The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, January 23, 2000

Pick up a fight with cellulite
By Anup Deb Nath

CELLULITE is most body-conscious peoples’ nightmare. Mostly seen as unbecoming lumps of fat these cellulite deposits are mostly seen in the area around the hips, thighs and the rear.

Exercise boosts circulation and reduces celluliteMany people are confused about whether they are just plain fat or have cellulite deposits. This is as both these tend to occur when you are overweight as well as out of shape. Confusing they are but there are ways to tell one apart from the other.

Also described as "fat gone wrong", cellulite has been so dubbed as with ordinary fat when you diet and exercise it tends to disappear but in this case dieting tends to make cellulite more visible and noticeable as you lose weight.

  Cellulite tends to get deposited just under the skin between the connective tissues. As these deposits grow in size they push the overlying skin upwards and force the lower fibres downwards. These lumps that form in the skin tend to look very ugly and make you look even more out of shape.

Many creams, gels, lotions, claim on being able to remove the cellulite deposits but the truth is that none of these can really be said to be effective. Removing cellulite is not so easy as rubbing in a few lotions, or creams is.

Partly hereditary, cellulite can though be controlled if not entirely removed through a few ways. Most experts concede that they are all more attuned to finding cures for cellulite rather than prevention for it in the first place.

Exercise can help you in firming the muscles and boosting circulation, which can go on to, help make your cellulite problem less. In these exercises which are more strenuous like running, skipping, cycling, are considered better than other exercise options.

A controlled diet, particularly cutting down of salt, is also said to have a positive effect on diminishing cellulite. Apart from cutting down on salt eating healthily as a whole is also recommended.

Eat plenty of fresh fruits, and raw vegetables concentrating on particular on those foods which have a high content of vitamin B6. This vitamin is helpful in counteracting puffiness and in retarding bloating. Other foods that are recommended are nuts, whole grains, and wheat germ.

An interesting fact on salt made by Professor Arnold Bender of the University of London’s Queen Elizabeth College, is that we get more than enough salt in our diet naturally as about one third of the salt we consume is already present in the food that we eat. This amount, feels the professor, is enough to satisfy our physiological needs.

Another third is added in during the cooking process in an endeavour to make food more tasty and palatable while the final third is what we season the food with once it is on our plate. Some of the food that doctors and experts caution us to try to avoid are canned vegetables, salted peanuts, tomato puree, bottled sauces, salted butter, dried milk, meat products such as ham, salami and sausages.

Foods that can be eaten in moderation are milk, egg yolks, cheese, draught beers, cashew nuts and desiccated coconut, vinegar among the many. Foods that you can eat freely of are unsalted butter, vegetable oils, rice, flour, barley, Soya, shredded wheat, sphagetti, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, fruit juices and fresh greens like lettuce, peas, onions, cauliflower etc.

A massage stimulates the tissues directly under the skin and can therefore also try to remove the cellulite lumps, which are trapped under the skin’s surface, as well as eliminating any water pockets that have accumulated.

The massage need not only be the oil variety, though these are good as well. A brisk massage when you are in the shower with a loofah or sponge will work just as well. Try to rub the area briskly in long firm strokes going upwards, towards the heart everyday for 5 minutes.

In a nutshell the best way to get rid of cellulite is to try to combine a healthy way of life with a nutritious low-fat diet and regular exercise. This on its own should help you look and feel better.

This feature was published on January 16, 2000

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