If you look up “How to get rid of cankles” on Reddit, you’ll find a host of comments and threads with thousands of Americans complaining about their “cankles”.
The more technical term is “enlarged ankles”, but they’re often referred to as cankles since the condition causes your leg to look as if the calf goes straight into your foot without the typical curvature found in a healthier leg.
Plus, it’s easier to say and it’s a nice euphemism (kind of like the term love handles).
While restorative plastic surgery is certainly an option that works well, it can often be expensive and doesn’t usually take care of the root of the problem.
This means that your body may quickly revert unless you’re receiving regular treatments, and therefore it’s important to learn how to get rid of cankles naturally.
Can’t afford plastic surgery? Well, if you’re like most Americans who can’t drop the amount of money that could purchase a used car on their ankles, there are several other options that we’ll talk about in this guide.
From targeted exercise and stretching to dietary changes and special creams, we’ll cover all of the top methods in how to get rid of cankles so that you can feel confident and sexy in your own skin again!
What Causes Cankles?
Most people aren’t born with enlarged ankles. Thick ankles can be genetic, but even so, they usually don’t start developing until a person is middle-aged.
The one exception to this rule is younger teens who suffer from severe obesity and have limited mobility.
The first step to treating any problem is to realize what’s causing it (cankles), and then understanding how to get rid of cankles will help you finally get rid of them.
In the case of enlarged ankles, they can be caused by several key factors, and it’s important to isolate exactly what is causing your ankles to become swollen if you want to be able to properly treat and fix them.
You’ve probably heard it before in common documentaries about America’s salt consumption. Hundreds and thousands of years ago, salt was an incredibly valuable commodity. Thanks to salt’s antibacterial properties, it was vital to humanity’s first efforts at preserving food.
Salt would prevent air, moisture, and contaminants from getting into the meal and spoiling it, often keeping the cut food fresh for weeks at a time.
As this was before the age of cars and fast transportation, the ability to keep food fresh for weeks on end meant that humans could now travel more freely without having to worry about where their next meal was coming from or worry about getting trapped in harsh deserted lands.
Today, salt is used for a similar purpose. Cheap canned foods, pre-packaged processed foods, and fast food is laden with salt to help preserve the food and cut costs.
While salt is perfectly healthy for people in small amounts (around 1 teaspoon per day), the average American consumes 50% to 100% more salt every day than they need. The worst part- they’re not even consuming real salt half of the time.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been the topic of a lot of controversial discussions in recent years. MSG is found naturally in small amounts in various cheeses and even some fruits like tomatoes, but American grocery shelves are full of MSG-laden products that are consumed far more than they should be.
What Salt Does to The Body
As we mentioned, salt is good in small amounts. It works with the water in our body to produce electrolytes, which help to keep us hydrated and keep our energy levels steady. This is why most sports drinks have a bit of added Sodium.
When over-consumed, though, it causes the body to retain a lot more water than it should. In a way, it tricks the body into thinking that there is a scarcity of water and starts storing away moisture in random pockets throughout the body, similar to a cactus growing in the desert.
Have you ever eaten a fast-food meal and then noticed visible weight gain almost immediately after? This isn’t because of the extra calories as it takes the body several days to adjust for standard caloric weight gain.
Instead, it’s thanks to the salt that almost instantly changes the way that your body stores water.
This water is stored all around your body- your chest, stomach, arms, legs, neck, and you guessed it- your ankles, and that’s why you need to understand how to get rid of cankles by cutting down on salt.
Fat Cells and Genetics
One of the most common causes of cankles is the build-up of fat cells. Just like every other part of your body, your ankles and lower legs can accumulate fat very quickly- especially if you’re not using them enough for your muscles to burn off surrounding fat.
But what if you’re not overweight? Why do some skinny people have cankles?
If you’re skinny or at a healthy weight and still have cankles, then it’s likely due to your genetics. Your genetics are one of the most important factors on how and where your body decides to store fat. Some people get lucky and their fat is stored in the “right place” and other people have to deal with cankles.
If you’re skinny with cankles it could also be caused by your salt intake as well. Just because you’re controlling your caloric intake and not over-eating, doesn’t mean that you’re not over-consuming salt.
Sometimes a simple change of diet is best in your efforts on how to get rid of cankles and this change will also help you see some quick results too.
Lack of Exercise
There’s an old saying thrown around by trainers- If you don’t use it, then you’ll lose it. You see, your body is both smart and adaptable. If you’re not using a part of your body enough, then the muscles will stop growing, shrink, and your body will use its energy elsewhere.
As homo sapiens, we humans are the only creature on this entire planet who were designed to walk upright. Recent studies have shown that walking and running are incredibly important to our physiology, the same as swimming is to a fish. If you put a fish in a bowl and limit how much they swim, they’ll be a lot smaller and seem underdeveloped.
The same is true for humans- if you limit the amount that they walk and run, muscular growth will be limited and fat cells/water retention will cause your once-carved ankles to turn into heavy-looking cankles.
So, remember in your journey to learn how to get rid of cankles, doing exercises can help.
