1-99 SparkPoints 16

Shrinking and Smoothing Cellulite

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My fat loss progress to date:

Weight Loss This Week: -1.6lbs
Weight Loss Total this Month: -2.4lbs
Lean Mass: +1lbs

I don't get big number drops, but my weight loss is smooth and steady. I don't get weird ups and downs anymore. My weight loss isn't linear, but it isn't wild swings, either. These days I get more excited about lean mass increases than I do about the weight loss.

As I've mentioned, I keep a running data table in an excel spreadsheet as this allows me to view information in a way I can't with the Spark reports. I noticed I tracked total carbs instead of net carbs, which I think is skewing my numbers somewhat. Insoluble fiber isn't digested, so it isn't accurate to include them in calorie or carb counts.

However, that revelation is just a bit more depressing. When I count only net carbs, I am even less carb tolerant than I realized. Perhaps it is because I'm small that my 'carbohydrate curve' is going to naturally slide down further from the average. Or I am more metabolically damaged.

Yesterday I talked about the difference between observational studies and experimental studies. I used my college diet as an example: no breakfast, ramen noodles, pizza, beer and Snackwells cookies. I was not fat. I didn't have a washboard stomach, but I had a fairly flat runway. Obviously my awesome college diet wasn't to credit. It is more likely I was less metabolically damaged that I could handle such a crap diet.

I lay the blame on metabolic trashing at the doorstep of trans-fats and HFCS that came after college when I ate more fast food and chain restaurants. McDonald's sausage biscuits for breakfast; double quarter pounders with supersized fries and coke for lunch; Chili's steak fajitas with 32oz adult kool-aid margaritas.

Observational studies would blame the high fat. I blame the quality of fat, plus sugar.

Saturated fats have been targeted as the devil for over 40 years. They raise triglycerides! Bad! Bad!

As I explained in my blog, "Yes, I Eat Vegetables", triglycerides are a fuel source. They DO come from saturated fats. They do not cause artery blockage in themselves, but are a symptom of metabolic syndrome. When insulin levels are elevated, our bodies cannot burn triglycerides, they build up and float around.


To date, the only clinically proven fats that are artery clogging and heart damaging are trans-fats. Zero gram of trans-fat is a safe level. Due to a quirk in the FDA requirements, food manufacturers do not have to report trans-fats in quantities less than .5g.

When fast food companies were compelled to switch from using lard fat, they primarily chose shelf stable and cheap partially hydrogenated vegetable oils high in trans-fats.

My body type is pear shaped. When I gain weight, I tend to put it on the hips and buttocks before anywhere else. As I lose weight, I tend to lose it in my upperbody first. This past month, I'm blessed with noticeable 'firming' in my arms, but much slower decrease in my lower body.

Before I became fat, I had very smooth skin. Almost no cellulite. When I gained weight, I put on a disgusting cottage cheese layer of cellulite.

Cellulite is pocket distortions in the fat cell walls under our skin. We are what we eat. When I put on fat, I ate poor quality fat. Mainly PUFAs - polyunsaturated vegetable oils: soybean, canola, safflower, sunflower, and corn. And the hydrogenated vegetable oils common in fast food and chain restaurants.

My fat sources these days are primarily real butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and avocados.

As I'm losing weight, my cellulite smooths out beautifully. It's not quite gone, but it is shrinking. The cottage cheese effect is lessening. I am starting to see muscles emerge from underneath my skin. Now I know why people like to work out in front of the mirror. I love seeing my muscles move.

As my fat cells release their contents, I can't help but wonder if the old stored trans-fats are going to cause problems. I'm trying to up my antioxidant rich foods - even if higher carb - during my weight loss. Just as an insurance policy. I don't want bad food I ate 12 years ago derailing my health or clogging my arteries today.

Part of my weight loss goal is to reduce my cellulite. Losing the old fat, and eating high quality fats (no PUFAs) are keys. I'm also experimenting with something called "dry body brushing" that is supposed to help smooth out the cell walls.

This is one of the 'non scale' ways I measure progress. The numbers are great, but it doesn't make me feel as beautiful and sexy as much as watching my cellulite zap in the mirror.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow, you are such an inspiration! I also have problems with carbs. When I eat any kind of starchy carbs I bloat up like crazy! I haven't really paid attention to carb types (except the above mentioned) but maybe I need to start. I'm so tired of the yo yo weight gain and loss. Thanks for helping us all in our struggle!
    3143 days ago
    _RAMONA: Great questions! I'll try and make a blog post with some of my favorite resources soon.

    NEILITHICMAN: Holiday throws me off track too, but these days I can just resume where I left off! Hope you had a nice holiday!
    3146 days ago
    Well done on your weight loss this month. Normally my weight loss is pretty consistant, around a kilo a week, but this month it was all over the place. Because I was on holiday for a couple of weeks so I wasn't geting my regular walk to and from work every day and my exercise wasn't consistent, some days 4-5 hours, some days none.
    3146 days ago
    I'm beyond grateful for having found you... every blog is a learning experience.... and not just from you, but from our readers, too!

    Could you point me to some resources with regard to understanding better the idea of toatal carbs vs. net carbs? What does the SparkTracker track?

    And about resources in general... what are your favourites?

    Again, THANK YOU!
    3146 days ago
    MAPPLEBUM: I have not been to Scooby's webpage. Which one is it? I don't limit the quantity of my fat, just the trans-fat and PUFAs I mentioned. Whatever I naturally add from cooking in butter, coconut oil, or olive oil is whatever it is.

    I've eaten an average of 1400 this month.
    3146 days ago
    Thanks for the info on the insoluble fiber, Birdy! Where would I be without you! I'll check out the Dr. Rosedale interview!

