Nobody on the planet wants to see cellulite (defined as excess fat deposits between the connective tissue found underneath the skin) on their body. In fact, the majority of people would love it if their bodies were “fat-burning machines,” or even “anti-cellulite machines.” If you have anti-cellulite ambitions, then avoid the following 17 foods and watch your body shift into fat-burning overdrive.
The favorite food of American parties, gatherings, and get-togethers, but like all the other foods on this list, the cheese will “gum up your body’s gears” when you’re trying to burn fat and reduce cellulite. Dairy products, including cheese, are full of naturally occurring hormones that can trigger the body to produce excess fat, which the body stores as cellulite.
2. Deli Meat (or other processed meat)
In order to build lean, healthy muscle, you need protein in your diet. While meats are a great source of protein, processed deli meats contain unnecessary fats and excess sodium that can cancel out the health benefits of the protein.
Bonus Tip: When deciding which healthy protein you should include in your diet, keep this in mind: the fewer the legs on the animal, the more protein in the meat. So, 8 oz. of chicken (2 legs) has more protein than an 8 oz. steak (4 legs), while an 8 oz. fillet of fish (0 legs) has more protein than both!
3. Store-Bought Sauce
Good sauces have saved countless health plans over the years, taking a boring “diet food” and turn it into something healthy that you’ll crave again and again. The problem with most store-bought sauces is that they contain crazy amounts of sugar. This excess sugar can readily lead to fat production, which leads to weight gain and increased cellulite. Not to mention, sugary sauces and sugary foods, in general, spike the blood sugar levels and lead to increased fat storage in the body. So if you are feeling sauce-y, watch some YouTube tutorials on how to make your own – it’s surprisingly easy and better for you.
4. White Bread, Bagels and other bleached grains
These are just refined carbs, aka a fancy way of saying the “S-Word” – sugar. If you need to keep carbs in your life (because carbs are a legitimate macronutrient necessary for a balanced diet) aim for whole grains or whole wheat.
What do you get when you combine processed cheese, sugary tomato sauce, a baked bleached flour crust? Most of the pizza options you’ll find in the freezer aisle and the major chains. While this may be a delicious combination, this is a fast path to shifting your “fat-burning machine” into reverse. If you must have a slice of pizza, make it yourself and choose ingredients like a cauliflower-flour crust that keep your body in the “anti-cellulite red zone.”
Sugar. Sugar. Sugar. A bit of water, artificial flavor and oh wait, more sugar. If you need something besides water, add fruit. This introduces much-needed antioxidants and eliminates the presence of processed sugars. If you’re in the middle of a tough leg day and need a sports drink for an electrolyte boost, choose the sugar-free – they’ve gotten a lot better in recent years.
7. Canned/ Packaged Soups
Look at the label on a can of soup and you’ll understand why they’re on this list. Hello, sodium! Processed sugar’s “evil twin,” excess sodium puts a hurting on the fat-burning machine by retaining the water in your body and making you feel bloated, stretching your skin and increasing visible cellulite.
8. Cottage Cheese
While I applaud your desire to avoid dairy, margarine still contains fat-increasing hormones and is factory processed. Leave this one on the shelf.
Sadly, this staple of childhood is often little more than processed, bleached flour (strike one), and enough sugar to make a grown dentist cry (strike two). Simply put, just reading that last sentence will make your body create excess fat (just kidding – reading is crucial for healthy living). Now here’s the sneaky part – most people can’t stand dry cereal, so what do they do? Pour milk over it – strike three!
Nowadays, the cereal world is less doom-and-gloom than it was in the days of Leave it to Beaver. Cereal makers have been wising up to the real health needs of adults and it’s easier than ever to find whole-grain cereals with no added sugar. On top of that, dairy alternatives, including quality coconut milk or nut milk, have burst onto the scene and are making big waves in the dairy aisle.
11. Granola Bars
Advertised as a healthy, on-the-go snack, granola bars, like a lot of the other foods on this list, are usually jammed with extra calories and sugary binders to keep the bar stuck together. We’re not in the “pack a snack for a hike” business, we’re in the “reduce cellulite quickly and safely” business.
Lean fish, white rice, soy sauce, crisp veggies, wasabi and more… yum. While sushi is an amazing fat-burning food, getting it from a grocery store is full of hidden perils. Many of the most popular rolls contain cream cheese, sugary sauces, deep-fried bread bits, or are saturated in high-sodium soy sauce.
If you just gotta have “the Sushi”, a few simple modifications can take this food from Cellulite Chump to Fat-Burning Champion. Skip the white rice: try for brown rice or skip the rice all together and get sashimi. Avoid anything with American places in the name, i.e. “California” or “Philly,” as these likely have unhealthy, dairy-filled components, not to mention highly-processed “krab” meat. Anything fried or containing “Tempura” should stay on the shelf, as well.
A salty snacker’s paradise, pretzels are low fat, low in calories, and often considered a great diet snack. However, pretzels can be made with processed, bleached flour, and the heavy salt component dehydrates you and leaves your body swollen – a dastardly paradise for cellulite. If you want to smack on some pretzels, aim some low sodium or salt-free ones, and choose pretzels from higher-end brands. Even better, switch to munching on unsalted nuts like almonds or cashews.
Yogurt can do wonders for your digestive system because of the probiotics, protein, calcium, vitamins, and microbiota. However, there is a dark side to this creamy treat: many store-bought yogurts contain huge amounts of hidden sugar. In some cases, you’d be better off eating a candy bar because the worst offenders can contain between 15-29 grams of sugar per serving. If you are going to eat this probiotic goodness, try and find a natural yogurt with minimal sugar and eat only the recommended serving size.
15. Spicy Foods
Spice, like a good sauce, makes food taste better. To sweeten this deal (but not with refined, processed sugars), most spicy foods contain antioxidants a key component in helping you live longer. Yet, like a lot of other foods on this list, store-bought spicy foods typically contain high levels of sodium and more sugar than you’d think. If you’re trying to reduce cellulite, it’s a good idea to also reduce the processed spicy foods. Instead, utilize organic spices and spice blends that contain ingredients that sound like real English, and don’t contain added sodium or sugar.
16. Red Wine and alcohol
Recent studies have trumpeted the virtues of a glass of red wine and its powers to help regulate and stabilize blood pressure. But then there’s that pesky alcohol hanging out in the bottle with the wine – alcohol is excellent at dehydrating your body’s skin. When your skin is dehydrated, skin-smoothing collagen gets reduced and any lingering cellulite becomes glaringly obvious. So, while you might be able to get away with an occasional glass of red wine (you know, for your health’s sake – we won’t judge), be cognizant that this nectar of the gods has its downsides.
17. Sugar-Free Candy, Foods, and Drinks
Sugar-free products seem like they’d be better for you since they leave out one of the “Evil Twins” – sugar. But, in order to remove the sugar, these products are highly processed and are usually laced with sugar substitutes (which your body basically treats as sugar anyway). Not only do these substitutes lack any nutritional value, but they are also hard for the body to process and can become addictive, leading to overconsumption and increased fat storage. No Bueno for the Anti-Cellulite Machine.
You’ve taken the first steps on your Fat-Burning journey. This list is by no means exhaustive, but the key to reducing cellulite is to start being smart about what you put into your body. Now, it’s crucial that you add in physical activity to your daily life but be sure that you talk to your doctor before starting any exercise plan. In the meantime, hop on the Anti-Cellulite train and start your journey toward the body of your dreams!