Cellulite: More than 90% of women have it. Do you? How to get rid of it: 5 Cellulite Cures (no butt implants needed). What areas are your “trouble spots”—the body parts you focus on, or can never seem to change—no matter what exercise routine you try or foods you eat? In a body image research survey conducted amongst 50 Thrivers, 75% of women reported hating on their “butt” and “legs”—citing “cellulite” as one of the top reasons they loathed these body parts. Cellulite Conundrum The war on cellulite has been an unsolved mystery for years, leading us to take extreme measures: From dishing out hard-earned dollars on serums and creams (promising to magically make cellulite disappear) and spiking the plastic surgery and beauty industry into thousands of treatments every year (fun disturbing fact: butt implant surgeries were up 252 percent from a little over a decade ago!). Unfortunately, cellulite is “one of those things” in life, that like it or not, more than 90 percent of women deal with. I’ve had it. Beyonce has had it. Kim Kardashian has had it. And chances are, you may have it. But…guess what…you CAN get rid of it (naturally). Here’s how. What is Cellulite? First things first, let’s set the record straight: Contrary to popular belief cellulite is not just straight up “body fat” itself. Instead cellulite is actually very congested lymph (the clear white fluid found in all of your body tissues that transports white blood cells, fats and proteins throughout your body). When your lymph gets “inflamed”, then it causes a build-up of congestion that presents as cellulite on anywhere it can find—butt, legs, underarms, love handles included. Cellulite=Lymph Congestion What causes the lymph to get “congested in the first place”?! Good question! Since lymph is responsible for transporting nutrients like fats and proteins throughout the body, when we are not digesting our foods appropriately, then, Houston, we have a problem. A root cause of cellulite actually begins in your digestive tract—namely a poor functioning gallbladder (or lack thereof). Your gallbladder is the organ responsible for processing and digesting your fats. It produces bile (a dark green to yellowish brown fluid) that aids the digestion of lipids (fats) in the small intestine. If your gallbladder is not working right (or not at all), and unable to break down fats correctly, then fatty buildup (undigested fats) gets stuck in your lymph—leading to congestion. Gallbladder Dysfunction Our gallbladders run into malfunctioning issues for a couple reasons: Low-fat diets Poor-quality food diets—filled with artificial sweeteners, fake diet foods, hydrogenated oils and fats, fast food, Lack of healthy fats to produce bile in the first place. Leaky gut & poor digestion (to get nutrients to gallbladder in the first place) You CANNOT build good, healthy bile in your gallbladder for it to operate at its peak without eating healthy fats. Yes, you heard that right. You need to eat healthy fats in order to help your gallbladder work efficiently like it was created to do (digesting those fats and creating bile). Unfortunately, the problem gets MORE complicated when you ALSO have BAD digestion (like a leaky gut, bacterial overgrowth , low stomach acid (GERD) or low enzyme production in your gut) OR you don’t have a gallbladder AT ALL (Fact: Gall-bladder removal is now the most common elective abdominal surgery performed in the U.S., with over 750,000 operations being performed annually). The bottom line: Cellulite is congested lymph—carrying wastes and undigested fat particles it should not be carrying. (It is inflammation). If you are eating a low-fat diet, you are depriving your body—and gallbladder—of the ability to make good bile (since the gallbladder is triggered to produce bile and breakdown fats when we eat healthy fats) And even if you do eat “healthy fats”, if you have bad digestion (leaky gut, SIBO, constipation, allergies, autoimmune issues, etc.), you will NOT be able to build that good, healthy bile either. If you don’t have a gallbladder at all, you need to be extra sure you are digesting and detoxifying your body (often times supplemental support with ox bile can help!) How to get rid of cellulite?! That’s the million dollar question. A quick google search of “cellulite” alone yields more than 32 million results—many “experts” give bad advice, telling you to: Eat fiber-rich whole grain, fruit and veggie-based (i.e. low-fat) diet. Rub an expensive lotion on your trouble spot. Or turn to a cellulite treatment, like Cellutone (sends shock waves to blast the