They have unbelievable money, fortune, sex appeal. Oh yeah! But the one nightmare that keeps divas with bodies-to-die-for awake all night, just as it does women like you and us, is cellulite. italk brings you tips that work on how to deal with dimpled-skin dilemma
Whether you know it as orange peel skin or dimpling, cellulite is an unpleasant reality that almost 95 per cent of women slim or plump, young or old live with. But before you banish short skirts from your wardrobe, you might want to explore this guide to preventing and beating the ugly C.
What is cellulite?
Cellulite is triggered by hormones and is the accumulation of water, fats and toxins just under the skin's surface. Here, adipose tissue (a layer of cells called adipocytes) has a dual formation: storage (lipogenesis) and breaking down (lipolysis) of fats. If the rate at which fat is stored, increases, or if the breaking down process slows, the adipocytes accumulate fat, and hypertrophy (increase in tissue volume by a factor of up to a hundred) occurs. The fat cells then compress the blood and lymphatic vessels, congesting them and reducing their efficiency. Cellulite can extend over the whole of the lower half of the body, or may just affect certain areas (especially knees and inner side and back thighs). Cellulite dimpling appears on the surface of the skin giving the orange-peel effect.
Why did you get it?
>Your mum's to blame: If your mum had it, there are chances you will too, because genetic factors play a significant role in the onset of cellulite, as they do in your propensity to put on weight. Also, it matters because cellulite is often linked to circulatory or hormonal problems, which are inherited. But that doesn't mean you have to accept it. Fight back.
>Check that pill: An unwise choice of contraceptive pills can lead to it too. Regular visits to the doctor are important if you are on the pill. These days, contraceptive pills that combat water retention are available.
>Say no to crash diets: No matter how slim you are, if you discover cellulite, you might be tempted to go on a crash diet. But it's well known that excessive dieting is no deterrent to cellulite build-up, and may even give it a boost. Instead, try losing weight in a controlled fashion. That means, eat a protein-rich diet, cut down on fats, and exercise.
>It's time to de-stress: Stress could contribute to cellulite. When you are tense, your body produces cortisol, a substance that promotes water retention. And even if you eat better and lesser, stress will hinder weight loss. Mental fatigue, anxiety and depression can cause problems in neuro-endocrinal regulation, which are particularly linked to the formation of cellulite.
For more tips on beating cellulite, pick up a copy of 60 Tips Cellulite. Available at Crossword Bookstore for Rs 260
Take the Do-you-have-cellulite Test
There are different types of cellulite:
*Aqueous cellulite (water retention)
*Adipose cellulite (often accompanied by excess weight)
*Fibrous (or established ) cellulite that's hard and painful to touch
Take this simple test to find out which type you have, by ticking
A if you don't identify with the statement at all or just a little,
B if you identify with it partially, or C if it describes you perfectly
A B C Slim, but with thick ankles and legs
A B C Plump, with cellulite in the tummy area
A B C Pre-menstrual syndrome makes your lower half swell
A B C Orange-peel knees and thighs
A B C Hips affected, but no pain when pinched
A B C 5 kilos overweight, enjoy food, but a bit lazy
A B C Reddish-purple cellulite dimples, painful when pinched
A B C Chunky legs at puberty and after a pregnancy
A B C You play no sport and have flabby thighs that grow bigger each year
A B C Not really fat, but often suffer from bloating
A B C Cellulite that's hard to the touch and some fat
If you scored mostly As, your cellulite falls into the aqueous category
If you scored mostly Bs, your cellulite is of the adipose sort
If you ticked mostly Cs, your cellulite is fibrous
How to fight it?
When treating cellulite, the practitioner must first seek to identify the reasons for venous stasis and the stagnation of the fibres and fats. The needles are inserted in specific points, from the top of the head to the toes, where the yin and yang energies, opposite but complementary forces, circulate. Acupuncture works on your stress levels too, which is often linked to cellulite.
Walk more than you do
With most of us stuck in desk-bound jobs, and with most things available at your doorstep at the touch of a button, we clearly do not walk enough. And that's especially harmful since there are two major network of veins in the sole of the feet and the calf. With every step we take, we compress these veins and help the blood return to the heart. If we don't put in enough steps, this return circulation can malfunction. So, walking has an indisputably revitalising effect, as do cold showers.
