome of 17 years of research and hands-on experience with thousands of women.

We hope that you will find it as useful as it was fun for us writing and compiling it. The guide comprises dos and don'ts, best & worst and other useful information to help you understand the what's, the whys and the hows of how to tighten skin, boost leg circulation and reduce cellulite.

All free from the usual trite advice about "dry brushing", old clichés about "drinking loads of water" or vapid talk about "cellulite is just fat", that you find all over the internet.

 

Be the best YOU can be

You don't need to be stuck with cellulite and skin looseness. With today's technology, some exercise and some healthy eating, everyone can make an effort and have THEIR best body ever. No one is perfect. Everyone has a different starting point and everyone can improve, everyone can look THEIR best. So don't compare yourself with anybody else: set your own goals and have the best body YOU can personally have.

Be the best YOU can be!
Are you ready? Let's go!

 

FOur sections

This guide comprises four sections. You can either read all our 60+ tips by scrolling down or click on the links to get straight to your preferred section. Happy reading!

How to get rid of cellulite, fast!
Lose the sugar  •  Interval training  •  Vegetable and berry juicing  •  Cocoa, protein and turmeric shake  •  Whole body vibration (power plate)  •  Cellulite creams with multiple natural actives  •  Fish oil, seaweed and green tea  •  Deep tissue radiofrequency treatment •  Contrast showers  •  Intensive cellulite massage

 

12 more essential tips for cellulite reduction & skin toning
Smoking and cellulite  •  Inactivity, cellulite and loose skin  •  Exercise, cellulite and skin firmness  •  Estrogen, the contraceptive pill and cellulite  •  Alcohol, cortisol and cellulite  •  Binge eating/drinking and cellulite  •  Hydrogenated / fried fats and oils and cellulite  •  Still and sparkling water and cellulite  •  Cellulite treatments whilst you lose weight  •  Black rice: the ultimate carb food  •  Decaf coffee, tea, green tea, green coffee and cocoa for cellulite  •  Vegetables, salads, seaweed, herbs and spices: the ultimate anti-cellulite nutrition

 

The 24 most pervasive cellulite myths
Ground coffee scrubs  •  Dry brushing  •  "Caffeine causes cellulite"  •  Cellulite exercises  •  "Cellulite is just fat"  •  Liposuction removes cellulite  •  "Cellulite is fascia"  •  "Cellulite is just 'septa' arranged perpendicularly in women and diagonally in men"  •  "Love your fat and cellulite"  •  Cellulite surgery  •  "Cellulite is genetic"  •  "All you need is diet and exercise"  •  "Cellulite is just toxins and water retention, so all you need is lymphatic massage"  •  Deep tissue massage for cellulite?  •  "Melting that fat away" to "break down" cellulite  •  Compression stockings and slimming leggings  •  Good fats and cellulite  •  Men don't get cellulite  •  "Honey is a superfood, right? So it must be good for cellulite"  •  More embarrassingly ridiculous cellulite myths, which thankfully nobody believes any more

 

The 15 best foods/nutrients for cellulite and skin firmness
Resveratrol, pterostilbene in berry fruits  •  Carotenoids  •  EPA & DHA omega-3 fish oil  •  Rutin, hesperidin, quercetin and ascorbic acid in citrus fruits •  Cocoa flavanols  •  Chlorogenic acid in coffee  •  Centella asiatica / gotu kola  •  EGCG in green tea  •  Forskolin  •  Curcumin in turmeric  •  Escin and esculin in horse chestnut  •  Whey/vegan protein  •  Chia/flax seeds  •  Sulforaphane in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables  •  Hyaluronic acid

 

The no-compromise cellulite 'boot camp' plan for a fabulous body this summer!

© 2017 Georgios Tzenichristos & LipoTherapeia Ltd

 

 

Panic before the festive season?

Here's a list of the 10 best ways to reduce* cellulite fast!

Some of these tips may not be easy to implement, but then again, losing cellulite in just a few weeks is never going to be easy - but it's worth it! Follow these steps and enjoy hotter, firmer, smoother thighs and bum in just a few weeks.

(* In most cases you cannot actually get "rid" of cellulite completely, so talking about "cellulite reduction" makes much more sense)

 

Contents

Lose the sugar  •  Interval training  •  Vegetable and berry juicing  •  Cacao, protein and turmeric shake  •  Whole body vibration (power plate)  •  Cellulite creams with multiple natural actives  •  Fish oil, seaweed and green tea  •  Deep tissue radiofrequency treatment •  Contrast showers  •  Intensive cellulite massage

 

1>  First off, lose the sugar. Do it now, not next Monday!

Sugar, insulin, glycation and cellulite

Sugar and cellulite

It is said that "sugar is the new smoking" - and for good reason. Sugar, found in pastry, desserts, cakes, chocolate, muffins, cocktails, juice drinks, jam, honey, fizzy drinks etc, is one of the worst things you can do to your eyes, teeth, blood vessels, pancreas and, for the purposes of this article, your legs and bum. Indeed, sugar is the number one cause of cellulite today and the increase of the appearance of cellulite in young women has coincided with the increase in sugar, sugar derivatives and sweetener consumption.

Sugar also is highly addictive, as it quickly raises your glucose levels making you feel "hyper". This sudden increase in blood glucose levels abruptly raises insulin levels in the body. In turn, high levels of insulin severely lower your blood glucose levels, leaving you feeling "low". These highs and lows leave you drained, needy and addicted - not unlike street drugs and cigarettes - and perpetuates your consumption of sugar.

So sugar doesn't just provide the female body with excessive calories but also with insulin, i.e. the means of depositing itself (plus all the fat contained in that cake) straight into your fat cells, where sugar is also converted into fat. Once fat accumulates in your thigh, hip or butt fat cells, it is very difficult to release it back into the general circulation and "burn" it with exercise (the adage "once in the lips, forever in the hips" rings very true for sugar). This is especially true if you consume sweet foods while sitting down at home or in the office, as this maximises the effect of insulin on fat cells.

Furthermore, sugar causes skin ageing and blood vessel damage throughout the body, by boosting inflammation and glycation. Glycation is a little known process which damages collagen and elastin and makes skin aged, fragile, dull and grey. It also makes and blood vessels weaker, leading to poor microcirculation and water retention. Fat accumulation,  water retention, glycation and inflammation are all hallmarks of cellulite. There is no bigger enemy to thighs than sugar.

Artificial sweeteners are not much better either, as they only temporarily trick the brain to believe that you consumed sugar: by the end of the day your brain compensates with appetite increase which leads to the consumption of more calories...

BTW, eliminate agave syrup (76% sugars, 56% of which evil fructose), "coconut nectar", high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), maple syrup, sucrose, fructose, dextrose, maltose, glucose, "concentrated apple juice", corn syrup, dates (67% sugars, 30% of which evil fructose), raw cane sugar, molasses, rice syrup and honey (82% sugar, 42% of which evil fructose), as these are almost as bad as sugar, with HFCS and fructose actually being even worse than plain sugar.

This is because fructose does not become glucose in the blood, so it can not even be used for energy. Instead fructose is converted straight into fat (triglycerides) in your liver, even before entering the general circulation. Not very good for your cellulite, plus it causes much more insulin resistance and glycation than sugar and way much worse than glucose.

If you want to have hot thighs (and a nice smile and youthful skin and a healthy heart and a slim body), you must get rid of sugar. Getting rid of sugar is not as difficult as it seems and the best way to this is to go cold turkey. Just replace sugar with more-but-healthy food for the first week and don't worry about calories, until you break free of the addiction.

For chocolate lovers (probably 95% of those who read this article), indulge in the super-healthy, chocolate-craving satisfying, bum-friendly high-polyphenol cocoa protein shakes, described below (tip #4).

 

 

2>  Run for the hills (or the steps)

HIIT / Interval training / fartlek training for cellulite

Uphill interval running / fast step climbing for cellulite

Running is probably the best exercise for legs, better than cycling and swimming and way better than static Yoga and Pilates. The constant impact with the ground provides whole body vibration which boosts skin firmness, plus it helps you burn loads of calories of course. If you can do interval running (see below), that's even better.

On the other hand, if all you can muster is slow running that's great too. Just remember to use a pair of good trainers and run on grass or on the treadmill, never on concrete, in order to minimise impact. Running on concrete is criminal and the source of many a sports injury. Running on dirt road is a decent compromise. (You don't need concrete-like impact to benefit from running, grass-like impact does the job without the joint injuries.)

Interval training refers to intermittent intensity running, cycling, uphill walking, elliptical training, swimming etc. Football, basketball, cross country running/cycling, "spinning" and circuit classes (lately also called HIIT) are fun forms of interval training. However, even plain 30" fast - 90" slow running, swimming or cycling on your own are much more fun and much less boring than steady speed running, swimming and cycling.

Another type of interval training is fartlek ("speed play", in Swedish), which refers to playful alternation of high-low intensity at random. Fartlek can be applied to running, swimming, rowing etc and fartlek running can become even more varied and "playful" by running on a hilly terrain.

Interval/fartlek training helps you burn more calories and boosts your metabolism way more than steady speed training of the same duration. Interval training is THE best exercise for cellulite. Interval running, specifically, is even better, and uphill interval running is the ultimate anti-cellulite exercise.

A great variation of uphill interval running involves climbing up steps fast for 30" and then stepping down to your starting point slowly for 90" (pictured above). If you have knee or other joint problems go for intensive interval swimming instead.

(Consult a doctor if you are not certain about your cardiovascular capacity for any vigorous exercise.)

 

 

3>  Juice is the word

Vegetable juicing / berry juicing for cellulite

Vegetable juicing for cellulite

Vegetable juices and berry smoothies contain highly concentrated plant chemicals and very little in the way of calories, making veg juices / berry smoothies probably the best food category you can have. The polyphenols and carotenoids in those juices and smoothies possess multiple anti-ageing, collagen boosting, blood vessel supporting and anti-cellulite properties.

Just make sure you don't include ANY other juice in them (eg apple, carrot, beetroot, banana, grape etc.) to avoid ingesting too much fructose, glucose or sucrose (sugar). Your legs will thank you, by looking less puffy, firmer and healthier.

 

 

4>  Have a brown & orange shake

Cacao, protein and turmeric for cellulite

High flavanol cocoa and cellulite
Curcumin for cellulite

Skin is made of protein. Collagen, that makes your skin firm, and elastin, that makes your skin elastic, are proteins. If you avoid protein, because you are led to believe that excessive protein is bad for you, you will not have enough protein to repair and to firm up your skin.

The fact is that, in their effort to avoid red meat, most women do not consume enough protein today, leading to skin looseness, ageing and cellulite. Fortunately, you do not need to suffer from protein deficiency if you are a vegan/vegetarian these days, as there are plenty of high quality plant-based protein powders on the market to choose from.

For the non-vegans, a quality non-denatured whey protein powder is the ultimate source of high quality protein. Combine with high-flavanol cocoa, to benefit from the amazing anti-cellulite properties of cocoa flavanols and also to get your daily chocolate fix, without all the fat and the evil sugar (did you know that 70% chocolate contains 30% sugar?).

Add some turmeric (turmeric is anti-inflammatory, lipolytic and anti-fibrotic, i.e. perfect for cellulite prevention and reduction) and a hint of stevia for taste, and you have a super nutritious, cellulite-busting, high-protein shake.

 

 

5>  Squat on the vibration plate

Vibration / power plate for cellulite

Vibration plate squats and cellulite

Vibration is the most important cue for collagen and elastin production for your skin and blood vessel cells, so it is no wonder that vibration plate training is the ultimate skin firming / circulation-boosting exercise. It is even better in that respect than interval running and swimming.

Tightening your gluteus maximus, i.e. your main butt muscle, is the single best thing you can do for your butt, as it lifts, firms and improves the shape of your butt more than anything else in the world. So by doing squats on the power plate you combine internal muscle tightening with external skin tightening. What could be better?

