How common is cellulite?
Cellulite affects about 80-90% of adult women (and about 10% of men). Typically, women begin to notice cellulite over the age of 25 and the appearance of cellulite increases with age. Cellulite is not the same as fat – it’s simply the appearance of dimples and bumps on the skin when fat is divided into tiny pockets. Women of all sizes experience cellulite.
Why do women experience cellulite more often than men?
Firstly, women generally have a higher percentage body fat than men. Also, women tend to store fat in the hips, thighs and bum region – where fat is stored closer to the surface of the skin. Men, however, tend to carry fat in the abdominal area where it’s stored farther away from the surface of the skin, as visceral fat around the organs. Finally, the way collagen is structured in men vs. women, essentially the way collagen is structured in men helps hold in fat better, preventing the dimpling or fat pockets that result in the appearance of cellulite. There are also hormonal reasons for gender differences in cellulite – and for individual differences in cellulite appearance between women. For example, estrogen leads to the production and storage of fat whereas testosterone leads to the breakdown of fat. There is also a genetic component or genetic predisposition to cellulite.
What is lipolysis and does it actually work?
There are numerous anti-cellulite products and treatments available on today’s market. These include creams, herbal remedies, massage techniques, needle rollers, suction devices, injections, laser and radiofrequency treatments, and light therapy. Some anti-cellulite treatment options have been shown to produce sustainable positive results in controlled clinical studies, while others have not.
Laser lipolysis is one cellulite and fat reduction procedure that has become increasingly popular in recent years. This non-invasive procedure uses lasers to break apart fat cells and tighten the area where the treatment is applied.
In one study of 164 subjects (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17700131), lipolysis was found to produce a mean reduction of approximately 2 cm in treatment area circumference and approximately 2.9mm in skin fat thickness per session. The majority of the effects were achieved within 2 weeks of treatments and sustained at 12 weeks.
Another reason for cellulite: too much sitting.
Our bodies were designed to move. Unfortunately, in today’s society, most of us spend the majority of our days sitting on our bums.“Screen time” is beginning to dominate our society and has created a culture of inactivity – which isn’t good for our bodies (and doesn't help the cellulite situation either). Here are some interesting stats:
- On average, adults spend 9 hours and 48 minutes of their waking time being sedentary, including a whopping 30 hours of television a week.
- In the 1970’s approximately 20% of our jobs were defined as involving “light activity” and 30% were defined as high activity jobs. By the turn of the century, the amount of people with primarily “sitting” jobs doubled!
- “Sitting disease” (spending too much of our day on our bums) has real health consequences. According to a study published by Dr. Emma Wilmot, long time sitters have a 112 percent increased risk of developing diabetes and a 147 percent increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke, coupled with a 900 percent increased chance of dying from such an event. In addition, long time sitters have a 49 percent increased risk of dying prematurely.
Clearly, excessive sitting is bad in almost every way – including increasing the likelihood of fat storage and, unfortunately, cellulite.
Work out regularly, eat lots of vegetables, drink lots of water, sleep well, limit refined sugar and processed foods, and put your health first. Fat storage and, consequently, the appearance of cellulite typically lessons when you are healthy and in good shape. However for many women, you may be doing all the right things and yet still experience more cellulite than you may wish.
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