How to get rid of cellulite before the big day

07 Sep 2016

Get wedding and honeymoon-ready with these tips to banishing cellulite and keeping it at bay

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Almost every woman has it, that stubborn orange peel that usually appears on our thighs, bum, legs and tum. It is caused by clumps of unmetabolised fat, water and trapped waste beneath the skin.

Cellulite is all about how your body distributes fat, waste and water. "If the flow of blood to your connective tissues is poor, resultant swelling stretches the connective tissues apart, allowing fat to bulge through," explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, a leading UK nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar.

"Connective tissue is like the ‘glue’ that forms a support structure for all your body tissues and organs. Cellulite can result from poor lymph flow around your body (if you don’t drink enough water, your lymphatic system can get sluggish). Or, you may have a penchant for junk foods – an overabundance of toxins in your system overwhelms the body’s detoxifying mechanisms so that waste gets trapped beneath the skin. Heredity factors, along with hormonal imbalance, lack of sleep, smoking, stress and over exposure to the sun also play a part," says Dr Glenville.

So what can we do to get rid of those lumps and keep our skin smooth?

1. Eat your way to smooth skin

There is no ‘quick fix’ to get rid of cellulite, but by changing your diet you can tackle it within six weeks. Follow these simple steps:

  •  "Your diet should be rich in lecithin, a nutrient that helps repair tissue cells in the skin and prevents fat deposits rising to the surface. Think eggs, apples, peanuts and cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and spinach. You may also want to consider taking a lecithin supplement, which is best in granule form and you can sprinkle a tablespoon on your food each day," says Dr Glenville.
  • Essential fatty acids help to improve tissue-cell hydration in the skin, which will reduce the appearance of cellulite. "You can find them in linseed (flaxseed) oil, walnuts, brazil nuts, hempseed, and oily fish. Supplements can also help; go for NHP’s Omega 3 Support."
  • “Avoid caffeine and foods that contain trans fatty acids (cakes, biscuits and so on), saturated fats (found  in meat and dairy), salt and processed/refined foods that can upset blood sugar balance and trigger hormonal imbalance. Watch your alcohol intake and if you haven’t quit smoking already, give up now because it creates free radicals that will damage your skin," advises Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at www.superfooduk.com.  
  • Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight loss expert at www.lilysoutternutrition.com,  adds “Quit sugar! It damages the collagen and elastin proteins, which leads to sagging skin.”
  • Foods known as 'diuretics' are also very effective when it comes to fighting cellulite and they also reduce bloating as well as fluid retention. Include asparagus, celery, onions and cucumber in your daily diet. "Try homemade an anti-cellulite smoothie: use a base of one glass of unsweetened (not from concentrate) apple juice and blend with two sticks of celery, a handful of watercress leaves and half a cucumber. Add a pinch of cayenne powder to increase circulation and cleavers to support the lymphatic system," says Shona Wilksinson.
  • Make sure you have enough protein in your diet. Why? Nutritionist Cassandra Barns explains: “It helps to reduce the stores of fat under the skin by firming up muscles that can keep them in place and reduce the textured effect of cellulite. If you are not a big fan of meat and struggle with including enough diary in your diet, add protein powder to your diet. Mix new, organic Natures Plus Sunflower Protein Powder with almond milk and have it once a day”.

2. Get moving!

Unlike your blood, which is pumped by your heart, your lymph has no such ‘pump’ and is stimulated by physical movement instead. “Exercise is therefore vital for moving the lymph. It encourages sweating and removal of waste materials and restores a slim subcutaneous fat layer. Aerobic exercise that raises your heart rate, combined with gentle toning is the best anti-cellulite exercise prescription. Aim for 30 minutes aerobic exercise daily, and 30 minutes toning three times a week,” says Dr Glenville.

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3. Dry skin brushing

Dry body brushing, also called skin brushing, is the easiest and the cheapest way to fight this stubborn orange peel. "It helps to break up fatty deposits, aids lymphatic drainage and stimulates circulation,” says Shona Wilkinson.

How to brush your cellulite away? Dr Glenville says: "Overall it should take between 3 and 7 minutes to brush the entire body. The most important point is that you should always brush towards your heart. Use firm, rhythmic strokes to brush the sole of your right foot. Then brush over the top of your foot toward your ankle. Move to your lower leg, cover the whole surface. Brush from your knee to the top of your thigh. Brush your buttock areas up to your waist. Repeat on your left leg.  

Brush at the top of your buttocks and move upward. Brush the whole of your back up to your shoulders. Brush your right arm, paying particular attention to the area around your armpit. Repeat on your left arm. Finish by brushing gently over your throat and neck.”

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4. Essential oils

Used in aromatherapy for centuries, essential oils have farther-reaching powers than a pleasant scent. "When essential oils are used in massage or added to bathwater, you benefit not only from their scent, but also by absorbing them through your skin into your bloodstream, " informs Dr Glenville. "The oils can have beneficial effects on your body’s organs, tissues and glands and help with various problems, such as headaches, acne or insomnia. To fight cellulite try lavender oil, which improves microcirculation and prevents stagnation of lymphatic."

Sonja Dymalovski, skincare expert at What Skin Needs, says: "Geranium oil improves blood circulation and detoxifies our body, while rosemary oil reduces water retention and supports the body’s ability to fight lymphatic congestion. After brushing your body in the shower, apply Soothing Skin Gel by What Skin Needs, packed with essential oils, captured in a cooling, easily absorbed texture."

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