This week’s blog is written by our wonderful Ambassador and Nutrition Expert, Natalie Kirkland.

Cellulite. A topic of conversation discussed frequently with groups of women all over the world. A personal frustration for so many women, when looking in the mirror, on the beach and at any point when the sun comes out and the skin is exposed!!!!

There are overweight women with cellulite and there are underweight women with cellulite. Cellulite remains even when we try to eat healthily or to cut calories. Men have it too but much, much less. Let’s find out why!!

Many people think cellulite is simply a case of too much fat but actually it is how fat is displayed on the body. It is seen as pitted, dimply skin created by subdermal fat which should be concealed by the dermis layer of skin. It ‘appears’ when the herniated fat stores begin to bulge through the connective tissue of the dermis and 80 – 90% of women have Cellulite!!!

So why is it a female dominant problem?
The main reason is the difference in the structure of our skin. Men have a thicker epidermis and dermis than us women. This means that their subdermal fat is hidden better than ours!! Very importantly, men’s subdermal fat is arranged in polygonal units separated by criss crossing connective tissues. This criss crossing keeps the subdermal fat from pushing through the skin. In women, the fat is lined up in vertical columns which can fit larger quantities and with less covering.When a person becomes overweight they do store more fat subdermally and therefore the female fat cells enlarge and are pushed to the surface creating more cellulite. However, when a woman loses weight, often the fat loss is generally normal fat and not so much of the subdermal fat. This makes it very hard to change the appearance of cellulite simply by losing weight.

There are 3 stages of cellulite:

1.Unaware cellulite. Begins internally. The dermis loses elasticity; nutrients are not being delivered to the dermis cells.
2.Small patches of lumpiness. Skin is less taught visibly. Cottage cheese appearance when squeezed.
3.Advanced stages. The cellulite is present without pressure, the skin may have a bumpy feeling and it may be painful.

Although being female offers the right conditions for creating more cellulite than men, it is not CAUSED by being female. It happens when the female has the right combination of factors to create cellulite. Here is where the nutrition part comes in….. (I know you were asking yourself this question!!)

Firstly, the causes of cellulite can be genetic to a certain extent however the genetic influence can be minimized with the right nutrition and exercise.

Collagen degeneration plays a major role in enabling cellulite to happen. Our skin needs collagen to keep it strong and supple at the same time, like a gymnast!! Having weak collagen in the skin lets the subdermal fat push through the surface. Collagen degeneration comes from nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances and toxins. A lack of protein in the diet, not enough Vitamin C, Zinc and particularly Magnesium, affects the levels of collagen available to the cells. As collagen is built via the amino acids in proteins, a low protein intake will create more cellulite. We also need numerous nutrients to synthesise the protein, so a healthy balanced diet with lots of vegetables is extremely important.

Another factor which affects collagen formation is cellular dehydration. This is not caused by a lack of water in the body but rather from damage to the tissues in the dermis which causes water to leak from the cells. In order to fix these ‘leaks’, we need sufficient nutrients from our diet to repair and thicken the cell walls.

GAGS are Glycosaminoglycons which are responsible for hydrating the cells. They are synthesized from glucosamine and needed from our diet. Sugar, vegetable oils and alcohol compromise the synthesis of glucosamine and thus GAGS. Consuming bone broth is an amazing way to increase glucosamine AND collagen in the diet. Having a high level of Oestrogen due to hormonal imbalances or poor food choices can also affect the production of GAGS leading to cellular dehydration and minimal collagen production.

Last but certainly not least or of any less importance is the congestion of the lymphatic system. If the detoxification systems of the lymph or liver are impaired, fat cells bloat with toxins and push through the dermis. A highly toxic diet, stress and alcohol congest the lymph system.

It is also worth noting that exercise which pumps the heart vigorously is extremely important in the detoxification process and reducing levels of subdermal fat by creating more muscle.

My Top tips for reducing Cellulite!!

● Exercise!!
● Eat clean nutritious foods, full of nutrients and don’t be afraid to eat fat as it supports cell formation and lubrication.
● Keep alcohol levels to a maximum of 1 drink per day.
● Dry skin brushing helps to stimulate the lymphatic system and increase circulation.

My final word to all of you gorgeous females out there is DON’T STRESS THE CELLULITE. We all have it and it’s a normal part of being a female. Get those legs out!!!

Namaste to you all

Nat x

About Natalie Kirkland

My name is Natalie Kirkland and I am a wife, mother  to little Willow and ambassador of Mini Me Yoga in the UAE. I have lived in the Sandpit which is the nickname of the fabulous Abu Dhabi, for over  5 years now and love my life in the sun!! I met the lovely Kate Bartram-Brown through a mutual friend here and have never looked back. I adore teaching the Mini Me Workshops and spreading the word of Yoga and positive thinking to the multicultural society I live in. I also teach Ashtanga Yoga,  Bootcamps, and lead groups who learn about Fat loss, digestive health, Nutrition and clean eating.

Some years after completing my Sports Science degree, my passion has evolved into researching Nutrition, Health and Wellness and now I have a strong focus on this subject in relation to children as I recently had a baby!! I am currently studying to become a Naturopathic Nutritionist.

Mini Me Yoga is an open platform for guest bloggers to share their voice. If you have something you want to share with the Mini Me Yoga community, please contact: info@minimeyoga.com.