Cellulite is a tricky skin concern, as to a great extent, whether or not you’ll have it boils down to your genetics. But even if you haven’t been blessed with cellulite-free genes and you feel like the orange peel skin is an eyesore you’d like to lessen as much as possible, there are several methods that can reduce cellulite with varying levels of success.
There are cellulite creams packed with exfoliating ingredients and caffeine that can help you smooth out the skin surface, special massages, and exercises that address the issue, as well as a number of natural remedies. Whatever route you choose to take in your attempt to minimize the appearance of cellulite, combining it with a healthy diet is a must, as the foods you eat have an impact on all your body, including those pesky cellulite dimples.
Certain foods are known to amplify the appearance of cellulite and may prevent you from getting good results, no matter what you do. We list 10 such foods below, for you to know what to avoid. Keep in mind that we’re not saying that you must stop eating all of these foods altogether, the occasional treat won’t cause any dire results, but it’s important not to overindulge.
1. Cheese and Processed Meats
Just one serving of processed meat can contain about a third of the daily recommended amount of salt, and many cheese varieties, such as feta or parmesan can likewise have a lot of salt. But why is this important? The problem is that eating too much salt urges the body to hold on to fluids in fat cells, which can make cellulite appear much worse than it really is.
As a result of water retention, the skin may have that characteristic puckered and swollen look. Therefore, watching your sodium intake and making sure it doesn’t exceed the recommended value of 1,500 milligrams a day as mandated by the American Heart Association will also help your thighs.
What to eat instead: You don’t have to reject high-sodium sandwich meats, bacon, and cheese altogether if cellulite is your only concern – choosing low-sodium varieties is usually enough. This means opting for cheeses like ricotta, fresh mozzarella, and Swiss cheese instead of more high-sodium varieties like parmesan, cheddar, and feta.
As for processed meats, you’ll need to look at specific brands of ham, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, and search for “low-sodium” labels to purchase the right kind. It will also be beneficial to accompany a breakfast sandwich or any other salty food with plenty of hydrating foods, such as veggies and fruit, as well as plenty of water to flush all that salt out of your system. The extra hydration will plump up the skin, which will make it appear tauter and smoother.
2. Barbecue Sauce and Other Condiments
The devil is in the details – this saying can be easily applied in the kitchen, too, as sometimes, the things that add flavor to your food, such as barbecue sauce, soy sauce, and even ketchup are the real culprit behind those pesky skin dimples. Now only are condiments super high in sodium, they’re often packed with sugar as well.
For example, just 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce can contain as much as 15 grams of sugar, which is more than half of one’s daily sugar allowance. Most of the time, it’s not the natural sugars either. Sugar is a dangerous additive because it causes blood sugar to spike, which kickstarts fat storage. This, in turn, makes the fat cells expand even further and makes cellulite worse. Most condiments contain something called “high fructose corn syrup”, a type of sweetener that increases one’s appetite.
What to eat instead: Be wary of the amount of ketchup, dressing, and sauce you add to your homemade meals, and try to avoid restaurant foods that come with a heavy dose of condiments. You can also replace condiments in some restaurant foods with better alternatives. For example, if you order sushi, use low-sodium soy sauce instead of the regular kind. Lastly, there are also low-sodium and low-sugar condiments available in supermarkets today, so it’s best to opt for those.
3. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has a great reputation, and many people who try to lose weight rely on it quite heavily, as it contains very little fat and plenty of protein. However, if your goal is to also get rid of cellulite along with losing weight, cottage cheese isn’t your friend. Although cottage cheese doesn’t taste particularly salty, just 1 cup of the stuff contains up to 800 milligrams of sodium, which is more than half of your daily allowance. Seeing just how much salt is included in our breakfast along, it becomes clear how most Americans exceed their daily sodium intake and consume around 3.400 mg of the mineral every day.
What to eat instead: If you’re a fan of cottage cheese and not ready to give it up, try to eat less of it and combine it with hydrating foods and plenty of water. Naturally, it’s also better to opt for the low-sodium varieties of cottage cheese.
4. White Bread and Bagels
Refined grains are likewise harmful to our overall health, as you probably already know, but what most people don’t realize is that it can also make your cellulite worse. This is because these foods have a high glycemic index and often lead to sugar spikes and food cravings. Apart from that, they also cause inflammation in the body. All of these factors promote excessive weight gain and make cellulite appear more severe.