 

6>  Get some help from mother nature

Celluence: the most comprehensive cellulite creams in existence

Several plant extracts and nutrients are proven to help fight multiple aspects of cellulite, including escin (from horse chestnut extract), asiatic acid (from gotu kola extract), caffeine, ruscogenin (from butcher's broom extract) forskolin (from coleus extract), curcumin (from turmeric root extract), EGCG (from green tea extract) and retinol, among many others.

Creams with high concentrations of those extracts can offer valuable help in the fight against cellulite (the keyword here is "high concentration", as most cellulite creams contain very little in the way of actives, and that's the reason why most cellulite creams don't work). The Celluence® creams contain a total of 40x such natural actives, the highest concentration of actives in a cellulite cream in the world.

 

7>  Take up kneading

Intensive cellulite massages

Strong cellulite massage

Massage is great for your legs, and even simple amateur skin massage can help keep your legs healthy and bump-free, as long as it is strong and it is applied on skin, NOT muscles. A strong massage that acts on cellulite itself can help boost circulation / lymphatic drainage, mechanically break down fat cells (limited effect), mechanically break down scar tissue (very good effect) and (if applied very regularly for several weeks) mildly stimulate collagen production.

Unfortunately, such a strong massage can be a bit tiring or awkward (try to massage your bum, for example), so it has some limitations. For the front and side of legs though, cellulite self-massage is fine.

Kneading massage movements alternated by long upward strokes for 20-30 minutes will improve poor circulation and help break down fibrous tissue, both important aspects of cellulite. Always allow one day between massaging sessions to allow your skin to recover. The occasional bruise is fine, but don't massage so hard that you look like a domestic abuse victim!

As cellulite massage does not significantly affect fat tissue, the number one cellulite factor, it is never going to eliminate cellulite on its own, but in combination with the other nine tips it can really help a lot.

 

8>  Get some help from technology

Deep tissue radiofrequency: the strongest cellulite treatment in existence

High intensity monopolar radiofrequency is THE most powerful skin tightening and anti-cellulite technology known today. Nothing else compares to it. In contrast to the more prevalent bipolar RF, monopolar RF goes deep into skin tissues where cellulite and skin's large collagen structures are found, to stimulate fat release, collagen production and circulation increase, thereby tackling three major cellulite aspects at once.

Just make sure that the machine is strong enough, especially if you are a bit curvy or overweight, as this requires higher intensities for good results and most machines on the market are just not strong enough. Meso-CRF® Body | Turmeric combines the highest intensity - yet safest and most comfortable - monopolar RF technology with powerful, highly concentrated extracts of turmeric, green tea, gotu kola and forskolin, among others.

 

 

9>  Freshen up with hot and cold showers

Contrast showers for cellulite

(effectiveness: 4/5) 

Contrast showers for cellulite

Contrast showers, also known as hot and cold showers, produce a profound increase in circulation and metabolism. The alternation of hot and cold water constricts and dilates blood vessels, respectively, producing a powerful blood vessel pumping effect.

Skin itself reacts in much the same way, and the overall metabolism is boosted by the cold water via a process called thermogenesis. At the same time, hot water provides welcome distraction between the cold water periods.

Start with hot water for a few minutes and then alternate with hot and cold every 1-2 minutes, ending with five minutes of luke-warm water. Again, if you are not certain about your ability to tolerate hot and cold, ask your doctor first.

 

10>  Wild salmon, wakame & sencha

Fish oil, seaweed and green tea for cellulite

(effectiveness: 3/5) 

Salmon, wakame and sencha tea for cellulite

If I had to choose one leg-friendly, cellulite-busting meal, that would be wild alaskan salmon with a lot of wakame salad and a nice cup of sencha powder green tea.

The combination of EPA and DHA (the omega-3 fatty acids found in large amounts in wild salmon) and fucoxanthin (a plant chemical found in wakame) has been proven to significantly boost thermogenesis and lipolysis (fat reduction, to you and me), making it the best thigh-and-bum friendly meal you can possibly have. Protein in salmon is absolutely necessary for you skin, iodine in wakame is important for your thyroid function and other carotenoids and polyphenols in wakame also contribute to leg skin health, as astaxanthin, a carotenoid found in the intensely red coloured salmon, does. The sencha powder green tea is far better than matcha green tea, as it contains more polyphenols and less caffeine. Other seaweed, such as dulse or nori are great wakame alternatives.

Just stay away from farmed salmon, which has quite high amounts of plain fat in relation to EPA and DHA. Garnish with some sauce made with sesame seeds, lime, chili, low-salt soy sauce and a drop (a drop, not a cup!) of olive oil, and enjoy the ultimate anti-cellulite meal :)

If seafood, seaweed and sencha tea are not your cup of tea (excuse the pun), a lean protein meal combined with loads of vegetables and some herbal tea should be almost as good, especially if you also add 1000mg of EPA/DHA of fish oil.

 

 

The last word

Of course, I don't expect you to eat wakame and drink protein shakes all day, neither to do interval running every single day (that would be bad for you, anyway, do interval training twice a week, no more).

In general, a low-fat, low-carb, high-fibre, water-rich diet (that includes A BIT of olive oil, nuts, avocado or coconut oil), LIMITED dark coloured carbs (e.g. black rice, adzuki beans, red quinoa etc.), LOADS of lean protein (think eggs, lean meat, fish, skinless chicken, pulses), PLENTY of vegetables (they don't need to be kale - all vegetables have amazing, cellulite-busting phytochemicals) and loads of everyday physical activity (on the days you don't do interval training) will help you come closer to that ideal hot beach bod!

Needless to say, smoking - and especially drinking - are not good ideas. However, contrary to popular wisdom, up to three cups of coffee or tea per day are absolutely fine. Furthermore, drinking two litres of water or herbal teas a day is absolutely essential, not just for the summer and not just for cellulite, but all year round, in order to maintain good digestion, healthy skin and efficient detoxification.


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More essential tips for cellulite reduction & skin toning

The most pervasive cellulite myths

The best foods for cellulite and skin firmness

 

 

© 2017 Georgios Tzenichristos & LipoTherapeia Ltd

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12 more tips for a toned, cellulite-free body

© 2017 Georgios Tzenichristos & LipoTherapeia Ltd

 

 

More essential tips for cellulite reduction & skin toning

In the first part of these series, I presented the 10 hottest tips on how to remove your cellulite fast. On this page, I am presenting another 12 essential tips to help you get rid of cellulite, in time for summer. These are not as urgent and not as fast acting as the tips above, but they are absolutely crucial too and can make a huge difference in the mid and long term. I hope these prove useful to you.

 

Contents

Smoking and cellulite  •  Inactivity, cellulite and loose skin  •  Exercise, cellulite and skin firmness  •  Estrogen, the contraceptive pill and cellulite  •  Alcohol, cortisol and cellulite  •  Binge eating/drinking and cellulite  •  Hydrogenated / fried fats and oils and cellulite  •  Still and sparkling water and cellulite  •  Cellulite treatments whilst you lose weight  •  Black rice: the ultimate carb food  •  Decaf coffee, tea, green tea, green coffee and cocoa for cellulite  •  Vegetables, salads, seaweed, herbs and spices: the ultimate anti-cellulite nutrition

 

 

1>  Quit smoking. And if possible, vaping too.

Smoking and cellulite

Smoking and vaping causes cellulite

In the only study examining heredity and cellulite, smoking was identified as a key factor for causing cellulite in a large number of genetically predisposed women. Clearly smoking may not affect all women the same in regard to cellulite, but it does affect SOME women quite severely and quite quickly, and ALL women to a greater or lesser extent over time.

Smoke components, such as tar, nicotine and additives, cause oxidative damage, inflammation and fibrosis on skin and blood/lymph vessels, thereby impairing circulation and lymph drainage and deteriorating the quality of skin collagen and elastin. Since fibrosis/connective tissue deterioration, poor circulation/lymphatic drainage and inflammation are all major causes of cellulite, it is easy to understand why smoking is so bad for cellulite.

On the other hand, smoking may indeed decrease appetite and reduce fat absorption by fat cells in the more "genetically gifted" women. However, in the long run the negative effects catch up with all women, regardless of genetics, wreaking havoc on skin, blood vessels and cellulite - not to mention overall health.

Despite the absence of tar, vaping is only marginally better than smoking, as it still delivers nicotine to the body, which directly affects blood vessels and cellulite in a negative way . So the best solution is to quit altogether.

 

 

2>  Move your body!

Inactivity, lack of mechanical stimulation cellulite and loose skin

Walking for cellulite and skin firming

Sitting is the new smoking, scientists say, and causes numerous health conditions, even if you exercise three times a week. Exercise is not enough, so leaving your desk every hour, taking the stairs instead of the lift and power walking as much as possible are essential if you want to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer - and the same applies to cellulite and loose skin.

Inactivity is a close second to sugar consumption as a leading cause of cellulite and number one cause for skin laxity and can turn nice, firm, smooth skin into a mushy, bumpy look in a matter of months. Inactivity upsets the calorie balance and encourages large amounts of calories to be stored as fat in the adipocytes, including the adipocytes found in the "cellulite layer" of the hips and thighs. This process is accelerated with sugar consumption and very quickly leads to cellulite creation.

Like sugar, inactivity has a "double whammy" effect in cellulite creation: it does not just cause cellulite by upsetting your body's calorie balance. Inactivity also deprives your collagen and elastin producing cells (fibroblasts) of the valuable mechanical stimulation they need to stay functional and productive. Moreover, inactivity encourages your fat cells to proliferate at the expense of fibroblasts, thereby replacing your firmness with fat. And finally, as fat cells enlarge, they start breaking down your collagen network, further making your skin spongy soft.

In eight words: "inactivity is the biggest cause of loose skin".

 

 

3>  Train. At high intensity, if possible.

Exercise, cellulite and skin firmness

Exercise for cellulite

Now that we have established how bad inactivity is for you and how important movement and exercise are, let's quickly talk about exercise. As I discussed elsewhere on this guide, there are no specific "exercises" for cellulite, but there are indeed certain "types of exercise" which are better than others.

In a nutshell, the more vigorous the type of exercise, the better. The higher your heart rate or the more you are out of breath with a specific type of exercise, the more calories you burn - and the more you shrink cellulite. It is as simple as that. It doesn't matter if you achieve the high heart rate/breathing rate with swimming, running, cycling, uphill walking or any other method. As long as you produce adrenaline, you burn fat and you boost your metabolism. As mentioned elsewhere on this guide, interval training, i.e. intermittent high intensity training is preferred to continuous intensity training - be it swimming, running, cycling etc.

One last word: it is obvious from the above that slow/low intensity exercise, such as Pilates, Yoga or leisurely speed walking is not that effective for cellulite reduction. However, for those who for health reasons cannot do high intensity, these types of exercise are better than nothing.

 

 

4>  Lose "the pill"

Estrogen, The contraceptive pill and cellulite

Contraceptive pill causes cellulite

The birth control pill may have contributed to the liberation of women, uncoupling the issue of reproduction from that of sex, but it has also put a new word in our vocabulary: cellulite. There is no denying that the word cellulite appeared in our language (at least in the French language, to begin with) at roughly the same time that the use of the contraceptive pill became widespread.

And for good reason: estrogen is the main factor why women (and transexuals) develop cellulite and men don't. And excessive estrogen, provided by hormonal contraception in the form of pills, patches, injections and medicated coils, is one of the main reasons why cellulite is so prevalent today.

When combined with inactivity or excess calories, excessive amounts of artificial estrogen encourage fat cells in the subcutaneous layer of the skin in the thigh and butt area to enlarge and multiply out of control. This sets the foundations for the development of "pre-cellulite" first and cellulite-proper afterwards, as well as skin looseness.

I have seen thousands of women over the last two decades and I have found that women who have been for many years on the pill display what I call "the pill look": spongy-soft, puffy skin, pronounced cellulite and curiously, as excess fat not mainly on the back of the legs or the saddlebag area, but also on the front of the thighs, a kind of uniform fat deposition which one of my clients quite aptly calls "my fat trousers". Of course not all women react to the pill - or diet or exercise or anything else for that matter - in the same way, but this is the typical "pill look".

