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A LOT of women especially those who are very conscious of how they look outside do not hesitate to spend thousands of pesos a year on creams, lotions and other topical applications that yield little, if any changes, in the appearance of dimply skin. In 1995 alone, sales of anti-cellulite preparations sky-rocketed to a hundred million. Even the promise of a reduction in cellulite is enough to make the most rational woman part with her money.
What’s the truth about these dream creams? The fact is that, although some manufacturers claim that their products penetrate the skin, breaking down and reducing cellulite, it’s just not medically possible. If a chemical were strong enough to keep that promise, it would also damage skin and other body parts with which it were to come into contact. Some of the more popular creams contain caffeine as their active ingredient. Others utilize alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which are derived from milk, sugarcane and ginger, as well as fruits such as apples, grapefruits and oranges. Massaged into the offending areas, the AHAs are supposed to act as exfoliants, breaking up and removing the top layer of dead skin, while stimulating the growth of new skin. Although the skin often looks rosier and smoother and softer after the AHAs are applied, this may not be due to improved circulation. The effectiveness of these creams is questionable and so far, unproven.
Does liposuction work on cellulite? Liposuction, the removal of fat from the body using a strong suctioning device, is an invasive surgical procedure. It was developed in France and it’s now the most common form of cosmetic surgery performed today. When performed by the hands of a skilled practitioner, liposuction helps in contour and shape of the body and it has become the invaluable tool of plastic surgeons who perform both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
The procedure is straightforward. For example, removal of fat from the abdomen entails multiple incisions, each no longer than a quarter of an inch. A cannula, a long thin blunt-tipped nozzle, is then maneuvered through the layers of fat. By moving the cannula back and forth, the surgeon loosen fat cells, sucking them up through the cannula and into a container. Then the surgeon contours the remaining fat, leaving to provide a smooth, even surface.
Having liposuction performed is not to be confused with going to a spa for a massage or a facial. As with any surgical procedure, a thirty-to sixty-minute liposuction carries some risk. Commonplace as it has become, skin texture can be damaged in some
cases, and bleeding and infection is always a possibility. After it’s over, most patients are sore for days and wearing the girdle-like compression shorts for four to six weeks afterward make many wonder, even momentarily, if it was all worth it.
The procedure is expensive, ranging price from P40,000 to over P200,000, depending on the surgeon’s fees and how many particular sites are treated. Liposuction ca be used to remove fat from the legs, buttocks, abdomen, back, arms, neck and face. But while it offers amazing aesthetic transformations for patients, it is not an instant weight loss procedure or a cure for obesity. Nor is it a substitute for diet and exercise. In my years of experience of these people when they go to the gym for exercise to avoid sagging of muscles has shown that liposuction works best for people who are no more than 15 pounds overweight with taut skin that has the resiliency to snap back into place after fat has been removed. The good news is that, once the fat is removed, it’s removed permanently. While you may later gain weight, fat will not accumulate in the treated area.
Unfortunately, liposuction does not remove cellulite. While it can remove deep fat layers, it has less effect on subcutaneous fat layers in the first centimeter under skin, or on skin tone itself. In many cases where women have liposuction to rid themselves of cellulite, skin texture is actually damaged, resulting in scarring and putting. Many times second and third surgeries have to be performed to correct the after effects of earlier procedures. Some of these people I know have slight deformities of the arms and even the abdomen.
Over the years, the array of treatments that have claimed to rid the body of cellulite has ranged from electric to potentially dangerous. They include:
•constrictive body wraps to eliminate fluids
•site-specific electric heating pads
•machines that jiggle, pound and shake the body
•electric stimulation of the muscles
•severely restrictive eating plans
The results are always the same. None of these treatments work to rid the body of cellulite.
We want to feel good and look good all the time. That’s why most of us want to turn back the clock and we don’t want to age as much as possible. In my efforts to find answers to why we age, I reasoned that if aging and aging skin are characterized by the breakdown of our cells, the antidote to aging might be cellular repair. Did you know that protein is
essential to cellular repair. The building blocks of our cells are composed of amino acids. As protein is
digested, it breaks down into amino acids that are then used by the cells to repair themselves. Without adequate protein, our bodies enter into an accelerated aging mode. Our muscles, organs, bones, cartilage, skin and the antibodies that guard us from disease are all made of protein. Even the enzymes that facilitates all important chemical reactions in our body from digestion to building cells, are made of protein. This simple fact of life can change the way you look beginning with your next meal. If your cells do not have complete availability of all the essential amino acids, cellular repair will not only be incomplete but also will be much slower than it should be.
In my practice as personal trainer, I have often seen chronic, low-grade, long term protein starvation lead to a less of face and body skin tone in many of my female and male clients. In women, their breast start to sag and show early signs of stretch marks. Within a matter of weeks of starting a diet rich in high-quality protein, (especially that found in fish like salmon) the skin starts to firm up on the face and body and there is a visible lifting and improvement in skin tone and texture.
Research indicates that women need at least 65 grams of protein daily. Adequate intake of men ranges from 75 to 80 grams. The final figure depends on height, weight and level of physical activity.
Although animal protein is one of the best protein, I do so with some reservations. Certain protein choices can create a pro-inflammatory response which equals accelerated aging. I believe that previous research condemning saturated fats due to their correlation with cardiovascular and other diseases is somewhat erroneous. The saturated fats found in full fat dairy products and red meats (including beef, pork) can be pro-inflammatory in large amounts and thus portion should be limited. Instead, opt for fish, egg whites, skinless chicken breast.
All you need is fish Of all the foods that can keep you young, fish tops the list. All fish is an outstanding source of high-quality and easily digested protein with low saturated fats. What makes fish stand out from other excellent protein sources is it’s type of fat and fatty acid content, both of which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Make sure salmon is your first choice of fish.
However, if you find salmon too expensive, you can substitute it with mackerel (even in sardines). Whatever fish or shellfish you choose, grill or boil it, brushing slightly with olive oil. For additional antioxidant protection, season with garlic, onions, lemon juice and tomatoes.
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