Top 10 Strategies To Get Rid of Cellulite Naturally
Cellulite is one of the most unsightly things many individuals remark about their bodies. Research has indicated that hormones are the major player in the creation and elimination of cellulite. Evidence indicates that healthy lifestyle strategies can positively affect the hormone balance associated with cellulite.
Cellulite is not considered a disease process or a sign of poor health. It is more of a cosmetic nuisance that women seek out a wide range of medical procedures to help reduce. In functional medicine, we realize that the development of cellulite is a sign of poor underlying health and an internal environment that contributes to poor circulation, the breakdown of healthy connective tissue and the build-up of extra fat cells.
The medical approach typically revolves around cosmetic surgery. These surgeries are at an all-time high with over 2 million procedures performed in 2017. This included over 250,000 liposuction procedures. Many of these surgeries have focused on eliminating cellulite. However, the surgeries are not only dangerous but they never address the hormone imbalance that causes cellulite to begin with.
What Causes Cellulite?
Cellulite, called medically gynoid lipodystrophy, is the puckering of skin due to a weakening of connective tissue and the development of a layer of fat beneath the skin. This layer of fat pushes up against the connective tissue and causes it to bulge up and lose its normal elastic characteristics. This looks on the surface like lumpy or dimpled skin.
Cellulite is not a sign of an underlying disease, however, it does indicate that the body is not eliminating toxins effectively and is instead increasing fat cells to store these toxins. According to some reports, cellulite occurs in 90% of women and 10% of men.
For many women, this can occur as they experience fluctuations in hormones that cause changes in their circulatory patterns. Also, a sedentary lifestyle and insulin resistance and increased exposure to chemicals from smoking, body care products and poor diet play a role in the breakdown of collagen and the formation of these new fat cells.
There are four stages of development which may begin in women as early as age 16.
- Grade 0: No cellulite present
- Grade 1: Smooth skin while standing, bumps and dimples appear while sitting.
- Grade 2: Orange peel or cottage cheese appearance sitting or standing.
- Grade 3: Orange peel appearance present while sitting or standing with deep raised and depressed areas.
Elevated Stress Hormones:
According to research published in the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology July 2000 found cellulite can be caused by increased levels of stress hormone (1). The researchers found that individuals who had chronically elevated cortisol levels were much more likely to have cellulite accumulation.
When the body senses it is in a state of chronic stress it will accumulate fat stores in preparation for times of famine that have accompanied times of stress throughout the history of mankind. This leads to the formation of cellulite. The key to removing cellulite naturally is to get rid of the causes of low-grade chronic stress in the body (2).
Minimize Stress to Balance Hormones:
There are three major stressors with our body’s natural hormone expression. The first major stress is mental/emotional and must be effectively addressed. Living in a state of fear is extremely destructive to human physiology. Fear drives stress hormones which utilize all the key resources in the body and increase fat storage.
To minimize mental/emotional stress spend more time reconnecting with your spiritual identity. Use the Earth’s rhythms by grounding yourself through walking barefoot, sitting or lying on grass, dirt or sand for as long as possible. Sunbathing is great for vitamin D3 synthesis and reconnecting with the Earth’s rhythms and calming stress hormones.
Chemical Stress Affects Fat Burning:
Chemical stress comes in the form of bad nutrition and environmental toxicity. A diet high in sugar, trans-fats and industrialized meat is highly inflammatory. These food sources create toxic cells and damage the gut lining and increase chronic stress in the body.
Follow an anti-inflammatory diet that is free of food allergens and is loaded with fermented foods to reestablish a healthy gut. This reduces stress hormone expression and turns on natural fat burning mechanisms.
The ideal diet should focus on good fats as the primary calorie source in the form of coconut, avocados, olive oil and sprouted nuts and seeds. Clean animal protein in the form of grass-fed beef & bison, wild fish and organic poultry should be consumed regularly. The nutrition plan should feature phytonutrient rich vegetables and herbs and low-glycemic fruit like lemons and berries.
Physical Stress Must Be Corrected:
When an individual experiences some form of trauma such as a car accident, fall or contact sports the spine and nervous system become damaged. Poor posture patterns will also cause muscle imbalances and spinal subluxation patterns.
A sedentary lifestyle is extremely damaging to the physical body as are poor biomechanics in lifting, bending and walking. The more these bad biomechanical patterns are used the more uneven wear and tear the body experiences and the more stress hormone is produced.
To effectively reduce physical stress it is essential to see a wellness based chiropractor to remove subluxations and restore good biomechanical and neurological patterns to the body. Rehabilitative exercises for the spine and extremities should be applied to restore balance and tone. A program of short-time period but high-intensity burst training and resistance training optimizes physical health and fat burning capabilities.
10 Tips For Getting Rid of Cellulite:
The following strategies are key to follow as part of a fat burning lifestyle that helps your body strengthen collagenous tissue and prevent or reverse the development of cellulite. This is a process that takes time, but within 3-6 months you should begin seeing significant results.