The effects of the pill on circulation and increased risk of blood clotting are already very well-known. Excessive, artificial. alien to the body estrogen is even worse than natural, ovary-secreted estrogen, both for cellulite and for water retention / overall health. Opt for other contraception methods that do not cause cellulite, such as the diaphragm or condoms, or at least talk with your doctor about low estrogen pill alternatives.

 

 

5>  Cut down the booze

alcohol, cortisol and cellulite

Alcohol and cellulite

Alcohol is very similar in it's effects to sugar, in that it provides the body with potentially cellulite-causing excess calories, plus the means to guide those calories straight into the fat cells.

 This is because alcohol metabolites are preferentially used by the body as a fuel source, leaving the carbohydrates and fats to be stored as fat in the fat cells. Furthermore, alcohol increases cortisol, the stress hormone, which has a stimulating effect on fat absorption by fat cells, especially on the stomach, but also on thighs, arms etc.

Alcohol also increases appetite, tires the liver, reduces energy levels, and in the long run causes water retention and poor circulation - after an initial diuretic and blood vessel-dilating effect.

When alcohol is combined with sugars / refined carbs (as in beer and cocktails) the effects are magnified. Predictably, when alcohol is combined with hormonal contraception, inactivity, sugar/overeating and smoking things become even worse...

Alcohol would be much higher up on this list if it's use was as widespread as that of sugars. For young women, who tend to drink more, alcohol is in fact a major cause of cellulite.

 

 

6>  Go easy with...

Binge-eating, binge-drinking and cellulite

Binge eating and drinking and cellulite

Overeating, especially in combination with inactivity, upsets the calorie balance in your body and can lead to excessive deposition of fat into your fat cells, including your cellulite fat cells. Mild calorie imbalance would not normally be a significant cellulite-causing factor, as your body can adjust it's metabolism to accommodate for a few extra calories. Or, alternatively, you could make up for mild overeating one day by exercising on the same or another day.

However, with serious overeating, or binge-eating, things are different. When you consume, for example 500 or even 1,000 calories more than you need on a single day, you body has no other option than to literally "dump" those excess calories straight into your fat cells, especially your hip, bum and thigh cellulite layer fat cells.

I have described above how these fat cells acts as a fat trap due to action of estrogen. The effects of overeating also become worse when it is combined with inactivity or when sugary foods are consumed.

As you have probably guessed, binge-drinking is similar in it's effects to binge eating, but much worse: moderate regular alcohol consumption (especially beer or cocktail consumption) may in itself be a cause of cellulite, but not as important as binge-drinking or binge-eating are. Seven glasses on a Friday night is not the same as a glass once a day. A small glass of wine every second day is absolutely fine, especially if you follow a low carbohydrate diet, but any other type of alcohol or higher consumption will undermine your cellulite prevention/reduction effort.

Moral of the story: do not drink more than three glasses of alcohol on any given day. And do not binge on food either - even "healthy" food, such as "healthy carbs", "healthy fats" etc. Foods can be "healthy" but also very fattening.

Extra tip: Most restaurant food is laden with an excess of fat, sugar and salt to make it more palatable, so eating out often is in fact a way of overeating  without realising it, as you over-consume fat and sugar.

 

 

7>  Ditch the trans fats - and the frying pan

Hydrogenated / fried fats and oils and cellulite

Fried food, hydrogenated fats and cellulite

The effects of hydrogenated fats/oils (also known as trans fats or trans fatty acids) and fried fats/oils are now very well described by science. These denatured oils and fats act as toxins and cause inflammation, glycation and oxidative damage. In this way they impair the function of every single cell in the body, including mitochondria in all cells, where our energy is produced. And in addition, they damage collagen and elastin on skin and and blood vessels. In this way, hydrogenated / fried fats and oils indirectly, but significantly, contribute to cellulite formation (not to mention cancer and heart disease). A more direct contribution, of course, comes from the excess calories that these fats and oils carry.

So ditch all trans-fats, commonly found in margarine, biscuits, pastries, pasties, margarine, crisps etc.

Cellulite can be defined as a combination of excess fat, poor circulation/lymphatic drainage, connective tissue deformity, skin looseness, inflammation, oxidative damage, glycation and toxin infiltration, and as you can see trans fats and fried oils tick almost all the boxes.

My advice is: just lose the frying pan, and forget sauteing, deep frying, pan frying, shallow frying, frying to "lock in the juices", frying anything. Every time you fry, your oxidise some fat that will ultimately be incorporated in the membrane of every cell and every mitochondrion in your body and cause havoc and ill health. Needless to say that oxidised fat (as opposed to pure, fresh, virgin fat/oil) is what forms oxidised LDL (oxLDL) and causes heart disease.

Fried food is quite simply a crime against your legs, heart and blood vessels. That is especially true of fried hydrogenated fat + fried sugar + fried carbs, as in donuts, pictured above, probably the worst type of food you can put in your mouth: sugar, hydrogenated fat, highly peroxidised fat, glycated protein, refined carbs, all in one, an absolute nutritional disaster.

Moral of the story: try to consume only raw fat contained in food nuts, avocados and extra virgin oils in glass bottles, such as extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil etc. Some meat fat is fine too, but avoid fatty cuts of meat and avoid grilling/searing it at high temperatures. Limited stir-frying, always with some water to reduce cooking temperature, and with a very small amount of extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut butter is fine though.

 

 

8> Drink lots of water - even fizzy water

Still and sparkling water and cellulite

This is so basic and so cliché, I avoided adding it on this guide for a very long time.

Of course drinking lots water is essential for cellulite prevention/reduction. Water aids kidney function, detoxification and lymphatic drainage and overall skin health, but most importantly large intestine function / elimination.

Did you know that the major function of the large intestine is to reabsorb water used for digestion back into your bloodstream? If you do not drink plenty of water, water is completely drained out of your digested food, turning your stools into rocks that refuse to be expelled. Stools should be moist, if you expect to be regular and healthy. Dried up, rock-hard stools are bad news for your digestion - and bad news for your thighs too.

Most women who come to our clinic suffer to a lesser or greater extent from constipation, with all the known negative consequences, including impaired detoxification, water retention and varicose veins.

So, yes, if you lived in a cave and have not heard that before, you should drink lots of water - anything from a minimum of 1.5 litres to a maximum of 4 litres per day. Less than that is criminal for your body and more than that can be overwhelming for your system or even dangerous - not to mention the hourly visits to the toilet.

And yes, sparkling/fizzy/carbonated water is absolutely fine to drink. Carbon dioxide, which makes up the bubbles in sparkling water, does not, of course, cause cellulite. What is wrong with "soda"/fizzy drinks (and "flavoured" water too) is not the bubbles, it's the sugar or sweeteners contained in them.

In summary, steer clear from "flavoured" water and soda/cola/fizzy drinks and just drink pure still or sparkling water instead, ideally filtered water or spring water. Add a slice of lime, lemon, orange or mandarin and a mint, basil or coriander leaf and enjoy!

 

 

9/ Maximise the results of your cellulite treatment or cream by losing weight at the same time

Treat your cellulite whilst you lose weight - not before or after

If you are going to lose weight, or even crash diet, do it while you receive a cellulite treatment or use a cellulite cream - not before or after.

If you are overweight or have a few extra pounds, you might think that it is a good idea to first lose the weight and then have a treatment or use a cellulite cream when you're "ready". However, this obsessive-compulsive thinking is the most counter-productive thing you can do, because this way you miss out on the maximisation of cellulite reduction that losing weight offers.

Effective cellulite treatments/creams work by stimulating the local release of fat from "stubborn" areas. This released fat must then be oxidised (burned) by the body, so that it does not return into the same fat cells. When you lose weight, you seriously accelerate fat release from the treated areas and you also ensure that the released fat is burned and eliminated from your body for good. For this reason, all cellulite removal treatments and creams work much better if you also lose weight at the same time.

However, if you wait to lose the bulk of your weight first and then embark on a cellulite reduction treatment, you lose the advantage that weight loss offers you and results are less pronounced and take more treatments to occur. This applies to all cellulite treatments and creams.

There is also another unexpected but very important reason why you should combine weight loss with cellulite treatments or creams: motivation. Having a treatment once a week and/or applying a cream twice a day will make you want to stay on track with your diet and exercise. You will want to make the most of your money so you will lose weight with more determination and you will more easily avoid distraction.

So my advice is, don't put it off and don't wait to lose the weight to deal with the other problems - work on all of them at the same time, for a synergistic effect and for extra motivation!

 

 

10/ If you are going to have carbs, let it be black rice

Black rice: the best carb you can eat

What is the best carb food you can eat - for cellulite, weight loss or keeping healthy? But black rice for course, the ultimate complex carb!

Many people today follow a low carb diet, refraining from starch-rich foods (what most people call "carbs"), such as potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, corn etc. This is because those foods have a low ratio of nutrients versus calories and quite often a high glycaemic index (they raise insulin levels too fast and too much). This does not help at all with weight maintenance, fat loss or cellulite reduction.

However, there is one complex "carb" with very high nutrient to calorie ratio: black rice. Black rice (also known as purple rice) is very high in polyphenols / antioxidants (even more than in blueberries). It's bran hull (outermost layer) contains one of the highest levels of anthocyanins found in food. It also has a similar amount of fiber to brown rice, which means that it helps digestion and regularity and that is also has a low glycaemic index (it has a GI of 42, versus 72 for white rice).

Like brown rice, black rice has a mild, aromatic, nutty taste, and a deep black color which turns deep purple when cooked. To cook, simply use one part of black rice and four parts of black rice and simmer until all water is absorbed. Black rice can be used in place of white rice (one of the highest GI carbs available and not very good for you at all) or brown rice (low GI, high in fibre, but no antioxidants).

In summary, if there is one "carb"  food I would recommend, that would be black rice, due to the very high anthocyanin / antioxidant content. Anthocyanins, like most polyphenols, are well-known for their beneficial effect on cardiovascular health, anti-ageing, diabetes prevention and cellulite prevention.

Wild rice, red rice, brown rice, red & black quinoa  ~  Blueberries & blackberries  ~  Black & red beans

A second best would be wild rice (which is also dark brown / black, but does not have nearly as many antioxidants). A third best would be red (camargue) rice and red or black quinoa (yes, quinoa is a carb-rich food and contains very little protein, contrary to the urban myth).

Of course, the absolute best carb-containing foods are berry fruits (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries etc.) , which have a very high antioxidant content and very, very few carbohydrates and calories. This means that berry fruits have an extremely high nutrient to calorie ratio.

Black rice is superior to black or dark red beans, in terms of antioxidant content, as no water is thrown away after cooking black rice, while after boiling / steaming beans some water has to be thrown away, with all the antioxidants contained in it. Note: there are two types of black rice: glutinous (sticky) and non-glutinous. It is better to prefer the non-glutinous, as it has a higher fibre content and lower GI.

 

 

11/ Learn to love decaf

Decaf coffee, tea, green tea, green coffee and cocoa for cellulite

All these drinks contain huge amounts of antioxidants/polyphenols per gram, so they can be classified as superfoods and you can have as much as you wish of those every day. Don't worry about the decaffeination process, these days all manufacturers decaffeinate their coffee/tea via the water process, which is absolutely natural. Caffeine itself does not cause cellulite, but its strong stimulant effect poses a limitation to the consumption of these drinks, hence the emphasis on decaf.

However, if you need to put sugar to consume these drinks (including honey, agave and brown sugar), forget these drinks altogether, as the sugar will offset any benefits you derive from the polyphenols/antioxidants (sugar is the number one cause of cellulite).

The only sweeteners you can use are the natural sweetener stevia (widely available in the West these days) or lo han guo (much less available), which you may use conservatively once or twice a day - but no more.

By the way, avoid artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame like the plague...

 

 

12/ Fall in love with veggies, salads, seaweed / Spice up your life with herbs and spices

vegetables, seaweed, salads, herbs and spices:
the ultimate anti-cellulite nutrition

Aubergines
Artichokes
Red swiss chard

Vegetables, salads, seaweed, herbs and spices contain loads of fibre, water, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals and very little in the way of calories, so they are the basis of the anti-cellulite diet. The more you eat, the better, without any limitation. The more vegetables and salads you eat, the less space you make in your stomach for carbs, fat and sugar that (in excess) cause cellulite.

