Let’s face it: no matter how you look at it, cellulite is absolutely horrible. From an aesthetic point of view, cellulite can damage your self-esteem and make you lose confidence in yourself. Even though it is not officially regarded as a medical problem, cellulite has strong health origins that mostly lead to body fat.
Nevertheless, there are many more reasons out there that can determine the production of cellulite in even the skinniest of us. After discovering exactly what cellulite is, we want to continue with thoroughly explaining the plausible causes of its development.
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite means the formation of lumps and dimples in the skin. Other names for cellulite include cottage-cheese skin, orange-peel skin, the mattress phenomenon, and hail damage.
Additionally, there are several different grades of cellulite that can occur. This is based on a severity scale.
Grade 1: Mild
Grade 1 of cellulite is similar to “orange-peel skin.” There are between one and four depressions in the skin, and a slightly sagging or draped appearance to it.
Grade 2: Moderate
Moderate cellulite is commonly what's referred to as “cottage-cheese skin.” There are generally five to nine depressions in the skin, and it is moderately draped.
Grade 3: Severe
Finally, severe cellulite is where the “mattress” appearance comes in. There are 10 or more depressions in the skin with grade 3 cellulite, and the skin is severely draped.
14 Possible Causes of Cellulite
The best way to solve a problem is to find out what its roots are, so here are 14 causes of cellulite that will make you rethink your lifestyle choices.
1. Male vs. female
As far as the battle of the sexes is concerned, girls have lost this fight. We regret to inform ladies all around the world that more than 90 percent of them develop cellulite at one point in their lives. This does not mean that men cannot produce cellulite, it’s just that their chances are a lot slimmer (no pun intended).
To be precise, studies show that about 10 percent of men have cellulite. But why do girls get it and guys don’t? There are a few factors that help us answer this question.
First of all, men have thicker skin than women by nature, which reduces their chances of getting cellulite. Secondly, women tend to build up more fat in key regions – such as thighs, back of legs, or buttocks – than men. The good part is that women are not alone in the struggle.
If you don’t plan out your diet properly, you are probably going to end up with cellulite.
This means that you have to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts into your diet, all carefully proportioned and consumed. You should pay attention especially when it comes to healthy fats – such as omega-3 fatty acids – because they are doing your body a world of good.
Try to eat as many salads as possible, alternating the leafy green ingredients. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries – virtually any type of berry – is great for your body, so enjoy some as a treat next time you’re craving something sweet.
3. Weight shifts
Unfortunately, losing weight does not always mean that you are going to get rid of cellulite. Another one of the key causes of cellulite is a radical shifting in your weight, no matter if you put on pounds in a short period of time or if you lose a lot of them quickly.
If you go from being plus size to lean in a month, your skin will probably end up sagging and cellulite will be prominent. The best option is to keep things balanced and gradually lose weight.
Instead of starving yourself or eating very small amounts of food, alternate a well-thought out diet with various types of exercises so you can be fit, not just skinny.
4. Lack of activity
This leads us to our fourth choice among the leading causes of cellulite. If you are not getting around as much as you should, you are going to be adding up those dimples on your thighs and legs.
How can you change this situation and what can you really do? Start working out, of course!
If you are not used to working out, it doesn’t mean that you have to start with hardcore strength exercises at the beginning, so don’t be scared. Slowly start off with some cardio exercises and work your way up from there.
Some of the best forms of physical activity you can take up are squats, lunges, and sit-ups. If you have the time, go jogging in your local park to benefit from some fresh air. Watch how those cottage cheese thighs disappear!
This is yet another cause of cellulite that is related strictly to women. Pregnancy can end up in cellulite production due to the weight shifts that we were talking about earlier. When a lady has a baby on the way, she gains a lot more weight than she would on a normal basis.
After birth, she naturally loses drastic amounts of weight and her skin is left sagging most of the time. This can result in the appearance of cellulite that will persist if she doesn’t put in the extra effort to exercise.
However, the situation is not permanent; a great workout plan will help you achieve your goal.
