There are literally THOUSANDS of advertised solutions on the web to help women treat and get rid of cellulite. The incredible thing about cellulite is that it doesn’t matter if you’re overweight or skinny, cellulite can strike any woman! And its victims will go to great lengths (and pay huge sums) in an attempt to rid themselves of it.
Surgery is a rather drastic step that many of us wouldn’t take – it’s expensive, invasive, and carries risks. But, do any of the creams and treatments we constantly see advertised offer true results? Are those results long-lasting or temporary? Is there anything else we can do that’s worthwhile and really works to get rid of cellulite?
First, let’s talk about what cellulite actually is. Cellulite is caused by the fat stored directly beneath the skin’s surface that presses against the fibers that connect the muscles to the skin. This pressing creates that unattractive bumpy ‘orange peel’ look to the surface of the skin .
TREATMENTS THAT DON’T WORK FOR CELLULITE
1) Body Wraps – While these are a popular spa treatment, they generally only provide short-term results – think a few hours at best! Body wraps are often done by wrapping the body with moist cloths soaked in oils or seaweed. The idea is that by firmly wrapping the affected areas, you can push the fat cells back down and away from the skin’s surface. After a body wrap you may appear to have lost inches and cellulite may be less visible. However, this is likely due to temporary fluid loss and the compression of the skin.
2) Creams – It’s tempting to want to find your cellulite solution in a tube. Cellulite creams go from inexpensive drugstore brands on up to very costly designer treatments. The truth with creams is that they too provide only temporary results. In fact, most creams’ claim is that they ‘help reduce the appearance of cellulite’ rather than promising to get rid of it. They do this using caffeine, which dehydrates the skin, tightening it temporarily. Another common ingredient is Retinol A (a derivative of vitamin A) which is purported to produce collagen and improve skin’s elasticity.
3) Endermologie Treatment – This FDA approved treatment for cellulite is carried out by a machine which rolls your skin between two rollers in order to massage and stretch the connective tissue that traps cellulite under the skin. As the skin stretches out, the cellulite beneath your skin is reduced. This treatment is quite expensive at $50 – $70 per treatment. You need many treatments over several months to see results, so you will be likely to spend $1200 – $2000. Results are still temporary, lasting only 6 months to a year, so ongoing maintenance will be required.
4) Lasers and Radiofrequency – These types of therapies incorporate tissue massage in addition to infrared and radio frequency to reduce cellulite. Similar to Endermologie, the results last only 6 – 12 months. Since a long series of treatments is required, the overall cost can be $1500 – $3000 or more.
5) Liposuction – Contrary to what we may be led to believe, liposuction will not remove cellulite. It removes the fat beneath the skin layer, and skips over the cellulite right beneath the surface. For this reason, liposuction may actually INCREASE the appearance of cellulite.
While for long term results, most of these cellulite treatments are an epic FAIL, the good news is that there are things you can do at home to reduce cellulite. And none of them are terribly expensive! In fact, chances are you are already doing many of them!
1) Weight Loss – Since cellulite is really just body fat, there’s no true way to spot reduce it. However, losing weight overall and decreasing your overall percentage of body fat will naturally decrease cellulite.
2) Strength Train – Increasing lean muscle, especially in the legs and butt will also help naturally reduce the appearance of cellulite. Not only will the muscle volume fill in the looser areas of the skin where cellulite tends to show most, the lean muscle will also continue to burn fat for you even when you’re at rest. Way to kill two birds with one stone!
3) Drink Plenty of Water – Staying hydrated will help rid the body of toxins and improve the overall health of your skin. Drinking water will also help your body flush out and shed its extra fat, including cellulite. Water also strengthens the collagen in your skin which helps to reduce the lumpy appearance.
4) Body Brushing – Body brushing is performed daily while the skin is dry, immediately before a shower, using a hard bristled brush with a long handle. You start at the feet brushing upwards toward the heart, spending a little extra time at the areas affected by cellulite. Then start at the fingers and work inward toward the heart. While there’s disagreement on just how effective brushing is for cellulite, the idea is that it promotes lymph flow and increases circulation, both of which could help reduce and prevent cellulite. Certainly, it will leave your skin exfoliated and feeling smoother, so as an overall skin treatment, it can’t hurt to try!
5) Foam Roller – Of all of the temporary treatments above, Endermologie and the Laser/Radiofrequency therapies had the longest term results (6 – 12 months). Both of these types of therapies use some type of tissue massage to break up cellulite beneath the skin. You can try to replicate this at home with a foam roller. This article from FitDay explains how to use the roller on different parts of your legs to massage out cellulite.
If you’re looking to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass and look and feel better overall, your best bet is to try the type of circuit strength training we do in the Athlean-XX for Women program. Straight cardio might help you lose fat, but it’s only one piece of the cellulite-reducing puzzle. The other important piece is building lean muscle, and Athlean-XX for Women will give you both cardio and strength benefits in our daily 30 minute workouts! We’ll also give you all of our clean eating secrets in our program’s Nutrition Plan. You’ll be amazed by the results you get in just 90 days! Join us on Team Athlean and see for yourself!