cellulite) to fix your body woes. Thrive’s top tips: 1. Fix your gut. Ensure your digestion is up to speed. If you aren’t breaking your food down properly, or it’s leaking into your gut, then your body (especially your gallbladder) is NOT getting the nutrients it needs to effectively create bile and detox (eliminate wastes). This leads to inflammation and congestion of your lymph tissue (cellulite). In addition, if you have other underlying gut pathologies [like SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), fungal overgrowth, low stomach acid, etc.] then poor digestion is a given and may warrant further lab testing or consulting with a functional medicine practitioner or nutritionist skilled in helping you heal–not just band-aid the symptoms or side effects–of gut “issues.” Something you can start today though? : Keep a 3 day food log to note how you feel before and after meals—in this log note symptoms that come up around meals (like bloating, constipation, blood sugar swings). Be a sleuth and detective to find out how you are digesting. Consider adding a few standard supplements and/or medicinal foods to your diet to improve yout digestion, including: Probiotic or fermented foods (sauerkraut, kombucha, fermented yogurt) HCL or 1 tbsp. Apple Cider in water before meals. Digestive Enzymes with each meal (to assist in breaking down your foods) Beta TCP—a supplement that many folks with a sluggish gallbladder find beneficial for digesting fats (Beta Plus is also great for those without a gallbladder) Ginger Tea or Licorice-root based tea before bed (bonus: add lemon) Note: These are general guidelines, and should not replace your own individualized protocol. Consult with a nutritional therapist. 2. Eat healthy fats—and lots of them throughout the day, along with digestive support to give your gallbladder some love, including: Avocado. Nuts/seeds. Olive oil. Olives. Coconut oil. Ghee. Grass-fed butter. Lard. Tallow. Organic animal meats. Pasture raised eggs (eat the yolk) Full-fat grass-fed dairy. Coconut flakes. Coconut butter. Almond butter. Primal Kitchen Mayo (My favorite fat of the moment! Delicious in chicken salad!) 3. Stress Less. Stress is toxic. And since internally, congested lymph is essentially toxins building up (i.e. inflammation) in our bodies, any additional stress compounds that stress. Enter: elevated cortisol, hormonal imbalances, decreased digestion and stomach acid, and increased gallbladder malfunction. Aye aye aye! Do yourself a favor and focus on de-stressing your body and mind to greatly impact the inflammation subside. “De-stressing” could mean eliminating inflammatory foods, dry brushing, meditating, taking a break from work, saying “No” when you always say “Yes” and moving your body in a way that brings it to life (balance, longevity—not at war with it or running it into the ground). 4. No Spot Training Necessary. No amount of spot training is going to instantly make cellulite disappear. And remember: cellulite is more related to your diet and gut-health in the first place—not necessarily fat that is stuck on your body, but instead a buildup of fat in the lymph. Aim for holistic training to distribute that lymph and detox the toxic buildup of sluggish, sludge-like bile with full body movements, such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, presses, pulls, rows and functional exercises (wallballs, kettlebell swings, thrusters). 5. Brush Your Body. Dry brushing is a detoxification technique that improves lymph flow. It picks up bacteria, toxins, and other waste from our blood and filters it through the lymph nodes, where the bacteria is destroyed. Hello reduced cellulite! How do you do it? Grab a dry brush (like this one) and follow these techniques: Dry brush when your body is dry, before you shower. Always brush towards your heart. Start at your feet. Brush the bottoms of your feet. Then brush up your legs, long stroking motions towards your heart. Brush in circles around your knees. Brush your buttocks and inner thighs. Brush the sides of your torso and your lower back, upwards towards your heart. Brush your stomach in a clockwise circle around your belly button. Brush your hands and arms, starting with your hands and brush towards your shoulders. Brush from your upper back and over your shoulders. Brush clockwise circles around your breast (not on them, just a big circle around your breasts). Do NOT brush over broken skin (cuts, varicose veins, or bruises) or your face. The total process should take between 5-15 minutes. Take a shower after your dry brush. Go get em tiger!