You're working hard in the gym, eating right and taking care of your skin. So why won't the cellulite that's taken up residence on your backside find another body to inhabit? That's a good question and one that comes with many answers; some you may not like.
Cellulite is hereditary, which means there is a genetic component or predisposition to developing it. But that doesn't mean you're fate is sealed if you have a dimpled or lumpy appearance to your skin.
Cellulite is most commonly found on the thighs, butt, stomach and hips, and it's caused by the collection of fatty deposits that push against connective tissue beneath the skin.
The good news is, there are steps you can take to increase lean muscle mass and decrease body fat that could help change the appearance of your skin.
The Quality of Food Can Affect Cellulite
The quality of the food you include in your diet directly impacts how your body looks and feels. That's why it's important to choose foods that are low in saturated fat and high in fiber, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Focus on eating foods that are minimally processed and have fewer ingredients, since they take longer to digest. Carbohydrates, like brown rice, whole grains and sweet potatoes, are good choices because they are loaded with nutrients and they won't spike your blood sugar.
Protein Makes a Difference
Protein plays a major role in all diets, regardless of the appearance of cellulite. But if you're looking to increase lean muscle and decrease fat, opt for lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey breast, egg whites, and fish. The amino acids found in protein are the building blocks of your body.
And if your battle against cellulite includes cardiovascular and strength training exercise, you need to fuel your body with adequate amounts of protein in order to help build and repair muscle tissue that becomes broken down by weight training and strenuous physical activity.
Healthy Fats Can Help in the Battle Against Cellulite
Regardless of what you may see all over the internet, fat is not the enemy. In order to lose weight and tighten up your problem areas, you need to eat fat — just make sure it's the right kind of fat.
Aim to include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil, walnuts, avocado, flaxseed and salmon in your daily intake of nutrients. Fat in your diet is necessary for good health. That's why certain fats should not be restricted. Fat slows down digestion so your body has more time to absorb nutrients and keeps you feeling full for a longer amount of time.
Why Cardiovascular Exercise Matters
It's well known that cardiovascular or aerobic exercise is good for your heart, but it's also essential in the battle against cellulite. Performing regular cardiovascular exercise helps to burn calories and tone the areas of your body that are more prone to develop cellulite.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise. You can break this down into five, 30-minute sessions each week. And if you're looking for a more efficient way to burn calories, try performing two, 20-30 minute sessions of high-intensity exercise each week. Running, biking, hiking, jumping rope and swimming are all calorie-scorching forms of cardio.
The Role of Strength Training
If your goal is to decrease the amount of visible cellulite you have, then you need to be lifting weights. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be. Since muscle tissue is metabolically active, you are expending calories and burning fat, even at rest.
For every pound of muscle, you add to your body, you burn an additional seven to 10 calories per day. Resistance training can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite and give you a toned body in less time compared to other forms of exercise.