If you are doing all of these things well and still not seeing the results you desire than I highly encourage you to work with a highly skilled functional medicine practitioner such as my team or a person local to your area.
1. Low-Carb, Anti-Inflammatory Diet:
A diet that is low in sugar and carbohydrates and rich in anti-inflammatory compounds and good fats is key for hormonal balance and cellulite control. The nutrition plan should be full of healthy fats such as avocados, olives, olive oil, coconut fats, raw cacao, non-starchy veggies, herbs, pasture-raised animal products and fermented foods.
This nutrition plan helps train the body to use fat as fuel and provides the key micronutrients to reduce inflammation and rebuild collagenous tissue. Here is a helpful article on the healing diet principles you want to follow.
2. Use the Right Type of Salt:
Proper sodium-potassium balance is key for getting rid of cellulite. Table salt throws off this balance. Use pink salt in your meals throughout the day. If you are on a moderate-high carbohydrate diet your body will retain sodium, however, if you are on a low carbohydrate, ketogenic-healing diet than you will excrete sodium.
If you are on a low-carb diet you will need more salt and if you are on a high carb diet you need very little salt. I typically recommend looking to get about 2 tsps of pink salt daily in your various foods or even sprinkling some in water throughout the day as you hydrate. Here is a helpful article to understand more about pink salts.
3. Dry Brushing:
Using a soft bristled brush, just gently brush your skin from your extremities towards your heart. This enhances your circulation and your lymphatic drainage, moving extracellular fluid and keeping your skin firm and toned.
A daily dry brushing ritual may be one of the MOST IMPORTANT self-care habits you can form to prevent or get rid of cellulite naturally. I recommend doing this each day and creating a daily schedule such as doing it before your morning shower or evening bath or shower.
4. Consume More CLA:
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a natural formed trans-fat that is found in grass-fed animal products. Research has shown that CLA is effective at improving metabolism and ameliorating the signs of cellulite (3).
My favorite natural foods that are rich in CLA include grass-fed butter/ghee, pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed cheese and grass-fed beef and/or bison. Be sure to use these great foods on a regular basis.
5. Get More Gelatin and Collagen:
High quality gelatin is rich in the key amino acids glycine and proline, which many people don’t consume in adequate amounts as they are found in the bones, fibrous tissues and organs of animals and as a population. Most people only consume muscle meats and avoid these organ meats and joint tissue.
These amino acids are needed not only for proper skin, hair and nail growth, but for optimal immune function and weight regulation! Look to consume bone broth and organ meats throughout the week. If you are unable to get bone broth and organ meats, you can also use a high quality grass-fed beef gelatin or collagen protein here
6. Drink Water with Lemon:
Lemon contains citrus bioflavonoids that help improve capillary permeability. This enhances circulation and liver detoxification and both of these things ameliorate the signs of cellulite. I recommend using a quarter to a half of a lemon with 8 oz. of water throughout the day.
You can also add lemon to salads, meat and other vegetable dishes. The citric acid in the lemon help to break down the protein and fibers in meat and vegetables and make them more digestible. In addition, you want to drink lemon water between meals to help prime your digestive tract. Here is a great recipe!
7. Get High Intensity Exercise:
High intensity exercise improves circulation, lymphatic drainage and stimulates fat burning hormones. I recommend resistance training with large muscle group compound exercises for both the upper and lower body.
I also recommend burst training throughout the week. Try doing 2 upper body strength training days and 1 lower body strength training day and 1 burst training day each week.
8. Good Sleep:
If you sleep poorly you will have altered stress hormone levels and will have a tough time reducing cellulite. It is really important that you create the appropriate sleep hygiene strategies to help your body reduce stress hormones at night and increase melatonin production for deep and restorative sleep.
Every hour of high quality sleep before midnight is equivalent to 3 hours of regenerative sleep after midnight. Being in bed early (ideally by 9 or 10pm), in a fully dark and cool room is one of best ways to reset your stress hormone balance and circadian rhythm. This will be HUGE in getting rid of the cellulite! Here is a helpful article that goes over the best strategies for super sleep!
9. Epsom Salt Baths:
Baths using Epsom salts help to improve the skin tone and detoxify the body. Epsom contains magnesium and sulfates which help the body to get rid of excess fluids and enhance liver detoxification to support hormone balance.
In addition, to the Epsom salt, I recommend using essential oils such as lavender or peppermint with your bath to make it more relaxing and soothing. Here is a helpful article on healing baths you can apply!
10. Estrogen Detox:
If you have cellulite it is a sign of estrogen dominance in your body. Along with following all of the above recommendations, I would use a specific estrogen detoxifying supplement to help you balance your hormones. I use Fem Protect which has specific compounds that converts toxic estrogen metabolites into healthy estrogen metabolites.
In addition, I recommend a high quality of probiotics and a great liver and gut cleansing protein powder such as our Gut Healing Protein. Additional support could include omega 3 fatty acids, N-Acetyl Cysteine and milk thistle. I will often have my cellulite clients use our thyroliver protect to support the liver detoxification pathways.