Fat is the cause of cellulite, but we know you already knew that. The “lumpy” skin appearance is most common in the thighs and butt area. While the exact cause of cellulite is unknown, it’s believed to be a result of below-the-skin interactions between the connective tissue in the dermatological layer and the layer of fat beneath it. There are several factors that go into why some people get it and others don’t. While genetics, hormones, and age are certainly contributors, they don’t carry the most weight, so to speak. Diet and exercise continue to be the biggest factors.
While cellulite isn’t completely avoidable (we need a certain fat percentage for our bodies to thrive), we can reduce it. Eating a balanced diet is key, which includes limiting these foods that definitely contribute to it.
Here are some foods that can cause cellulite:
Sorry to everyone with a sweet tooth, but if you’re serious about reducing your body fat and in turn eliminating much of your unwanted cellulite, processed sugar and daily treats have to go. Sugar causes inflammation, storage of body fat, and even fluid retention. I don’t mind an occasional swap of honey or maple syrup for refined sugar, but keep it to a minimum.
Fruit gets a bad rap because when eaten alone, it can spike your blood sugar and cause you to store fat. But fruit has so many powerful antioxidants. Fruit is your friend, not your foe, but it’s important to understand how to best utilize it. You release insulin when eating sugar alone, even from fruit. The insulin removes the sugar from your blood and transfers it to cells to be used. If there’s too much sugar in your bloodstream, it will be stored as fat. But the good news is, all you have to do is pair that delicious, life-giving food with a healthy fat, like nuts or seeds, and protein (tip: nuts contain both fat and protein). Your blood sugar will be stabilized, and your cells will use the sugars to burn fat. Not only that, but eating for a stable blood sugar is great to reduce stress and inflammation, which are two other factors that cause unwanted cellulite.
I’m not saying to give up your weekly cocktails for good, but alcohol just doesn’t digest the same as food. If you have big goals of eliminating cellulite, I would recommend reducing your alcohol intake greatly. Many people opt for lower-calorie drinks, which is good, but you still need to give your body good breaks from alcohol in order to keep your liver functioning optimally.
Too much salt can cause dehydration and water retention, which decreases skin firmness and increases inflammation and possibly even fat accumulation—all making cellulite more noticeable. The right amount of sodium works wonders in our bodies, but eating processed foods is the fastest way to overindulge in sodium. If you’re using it as a seasoning to your real foods, you should be safe. I suggest Himalayan or sea salt for better nutrients.
These break down in your body as sugar. They don’t provide many nutrients and in turn are stored as fat. I’m not recommending to never use flour, but look for other options than the traditional white flour. I look for sprouted grains when I’m using wheat products. But I would much rather use oat, almond, and cassava flours.
Cara Clark is the owner and primary Certified Nutritionist of Cara Clark Nutrition. Cara works with individuals and groups to promote overall health and to manage a wide range of nutrition-related issues. With a ‘non-dieting’ approach, she has helped clients manage weight, energy, performance, diabetes, thyroid related disease, allergies, eating disorders, and more.
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