Planning a holiday at the beach? The number-one enemy of bikini-wearers everywhere is back again – cellulite.

Linked to genetic and hormonal causes, cellulite is an unfair and unfortunate fact of life for many women, especially since it is set to start forming between the ages of seven and 14, a period when fat cells or adipocytes are known to take root. The most effective ways of blitzing lumpy “orange-peel” skin and water retention come through food, exercise and manual massage.

Here are 4 actionable ways you can get your legs ready for vacation by the sea.

coffee sugar morningCut down on sugar

Cutting all types of sugar from the diet isn’t always realistic because the body needs some sugars to function correctly. However, it’s wise to follow a diet with a low Glycemic Index (GI), favouring foods that have very little impact on blood sugar levels. According to the diet’s founder, Michel Montignac, weight gain is supposedly linked to eating the wrong kind of carbohydrates, which cause insulin levels to spike and lead to more fat being stored in the body.

Fill up on low-GI foods like vegetables (except cooked carrots and potatoes) and legumes like peas, chickpeas, lentils, plus wholegrain cereals and certain types of meat. The chrono diet, developed by Dr Alain Delabos, can also be a source of inspiration. This recommends banishing sugars – including fruit, fruit purees and dark chocolate – after 5pm to help prevent fat being stored overnight.

Try to cut down on hidden sources of salt too, as these are often responsible for water retention. Dr Delabos also suggests avoiding soup as an evening meal, as the water it contains can be retained by mineral salts found in vegetables and salt used to bring out the flavour, encouraging water retention around the thighs and buttocks.

A witch-hazel (hamamelis) is covered in snow in a garden in Sieversdorf, northeastern Germany, on March 1, 2016. / AFP / dpa / Patrick PLEUL / Germany OUT

Witch-hazel (hamamelis) may help with cellulite management. Photo: AFP

Use the power of plants

Plants can offer a helping hand by stimulating lymph and blood circulation.

The most effective plants for cellulite-busting are:

  • Grape vine (circulation)
  • Witch-hazel (anti-inflammatory)
  • Butcher’s broom (anti-edema)

For water retention, opt for the cleansing and draining properties of orthosiphon (sometimes known as cat’s whiskers) and Queen of the prairie.

Finally, the cellulite-forming effect of hormones can be treated with a three-month course of borage oil supplements, which have a balancing effect on estrogen levels.

unbreakable kimmy schmidt kimmy schmidt spirtcycle bike exerciseHit the bike

The fiercest means of attacking orange-peel skin is with cardio.

Cardiovascular workouts can help you maintain your weight (keeping your lungs and heart healthy is a great side benefit too). Find a workout that targets your legs and thighs such as trail running, rowing or, if you can find one in Malaysia, underwater cycling or aquabiking.

Meanwhile, a stationary bike would work just as well. So sign up for that spin class at the gym. Remember to pace yourself, you are looking at long term. Keep a regular 45-minute session, up that as you improve.

Go hands-on with massage

Regular manual subdermal tissue massage can mimic the effects of exercise by breaking down adipocytes and liberating lipids. If you really want to try a slimming cream, choose a caffeine-based formulation to encourage the liberation of fats and the emptying of adipocytes. DIY-blends can be useful too. Try adding a few drops of essential oils like rockrose, cypress or red cedar wood to an almond carrier oil, for example, to make your own massage oil. – AFP Relaxnews