Can you eat a mixed salad out the bag, like people eat crisps? That's the idea!

Which are the best veggies? I can't really discriminate. Broccoli, cauliflower and kale are great sources of sulforaphane (great for detoxification) and any dark vegetable is rich in chlorophyll and carotenoids, but then again lettuce contains catalase and other enzymes, seaweed is packed with iodine and carotenoids, tomatoes and bell peppers contain lycopene, artichokes are great for digestion and detox, and the list of benefits goes on... To be honest, I find it quite silly to choose a vegetable as better than others, as science continuous processes and every day new nutrients are discovered in different vegetables, so the lowly veggie of today could well become the superfood of tomorrow.

The same applies to herbs and spices. Today turmeric is the miracle spice (and quite rightly so) but tomorrow scientists may discover that its less glamorous relative cumin is even better, so don't discriminate. Go for parsley, dill, coriander, fennel, thyme, oregano, basil, cumin, turmeric, paprika etc. Just go easy with hot chili, pepper, horseradish, mustard, wasabi, ginger, garlic and onions, which may irritate your stomach, if consumed in high amounts.

You may use lemon, wine/cider vinegar (not balsamic vinegar, which is sugary) or low salt soya sauce, a bit of olive oil and sugar-free mustard to dress your salad/cooked vegetables, but no honey mustard, mayonnaise and especially ready-made salad dressings. You may also use low sodium/high potassium salt if you wish.

 

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24 most ridiculous myths about cellulite

© 2017 Georgios Tzenichristos & LipoTherapeia Ltd

 

 

What not to do for cellulite

In addition to knowing what to do to get rid of cellulite, it pays to know what NOT to do. Wasting time on silly coffee scrubs or pointless dry brushing will divert your focus and time from things that actually do help to tighten and smoothen up your legs.

I know you will find some of those points surprising, but hey, after all those years of brainwashing with inane internet advice by so called "experts" on how to get rid of your cellulite, you are right to feel confused and surprised.

 

Contents

Ground coffee scrubs  •  Dry brushing  •  "Caffeine causes cellulite"  •  Cellulite exercises  •  "Cellulite is just fat"  •  Liposuction removes cellulite  •  "Cellulite is fascia"  •  "Cellulite is just 'septa' arranged perpendicularly in women and diagonally in men"  •  "Love your fat, love your cellulite"  •  Cellulite surgery  •  "Cellulite is genetic"  •  "All you need is diet and exercise"  •  "Cellulite is just toxins and water retention, so all you need is lymphatic massage"  •  Deep tissue massage for cellulite?  •  "Melting that fat away" to "break down" cellulite  •  Compression stockings and slimming leggings  •  Good fats and cellulite  •  Men don't get cellulite  •  "Honey is a superfood, right? So it must be good for cellulite"  •  More embarrassingly ridiculous cellulite myths, which thankfully nobody believes any more

 

 

1> Ground Coffee scrub for cellulite. Seriously?

Coffee scrub for cellulite

Caffeine in coffee beans is tightly bound within the fibres of the beans and only released into your espresso under high temperature (90º Celsius) and high pressure (9000 millibars, i.e. nine times the atmospheric pressure, equivalent to the pressure found 240 ft deep into the sea). Caffeine does not just travel out of its own volition through the fibres of the ground beans onto the skin's surface, just because you rub the beans against your skin [we are not even discussing caffeine's problematic skin absorption here]. In fact, no caffeine is expressed out of the beans when you have a coffee scrub. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

Why then every single article about "how to get rid of cellulite" mentions coffee bean scrubs? The answer is simple: marketing hype on the part of the companies that sell the coffee scrubs, combined with ignorance on the part of the people who write this advice. Just ditch those ground coffee beans or simply use them for exfoliation on the face or body. Or, better still, make a nice cup of coffee with them and enjoy :)

 

2> Dry brushing for cellulite. Really?

Dry skin brushing for cellulite. Really?

Every year, come spring, women get misled by countless articles, on the web on in print, that suggest "dry brushing" as a method to help you "rid of" cellulite. In the past, due to our limited knowledge of the problem, cellulite was assumed to be just a circulation and lymphatic drainage impairment. That assumption lead to the myth that manual lymphatic drainage massage (MLD) can "get rid of" cellulite, or to the even more ludicrous claim that dry brushing (also known as body brushing) can also achieve the same thing.

However, this could not be further from the truth. Dry - or even wet - skin brushing is not even a valid lymphatic drainage method. This is because all that skin brushing can do is exfoliate the skin. And that's all. Not much else.  If you follow the direction of the lymph flow when you dry brush your skin, you may be able to achieve a VERY WEAK lymphatic drainage effect, but that doesn't even come close enough to the strong, cellulite-specific lymphatic stimulation massage needed to significantly boost the body's natural lymphatic drainage and blood circulation.

The truth is that normal upward massage movements with your lovely hands and some nice oil (any oil) will do a far better job at boosting circulation and lymphatic drainage than skin brushing. And if you alternate those upward movements with some strong skin kneading with your fingers you will probably give your legs a ten times better massage (literally) than with a "body brush".

"You would need to bring your skin to the point of bleeding from all the brushing, if you were to provide the same results as strong hand massage. Things are simple: dry brushing is not an effective lymphatic massage method and exfoliation does nothing for cellulite. Don't waste your time doing the wrong things."

This is because skin brushing works by literally scraping off the epidermis, i.e. the top layer of the skin, while for cellulite reduction the subdermis (i.e. the bottom layer of the skin) needs to be manipulated.

This is yet another example of a cellulite "cure" involving working on the epidermis (surface of skin) to treat the exact opposite layer of the skin (hypodermis). Dry brushing is actually more hyped up than coffee scrubs, but it is almost as pointless. It is a bit naive to believe that with a 10-minute, superficial exfoliation of the epidermis you can treat deep tissues on the subdermis, which 60-minute, deep professional cellulite massages treat with much difficulty.

In summary, body brushing is a waste of time, when it comes to cellulite reduction. However, if you have bought into the hype and purchased a body brush, all is not lost. Dry skin brushing can still be used to exfoliate the skin prior to applying a good, concentrated cellulite cream, so at least you can use your body brush to boost the effectiveness of a more valid cellulite reduction method. Just do the body brushing first, have a hot shower afterwards (not the other way around) and then apply the cream.

And don't become overzealous with the body brushing. Your epidermis is there for a reason: to protect your skin from external aggressions (natural and artificial chemicals, high/low temperatures, UV/infrared light, mechanical damage and transepidermal water loss / TEWL). If you continuously scrape it off, with daily and/or aggressive exfoliation, skin allergies and sensitivities are guaranteed to follow.

(Have you ever wondered why more and more women complain about sensitive skin? Yes, it is the constant exfoliation, the cheap trick to look beautiful for a day or two: frequent chemical peels, AHAs, ablative laser treatments, microdermabrasion, body brushing and the like destroy the epidermis, opening the door for allergies and sensitivities). But that is hot material for another article.)

 

 

3> "Caffeine causes cellulite". Since when?

Caffeine causes cellulite. Since when?

Caffeine is a very misunderstood substance. It is proven to help treat cellulite if you apply it on your skin, but it is also alleged to cause cellulite if you drink it. What gives?

Well, the truth is that caffeine has a triple anti-cellulite action when applied directly on the adipose tissue (e.g. as an active in a good anti-cellulite cream): it is lipolytic, anti-fibrotic and circulation enhancing, i.e it acts on three aspects of cellulite at once. And it is also absolutely innocent when consumed in moderation (up to 4 cups of coffee per day, i.e. 400mg/day).

The only problem with caffeine occurs with abuse: drinking 10 cups of coffee a day (I have treated some clients who do that) will most probably exhaust your adrenal glands and nervous system, eventually leading to a collapse in your metabolism, which will ultimately affect your cellulite. Very indirect effect, but possible.

Having said that, although 1-4 litres of water per day is great for you, with 10 litres per day you actually die. However, no health or beauty writer claims that water is lethal. Very unfair for caffeine...

In summary, normal consumption of the usual 1-4 cups of caffeinated drinks a day is absolutely fine. For caffeine sensitive people 1-2 are the maximum I would recommend, due to its effect on the nervous system. Caffeine does not normally give you cellulite and it actually does help reduce it as an anti-cellulite cream active ingredient.

 

 

4> Cellulite exercises? "5 Yoga poses to get rid of cellulite?" They don't exist.

Cellulite exercises? They don't exist

Any personal trainer worth their salt will tell you that spot fat reduction (i.e. removing fat from a specific body area by exercising the muscles above that area) does not exist. This does not make any physiological sense whatsoever, and it has also been proven beyond doubt with different studies.

How on earth then thousands of personal trainers and cellulite "specialists" recommend outer leg exercises to get rid of cellulite on the outer thighs or inner thigh exercises for inner thighs etc? Unfortunately, it's the same marketing hype / ignorance thing that makes people recommend ground coffee scrubbing and dry brushing...

Let's make it clear once and for all: you can perform vigorous whole body exercise (e.g. interval training, running, swimming, uphill walking etc) to reduce overall cellulite and it will work. But doing hip extensions (butt exercises, such as the one in the picture) to remove cellulite on the butt is futile. Yes, it will tone your gluteus maximus muscle and lift your bum, but never in a million years will it specifically reduce butt fat or cellulite. That makes no physiological sense and has been proven non-existent beyond any doubt by multiple studies.

So the next time you see a YouTube video or an article with pictures of cellulite exercises and "five Yoga positions to lose bum fat", don't waste your time with that misinformation. Go for a power walk instead :)

 

 

5> "Cellulite is just fat". No it isn't!

Cellulite is just fat. No it isn't

This is an old one: "cellulite does not exist, it is just plain fat".

No it isn't. What people call "fat" is subcutaneous adipose tissue, i.e. fat UNDER the skin, and does not normally cause any bumps to pop out of the surface of the skin. Cellulite, instead, is hypodermal fat, i.e fat WITHIN the skin itself and is characterised by unsightly small and large bumps, accompanied by fibrosis (scar tissue), inflammation, glycation, oxidative damage, skin laxity and water retention. Normal subcutaneous fat is not fibrotic, it is not inflamed and has good circulation. Physiologically, normal fat and cellulite are two different things.

And of course cellulite does exist. No matter what name you give to it, it is there, in front of your eyes. It is a visible, inflamed, quite often painful, unsightly, hardened tissue protruding out of the skin, and nobody can deny its existence. If the name 'cellulite' offends, call it 'superficial hardened lumpy inflamed fat', if you must, but it exists and it is still different than plain deep fat.

 

 

6> "Cellulite is not, it's fascia". How naive and ignorant...

White fat cells and connective tissue (fascia)

White fat cells and connective tissue (fascia)

This is the opposite of the statement that "cellulite is just fat", and it is actually even more ignorant and misleading.

Fascia was one of the biggest fad-words of 2017 and it seems it will become even more faddy in 2018. Suddenly everyone became an expert in fascia and anything and everything was attributed to it, including cellulite, of course. The more ignorant of fascia one was in 2017, the more noise they made. Read what Tom Myers, the undisputed "father of fascia" had to say in Nov 2017 about fascia and you will get an idea about how bogus all those fascia claims are:

"I am so over the word ‘fascia’. I have touted it for 40 years. Now that ‘fascia’ has become a buzzword and is being used for everything and anything, I am pulling back from it in top-speed reverse. Fascia‬ is important, of course, but it is not a panacea, the answer to all questions, and it doesn’t do half the things they say it does."

Well said, Tom, "it doesn’t do half the things they say it does". For Chrissakes, a voice of sanity amidst the hype.

So, back to our point: cellulite & fascia.

According to the latest fad about cellulite that does the rounds on the web, cellulite is not a fat problem at all, "cellulite is just fascia". Fascia, the latest buzzword thrown around by people who have never studied it properly, is basically connective tissue and can comprise skin, superficial fat, ligaments, tendons and any other hard collagenous tissue in the body. So according to the marketing hype, all you need is to prod your thighs with a fascia blasting massage tool and all cellulite will be gone forever, because it will break down/heal/thin/thicken - choose whatever you prefer - your fascia.

