THE LINK BETWEEN STRESS AND CELLULITE
Cellulite, also known as adiposis edematosa, dermopanniculosis deformans, is an all-too-common condition in which subcutaneous fat under the connective tissue herniates to the top, creating characteristic dimples. It’s estimated that roughly 85 to 98% of all women will develop cellulite at some point during their lives. But even men are susceptible to this condition, as well. While diet and genetics play a major role in the formation of cellulite, you might be surprised to learn that stress can also contribute to this condition. To learn more about the link between stress and cellulite, keep reading.
According to a study published in the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology, increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol can lead to cellulite. Researchers discovered that men and women who had chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone were at a greater risk of developing cellulite. Cortisol is created naturally by the body as part of its “fight or flight” defense mechanism. When you are stressed, your body responds by producing and releasing certain hormones, one of which is cortisol. The problem, however, is that high levels of cortisol tend to result in greater accumulation of fat deposits, as your body stores carbs in the form of fat to prepare for famine. And when there’s more fat accumulating, there’s a greater risk of cellulite forming.
But this isn’t the only link connecting stress to cellulite. People who live high-stress lifestyles will also have higher levels of catecholamines, which have also been associated with cellulite.
The bottom line is that stress can and WILL promote the formation of cellulite. Some people assume that stress only results in psychological symptoms like fatigue and anxiety, but this isn’t the case. Researchers have found direct links to stress and cellulite, along with other physical symptoms.
So, what can you do to reduce your stress levels and subsequently protect against cellulite? See below for some helpful stress-reducing tips and tricks:
- Get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night.
- Take regular breaks at work.
- Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
- Perform deep-breathing exercises when you are stressed.
- Change your perspective on otherwise stressful situations.
- Keep a journal, writing down your daily thoughts.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco.
- Limit your intake of caffeine.
- Cut back on refined sugars (fruit sugar is OK).
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Take a nap.
By following the tips outlined above, you’ll reduce your stress levels while also minimizing the impact that it has on your body’s fat and cellulite production.