Cellulite Help from Sue Heintze: The Cause of Cellulite and How to Get Rid of It
Aug 28th, 2012
Cellulite is a problem that women of all ages and backgrounds deal with. It’s also a problem that women direly need a solution for, as there is a famine in terms of quality information on how to deal with this unsightly epidemic.
I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve been asked how to get rid of those lumpy, unsightly pockets of fat.
I don’t claim to be an expert on the topic of cellulite, but luckily I’ve recently made friends with someone who is.
Sue Heintze is a transformation coach with over 20 years experience guiding and motivating others to lose fat and get fit through her various online programs, many of which can be found on her site IdealBodiesOnline.com.
She’s spent the last two years researching cellulite and how to get rid of it and is one of the world’s foremost experts on the topic.
After being introduced to Sue I couldn’t help but ask if she’d be willing to share her expertise on RippedOut.com. Sue gladly agreed to answer a few questions on the problem of cellulite to shed some light on this widely ignored topic.
Craig Leonard (CL): Thanks for agreeing to do this interview, Sue. I’m really excited to learn more about how to help my female followers get rid of unsightly cellulite and other pockets of stubborn body fat.
Do you mind if we jump right in with the first question?
Sue Heintze (SH): Thanks for the opportunity, Craig. Fire away!
CL: Many women believe cellulite is hereditary or genetic. Is that true? And what can they do to change that?
SH: I’d like to get it straight from the beginning – that cellulite is not a medical term. It is not a disease, an illness or a ‘condition’. It’s not ‘fat gone wrong’. It’s simply fat – too much fat in one area.
It looks different because of the unique structure of the tiny little fat compartments in the connective tissue of women. If the connective tissue doesn’t hold in the underlying fat, it pushes out at the top and creates that lumpy look that we term cellulite.
In females, the structure of our skin and fat layers is different to males. In females our fat storage cells are shaped like long vertical chambers, with a rigid floor and side walls.
It’s only the top that is pliable, and if you carry too much fat, it pushes through to the surface and shows up lumpy. In males, the fat cells are shaped differently, and thus they do not have the issues that we do when they carry additional fat in those areas.
CL: That makes a lot of sense. Now that I think about it I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a man with cellulite.
SH: You probably never will.
Along with this, the female hormone Estrogen tends to increase fluid build-up – plus our overall tendency for thinner skin means that unfortunately, if you’re a female, you are prone to get cellulite.
So cellulite is genetic, but not hereditary. I have never believed cellulite is hereditary because my mum doesn’t have it and never has – but my sister and I do.
So I know through personal experience that you can’t blame your mum (or any other relatives) on the fact you have cellulite. It’s also not caused by age (though it can become worse with age if you aren’t doing the right things to keep on top of it).
CL: Yeah, I hate few things more than hearing someone blame their genetics for their physical appearance. Genetics can play a factor, but they can always be overcome with the right combination of training and nutrition.
So, if cellulite is genetic and relegated to women, why do some women have it and some don’t?
SH: Cellulite is just fat, and whether you see it or not is determined by your own individual ‘cellulite set point.’ So to reduce (or eliminate) the appearance of cellulite we need to reduce our cellulite set point.
Your set point is usually due in most part to your own genetic make-up but there are things you can do to positively influence this set point, such as how and what you eat, how you train, your metabolism, lifestyle and your hormones.
CL: If you don’t mind, I’d like to dig into the topic of nutrition a little bit deeper.
CL: What 3 foods would you say are the biggest contributors to cellulite and why?
SH: It’s not so much individual foods that cause cellulite but more so an accumulation over the years of undesirable foods/chemicals/additives along with an overload of calories and toxins that contribute to visible cellulite.
However, there are some foods that I would recommend to be very cautious of if cellulite or stubborn fat is a problem for you.
For starters, let’s look at soy…
We’ve been told for years that soy foods are good for us, however it’s now coming to light that over-consumption of soy products can lead to significant hormonal imbalances (in both women AND men).
This is due to the high levels of phyto-estrogens contained in some soy products (and other things like certain plastics, and environmental factors).
CL: Soy is the only complete protein that I always advise my clients (men and women) against consuming, for exactly the reasons you listed above. The hormonal problems caused by soy outweigh any muscle building benefit it provides.