Although totally incorrect, this is not a new "discovery", as some people try to present it. Far from it. "Palper-rouler" massage (see below), vibration massage and quite a few other cellulite treatments, some more than two decades old, are based on the premise that cellulite is just a connective tissue problem and that it can be "cured" just by mechanised vacuum massage (palper-rouler), manual cellulite massage or cellulite massage with a tool.

The truth is that all these three types of massages do help somewhat with cellulite, as they boost circulation and help break down some scar tissue, but each has its own problems and none addresses the elephant in the room, the main issue with cellulite: FAT. No matter how many times you repeat "cellulite is not fat, it's fascia", cellulite will not magically become a "fatless" tissue.

Cellulite is not just a skin laxity issue, a fibrosis issue, a water retention issue, an inflammation issue, a glycation issue, a free radical damage issue or a fat issue. It is all of the above, and most crucially it is a hypodermal FAT issue, so no amount of fascia tool massage will remove all that FAT from the tissues.

And most importantly, the fascia that these massage tools act on, is the wrong fascia. These tools mainly work on deep fat and deep fascia, rather than the hypodermal adipose tissue and the hypodermal connective tissue where cellulite is found. At some point people should read some anatomy and some research papers on cellulite and understand that:

Cellulite is NOT subcutaneous fat and therefore it is a NOT deep fascia issue.
Cellulite is hypodermal fat, so it is a hypoderm
al fascia issue.
Big difference.

Half-knowledge is worse than ignorance.

All in all, the latest "cellulite is just fascia" theory is yet another American consumerist fad based on tons of hype and exaggeration.

 

 

7> "Cellulite is just perpendicular arrangement of fibres, all you need is vacuum massage"

The old fashioned "vertical vs diagonal septa" theory of cellulite. Stock photo agencies even have a diagram for it (although it is not anatomically correct, it gives you a general idea of the vertical vs diagonal septa theory)

This is the 1990s "fascia theory of cellulite", mentioned above. According to this theory, based on an erroneous interpretation of ultrasound images, women's "septa" in their hypodermal tissue are arranged perpendicularly to the surface of the skin, while men's are oriented diagonally (septa are connective tissue sheaths that allegedly separate fat tissue compartments). This led to the theory that "all you need is connective tissue / palper-rouler / vacuum" massage, the fascia-cellulite theory of that time, which actually still persists today separately from the 2017 fascia-cellulite theory.

That was good enough for the 1990s, but since then science has progressed. Firstly, there exist no septae, there only exist retinaculae, as with any other adipose tissue. Retinaculae are connective tissue strands, as opposed to connective tissue sheaths (septae). Secondly, nothing is arranged vertically or diagonally by birth. Everyone, man or woman, has the same type of diagonally arranged retinaculae in their connective tissue (pre-cellulite) and if their fat tissue gets enlarged, it makes the retinaculae appear vertical (cellulite). That's all.

And most importantly, cellulite is not just connective tissue (fascia, septae or retinaculae. )It is fat plus connective tissue plus water retention plus inflammation plus glycation plus oxidative damage plus skin laxity. Any oversimplification leads to ineffective treatment. 

So, yes, some massage can be helpful but it is nearly not enough. And no, palper-rouler is not all you need to "get rid of cellulite".

(A few notes about palper-rouler, i.e. vacuum suction massage)

Palper-rouler refers to a machine rolling the skin while the skin is literally sucked up in a vacuum between the rolling cylinders or rolling balls. The strong massage in combination with the vacuum do boost circulation and do stimulate collagen production, but at the same time they break the small blood vessels, causing spider veins (thread veins) and most importantly they stretch the skin. What is the point of firming up the skin A LITTLE, when at the same time you stretch it A LOT? 

In a small minority of women, who have very firm skin and very strong veins, palper-rouler can give good results, but nothing amazing or long-lasting. This is due to the fact that this technique does not do anything to fight the fat - the most important aspect of cellulite - it mainly addresses the circulation / lymphatic drainage aspect.

In fact, the only reason I would use palper-rouler would be to break down scar tissue, but the problem is that if you set the machine at low suction settings it does not do much in that respect, while if you set it at high suction settings the possibility of skin loosening and thread veins disproportionately increases.

I used to offer palper-rouler treatments when I started treating cellulite in the year 2000, when it was the only anti-cellulite treatment you would care to take seriously. As soon as I realised the limitations of the treatment I adapted the machine so that I could create the same effect on the skin, but with minimal suction. And later, I got rid of the suction altogether, working with my hands, special tools and special creams that I developed (cellulite-specific massage) and the results were much better and without the side effects of skin looseness and thread veins.

For the record, I stopped offering cellulite-specific massages when the cavitation, electro-mesotherapy and - especially - radiofrequency technologies became more powerful, effective and affordable. Eighteen years later I am amazed by how popular palper-rouler still is, despite its problems and low effectiveness. The last few years I have met at the clinic dozens of clients who previously had palper-rouler treatments and none of them was happy with the results.

 

 

8> "Love your fat and your cellulite"? What is there to love?

Love my cellulite? No thanks.

And this is a new one. Lately different campaigners, including plus size models who have a vested interest in people getting to "loving" excess body fat and obesity, urge women to "love their cellulite" or "love their fat", which is totally absurd. As I mentioned above, cellulite is 'obesity of the skin'  and is characterised by inflammation, fibrosis, glycation, free radical damage and poor circulation/water retention, all unhealthy physical processes. What is there to love about a negative state of health in your skin?

This point is in fact an extension of the fallacy mentioned above - that cellulite is an invented condition that does not exist. However, both our eyes and numerous scientific studies show that cellulite exists, it is real, it is unhealthy, many women do not like it (in contrast to most men who are generally indifferent to it, unless it is excessive), they perceive it as ugly and wish to reduce it. Nothing wrong with that and no woman can force another woman what to like or not like.

I could totally agree if someone said "accept your cellulite" instead of "love your cellulite". Although cellulite is unhealthy, it does not kill and you can live a happy, long, fulfilling life even if you have lots of cellulite. But I do not think the word "love" makes any sense when it comes to cellulite, and especially when it comes to overweight/obesity, a source of multiple civilisation diseases, such diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. There is absolutely nothing to love there.

And the fact that more and more people become overweight these days, it does not make overweight normal or loveable, in the same way that more and more people developing cancer or diabetes, does not make cancer or diabetes normal or loveable.

It is the same as one man saying to another man "love your beer belly". Most men "accept" their stomach fat because they cannot be bothered to reduce it, but I have yet to meet a single man who "loves" his beer belly, and I have yet to meet a woman who "loves" men's beer bellies either. All in all, there nothing feminist about loving your cellulite. It is yet another slogan used for publicity and hype.

 

 

9> Does liposuction get rid of cellulite? Nope.

Does liposuction get rid of cellulite? Nope.

Another myth arising form the fallacy that "cellulite is just fat" is that liposuction can get rid of cellulite. This could not be further from the truth. As I described above, cellulite is obesity INSIDE the skin, while subcutaneous fat, the fat that liposuction reduces, is obesity UNDER the skin. Cellulite is part of the skin itself. No liposuction can get rid of it, because it would have to remove the skin itself. And you wouldn't like to walk around without skin, would you?

In fact, by emptying the volume that used to be occupied by fat underneath the skin, liposuction always makes skin appear looser and accentuates cellulite. Liposuction doesn't make cellulite itself better or worse per se, but it makes it look worse.

So, no, liposuction does not get rid of cellulite. Neither do vaser or smartlipo, which are supposed to tighten the skin but in reality they just harden it via the creation of scar tissue, with cellulite just sitting on top of the hardened skin and actually looking worse than before.

 

 

10> "Cellulite surgery is the best option". Not really.

Cellulite surgery? No thanks.

There are two types of surgical procedures for cellulite.

One involves cutting off the connective tissue strands that tether the skin's surface onto the underlying tissues and which cause cellulite fat to protrude. There are two types of such surgery: subcision surgery and cellfina surgery. By cutting those strands off we (kinda) "get rid of" cellulite on that spot, but then the skin is no more tethered to the underlying tissues and becomes flabby (that natural tethering is there for a reason). Given that most women with cellulite already have loose skin, it does not take a genius to realise that this type of surgery causes skin on that area to behave like a fruit jelly with every step its owner takes.

Furthermore, the female legs have a few dozen large connective tissue strands that can be cut with surgery and a few hundred, if not thousands, smaller ones, that cannot be undercut with any surgery of any type. They are just too small and too many. This means that unlike other methods (such as monopolar radiofrequency which treats everything, small and large, and is non-invasive and safe), this type of cellulite surgery leaves plenty of cellulite left untreated.

The other type of surgery (cellulaze) involves a laser cannula which is inserted inside the skin and fires its laser beam upwards to melt and harden the cellulite fat cells and connective tissue. It all sounds good in theory, but as with vaser and laser liposuction, mentioned above, this is not exactly skin tightening, it is skin scarring/hardening. It quite often goes wrong and endows the unlucky receiver with some beautiful scar tissue bumps, much worse than cellulite itself.

If I had cellulite I would not even contemplate cellulite surgery. I'd better "love my cellulite"...

 

 

11> "Cellulite is genetic. All resistance is futile."

Cellulite is genetic

Cellulite is 50% genetic and 50% lifestyle-related, i.e. dependent on how much you eat, drink, smoke, move and what chemicals/medication you consume. Even women with perfect genes, such as top models, eventually get cellulite after years of drinking, smoking and an overall unhealthy lifestyle.

On the other hand, women with less-than-perfect genes can avoid cellulite if they follow a healthy, natural lifestyle. Resistance is not futile. Cellulite is not a given: eat healthily, exercise a lot, avoid chemicals and you can either stay cellulite-free for life or keep cellulite at a minimum. A strong cellulite treatment and a concentrated cellulite cream can help a lot too. More on that below.

 

 

12> "For cellulite all you need is diet and exercise". I wish...

Radiofrequency for cellulite

You heard and read it many times: "cellulite treatments do not work, cellulite creams don't get absorbed and all you need to reduce cellulite is diet and exercise". However, this could not be further from the truth...

Healthy diet and regular exercise are prerequisites for cellulite prevention, (limited) cellulite reduction and essential if you want to achieve maximum results from any cellulite treatment or cream. But on their own, diet and exercise are not enough to significantly reduce cellulite. This is because diet and exercise cannot be focused on a specific body area, hence the need for treatments and creams.

Now it is true that most cellulite treatments and creams do not 'work', simply because they are too light and too diluted, respectively. However, strong treatments, such as high intensity monopolar radiofrequency, and quality cellulite creams, containing high concentrations of multiple anti-cellulite actives, such as caffeine, forskolin, gotu kola, curcumin, escin and more...) do produce great results, always in conjunction with healthy diet and exercise, of course.

 

13> "Cellulite is just toxins and water retention, so all you need is lymph massage". If only it was so simple...

Cellulite is toxins? You wish.

Given that until the past couple of decades little was known about cellulite, many "experts" claimed that cellulite is just water retention and "toxin" accumulation. This has lead to the myth that MLD massage (manual lymphatic drainage massage) can "get rid of" cellulite on its own or as the main anti-cellulite therapy. This, of course, could not be further from the truth, as millions of women have discovered to their disappointment, after dozens of MLD massages leading to minimal, temporary or no results at all.

Although there is some truth in that argument (toxins from smoking, plastics and food additives accumulate in fat tissue and partially do cause cellulite), these are far more important causes of cellulite. Think hormonal contraception, sugar consumption, excess carbs and fat in the diet, inactivity, alcohol consumption and more.

So a mere lymphatic drainage massage or some colonic irrigation would only scratch the surface. For example, manual lymphatic drainage massage (MLD) indeed helps shift excess water from the legs and reduce some of the inflammation, thereby improving the appearance of cellulite VERY temporarily, but does not do anything else.

