Ah the hot season is here. Time to exchange those baggy pants and huge sweaters for leg-baring shorts and barely there swimsuits. Time to disclose part of the body that hasn’t seen the sun all winter long. Many women would run to cover up rather than acknowledge that she has cellulite or stretch marks. While these circumstances may leave you feeling insecure or ashamed, from a healthy perspective they are rather harmless.
Cellulite is nothing more than body fat that is stored differently in your body hence the reason it looks different from the other body fat. Cellulite can be described as a bunch of fat cells bundled into a storage room. When too many cells are packed up that way, the walls become swollen and push against the skin. This creates the distinguishing dimpling or cottage-cheese look of cellulite.
Cellulite usually appears on your thighs, hips, or in the buttocks area on the backside. If you have cellulite, you may want to blame genetics because it is an inherited condition. This makes clear why some women—even those considered slim—develop cellulite while others don’t.
While cellulite forms underneath the skin, stretch marks occur on the surface. At first, they appear as pinkish or blue-ish lines on the breast, buttock, thighs, and arms. In the course of time, they turn white or a lighter color but will still have the shiny, stretched skin look to it.
Stretch marks are usually accompanied by pregnancy but the scar-like wounds can result from packing on some pounds or doing exercise that bulks up the muscles—pretty much anything that makes the skin’s elastic tissue wear and tear. They have also been connected to extended use of high-potency cortisone creams and other corticosteroid medicines, which can thin out the skin. Once you have cellulite or stretch marks, they are there for lifetime. The good news is that you can take action to make cellulite or stretch marks less conspicuous so that you may feel more at ease and confident about your appearance. Better news is that with a proper diet, exercise regimen, and a handful of other strategies, cellulite may never be in the picture in the first place.
Natural remedies for dealing with dimpling
Combating cellulite has become a cottage industry, inventing all types of miracle creams and clever devices that assure to break up or squeeze out fat. The truth of the matter is there is no cure for cellulite. You can decrease or prevent its appearance by maintaining an active, fight-fighting lifestyle that includes the following actions.
- Cut back on your intake of dietary fat to no more than 30% of your daily calories. You can begin by substituting fried foods, fatty meats, and oily dressings with pasta, fruits, vegetables, and other nonfat and low-fat alternatives. The less amount of fat you add to your diet, the less that your body has available to store. Cellulite will not be able to form without these extra added fats.
- Do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, preferably on alternating days. These types of exercise require your body to utilize oxygen at a rate higher than daily living. Example would be swimming, jogging, cycling, and even brisk walking that should be exerting but still allow you to have a conversion without running out of breath. Aerobic exercises amps up your metabolism, the body’s calorie-burning machine. The more calorie your body burn, the less fat it has to store.
- When you are not doing any type of aerobic workouts, turn to strength training. Strength training—exercising with weights—takes the place of body fat with muscle. As your muscle mass increase and your fat mass decrease, your cellulite becomes less noticeable. Also don’t worry about developing a gladiator-type physic—the goal is tone and not to bulk up. Exercises from the waist down are ideal for ironing out cellulite, such as leg curls and presses, knee bends, sit-ups and crunches.
Natural remedies for sidestepping stretch marks
Prevention is the best solution for stretch marks. The minute you have them, there is no amount of cocoa butter, olive oil, or vitamin E gel that will make them go away. Some people have tried acne medications such as Retin-A and OTC containing hydroxyl acids (AHAs) with moderate success. To keep your stretch from stretching, apply this advice from the professionals.
- Keep a watchful eye on your weight by eating a reasonable diet that gets no more than 30% of its calories from fat. Be sure to also exercise at least 30 minutes three times a week. Putting on a few extra pounds can lead to the creation of stretch marks.
- Pregnant women should follow their doctor’s guidelines for weigh gain. Most doctors would recommend pregnant women to gain three to four pounds during the 1st trimester, and about a pound a week during the second and third trimesters. Typically, women who put on only as much pounds as their doctors suggest tend to get fewer stretch marks. But it’s not guaranteed.
- 30 minutes before stepping outside, apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 or more to allow for absorption. Make sure to reapply it every couple of hours. Anything that damages the skin—such as the sun—makes the skin more breakable and prone to stretch marks.