BEAT THE BLOAT
You’re not fat, you’ve just got water retention – we’ve all heard this before, but that doesn’t mean we have to live with it. Experts weigh in on how to deal. By Li Ying Lim.
“If water retention continues over a long period, it may progress to cellulite.” – Dr. Anna Hoo
When your jawline appears a little rounder and your waistline puffier, there is actually more to it than meets the eye. “Water retention can be hereditary, or caused by a poor diet lacking in vitamins and very high in salt, or even by insufficient water,” explains Jenny Yap, training manager of L’Occitane. “But hormonal changes can also play a major role.”
Dr. Anna Hoo agrees. “The problem may have a severe underlying cause such as heart, liver or kidney disease, but often it’s due to hormonal imbalance,” reveals the certified aesthetic medical practitioner and founder of the Anna Hoo Clinic. “Hormonal water stagnation is generally in areas predisposed to fat, like the abdomen, thighs, and rear.” Water retention is caused by edema, in which accumulated fluid leads to abnormal swelling. “You can easily tell with this test: Press your thumb on the front of your shin for a couple of seconds. If a visible impression persists, it’s edema.
“Due to dysfunctional circulation as fluid stagnates, toxins that alter cell metabolism are released, reducing supply of oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. If water retention continues over a long period, it may progress to cellulite.”
While creams can help, insta-laser treatments may be more effective. Dr. Hoo treats her patients with Trilipo technology. “It combines TriLipo radio-frequency and TriLipo Dynamic Muscle Activation to deliver non-invasive fat removal and lymphatic drainage. This removes fat deposits and cellulite, tightens skin, and reduces wrinkles.” Exercising is the most basic technique to reduce cellulite and water retention, but a lifestyle change is vital. “Habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, overeating, excessive coffee intake, wearing tight clothing and high heels, and low physical activity are best kept to a minimum,” notes Dr. Hoo.
For those who are anti-workout, there is something you can do at home: “Acupressure helps improve circulation throughout the body. Once that increases, muscles are relaxed, absorption of products increases, and toxins can be removed,” shares Yap, who suggests combining this holistic routine with the L’Occitane Almond Body Firming Care Collection. “The acupressure can be performed twice a day while applying the product. Use firm finger pressure at least three times on each point. Inhale deeply as you press and exhale upon release.”
Dr. Hoo says: “It is important to eat healthily. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in vitamin C, to protect blood vessels. Do ingest a good amount of fibre, which reduces risk of constipation. And drink at least two litres of water a day to flush out toxins.”