Obviously, a feather-light massage (such as MLD massage) can do absolutely nothing to firm up the skin, affect free radical damage or glycation or significantly break down fibrotic tissue (all major aspects of what we call cellulite). But most importantly, it does not do anything to reduce fat - the number one issue with cellulite. Such a simplistic approach can only offer a very temporary (1-2 days), very mild relief, solely based on removing excess water from the cellulite tissues. And nothing else. 

On the other hand, circulation and lymphatic drainage can be improved equally well - or even more so - by strong cellulite-specific massage, which offers several other benefits, as described further above on this page.  Furthermore, cellulite-specific massage can be used with a good anti-cellulite product, whose absorption it boosts - while MLD can only be applied with talcum powder or a minute amount of oil, thereby preventing such synergy. Contrary to the popular myth, even good old deep tissue massage can boost circulation equally well or more than MLD, with the added benefits of muscle relaxation and muscle tissue micro-stretching.

All in all, a strong cellulite massage focusing on skin, rather than on muscles, would do a much better job than the feather-light manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) suggested by the "toxin brigade".

In summary, lymph massage should be confined in the care of people with compromised lymphatic glands (typically due to chemotherapy) or people who for a variety of reasons are fragile and with very poor lymphatic system. For those people, the Vodder-style MLD is the treatment of choice, as it is very precise and very, very mild and quite often it is the only manual treatment that can help.

However, for the vast majority of the population the feather-light manual lymph massage is a sheer waste of time. This is evident by the fact that when healthy, fit people try it, they experience minimal results - or no results at all. They find it boring and pointless. For those people, MLD does not add to what the body can already do so the stronger cellulite massage techniques - or the anti-cellulite technologies mentioned above - are preferred, as they are more effective and offer multiple benefits.

 

14> Sports/Deep tissue massage for cellulite? How deep?

This is a common question: "I have tried various types of massage to reduce my cellulite but it seems they don’t really work. At the gym I was advised that deep tissue massage can reduce cellulite - is that true?" The short answer is "no". The long answer follows.

Deep tissue/sports massage is a technique specific to muscles, deep fascia and other deep tissues of the body, all located UNDER the skin. Deep tissue massage improves muscle circulation and muscle lymphatic drainage, as well as reducing tension in the muscles and deep fascia. It is essential for sportspeople and sedentary people alike in the prevention and treatment of muscular tension

However, cellulite is a tissue located IN the skin (hypodermal layer), i.e. way ABOVE where deep tissue massage acts.

In deep tissue massage the pressure of the therapist is not applied on the cellulite layer in any specific way that will offer appreciable results in cellulite reduction, and therefore most of the benefits of this massage technique are seen on the muscles - not the hypodermis, i.e. the “cellulite layer”.

Furthermore, cellulite, being a complicated aesthetic condition can not be expected to respond to any simplistic, non-specific massage measures, including deep tissue massage. Consequently, I can safely say that deep tissue massage is a waste of time as a cellulite reduction method and you should consider cellulite-specific massage or other more effective cellulite treatments, such as high power monopolar radiofrequency.

 

 

15> "This treatment melts the fat away to break down cellulite". Hmmmm...

Melt the fat away and get rid of cellulite

"The treatment melts down the fat which is then naturally expelled by the body through the kidneys and liver". Sounds familiar?

Many providers of anti-cellulite treatments (typically laser, ultrasound, acoustic wave or radiofrequency-based treatments) and manufacturers of such equipment, claim that their treatments can “melt” the fat which is then naturally “expelled” out of the body, through the kidneys or liver. This cannot be further from the truth, as any biologist or doctor knows.

Simply put, expecting to melt the fat with a machine and then go to the toilet to flush it away from the body via your urine is wishful thinking and does not exist, no more than Santa Claus exists, anyway. In fact, fat is already in liquid form in the body (it is referred to as the "lipid droplets" by scientists) and does not need any smart a** with a laser to help it melt.

The reality is that a good, strong cellulite treatment does release fat from the cellulite fat cells, which is then taken up by the lymphatic system and veins and transported to the liver, muscles and other tissues where it can be burned for energy. But under no circumstances fat melts and then gets urinated or defecated away by the body, as many brochures and websites would have you believe.

 

16> Graduated compression stockings for cellulite?

Graduated compression garments aid the flow of blood and lymph from the feet, calves, thighs and hips towards the heart. For this reason graduated compression stockings and tights help prevent water retention, one of the seven aspects of cellulite.

However, all compression garments insulate your fibroblasts (your collagen and elastin-producing cells) from the effects of mechanical stimulation and therefore have a negative effect on skin firmness. Skin looseness is a major aspect of cellulite and therefore compression tights may lead to looser skin if worn continuously.

In addition, all compression garments inhibit arterial flow. This is because arterial blood travels in the opposite direction of vein blood and lymph, and also against the pressure gradient of graduated compression garments. So, although graduated compression aids in lymph/vein flow, it also keeps arterial flow reduced, resulting in poor nourishment of the tissues. For all these reasons the continuous use of graduated compression socks, stockings and tights is not recommended.

It is now very well established that specific herbal extracts (such as centella / gotu kola, escin / horse chestnut, ruscus / butcher's broom), hesperidin, rutin) can provide results equal or better to compression garments, without the discomfort of wearing tight garments on your legs. These natural actives can be taken both orally (as supplements) or locally on the legs (as creams).

So I would say that if your cellulite is characterised by lots of water retention rather than loose skin, then these garments may be slightly helpful to you for some time. On the other hand, if you suffer from loose skin, using graduated compression tights is not advised, as they will make your skin looseness worse.

On the other hand, plain (non-graduated pressure) stockings and leggings do absolutely nothing for cellulite, and especially "caffeine-infused" or ceramic fibre tights and leggings are pure hype, as we explain below.

 

17> "Avocado & nuts are good fats So I can eat as much as I want, right?"

Short answer: Wrong. Fats are still fats, 9 kcals/gram. 110g of "good fat" will deposit 1 kilogram of of good fat in your bum. That's a lot of bum fat! And no, fat doesn't boost metabolism enough to help you burn 9 kcals/gram - more like 10% of that...

Long answer: Foods rich in oils and fat, including "healthy fats" such avocado, coconut, seeds, nuts and olive oil, are good for your health, as long you don't have too much of them. The adverse health consequences of overweight and obesity, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and arthritis, do not discriminate depending on how you got overweight or obese in the first place. And the same applies to cellulite.

 All fats and oils (good and bad) have a high calorie content (one gram of fat/oil contains 9 calories). Extra calories mean more fat deposited in the tissues, including the hypodermal fat tissues located on your legs (cellulite).

This general rule applies to almost all oils/fats, even many so-called healthy ones, such as olive oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, argan oil, rapeseed oil, sesame oil, palm oil, butter, ghee, cream, nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, brazil nuts, pistachios etc.), seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts etc.), avocado and fatty foods in general (fatty meat, cheeses, pastry, biscuits, chocolate etc.).

Even the hyped up coconut oil, which is supposed to help you slim down because it contains MCTs, is fattening. This is because coconut oil contains 10% "slimming" MCTs (which do help you lose weight, somewhat) and a good 90% "fattening" oils. You do the maths. And the maths (clinical studies) have shown that coconut oil fattens you, it does not make you lose weight.

On the other hand, pure MCTs can indeed help you lose (some) weight, as mentioned above, and are really "good fats". The only problem is that they also cause you diarrhoea if you have too much of them.

Oh well...

Fortunately, there is one more exception: EPA and DHA fatty acids from fish oil can indeed help you lose (some) fat and they will not cause cellulite, so they are the ultimate good fats. For more information on them click here.

As with everything else, moderation is the key here. Eating an excessive amount of oily fish will reduce your immunity, cause metabolic dysfunction and will probably not lead to more weight loss. It may even possibly lead to weight gain, as not all the excessive HUFAs can be used up as building blocks and the excess will end up being stored. So be reasonable. More is not always better.

Another previously thought of as miracle fat, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), seems to work (a bit) but at very high intakes and to not be very good for your liver at such high dosages, so unfortunately it cannot be considered as a good fat, when taken orally.

Due to their direct effect on fat cell metabolism, MCTs, EPA/DHA and CLA can theoretically be used in anti-cellulite creams, with the aim of reducing fat content of the hypodermal fat cells. Practically, however, EPA and DHA cannot be used locally due to their strong fishy smell (nobody wants to smell like a sardine, even if that would mean less cellulite), leaving MCTs and CLA to be used for that purpose. In the creams and treatment products we use at the clinic, we include MCTs in the cream base and we also use a patented CLA oil as a natural anti-cellulite ingredient. Every little helps...

18> Who said "men don’t get cellulite?"

Sure, most men tend to put their excess fat on their stomachs.

However, everybody, man or woman, can get cellulite if both two following conditions are met: their body is loaded with enough estrogen; they ingest more calories than they spend and/or sit down too much.

The aptly named "pre-cellulite" fat pocket infrastructure exists on the skin of hips and thighs of both sexes All it takes is

  • Estrogen to stimulate the proliferation (multiplication) of adipocytes (fat cells) in those areas (the fat tissue on the butt and thighs of all human beings - male or female - is very sensitive to oestrogen)
  • Excess calories (typically hydrogenated fat, saturated fat, sugar, alcohol and high glycaemic index starches) to fill up those multiplied fat cells with fat
  • A sedentary lifestyle makes things worse, by encouraging the skin to become loose and the blood and lymph vessels to become weaker, which in turns leads to water retention and consequent inflammation.

Water retention, excess superficial fat, inflammation and skin laxity are the hallmarks of cellulite.

Both of the above conditions (more estrogen, calorie imbalance) have to be met for humans to develop cellulite. In the absence of high levels of estrogen, humans who overeat can only get "fat", especially on the stomach/waist area (as is the case with men) and maybe develop loose skin, but they do not develop cellulite. Similarly, in the absence of excess calorie consumption or sedentary living, humans with high oestrogen levels can only get looser skin but they will not develop cellulite, or they will develop very little cellulite. Naturally, with both high levels of oestrogen and calorie surplus/inactivity most humans will develop a lot of cellulite.

High estrogen levels in men due to overweight, testosterone conversion, environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals

As I mentioned above, oestrogen is a precondition for a human to develop cellulite. Men normally have low estrogen levels, so if they overeat and/or live a sedentary lifestyle they typically become overweight and develop loose skin. However, some men have high estrogen levels, so those men if they overeat and/or do not move enough will develop cellulite. Men with high estrogen levels are typically either older or overweight/obese.

In older men, testosterone is more readily transformed into estrogen (via a process called aromatisation) than in younger men. This, combined with excess calorie consumption and a sedentary lifestyle will lead to the development of cellulite.

On the other hand, in overweight men it's fat cells that produce the estrogen needed for cellulite development. Fat cells are not inactive fat storage depots - they do secrete several hormones, one of which is estrogen. The more adipose cells a man's (or woman's) body has, they more estrogen is produced by those fat cells. As we saw above, this can lead to cellulite development, if combined with a calorie surplus and/or inactivity.

The same things that lead to the creation of cellulite in men can also lead to the development of what is known as gynaecomastia, also known as "man breasts", "man boobs" or "moobs". Again, the culprit here is a combination of excess estrogen and excess calorie surplus. Estrogen stimulates the development of breast tissue, in both men and women, in the same way it stimulates the development of cellulite in both men and women.

Some man-made chemicals, known as xenoestrogens, act as estrogen-like substances in the body and disrupt endocrine balance. Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are known examples of xenoestrogens. Some foods and drinks also contain high amounts of estrogen-like substances, called phytoestrogens. Soya and beer are well-known examples of phytoestrogen-containing foods. All these estrogen-like substances can have an estrogenic effect on the body, and can possibly lead to cellulite creation, with phytoestrogens being more benign and xenoestrogens being more "nasty".

Transexuals and cellulite

There is one more case of high estrogen levels in men. Those who undergo sex change (transgender / transexuals) take high levels of oestrogen medication in order to transform their bodies into a more female form. These high levels of estrogen can easily lead to cellulite creation, much faster than in obese and/or older men, due to the very high estrogen levels. So most transgender individuals do develop cellulite, after some years of estrogen intake, in exactly the same way as women do. Photographs of famous transexual women can be seen in the press with clear signs of cellulite - sometimes even with excessive cellulite on their thighs and buttock areas. It is clear that by becoming a woman you face the same problems women face, unfortunately one of them being cellulite.