    SALONKITTY & LYNDALOVES2HIKE: Even if the dry body brushing does nothing for the cellulite, I'll keep doing it for the full body exfoliating effect. Cheaper than having it done at the spa! It is bracing, but my skin feels so soft after my shower!

    CATH63: I have been doing my pushup routines, but nothing too special in terms of arms. My "bat wings" have been folding (haha) mostly due to my fat loss, I think. I, too, am an upperbody weakling, but my pushups have been helping. I also got a pilates bar so I can do reverse pullups. I think those are helping, too.

    FITGIRL15: I just want to say that you've been a huge inspiration to me on this journey! I've been following you for a long time, and your progress certainly helped motivate me to clean up my food and routines! Agree with everything you said!


    DOWNEASTB: Wow! Low carb has done you well! I would not have guessed you are in your 40s! I thought you were younger than me!

    I think elasticity of skin is a factor, too. Which makes me want to bonk myself on the head that I wasted my youth on junk! Ahh well. I'll just have to shoot for being one of those people who run laps around kids half my age!

    MRS.CARLY: I'm hoping that I didn't tear the elasticity of my skin too much. I'm waiting to see if I end up with 'sag' after I reach my intended bodyfat level.
    3147 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/22/2012 3:39:16 PM
  • no profile photo CD4892468
    I have had cellulite a really really long time. My thighs are HUGE and I notice that my thighs have way more cellulite now than they did years ago. I am wondering if my skin has stretched and that is why I see a few "ripples" in the fronts of my legs. Women at my weight tend to wear smaller sizes. I have been as low as 155 pounds and still wore a size 12 in jeans.

    When I FINALLY reach my ultimate weight loss goal, I am going to research cosmetic surgery to help with that problem. I left weights and I work out hard in the gym, but in my case I think the skin may be stretched out already :-(
    3147 days ago
    My cellulite has gotten worse as I've lost fat on my thighs and rear, but I'm over 40 and apparently that can be expected. I need to get in the habit of dry brushing. Have a brush, just need to use the darn thing!
    3147 days ago
    I will have to google "dry body brushing"... I have found, that the more weight I lose, the smoother my legs appear. And I can only lose weight if I eat a healthy diet. So, healthy diet = less cottage cheese thighs (and smaller waist) but as I age, the cellulite is just par for the course, and I try not to be too hard on myself! My body isn't as resilient as it once was... something I just have to live with, and carry on loving the new me!!!

    It doesn't surprise me that you have a spreadsheet. LOL You are highly BLUE energy! :) (So is Joe!!!)
    3147 days ago
    Your blogs are very informative and interesting so thanks for posting. I'm glad your cellulite is smoothing out but not sure the dry-brushing is so effective. I haven't done research on that, though, so you might get great results. Good luck!
    3147 days ago
  • CATH63
    Have you done any particular exercises that have resulted in your arms becoming firmer, or is it a result of fat loss? I would LOVE to figure out how to get rid of my "bat wings". I'm not sure if it's really a wing of fat or if it's just an empty pocket where triceps are meant to reside.

    I've been taking measurements since January and have lost almost everywhere except my thighs, calves, and upper arms. My legs are very muscular - it's genetic; I can't take any credit. My arms, on the other hand (no pun intended) could use some work!
    3147 days ago
    Another great blog! I just finished watching the Fat Head documentary, coincidentally, so this post of yours neatly sums up a lot of what was discussed in that film.

    I have a bunch of cellulite, but I also had a little before I put on all this weight. I found mine disappeared the more I lifted weights....it could have just been the result of becoming leaner overall (I was running and doing various cardio machines as well, six days per week), but I've always suspected it was the weights.

    I know about dry body brushing! It's rather bracing to do it in the morning pre-shower, isn't it! It takes some getting used to, but I did learn to like it after a fashion. It definitely gets one's circulation going, and exfoliates beautifully! I should return to it, as it did seem like a good thing....I'd kind of forgotten about it--thanks for the reminder! I would think it probably does help with cellulite....do let us know what you think after trying it out for a while.
    3147 days ago
    With you on the fat.
    3147 days ago
    Wow there is a lot of great information here. Thank you for sharing this blog post. I have forgotten lately how important the quality of what I am eating is, as opposed to just the quantity. Congratulations on your steady weight loss! emoticon
    3147 days ago
    Ver informative.... I liked reading, good research!
    3147 days ago
    check out Dr. Rosedale's latest interview. Wow, he doesn't mince words about Ludwig's bad interpretation of his own data. And, though he has said it before, it is great to hear again: overall health and longevity is a function of the total amount of carbs eaten in a lifetime.
    3147 days ago
    turns out insoluble fiber is partially digested, and so it will affect the overall calorie count. Good news is that it doesn't break down into carbs. It gets broken down into short-chain fatty acids and burned like fat.
    My weight still continues to be challenging, as in, perfection leads to weight maintenance, but eating anything else leads to gain. Since switching to more fat and seafood, people tell me that my skin looks wonderful.
    Oh my! I would never listen to Scooby!!!!!But I really should on the cheese front, my one remaining weakness....
    3147 days ago
  • KELPIE57
    as always interesting and informative
    3147 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12728408
    You're obviously very well read. I've recently started paying attention to Scooby's rule of thumb (Have you been to his webpage? He's hilarious), which is don't eat it if the calories from fat exceed 10% of the total calories. I'm never going to abide by this entirely, simply for cases such as olive oil and soymilk. However, it does help when choosing meats at the grocery store and trying to cure my addiction to cheese :)

    Mind if I ask, how many calories are you consuming a day? And how much are you working out?
    3147 days ago
  • MOVIEGRL1737
    Very informative thanks for sharing!
    3147 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.