6. Tight clothes
You might be surprised to find out that one of the most significant causes of developing cellulite is actually due to tight clothes. If your undergarments are too tight or if they don’t cover your buttocks properly, you are affecting your own circulatory system and impairing your skin.
This means that you are going to have to say good-bye to your thongs; normal underwear or briefs will be helping your body a lot more than you could ever imagine.
In addition to this, try to avoid yoga pants or other types of tight clothing, especially in your lower body area. Opt for some loose-fitting clothes and comfortable pants.
7. Girls vs. women
Sorry to break it to you ladies, but the older you get, the worse your cellulite becomes.
You will rarely see children or teenagers with cellulite; on the other hand, starting from your 20's and throughout pregnancy and menopause, you are likely to end up with cellulite. As you age, your skin becomes thinner, it begins to sag, and it loses its circulatory properties.
The best way you can avoid producing cellulite later on in life is to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Among the many causes of cellulite, fat is certainly the most well-known. Cellulite is caused by the build-up of fat in clumps or bulges underneath the layer of your skin. That is the reason why many procedures aim to directly eliminate the fat under your skin, such as laser therapy, injectable treatments or radio frequencies.
In order to enjoy firm skin, you need to smoothen out all of those clumps of fat by combining various forms of natural treatment.
We are all familiar with the fact that smoking is greatly hazardous to your health. Little do people know that smoking can also cause cellulite. Aside from facing multiple forms of cancer and lung disease, smoking leads to the reduction of elastic fibers and can damage your skin in the long run.
Cigarette smoke reduces the flow of blood vessels and impairs the production of collagen. Studies show that smoking can also be a leading cause for stretch marks, as well as cellulite.
The best piece of advice we can give you is to quit smoking altogether. Your lungs – and your entire body, for that matter – will be thanking you.
Hormonal imbalances are one of the main causes of cellulite. Hormones such as insulin, estrogen, or noradrenaline play a key role in the production of cellulite.
Throughout the years, women tend to not produce as much estrogen as they should in order to stay away from cellulite. A lack of estrogen can lead to circulatory problems, which are directly connected to collagen and its production.
12. Junk food
Out with the junk, in with the health!
If you want to stay away from cellulite, than you have to stay away from junk foods. Burgers, fries, chocolate, and chips are all big no-nos that you have to avoid. Instead of going out to fast food spots to eat, take your family to a restaurant where they serve salads or healthily cooked meals.
Drink as much water as you can and stay away from fizzy drinks that can harm your body. Surprisingly enough, coffee and caffeine don’t appear to be a leading cause of cellulite.
This is the reason why many anti-cellulite products such as topical creams contain one of these two ingredients.
13. Sleep loss
If you’re losing sleep, then you’re probably building up cellulite in the meantime. Specialists recommend that you get at least 6 to 7 hours of sleep each night and during normal hours.
Try to skip some clubbing nights and watch a movie with your friends at home, going to sleep a little earlier. If you are well rested, your skin can properly carry out its regeneration process and you will be able to face all the exercises you have planned out.
If you can’t avoid losing a night or two, try to recover the following days with some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
14. Lack of Hydration
Water is the key to a healthy mind, body and spirit! Your body cannot function without hydration, and you need to drink water in abundance in order to avoid developing cellulite.
If you drink at least two liters of water a day you will certainly be feeling and looking a lot better from all points of view. If you can’t drink that much simple water, add a few slices of lemon or make a sugar-free tea.
Final Thoughts Regarding Cellulite
Generally, cellulite is nothing to be medically concerned about. However, it can be unpleasant to look at and cause many people to be self-conscious.
If you want to figure out how to get rid of your cellulite, or at least cover it up a bit, talk with your doctor. They will be able to give you the best course of treatment.
Do you have any tips for treating cellulite? Let us know in a comment!
Photo credits: Huffpost.com, Leanitup.com.
Alice grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in California, though she likes to visit home frequently. She graduated from a marketing specialist degree and worked at the core of outreach teams for more than 5 years.