SH: Hormones also play a large role in where you store your fat. Many women unknowingly suffer from a condition known as ‘Estrogen Dominance’ which in addition to stubborn fat gains – particularly around the hips and thighs and stomach – causes ill health including (but not limited to):
- Missed or irregular periods
- Swollen or Fibrocystic Breasts
Many people eat a diet high in soy for the supposed health benefits, yet they don’t realize that they may be doing much more harm than good.
Soy products are often one of the main sources of protein for vegetarians. That, combined with the typical vegetarian high carbohydrate and fat consumption, and it’s any wonder that many vegetarians have trouble losing body fat.
Personally, I steer clear of soy like the plague.
*Note that not ALL soy products contribute to excess estrogen. Some fermented products such as soy sauce and tempeh appear to be ok as the fermentation process inhibits the hormonal effect. This is good, because I like my soy sauce 😉
CL: Soy sauce is pretty awesome.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to switch gears a bit from the topic of soy and ask what your take is on preservative-laden packaged foods and refined sugars, and their effect on a person’s level of body fat?
SH: Good question!
It’s no secret that these days we tend to rely a lot on foods in packets and boxes. I mean, you’ve got a job or career, a family to feed, look after and entertain, errands to run – AND you’re supposed to get 8 hours of sleep each night, and keep fit too.
It’s not surprising you tend to grab something quick and easy – no thought required.
You are forgiven for falling into the ‘age of convenience’ trap but it may be causing you a lot more problems, both short and long term, than you care to consider.
Things in packets and boxes are loaded with chemicals, preservatives and things that you don’t even want to know about. Not only do these chemicals and toxins add extra poundage to your waistline – all that “junk” poisons your system making your fat-storing hormone levels go through the roof.
Refined sugar and processed foods are among the worst for increasing pro-inflammatory hormones. Your body treats these preservatives, colors, additives and other chemicals in foods and the environment as poison and thus triggers an immune system response.
This leads to chronic internal inflammation causing all sorts of undesirable reactions in the body.
A recent study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) performed on hundreds of non-industry workers (ie: those NOT subjected daily to toxic environments) showed that we now have around 100 new chemicals in our blood that were not present there 40 years ago!
If that little snippet doesn’t have you shaking in your high heels (or boots for the fellas), nothing will!
CL: Wow! That’s crazy. I have been making a much greater effort to eat mostly natural foods for the past year or so and that information definitely helps reinforce my decision.
Before we wrap up our interview I’d like to ask you to leave our female readers with something they can apply right away to start ridding their body of cellulite fast.
SH: I’d be more than happy to, Craig.
It’s hard to pick just one because there are many simple things that can be done – and to really make a difference to visible cellulite a synergistic approach is required.
However, if I were to give one simple thing that people can do NOW, apart from avoiding the foods above, it would be to include lots of cruciferous vegetables in their diet. That is, veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
Cruciferous veggies are rich in zinc, vitamins A, B, C, D and E and have been regarded for centuries as medicinal foods. What is most interesting is that scientists have isolated a constituent in cruciferous vegetables called Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) that is especially beneficial to estrogen metabolism.
So the cruciferous veggies can actually help offset the damage caused by excess estrogens found in soy foods and the environment.
CL: I actually did some research a while back about I3C and its positive impact on testosterone levels and had no idea that vegetables could be so beneficial for transforming the body, apart from their low-caloric characteristic, of course.
Is there anything else you’d like to share before we wrap up?
SH: Yes. I’d like to throw in a quick tip for exercise because diet alone will not help – if you aren’t regularly performing challenging resistance training and some simple specific glute activation exercises in your exercise regime, start now!
But like I said, it’s important to know that not ONE particular thing will get rid of cellulite – a strategic and synergistic approach is the absolute best one.
CL: That’s awesome information, Sue! I really appreciate you taking the time to talk about the often-ignored topic of cellulite and for sharing some practical tips for getting rid of it.
If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love for you to write a follow-up article on what a synergistic approach for getting rid of pockets of excess fat stores and stubborn cellulite would look like. What do you think?
SH: I would like that very much, Craig! Thank you for the opportunity to share.
If you’ve enjoyed this interview and want to learn more about getting rid of cellulite, you’ll want to stay tuned for Sue’s follow up article in the next few days.
In the mean time I highly recommend checking out her specialized program for blasting away stubborn body fat and cellulite: The Female Fat Free Solution.
Update: Sue’s follow up article has been posted. Click here to read it.