Marilyn Monroe had cellulite. Runway supermodels have cellulite. The odds are pretty good that Cleopatra probably had cellulite.
Perhaps you have already realized that your thighs, butt and belly can be vandalized by this dimply, frustrating fat — just like them — and have wondered if there anything you can do about cellulite on your stomach.
What Is Cellulite?
Cellulite is the result of excess body fat. As fat builds up, it pushes against the layer of connective tissue just beneath the skin, creating an uneven, dimpled surface known as cellulite. It affects up to 10 percent of men and a staggering 80 to 90 percent of women (the disparity is due to a difference in connective tissue architecture between the sexes).
And cellulite typically worsens with age. As women enter menopause and start producing less estrogen, they also begin to lose supportive connective tissue and receptors in blood vessels around the legs and torso, which contributes to decreased blood circulation in these areas.
Along with this decreased circulation, your body delivers less oxygen and nutrition to those areas, leading to a decrease in collagen production. As the connective tissue becomes weaker, the appearance of cellulite increases.
It’s a bit of a vicious cycle because when new fat cells are formed, they induce greater estrogen levels in the body and stimulate the whole process to begin again… and again.
Potential Causes of Cellulite on Your Stomach
Why are some women more affected by cellulite? Michele Olson, Ph.D., a professor of exercise science at Auburn University at Montgomery in Montgomery, Alabama, reasons that some women may automatically control and regulate their estrogen levels better than their counterparts, and part of that is due to genetics.
Cellulite also typically worsens with age. As women enter menopause, they begin producing less estrogen, which causes a reduction in blood flow to (and production of) the connective tissue under the skin. As that tissue becomes weaker, the appearance of cellulite increases.
How to Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite
For starters, there’s zero scientific evidence to back any of the cellulite miracle cures you’ve heard about, from creams to caffeine supplements. And while some modern contouring treatments have been shown to help reduce the appearance of cellulite, they’re more costly and invasive than the most tried-and-true methods: diet and exercise.
Diet and cellulite
While diet and exercise work better together than either does alone, diet is priority number one. The old adage is true: You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
You should maintain the healthiest, leanest diet you can, recommends experts at NIH. While there is no known cure to banish cellulite completely, an unhealthy diet and excess calories can contribute to the formation of even more body fat.
The best way to reduce the amount of cellulite is to decrease excess dietary fat, eat at a reasonable calorie deficit, and exercise more, repeats Olson.
BODi’s Portion Fix Eating Plan can help take the guesswork out of the most common questions dieters have: What to eat and how much? The eating plan offers a simple equation to determine the ideal calorie range for your goals and provides an easy-to-follow color-coded container system and suggested foods list.
Exercise and cellulite
First, some bad news: You can’t spot-reduce fat with exercise. So, while you may be hoping to turn that belly fat into muscle by performing thousands of crunches, that sort of alchemy just isn’t an option.
“Fat and muscle are two distinct tissues and they behave differently,” Olson says. When people say they want to “turn fat into muscle,” what they really mean is that they want to have well-developed muscles combined with less fat all over.
That said, a healthy exercise routine can help you lose overall body fat. The more you lose, the less you’ll have pressing against your connective tissue and causing cellulite.
“Exercise can also help reduce stress,” says Olson. The less stressed you are, the more likely you are to make healthier food choices, which is the most important element of successful long-term fat loss.