image source: thegloss.com
Happy Tuesday, friends!
Today, I'm sharing my top 4 ways that I've personally learned, through my own trial and error, key lifestyle and health practices that have helped me minimize my thigh and butt cellulite. As a pear or hourglass shape, you may know the struggle of trying to rid your legs of these pesky holes and uneven texture all too well! As someone who's worked out consistently for the past 10 years and has lost and kept off nearly 30lbs, I've just recently found a way to help control my cellulite. Hopefully this post will spare you the time and frustration that I went through up to this point because then, for me, it'll all be worth it!
Before we get started, I just want to mention that most women do have cellulite, so please don't feel as though your body isn't good enough because you have it; women of all sizes can experience it, so it isn't an indicator that you're overweight! Of course the intensity will vary from woman to woman, and the problem areas are generally a result of our body shapes, but many of us do relate in this area. Like I mentioned, us bottom curvy women tend to get them on the legs and booty, while our apple shaped friends tend to get them on the arms, stomach and mid-lower back. Today, we will be focusing on the lower body, but I do intend on sharing tips for my apple shapes, so stay tuned! I also want to put out a little disclaimer and suggest that you talk with your physician before attempting to do all of what I suggest, to ensure that you won't get hurt, injured or negatively influence your personal dietary and health needs.
I don't want to get into the whole description of what cellulite is because chances are you already know what it is if you've been trying to get rid of it! So, let's get started on what to do...
This may or may not seem obvious to some of you, but diet has a lot to do with the development, appearance and intensity of cellulite. What I've learned is that whenever I've eaten dairy, heavy white carbs (i.e. white bread, cakes, cookies, etc.) and alcohol (all kinds, including wine) it looks worse. A LOT worse! I've also noticed that I break out in acne on my face and back when eating more dairy than I really should. This is one of the reasons that has prompted me to incorporate a more vegan diet into my lifestyle, which doesn't consist of any animal byproducts, so it's not to be confused with being a vegetarian, which are those who don't eat meat, but do eat animal byproducts. However, I do combine the two (leaning strongly towards vegan), in the sense that I do eat eggs and seafood, which vegans don't, and I do treat myself to foods, on occasion, that contain dairy and white meat, but this is limited to about once a week or less and red meat, once or twice a month at most. As for wine, I'll drink a glass with dinner a couple of nights a week; I don't drink beer or other liquors. Unless we're dining out or ordering pizza, the dairy and meat I cook with MUST be all natural, with no antibiotics or hormones given, as well as grass fed. This is VERY important because you see, when you eat and drink regular dairy and meat products, everything that the animal has been injected with goes into your body and begins to influence your hormones, including your estrogen levels. Women who are pear shapes naturally have higher estrogen, unbalanced, levels and these contributors can make your cellulite worse. I also try my absolute best to purchase Kosher meat because the way the animals are killed is also a contributing factor to cellulite and overall health. If any animal is killed while it's stress hormones are elevated, those higher than normal levels are retained and then consumed by us and once again, negatively influence our health. So, I would highly suggest that if you decide to continue to eat dairy and meat, you consider eating all natural. Where do I get all these products? I shop at Mrs. Green's or Whole Foods (I think Whole Foods is cheaper). I know they're pricier than the regular supermarket, but this is YOUR body and you only get ONE, so I think the extra bit of money is worth it.
