It's difficult to find an honest, straight forward and 'easy-to-follow' account from someone about how they managed to tackle cellulite. There are so many serums, creams and scrubs out there these days, that claim to illiminate orange-peel, dimples and uneven skin tone, which actually makes it very easy to get a bit overwhelmed when it comes to tackling cellulite. So if, like me, you're someone like me who wants to shift some stubborn dimples or even just wake up the lazy muscles in your thighs and tush, then keep reading...
Before I came to university, I had been a ballet dancer twice a week since the age of 2. This meant that I was able to maintain a naturally slim build and actually build up strength and communication between my muscles. However, as soon as I came to university, the exercise stopped and I wasn't eating right. During your days as a student, you begin to care less about that pizza you had last weekend and how many nights a week you make pasta. I am unfortunately, guilty of all the above. However, I became very fed up of what I saw in the mirror and started doing something to sort it all out. So, the purpose of this post is to share my tips and recommendations from what I have learned and also what has worked for me. As a disclaimer, I am by no means an expert on health and fitness - this is a lifestyle that I have formed myself and one that is working for me.
1. Diet and Food: This is perhaps the most important part of your 'combat-cellulite' lifestyle. It is certainly true that what you put into your body is then expressed on the outside. Crisps and sugary food will translate as dimples and dull, lifeless skin, whereas a balanced, healthy diet will achieve quite the opposite. Cellulite is caused by the build up of nasty toxins, so in order to break down the fatty cells in cellulite-prone areas such as the bum and thighs, we need to eat plenty of antioxidant rich foods. Therefore, your diet should contain plenty of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. Berries are particularly good, so I usually tend to snack on a handful of these or an apple during the day as their natural fructose helps to curb sugar cravings. Also, a diet high in protein will help promote muscle growth rather than the build up of fat, giving your limbs a lean and toned appearance. Vit C as well promotes the stimulation of collagen, so oranges, sweet potato and other vitamin rich foods will help improve the elasticity and tone of your skin. A typical day for me, will include:
-breakfast: Porridge with skimmed milk, chia seeds, manuka honey and a cut up banana
-lunch: 2 poached eggs on soda bread, with a seasoned smoked salmon salad
-dinner: Roasted chicken breast with fresh salad and sweet potato chunks, roasted in coconut oil
-snacks: Banana, Chia and Coconut Water Smoothie, Fruit (blueberries are great as they're super high in antioxidants!)
TOP TIP: If you're concerned about the amount of oil and fat you use to fry/roast then switch to coconut oil. This is full of GOOD fats that the body needs and also taste so yummy!
TOP TIP: Treat yourself - but in moderation. Every few days I will allow myself a 'cheat' item, as I find cutting out chocolate bars and crisps completely only encourages caving and reaching for the nearest sugar fix. So rather than cutting out the bad stuff completely - keep it as something to look forward to. We all deserve a treat.
2. Exercise and Fitness: Exercise is something that you have to incorporate into every day. And, in fact this quickly becomes part of your every day and almost quite addictive. I try to go to the gym four times a week and actually, I feel better for getting up an hour earlier and I promise you will too. At the gym, I will tend to do:
-20-30 minutes cardio, usually training on the treadmill
-10 minutes on the stationary bike
-2x 50 reps of weighted squats
-4x reps of 20 different ab exercises
-10 minutes stretching
Remember, it takes 2 weeks for you to notice a change, 4 weeks for your family and friends and 12 weeks for everyone else. Set yourself that 12 week goal!
TOP TIP: Weights are really important if you want to really define your limbs. For example, using the weighted leg press in the gym is really going to help tone your bum and the back of your thighs - two areas that I find really tricky to maintain!
3. Body Brushing: I cannot recommend body brushing enough. This has so many incredible benefits to it and it is the easiest and most inexpensive way of stimulating your lymphatic and circulatory system, thereby helping to eliminate toxins. A dry body brush will usually cost around £10. My one from Hydréa is actually less expensive than this and it's completely changed the way I feel. As I mentioned, it not only stimulates the elimination of toxins though the lymphatic and circulatory system, but it also improves your immune system aswell. The skin gets rid of a pound of waste each day and body brushing can even increase this. It takes two minutes, using long, pressured upward strokes along your body (avoiding the face delicate areas of skin). It is always important to brush the right way - towards the heart - and increase the pressure each day as you become use to the sensation. I love body brushing and I cannot recommend it enough.
3. Body Products Worth Their Salt: THERE IS NO PRODUCT OUT THERE THAT IS GOING TO GET RID OF CELLULITE. However, there are a few that can be used as part of your beauty routine which I think DO help diminish the appearance of it. Firstly, if you're on a budget then I would really recommend the Soap & Glory Sit Tight Intense XS Serum. The actual serum itself, is intended to combat cellulite with a specially formulated caffeine complex, as you're sitting down and thereby visually reduce back-of-the-leg dimples. I'm not sure how actually effective this is, however what I love about this product is the applicator. The metal ball rollers really allow you to massage the product in, which is the most effective thing you can do to break down fatty cells. It also ensures that no product is wasted and you're not left with sticky-serum hands! One thing I do find is that the combination of the applicator and the serum helps reduce aching in my muscles after the gym.
If you're prepared to spend a bit more, then the Murad Firm and Tone Serum is the guy for you. Oh my gosh, this is actually something that I am convinced really does even out your skin tone and for the price - you would really hope so. This reduces the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks, by improving the overall elasticity and tightness of the skin. It contains unique, natural ingredients such as Cayenne Pepper, Cat's Claw and Tiger's Herb and has proven results within 8 weeks. I love t and when it has been massaged into the skin, it really feels like its working. I actually use the Soap & Glory rollers to apply it though!
4. A Quick Fix: Finally, if you're looking for a quick fix, it a fact universally acknowledged that fake tan helps reduce the appearance of cellulite and can help to even out your skin tone - when you apply it right! I am a massive advocate of St. Tropez. It is a brand that I know, love and have trusted for many years now for that flawless, rich natural looking bronze. I use the Bronzing mousse, which adds instant colour but one which also develops over a period of time. The foam consistency makes the colour very easy to apply evenly and I always do so with a tanning mitt, which is something you can pick up from St. Tropez for under £5 and will completely revolutionise your tanning routine. Do any exfoliating/shaving the night before, then apply a thin layer of moisturiser to any dry areas to stop the tan from clinging to these areas (such as knees, elbows, ankles). Then, begin tanning from feet upwards, to avoid creases.
I know that taking in four different lifestyle changes at once can be overwhelming, but once you're in the swing of things you'll feel so much more energised and confident. So, I hope this has motivated you to achieve a somewhat healthier lifestyle. Eat cleaner, exercise more and really target those areas that you want to change. You CAN change them. A new year's resolution perhaps?
Do you have any other tips for me!?
Good luck girls!
Good luck girls!