Diet, exercise, and genetics aside, sometimes enlarged ankles can be caused by changes in medication. Some of the most common medications that can cause cankles are:
- NSAID’s (such as Ibuprofen or Advil)
- Diabetes Medications
- Blood Pressure Medications
These medications often mess with your body’s chemical and hormonal balance, causing it to react differently than you’re used to.
If you’re starting a new medication, it’s important to keep a journal so that you can tell all of the changes that are happening and try to develop methods of reducing negative side effects with your doctor. This will aid you in how to get rid of cankles before they grow big.
Natural Treatment for Cankles
Wondering how to get rid of cankles without surgery?
Thankfully, there are several options that you can try if you want to treat your swollen ankles naturally.
While you won’t get the immediate gratification that plastic surgery can provide, you’ll also be able to save a ton of money, won’t have to take time off of work for recovery, and the results can be longer-lasting.
Hopefully, our rant about salt earlier in the article was enough to make you do a double-take on what’s inside your pantry.
If you check the labels and look at Sodium content per serving and then check the serving size and realize you’re often consuming two servings, then it also means that you’re consuming double the salt.
One of the quickest treatments to reduce swelling in the ankles is just to reduce your intake of salt, sugar, and other synthetically processed foods.
Salt is the big one that we discussed earlier and is responsible for a lot of water retention.
Sugar, on the other hand, can cause inflammation in your ankle joints and tissues which also leads to cankle development, this is especially true with concentrated artificial sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup.
Talk to your doctor about trying a short-term detox diet that will help rid your body of toxins and reduce your reliance on sugar and salt, and directly help you in the process of how to get rid of cankles naturally.
Exercise and Stretching
Ankle and calf swelling often happen because they’re not being used enough. One of the best ways to reduce the size of your cankles and prevent swelling is to start doing leg and calf workouts.
Stair-climbing, using the elliptical, and even biking are all excellent ways to work your calves out!
Also, be sure to stretch out your ankle and calf muscles before and after exercising.
Proper stretching will not only prevent injury while exercising, but it will also force blood flow into your ankles which can reduce inflammation and help swollen areas heal.
Here are some of the top exercises recommended for getting rid of cankles:
Also, make sure that you do lots of leg-based cardio such as biking or walking on an incline!
This goes hand-in-hand with regular exercise. While targeted fat loss or “spot reduction” is a myth, losing weight, in general, can reduce fat all over your body!.
By starting a new healthy diet and combining it with regular cardiovascular exercise multiple times a week, you could see a significant reduction in cankle size in just a couple of months.
Modern Cankle Treatment
Now that you’ve got a chance to better understand what causes cankles and how you can reduce them naturally, let’s take a look at some of the more modern cutting-edge methods for getting rid of cankles.
Coolsculpting For Cankles
Coolsculpting is one of the best up-and-coming cosmetic treatments for cankles and works especially well if fat-retention is the cause of your swollen ankles.
That being said, if your cankles are caused by water-retention, it won’t do too much.
Essentially, the process involves a small device that freezes fat cells in targeted areas. Once frozen, these fat cells can be broken up into the bloodstream and metabolized by the body.
This new coolsculpting treatment is a lot less invasive than traditional liposuction for cankles, is typically cheaper, and has a lower recovery time.
Most patients just have to deal with some bruising that goes away in a week or so.
Coolsculpting can take some time, though. Unlike liposuction which is usually just one treatment, coolsculpt patients often need to go back for multiple visits.
Plastic Surgery for Cankles
If you’ve got large cankles and you’re looking for a more permanent and instantaneous solution, then liposuction will give you the instantaneous change that you’re looking for.
Your surgeon will put you to sleep and then insert small needles into the fatty areas of your ankles, sucking the fat out of your body to restore that toned and balanced appearance that you’re looking for!
Unfortunately, liposuction can be quite expensive and typically costs upwards of $6,000 or more. It also comes with a longer recovery time which means that you may experience discomfort while walking for up to a month or longer.
Liposuction can do in a day what regular exercise and diet can take months to do. However, you should initiate regular exercise after surgery as well to ensure that the fat doesn’t start building up again.
Using Hemorrhoid Cream for Cankles
You may be surprised, but hemorrhoid cream is one of the top affordable home remedies for cankles! One of the top leg trainers in America regularly has his clients apply Preparation H cream on their ankles and them wrap them with standard medical bandaging.
When you combine the powerful anti-swelling effects of the cream with the compression of the bandage, it can often encourage your body to store fat (and water) in other places instead.
Before paying a bunch of money for expensive liposuction or coolsculpting methods, this homemade over-the-counter remedy is definitely worth trying!
Cankles usually don’t develop overnight. While enlarged ankles can be the result of genetics, they’re usually more often caused by poor diet, medication changes, and lack of exercise. The good news is that all of these things can be changed!
As long as you’re willing to make some small changes to your daily routine, you’ll not only be able to learn how to Get Rid of Cankles, but you’ll also be able to improve your overall health and happiness!