2. EXERCISE, FOCUSING PRIMARILY ON THE LOWER BODY (3X WEEK)
Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I've been working out for 10 years, without taking longer than a week off. This means that I've tried so many variations of exercises and routines and now, I've finely found out what works for my cellulite. Before, I was still working out roughly 5 days a week, doing legs 3x out of the 5, but I was working out my entire leg area each time, instead of breaking up those days into specific leg areas/muscles to focus on. Now, Mondays I focus only on quads (front of the legs), Wednesdays are for hamstrings (back of the legs) and Fridays are all about the booty, each day for one hour. Since I've been trying this method for the past 3 months, I've noticed major results! I'm now doing more workouts targeting specific leg muscles that would probably get stimulated in just a couple of workouts, but are now being worked for a complete hour. What kind of workouts do I do? I mainly focus on weight training to build and grow my muscles, which helps to burn more fat (cellulite is a form of fat) and do about 10 minutes of cardio twice a week. This will of course depend on your body and health needs and requirements, but I've learned that I lose way too much weight when I do more than 10 minutes. As for the weights, I do an amount that's a challenge for me, but that won't cause me to injury myself. I also say that if you're able to hold a full conversation while you're doing the exercise, you're not going hard enough or you're not doing it correctly! When I finish my workout, I drink a vegan protein recovery shake, Vega Sport Performance Protein (I love the bars, too) within an hour to optimize my muscle growth and strength. It's dairy free; a lot of the other protein shakes contain whey (dairy milk), which isn't the best for you, as it's processed. This shake is plant derived and developed by a vegan ironman triathlete, Brian Brazier.
3. STAY HYDRATED
Do you know that the amount of water we all need varies depending on our body weight? This means that we all don't need to be drinking 8 glasses of water, this may be more or less depending on your size and weight. The way to determine how many ounces or glasses you should be drinking daily is to divide your body weight (NO cheating ;) by 2 and the number you get, is the amount of ounces you should be drinking. You should also be drinking a glass as soon as you wake up in the morning, to help awaken your organs, which don't perform at the same rate as they do when you're awake. I also want to mention that you should consider eliminating all sodas and sugary beverages form your diet, as they are jam packed with harmful sugars that contribute to weight gain and even cancer. Instead, opt for fresh or all natural juices, as well as Kombucha (I love this brand and flavor) if you love soda because it has that carbonated taste; it's a fermented tea that has wonderful health benefits. If you're not a fan of drinking water, I suggest you try out All Beauty Water, which you may remember me sharing on Instagram a few days ago. It's filtered water, infused with natural flavors and contains 7 vitamins that are beneficial for healthy skin and contains 2 glasses of water per bottle!
4. KEEP EATING
By this I mean you should be eating 3 meals a day, with small snacks in between. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so there is no excuse to skip it! I like to eat steal cut oatmeal with coconut milk (it has higher potassium and less sodium than almond) with mixed fruits, honey and cinnamon (great for your metabolism). Like I mentioned earlier, I'll eat eggs, but only the egg whites, with some fresh veggies (always spinach) mixed in, with Ezekiel toast and avocado (good fat) on the side. As for dinner, if you get home real late, I suggest you eat a salad, which you can get creative with (Pinterest is always a life saver) but still cook something that you'll pack and eat for lunch the next day. Speaking of lunch, I highly suggest you store your food in glass tupperware instead of plastic; when you heat it up, the chemicals from the plastic go into your food and into your body!
Pretty simple, huh? Well, they're simple steps, but certainly not easy to implement and practice in the very beginning because they require a lot of behavior modification, BUT you can do it! I like to workout first thing in the morning because if I wait to go later in the day, I become very busy and my schedule may not permit for me to go. I encourage you to try and go early in the morning, too, before work or school. I know it will require a lot of will power to get out of that warm and toasty bed in the cold morning, but you will love and thank yourself for it at the end of the day! If you can't go in the mornings, than be sure to bring your workout clothes with you to work or school and go afterwards!
I truly hope you found this post helpful, my dear friends! Know that results will not be immediate, it will certainly take time before you see noticeable results, but with time, you surely will! I also want to mention that there is no way to completely rid ourselves of cellulite, as it's attributed to hormonal factors, as I mentioned throughout the post, which is why you don't see men or young girls with it, it's strongly connected to estrogen. Which leads me to mention that you may notice that your cellulite appears worse or more noticeable, when you're PMSing or on your period, which is due to your elevated estrogen hormones. You can, however, significantly reduce its appearance and I hope this post helps you do just that, while making you feel more confident in and about your body! Please don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have in the comment's section, I'm so happy to help! As always, thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful day!