Up your Green Tea intake
Caffeine is credited with the ability to speed up the metabolism and break down fat. But instead of drinking coffee, choose the healthier option: green tea. It accelerates urinary excretion, combats constipation and stimulates the mind. Caffeine acts on the adipocytes, with its effectiveness depending on the concentration.
Avoid dinner party traps
Calorific bombshells are often to be found on the coffee table: a peanut contains 50% fat, and 10 peanuts equal 1 teaspoon of oil. Canapes and other snacks add calories and salt, so, reject them for radishes or cherry tomatoes. When offered a drink, don't be shy: ask for champagne. It's much less calorie laden than whiskey or a gin and tonic. Even if the food is fabulous, refuse a second helping. Before you crack and attack the cheese board, remind yourself that a splendid dessert may follow. Don't opt for both.
Don't stand for long
Standing for long periods is bad for your legs. The return circulation is laboured, as the calf muscles only work when you walk and move your ankle up and down. So, venous and lymphatic stasis set it, the tissues become congested and swelling occurs. Relieve oedema by putting your feet up on a chair as often as you can. Massage your ankles, gently working upwards. You can also cycle; three 20-minute sessions in a week will do the trick.
Visit the beauty parlour
Treatments and massages performed by beauticians are much more efficient than anything you can do for yourself on a daily basis. Where cellulite is concerned, properly exerted pressure on the stomach and plexus is very important. In times of stress, the body retains fat and water, and this actuin relaxes and firms the tissues. You can choose from the detox massages, hydrotherapy or different kinds of wraps that salons and spas offer. But don't expect miracles the first time around. You need at least three sessions before you start noticing any change.
Don't cross your legs
This advice is often given by doctors. It also helps venous circulation and is good for the lymphatic system. Unknown to most people, the lymph is essential for well-being. It circulates throughout the body, and if its circulation is blocked, waste products are not properly eliminated, and veins that are congested lead to cellulite. When you rest, put your feet up to help your veins and lymphatic system drain out.
Reflexology acts on fats, even when it is well established. It also has an impact on food carvings and venous efficiency. Chinese medicine has identified 60 reflex points in the sole of the foot. There are also 7,000 nerve endings that correspond via the spinal cord and the brain, to every part of the body. At the beginning, 3 to 5 sessions of 30 minutes may be needed, then one monthly session will suffice. It is suitable for stress-related conditions, sleep disorders and sports injuries as well.
Cook well and cook light
Dieticians say it repeatedly: steamed food is light and full of flavour. It's a method that suits everything: vegetables, fish, meat, even fruits. At 11 in the morning, have a snack. Similarly, enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon, so you won't be tired or starving by dinnertime. Forget pastries, and snack on apples. Follow the 80/20 rule 80% of what you should eat should be low in fat and rich in slow sugars, proteins, fibre and minerals. The other 20% should be made up of meat, dairy products and so on.
Turn your bathroom into a spa
Sit down in a chair since it is easier to work on some areas of your body in a sitting position. Start by exfoliating, using a loofah mitt. Slap the buttocks and thighs vigorously before reverting back to gentle movements. Then use the anti-cellulite cream, applying it in a circular motion, working from the ankle to the hip (always working in an upwards direction). When you massage your hips and the stomach, work in a clockwise direction.
Take care of your knees
Are you sticking to long skirts and trousers? The trick is to get moving to target those fat knees. Try these three simple exercises.
1. Wearing flat shoes, stand with your left hand against a wall, bend your right leg and lift in front of you, breathing in. Repeat 12 times and then do the same for the left leg.
2. Lying down, hands behind your head, back flat towards the floor, lift your legs and pedal towards the floor while breathing out and pulling in your tummy. Do three series of ten.
3. Sit on a chair with your back flat against the chair back and your hands holding the arms, wearing a 500 g ankle weight. Lift your leg to the horizontal, then bend the knee in a fairly sustained rhythm while breathing gently out. Do three series of 20 flexes per leg, three times a week.
For pics of hotties that'll make you yelp "unbelievable!": Log onto http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpYQSZkTsyk to watch videos and photographs of celebs with cellulite