Which foods are we talking about? Anything made of processed grains fits the bill, so white rice, white bread, cakes, cookies, and even the “healthy” rice cakes. Bagels deserve a separate mention here, as they also contain a surprisingly high amount of salt – up to 600 milligrams in just one bagel. It’s safe to say at this point that a bagel sandwich with some salami and cheddar should be off the table if you want to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
What to eat instead: This one’s easy – simply opt for whole grain varieties of all the foods we’ve mentioned. This means switching out white rice with brown and sticking to whole grain bread and desserts. These foods will lower the inflammation in the body and they’re more filling, too!
This one’s hardly surprising, but it may be interesting for you to know that the sugary drinks you have do go directly to your thighs in a way. And we don’t just mean soda; fruit juices, sweet tea, and even sweet coffee beverages are no much better in terms of their sugar content, so you should really try to drink as little of them as possible. Besides, sugary drinks aren’t just bad because they make you gain weight and increase inflammation.
It has also been found that sugary drinks reduce the amount of collagen the body produces. Collagen is the substance that makes our skin bouncy, strong, and taut, and it tends to become scarcer and scarcer with age as is, so the last thing you want is to further hinder its production. Apart from making your wrinkles more pronounced, a lack of collagen in the skin can also accentuate the appearance of cellulite.
What to drink instead: Flavored seltzers, water flavored with fresh fruit, mineral water, herbal teas, and unsweetened tea and coffee are your best friends in fighting the cravings for sweet drinks. Teas and coffee have an extra benefit: they are rich in antioxidants, which can promote collagen production.
6. Addictive Snacks
Some snacks are definitely better than others, and it’s always the unhealthy ones that are the most addictive ones for some reason. The problem with these snacks is that they are often the cause of excess weight gain. We need to understand that snacking is just as detrimental to our health and weight loss as the main meals are, as these tiny bites of food are often filled with sugar, processed grains, and fats even more than main meals are.
This is especially true with spicy and salty snacks like pretzels and potato chips. You know, the ones we barely notice that we ate a whole pack of while watching TV in the evening. Needless to say, it’s best if you give up these snacks altogether if you want the orange peel thighs to improve and lose weight.
Breakfasts are really taking a heavy hit in this article, and cereal, the ultimate breakfast food, is no exception. But it’s not only the rainbow-colored kids’ cereals that you should be wary of, even simple corn flakes often contain quite a lot of white flour and even more sugar. But when it comes to cereal breakfasts, there is another concern that dietitians point out could play a role in making your cellulite worse – milk. Dairy milk and soy milk are full of estrogen, a feminine hormone that may also contribute to cellulite development.
What to eat instead: Opt for whole-grain cereals or low-sugar granola instead of regular cereal and combine it with an estrogen-free milk variety, such as almond or oat milk.
8. Sugar-free Candy
If it’s low-sugar or even better, sugar-free, it must be okay to eat, right? We’re sorry to disappoint, but it has been found that certain artificial sweeteners are capable of increasing one’s appetite and specifically sugar cravings. Therefore, chewing sugar-free gum or eating sugar-free candy may not be much better than the regular variety.
What to eat instead: If you’re craving a sweet bite, we’d say opt for an apple or any kind of fruit you enjoy instead. Like gum, the natural acids present in fruits are good at cleaning the teeth, and the fiber in them will help you fight food cravings instead of causing them.
Like soda and the like, wine isn’t technically a food, but we thought that it’s still worth a mention because like meals and snacks, the beverage you choose can either make or break your desired goals. When it comes to wine, even the dry red variety that’s known for its antioxidant benefits can backfire.
While having 1 glass can be beneficial for the skin and circulatory system because red wine is quite rich in antioxidants, overdoing it can accomplish the opposite and make dimples become more noticeable and affect the tightness of the skin. This is all due to the alcohol content, which is extremely dehydrating and can destroy the collagen in the skin. Unfortunately, we don’t have any replacements for this one, so try to limit your intake of red wine to just a few drinks a week if giving up on the drink is out of the question.
10. Margarine and Pizza
This technically counts as two different foods, but we decided to lump them together because the reason why they’re bad for the thighs is essentially the same, and that reason is saturated and trans fats. The thing is that poor blood circulation is a major cause of cellulite, and overindulging in foods that contain excessive amounts of unhealthy fats can clog up your arteries and have a whole host of negative effects, including cellulite.
Butter, margarine, cheese, and pizza are the biggest food sources of these less healthy saturated fats, and margarine and baked good produced using margarine, in particular, may also contain trans fats, which are especially dangerous for the cardiovascular system and blood circulation. While it would be impossible to ask anyone to exclude all of these foods from their diet altogether, eating less of these foods is definitely well-advised.