In summary: feminisation and cellulite

All in all, feminisation (due to old age, obesity or environmental chemicals) combined with excess calorie consumption and inactivity will inevitably lead to the development of cellulite. Women, being more feminine, are more prone to this esthetic condition, but men can also develop cellulite. The solution to the problem of excess estrogen remains the same, for both men and women: eat healthy, non-processed, organic food, avoid plastics in your food supply and do loads of exercise. And for women, lose the contraceptive pill.

 

19> "I can eat honey, right?"

"Honey is good for you": yet another urban myth

Urban myth dictates that honey is better than sugar, because it is a natural, unrefined product. Sugar, on the other hand, is also natural, but refined. However, there is no significant difference between the two products, as both are almost pure sugars, which are detrimental to health.

The trace element myth

Unlike sugar, honey contains miniscule (trace) amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. However, those tiny amounts of healthful trace nutrients are completely overpowered by the 80% sugars that honey contains, of which 40% is fructose - the main cause of insulin resistance and glycation in the body. This is in contrast to really healthy foods such as blueberries, which contain a huge amount of antioxidants and other trace nutrients, in relation to their tiny fructose and glucose content.

In fact, you will need a huge amount of honey or brown sugar - containing thousands of calories - in order to receive any meaningful amount of trace nutrients such as vitamins or antioxidants. If you want to receive antioxidants and vitamins, blueberries or tomatoes are the solution, not honey or brown sugar. The idea that honey is a healthful source of those nutrients is pure misinformation.

Now sugar, in any guise, natural or refined, is one of the worst things you can put in your mouth (closely followed by nasty deep fried oils and hydrogenated (trans) oils) and is a causative factor of skin and vascular ageing (via glycation and low grade inflammation), overweight, cellulite, diabetes, tooth decay and poor vision among many other negative effects. Sugar is clearly the number one dietary enemy of our health today.

Honey, fructose and the glycaemic index fallacy

With a GI of 30-70, depending on variety, honey has somewhat lower glycaemic index than sugar (GI 63), however this is irrelevant as the detrimental effects of sugar are not mediated only by glycaemic index, but also via sheer calorie load and via the negative effects of fructose (a constituent of both honey and sugar) in insulin resistance, glycation and inflammation.

Simply put, there is no such thing as "good sugar". Of course, very occasional intake of honey or other sweet treat such as chocolate, is absolutely fine, but regular consumption is clearly not a good idea, if you care about preventing skin aging, cardiovascular aging, diabetes, overweight, vision problems or tooth decay. And honey is every bit as bad as sugar for cellulite.

 

 

20-24> Redundant cellulite myths, which thankfully nobody believes any more

Remember the MBTs, Reeboks and other embarrassingly ugly "cellulite trainers" with rocking soles that were supposed to "get rid of cellulite" and which were hugely popular and selling off the shelves for more than a decade? What happened to them? Thankfully, after a decade of hype nobody believes in that fad any more simply because it doesn't work.

The same applies to caffeine jeans, tights and underwear which supposedly release caffeine while you were them. What a joke! If a 10%, enhanced absorption caffeine cream struggles to reduce cellulite, how can a less than 1% caffeine "enriched" fabric with almost zero skin absorption "get rid of" your cellulite? Like with MBTs, a certain cosmetic ingredient company made a lot of money thanks to hype and consumer naivety.

And what about silly detox foot pads and baths, tights with ceramic fibres woven into them that emit "far infrared rays which melt down the fat"? God, how much precious grey matter is being wasted on deceitful marketing campaigns? Sorry, but I really cannot waste precious grey matter and precious time to go into detail about how silly such "treatments" are.

On the other hand, although clay body wraps do not do anything for permanent cellulite reduction, they do help drain some water out of the legs for 2-3 days, so at least they are useful in this way.

 

 

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How to get rid of cellulite, fast!

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Fight cellulite and keep skin firm & healthy
with these awesome foods and nutrients

© 2017 Georgios Tzenichristos & LipoTherapeia Ltd

 

 

The best foods prevent / reduce cellulite

The best foods against cellulite are the ones that keep your stomach and brain happy/satiated due to their high fibre content, contain a negligible amount of calories and at the same time contain a high amount of phytochemicals.

Satiety  +  phytochemicals  +  low calories  =  the ideal anti-cellulite food

A good mix of phytochemicals from a varied diet rich in vegetables, fruit and herbs / spices can fight all aspects of cellulite, i.e. boost circulation, fight oxidative damage, inhibit fat accumulation, reduce inflammation, minimise fibrosis, reduce glycation and stimulate collagen and elastin production / skin firmness and elasticity.

 

The absolutely fabulous food & nutrient list

This is my essential list of anti-cellulite, skin firming and circulation enhancing foods and nutrients. Many foods and nutrients can help fight cellulite but these ones rock! Some of those nutrients can only be found in foods, some can only be found in supplement form and most are foods that can also be used in anti-cellulite creams for topical action (clearly noted below the titles). All nutrients and foods are presented in no particular order.

 

Contents

Resveratrol, pterostilbene in berry fruits  •  Carotenoids  •  EPA & DHA omega-3 fish oil  •  Rutin, hesperidin, quercetin and ascorbic acid in citrus fruits •  Cocoa flavanols  •  Chlorogenic acid in coffee  •  Centella asiatica / gotu kola  •  EGCG in green tea  •  Forskolin  •  Curcumin in turmeric  •  Escin and esculin in horse chestnut  •  Whey/vegan protein  •  Chia/flax seeds  •  Sulforaphane in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables  •  Hyaluronic acid

 

 

1>  Blueberries, blackberries and black grapes

Resveratrol & pterostilbene for cellulite and skin firming

(also available in nutritional supplements, high quality cellulite creams and advanced cellulite treatments)

Resveratrol and pterostilbene for cellulite

Berry fruits and black grapes contain polyphenols, most importantly resveratrol and pterostilbene, which are known to inhibit fat accumulation in fat cells, fight free radicals and inflammation and help protect collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin from damage and also to stimulate their production. This means stronger, healthier, firmer skin, blood vessels and microcirculation.

Polyphenols are your legs' and your skin's best friend and the number one nutrient class against skin ageing, water retention, skin looseness and cellulite. The more polyphenols you consume, and the less sugar and empty calories, the better your overall health and appearance will be, including that of your legs and butt. Less water retention, better circulation, improved skin firmness and elasticity and even higher metabolism, are some of the benefits of polyphenols.

Berries contain very few calories compared to the amount of nutrients that they offer you, and can be consumed without thinking about calories. Berries and vegetables are the best examples of a foods that, no matter how much you eat of them, they simply cannot make you gain weight. Blueberries and blackberries are the best fruits for this purpose, but literally all berry fruits (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, goji berries, cranberries (unsweetened of course), maqui berries, acai berries etc.), as well as pomegranates, are packed with cellulite fighting and skin elasticity preserving polyphenols.

Black/purple grapes, however, rich as they may be in polyphenols, they also contain a lot of sugars, so limit their consumption. On the other hand, you can consume as many berries and pomegranates as you wish, but always prefer actual fruit to juices or smoothies - even if they are freshly squeezed.

Do not drink berry juice drinks or packed juices, which are sugary and/or diluted, and only have fresh berry juice or actual fresh berries.

 

 

2>  Tomatoes, carrots and watermelons

Carotenoids for cellulite removal & skin firming

(also available in nutritional supplements)

Carotenoids for cellulite

Since we mentioned polyphenols, it would be unfair to leave out carotenoids, the other big family of healthful phytochemicals.

Both the polyphenol and carotenoid groups of plant chemicals have been found in multiple studies to inhibit fat accumulation and to exert a powerful antioxidant effect. Free radical damage and fat accumulation are both important aspects of cellulite.

Tomatoes are an amazing source of carotenoids - especially 100% pure, concentrated tomato paste and passata. Carrots and watermelons are also packed with carotenoids, such as beta carotene and lycopene. And kale and several other vegetables are rich in zeaxanthin and lutein. Similar to polyphenols, prefer to acquire carotenoids from actual fruit instead of fruit juices and smoothies (vegetable juices are fine).

Watermelon contains plenty of fibre (which stimulates bowel movements) and water/potassium (which stimulate urination), so it is also a great fruit for constipation and water retention, both important factors for cellulite. On the other hand, watermelon contains quite a lot of (natural) sugar, so don't go crazy on it. 

Wakame seaweed, a rich a source of the carotenoid fucoxanthin, and salmon and crustaceans, sources of astaxanthin, are two more examples of great carotenoid containing foods.

 

 

3>  Oily fish / fish oil

Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) for cellulite

(also available in nutritional supplements)

Omega 3 for cellulite.jpg

The omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA are widely researched for their anti-inflammatory, lipolytic and circulation enhancing action. As inflammation, fat accumulation and water retention are important aspects of cellulite, oily fish/fish oil are great anti-cellulite foods, and they also help enhance overall health.

You do not necessarily need to eat just salmon to obtain your EPA/DHA quota: sardines, anchovies, mackerel, trout and other oily fish are excellent sources of these HUFAs (highly unsaturated fatty acids). Salmon, however, also contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, so that's an additional bonus.

As most large fish are contaminated with heavy metals and PCBs, it may be preferable to consume high quality, so-called molecularly distilled fish oil, which is free of contaminants, and which is usually sourced from small fish, such as sardines and anchovies (never consume cod liver oil, as it has excessive amounts of vitamin A).

Vegans need not miss out on the benefit of these amazing fatty acids, as vegan varieties of both EPA and DHA are now available as nutritional supplements at health food stores.

On the other hand, flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts, contain ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid which is not nearly as beneficial as DHA and EPA. In theory the body can convert ALA to DHA & EPA, but only at a rate of 5%, so sticking to EPA/DHA makes a lot of sense.

 

 

4>  Flavonoids, found in citrus fruit

Rutin, hesperidin, quercetin and vitamin C, for cellulite and skin firming

(also available in nutritional supplements, high quality cellulite creams and advanced cellulite treatments)

Flavonoids, such as rutin, hesperidin and quercetin found in citrus and other fruits and vegetables, have a centuries' old history of use as circulation enhancers, with some of them even contained in medication for heavy legs in Europe (eg Daflon).

All these flavonoids help preserve and boost collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid in blood vessels and skin and they are powerful antioxidants. Coincidentally, these are the same functions of vitamin C / ascorbic acid, also found in citrus fruits, so it's no wonder these "bioflavonoids" have also been typically found together with vitamin C in nutritional supplements for decades.

As skin and blood vessel firmness, integrity, elasticity and overall health are important aspects in the fight against cellulite, water retention and skin looseness, flavonoids and ascorbic acid are key anti-cellulite nutrients.

 

 

5>  High antioxidant cacao powder

Cocoa flavanols for cellulite

(also available in nutritional supplements, high quality cellulite creams and advanced cellulite treatments)

Cocoa flavanols for cellulite

Cocoa (cacao) is "the food of the Gods" and one of the best anti-ageing secrets for your skin. It contains 300 different phytochemicals which together combine to boost microcirculation, fight free radical damage, prevent collagen and elastin breakdown and actually boost collagen and elastin synthesis. IN a nutshell, cocoa protects against cellulite in multiple ways. No single molecule is responsible for cacao's beneficial effects, which is a rich source of high-quality antioxidant polyphenols/flavanols, mainly proanthocyanidins, catechins and anthocyanins.

  There are dozens of studies on the circulation and skin health enhancing properties of cocoa flavanols, so it makes sense to invest in a quality ‘high flavanol cocoa powder’ (available at health food stores or on the internet - the best I found is from a company called 'Chococru' with 8x more polyphenols than plain cocoa and 4x more than raw cocoa). It makes a wonderfully refreshing, yummy shake when mixed with a quality whey/vegan protein powder, some vanilla and some stevia.

