Bikini season is not our best friend, right now. We're digging out last year's swimsuit, trying it on and feeling less like an extra off of TOWIE and more like a potato with arms and legs. A potato that is crying because it has to go to the Costa Del Sol in a few weeks. No matter how many salads we eat, it seems like we can never get rid of the lumps and bumps on the back of our legs.
Cellulite, erm please get in the bin pet?
Therefore we enlisted some expert help from Georgios Tzenichristos at Lipotherapeia on what cellulite actually is, what causes it and how to get rid of it as quickly and naturally as possible (!!), so we can worry about other things, like sun cream and how to say 'can I have a white wine, please?' in Spanish.
Cellulite removal tips
Firstly, what is Cellulite?
It's quite literally lumps of fat deposit under the skin. Nice. It often appears in places where there is less circulation (see: backs of thighs) and can be caused by a combination of both gentetic and lifestyle factors.
Georgios explains, 'Cellulite is THE most complicated aesthetic concern, comprising skin looseness, skin fibrosis, fat accumulation, water retention and inflammation, so unless you make a concerted effort, results will be very temporary or very poor.' Blimey.
Don't worry though, because apparently cellulite is normal and affects 93% of us, which does make us feel a lot better. In fact, we are weird if we don't have it, right?
What causes cellulite?
There is not one factor to blame for cellulite. Everything from smoking, a poor diet and lack of exercise can be to blame for the dreaded orange peel. Cellulite can also be genetic - eeek.
So how do I actually get rid of cellulite on thighs/ bum / arms?
Georgios explains, 'There is no difference between reducing cellulite on different parts of the body. The recipe is the same: strict but healthy diet, exercise (high intensity preferably), using a highly concentrated cellulite cream regularly and, if possible, having a course of high intensity cellulite treatments. The reason I use the terms strict/high/highly is because with half measures not much happens.'
If you're serious about getting rid of cellulite, you either go hard or go home. Gulp.
What to eat to get rid of cellulite? Should I change my diet at all?
'Lots of greens and yes!' is the short answer. 'Diet-wise, cutting out sugar, fried food, refined carbs and alcohol are as essential as having loads of vegetables, salads, berry fruit and vegetable juices.' Lots of avocado and egg salads? Maybe not.
'Avoid too much fat, even so called healthy fat, such as avocado, olive oils, nuts or coconut oil. Even those types of fat are healthier, they still contain 9 calories / gram of fat and contribute to the body's fat stores, including cellulite fat stores.'
But an olive oil dressed avocado is a lot better than... you guessed it. Cake. 'If there was a type of calorie I would be afraid of, sugar calories (desserts, cakes, croissants, sugary drinks, chocolate etc) would be the worst!'
Does smoking cause cellulite?
Bad news if you're a smoker as Georgios reveals, 'it can have a big impact on some women (genetic predisposition) and a lesser influence on some others, but in all cases after 10-20 years is an important factor of cellulite creation.'
If you needed another excuse to ditch the fags, then this is it...
What exercises should I try to get rid of cellulite?
'Exercise-wise, it's important to know that there are no specific exercises to reduce cellulite on a particular part of the body, i.e. there is no such thing as "spot cellulite reduction with exercise". This is biologically impossible, regardless of what those YouTube videos say.' says Georgios.
'A type of exercise that reduces cellulite, does so on the entire body, not on a specific area. The best types of exercise for cellulite are in order of importance: interval training (interval running, swimming, cycling, HIIT); continuous running; continuous swimming; uphill walking; hot Yoga; Power Yoga / Power Pilates; power plate training. Lighter forms of exercise, such as slow walking, mild yoga and normal Pilates are quite ineffective, but still better than sitting on the couch.'
Maybe tag along the next time your partner and kids want to go swimming! Or do a lot of lunges whilst listening to something by Steps.
How do I get rid of cellulite fast? I've got a night out planned and want to look fantastic?
This is where creams and treatments come in...
The cellulite-pro explains, 'Now healthy and exercise are great for cellulite reduction, they are (almost) free and they also improve your overall health and energy levels. However, they usually act slowly and are not enough for fast / impressive cellulite removal. Hence the need for a good cellulite cream and/or treatment.'
But, do cellulite creams actually work?
They CAN work.
'The problem with most cellulite creams though is that they do not contain enough actives to effectively reduce cellulite, hence the skepticism by the public, which is justified. Some creams however, do contain multiple actives and in high concentrations, in order to fight cellulite on many fronts. Our Celluence® creams, for example, contain 40 natural actives, all known for their anti-cellulite activity. No cellulite cream produces miraculous results (don't believe the marketing hype!) but they really contribute and accelerate the results of your efforts in a cost effective way.'
CloserOnline can confirm that, although a little pricey, the Celluence Concentrated Creams improved the appearence of our cellulite - even after the first application!
What about intensive cellulite treatments?
Yes, if you're okay with parting with a lot of dosh... 'If budget allows, a courses of intensive cellulite treatments would produce even faster results. Strong cellulite massages are the most cost effective option, but do not bother with soft, lymphatic drainage massages that don't do much for cellulite. A high intensity radiofrequency treatment offers the best chance of reducing cellulite and at the same time tightening the skin, thereby producing the best results of all cellulite treatments. Again, be sure to do your research, as low intensity RF treatments may be an expensive waste of money. Some high power ultrasound treatments may work well as well, while the low varieties are not very effective. In all cases, a course of at least 6 sessions is essential - don't believe the hype that 2-3 sessions are enough, peddled by some clinics.'
So what works better, cellulite creams or treatments?
'Creams are most cost effective than treatments, as with the price of one good treatment you can buy an one month supply of a good cream. However, treatments work faster than creams.'
So to recap, if you want to blitz cellulite you need to eat healthily, opt for high impact exercise, ditch the fags and invest in a good cream...
... The things us women do, eh!