On the other hand, avoid indulging in "70% chocolate", thinking that “it’s healthy”: 30% of it is pure sugar, which is your legs’ worst enemy. Unfortunately, no chocolate is good for your legs, even the "100% chocolate" varieties, which are packed with loads of fat and carbs and a little bit of flavanols - besides being totally untasty. Of course milk or - even worse - white chocolate has no health benefits.

Life is all about choices: do you want beautiful skin and legs with a nice cocoa protein shake, minus the sugar? Or do you prefer to remain a sugar-addicted junkie and accept faster skin ageing and cellulite?

 

 

6>  Decaffeinated coffee

Chlorogenic acid for cellulite

(also available in nutritional supplements, high quality cellulite creams and advanced cellulite treatments)

Decaf coffee for cellulite

Few people know that coffee is packed with healthful plant chemicals which can help support skin and overall body health. Coffee has got a bad name due to caffeine, but take away caffeine and coffee is a health drink with zero side effects, especially green coffee (only available as supplement).

Chlorogenic acid is one of the many phytochemicals found in decaf and normal coffee and is a powerful antioxidant, as well as an anti-glycation agent (glycation is an important aspect of cellulite and overall skin ageing and laxity).

So, go on, have as many cups of decaf coffee as you wish, and as much as four cups of caffeinated coffee per day: it's good for you! Personally I use instant decaf coffee in my protein shakes, together with high flavanol cocoa, to reap the health benefits of both cocoa flavanols and coffee polyphenols.

And don't worry about "chemicals" in decaf coffee - there are none. These days almost all decaf drinks are made with the water decaffeination process, so they are absolutely safe and healthy for you.

 

 

 

7>  Sencha & matcha green tea

EGCG for cellulite reduction

(also available in nutritional supplements, high quality cellulite creams and advanced cellulite treatments)

EGCG from green tea for cellulite

EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is the most well researched and most impressive molecule in green tea.

It is a powerful antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antifibrotic and even lipolytic molecule, thereby hitting cellulite and skin ageing from four different directions. These properties make EGCG / green tea an important ally in the fight against cellulite and skin looseness.

 
Epigallocatechin gallate.png
 

Similarly to chlorogenic acid and decaf coffee, it is a good idea to have decaf green tea if you are going to drink more than 3-4 cups of matcha tea or 5-6 cups of normal green tea (unbeknownst to most people, matcha tea is extremely rich in caffeine, quite often more than a strong espresso coffee). For a caffeine-free alternative to matcha tea, look for decaf sencha powder - it is equally bright green, rich in EGCG and contains no caffeine.

And, as mentioned above for decaf coffee, don't worry about "chemicals" in decaf green tea - there are none. These days almost all decaf drinks are made with the water decaffeination process, so they are safe and healthy for you. The only problem with decaffeination is that antioxidants such as EGCG are reduced - but then again you can have as much as decaf green tea a day, as you wish. Another option is to take an EGCG supplement, which offers high amounts of EGCG in one convenient capsule.

BTW, black tea and white tea contain way less EGCG than green tea, so ideally you would want to stick to green tea, if you wish to reap the benefits of EGCG.

 

 

8>  Coleus forskohlii extract

Forskolin to combat cellulite 

(only available as a nutritional supplement and in high quality cellulite creams and advanced cellulite treatments)

Forskolin for cellulite

Forskolin is probably the most potent natural lipolytic molecule known today and is routinely used in research for its lipolytic property. It also combines well with caffeine for maximum results.

However, the plant in which forskolin is found is not available in the West, so it is only available in supplement or topical (cream) form (in India and Brasil coleus forskohlii is consumed as a tea).

In addition to its lipolytic action, forskolin is also proven to boost circulation, so these two properties make it a key anti-cellulite nutrient.

 

 

9>  Centella asiatica / gotu kola extract

Asiatic acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside & madecassoside against cellulite

(also available in nutritional supplements, high quality cellulite creams and advanced cellulite treatments)

Centella asiatica / gotu kola for cellulite

The centella molecules asiatic acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside and madecassoside are all extensively researched for their circulation boosting, lipolytic, anti-glycation, skin firming, skin repairing, anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory actions.

With such an impressive resume, it is no wonder that the exotic herb centella asiatica (gotu kola) has been extensively used to boost circulation, skin firming and skin repair for centuries - and against cellulite for several decades.

In the West centella is only available as a supplement or as cream for topical use. However, in Africa, India and Southeast Asia it is used in salads or as a herbal tea. I have personally cultivated a gotu kola plant and found the taste of the leaves to have a quite strong herbal taste, so I would only use it in salads in small amounts to add extra taste, in the same way we use parsley or coriander in small amounts in salads or other dishes.

 

 

10>  Turmeric

Curcumin for cellulite reduction

(also available in nutritional supplements, high quality cellulite creams and advanced cellulite treatments)

Curcumin from turmeric for cellulite

Turmeric and curcumin, its active ingredient, are known for their anti-inflammatory action and in that respect they are an ideal companion to oily fish / fish oil, mentioned above. Curcumin has also been found to be antifibrotic, antioxidant and lipolytic, so it is an ideal anti-cellulite and anti-ageing food / topical formulation ingredient.

Turmeric can be added in smoothies, soups and almost all food recipes, while curcumin is also available as a supplement and in a handful high-end cellulite and anti-ageing creams.

 

 

11>  Horse chestnut extract

Escin & esculin for cellulite and water retention

(only available as a nutritional supplement and in high quality cellulite creams and advanced cellulite treatments)

Escin and esculoside from horse chestnut for cellulite

Similarly to citrus flavonoids, horse chestnut, and its active ingredients escin and esculin/esculoside, have a centuries' old history of traditional use - and decades' old history of research - against water retention. In addition, esculin is a lipolytic, so it makes sense to use escin - and especially esculin - in anti-cellulite creams.

Esculoside and horse chestnut nuts/flowers/leaves are not edible, so escin/horse chestnut extract is only available in supplement form and in topical formulations (esculoside is only avasilable for tpical use).

 

 

12>  Protein shake

Whey and vegan protein for skin firming and cellulite

(also available as a nutritional supplement)

Whey and vegan protein for cellulite

Your skin is made of protein. Collagen is protein, elastin is a protein too and blood vessels and muscles are mainly made of protein, so restricting your protein intake because of dubious nutritional theories is criminal, at least if you care about your skin/blood vessel/muscle integrity and health - and cellulite.  Since blood vessel walls, as well as your skin, muscles and connective tissue (i.e. everything that keeps you toned) are made of protein, having less protein in your diet is a big mistake. Lack of protein means reduced production of collagen and elastin, i.e. the proteins that keep your skin firm and elastic.

If you force your body to do with less protein, it will simply reduce skin, muscle and blood vessel repair to a minimum - and of course you should forget about skin firming and muscle toning. Unfortunately, in their effort to avoid red meat, and due to constant yo-yo dieting dieting, fasting and "detoxing", most women do not consume enough protein today, leading to skin looseness, ageing and cellulite.

If you want to avoid loose skin and cellulite - and ideally boost your skin tone - protein is absolutely essential - together with exercise of course. I would recommend 40-80g or pure protein per day, depending on your body size and exercise regime. The fact is that unless you consume huge amounts of protein (much more than the above amounts), you will not harm your kidneys or other organs, as persistent nutritional fads suggest.

Protein doesn't make you fat, carbohydrates, saturated fat, lack of exercise, or the combination of those three things does. It is just impossible to get fat by eating too much lean protein, simply because fat-free protein is so filling. It is literally impossible to routinely overindulge in excessive protein intake, as is the case with saturated fat and carbs. Lean protein, i.e. protein rich-food that doesn't contain saturated fat, can be found in fish, seafood, lean cuts of meat, skin-free chicken/turkey/duck, eggs and skimmed milk. Beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils are also decent sources of protein. Processed soya, especially soya milk should be avoided, as it contains anti-nutrients that negatively affect your thyroid function and gut nutrient absorption.

Fortunately, you do not need to suffer from protein deficiency if you fast, detox, crash-diet, avoid red meat or follow a vegan diet, as there are plenty of high quality plant-based protein powders on the market to choose from. For the non-vegans but still vegetarians, a quality undenatured whey protein powder (such as Well Wisdom) is the absolutely best source of protein.

(A couple of notes on vegan food protein content)

Indeed nuts contain a lot of protein, but they also contain huge amounts of fat (from 50% fat in almonds to 76% fat in macadamia nuts - that's a LOT of fat), so they are not ideal as protein sources (even "good fat", such as nut fat, does make you fat). In addition, some so-called "high protein foods", such as quinoa, in reality are high carb / low protein foods (4.5x more carbs than protein!), so do your research first before you follow the latest food fashion.

Finally, faddy foods, such as the ubiquitous these days "protein balls", are so full of so-called "healthy sugars" and fat, that they are an extremely bad source of protein. These sugars, including "coconut nectar", honey, agave syrup, dates, "concentrated apple juice", rice syrup, raw cane sugar etc are actually every bit as bad as table sugar, and when combined with the fattening - and not so healthy and fattening - coconut oil, these protein balls are not much better than a muffin. So beware!

 

 

13>  Ground chia seeds or flaxseeds

Soluble fibre to help fight cellulite

(also available as nutritional supplements)

Linseeds or chia seeds for cellulite

One tablespoonful of ground chia or flax seeds (always taken with two large glasses of water) once or twice a day, is guaranteed to eliminate most cases of constipation - no laxatives, herbs or expensive "colonic irrigation" / “detox retreats abroad" needed.

Constipation is a leading cause of water retention and poor circulation on legs, which leads to the accumulation of toxins and, of course, cellulite. Most of my clients suffer from constipation, in the past having tried everything which is complicated and expensive, while disregarding such a simple, cheap and healthy solution. So they are surprised how quickly flax/chia seeds and some more water can relieve constipation: typically within 48 hours.

So go on, add some chia seeds or linseeds to your soups, salads or smoothies - and don't forget to wash them down with plenty of water, to feel regular and light again! Just make sure that the seeds are ground. Whole, intact chia/flax seeds do not work, as they do not absorb water and do not form a slippery gel in your gut.

 

 

14>  Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale etc) 

Sulforaphane in the fight against cellulite

(also available in nutritional supplements)

Cruciferous vegetables for cellulite

All vegetables and herbs are great for cellulite - and overall health - but if I were to choose one group of vegetables above all else, that would be the brassica family: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, rocket, watercress, collard greens, savoy cabbage and bok choy, are examples of brassica / cruciferous vegetables.

Vegetables of this family contain multiple phytochemicals known to boost detoxification, not least sulforaphane, which has also been found to be a lipolytic. Plus they contain the usual fibre, minerals and vitamins found in all vegetables, so they deserve to be the "flagship" group of vegetables when it comes to health benefits and cellulite.

Just make sure you cook them (except rocket and watercress) to breakdown the goitrogens that some of them contain and which may affect your thyroid (there is a reason these vegetables have traditionally been consumed cooked). So no, eating raw or juiced kale or broccoli is not a good idea.

 

 

15>  Hyaluronic acid

Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid against cellulite

(also available as a nutritional supplement and in high quality cellulite creams and advanced cellulite treatments)

Hyaluronic acid for cellulite

A list about the top anti-cellulite nutrients could not be complete without hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid can absorb 1000 more water than it's own weight. This is due to it's unique molecular structure which allows it to literally trap water around its molecule. In skin HA traps water and add plumpness and hydration, in addition to being an integral part of skin, connective tissue and blood vessels and performing multiple other functions.

The average person has about 15 grams of hyaluronic acid in their body. Hyaluronic acid is found in cartilage, bone broth and organ meats but most importantly it is constantly produced in the body. Every day the body produces about 5 grams of hyaluronic acid to replenish older or damaged one, i.e. in three days all the hyaluronic acid in our body is being recycled. Hyaluronic acid levels start significantly declining by the age of forty.

These days you can find non-animal hyaluronic acid in supplement form as well as topical from (cream/gel). Different types of HA have different biological effects, with some reducing water retention and cellulite and some actually making it worse. Luckily, the type of HA that makes cellulite/water retention worse is only produced in the body, while the ones contained in creams/supplements are either neutral in the respect or beneficial. Phew!

 

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