Health & Wellness Articles

Strategies that Fight Cellulite

Getting Rid of Cellulite: What Really Works?

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Although working out and eating right help you feel good and improve your health, there's no doubt that most of us also do so to improve our appearance. And with shorts and swimsuit season quickly approaching, cellulite might be on the minds of many, particularly women—80%-90% or more of whom report having at least a little cellulite.

With so many products on the market promising to drastically reduce the appearance of cellulite or remove it altogether, it's tempting to pick up a bottle and just hope that it takes away that uneven and dimpled surface of the skin. But, wait! Before investing your hard-earned cash in some overnight solution that sounds too good to be true, do a little homework first—and find out what really works when it comes to preventing and reducing the appearance of cellulite.

What Is Cellulite?
Cellulite is formed by fibrous connective cords that connect your skin to your underlying muscle. In between these cords are your fat cells, and as your fat cells accumulate, they push up against your skin, while at the same time, the connective cords pull down. This pulling and pushing under your skin creates an uneven surface or dimpling that has the texture of cottage cheese or an orange peel. Because cellulite is more concentrated in areas that have a higher fat content, most women have some degree of cellulite on their thighs, hips and rear, but it can also be found on the breasts, lower abdomen and upper arms.

Why Some Have More Cellulite Than Others
Many factors play a role in cellulite, including your sex. Although men can and do have cellulite, it's more common in women due to their genetic make-up and higher levels of body fat (compared with men). Age, weight and lifestyle also play a role. As you age and your skin becomes looser, you may notice more cellulite on your body—even if your weight or body fat percentage remains unchanged. Weight gain can also make cellulite more noticeable, as can being inactive, enduring high levels of stress and, according to the Mayo Clinic, using hormonal contraceptives.

However—and here's the kicker—lean individuals can still have cellulite. Much of cellulite is actually genetic, so if it tends to run in your family, you may be more likely to have it regardless.

Natural Ways to Treat Cellulite
So you have some cellulite. Is there anything you can do about it? The following healthy lifestyle habits have been shown to help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
  • Lose weight. Although you may not be able to get rid of cellulite completely, when you lose body fat by exercising and eating a healthy diet, you can greatly improve the appearance of dimpled skin because you'll have less fat pushing up against your skin.

  • Resistance train. There is no such thing as spot training (losing fat in a specific body area by exercising it), but by strengthening and building your muscles—particularly in areas where you carry cellulite—you can give your skin a more even texture and tone.

  • Do cardio. Aerobic exercise is a fantastic way to burn calories and burn fat, thereby reducing the size of fat cells under the skin. Plus, aerobic exercise can also help you lose weight!

  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains can give your body the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to properly burn fat and keep your skin and tissues healthy. In fact, healthy proteins from nuts, beans and fish, and antioxidant-rich green tea, berries and garlic can help build up collagen—a connective tissue that helps plump up the skin and makes the signature peaks and valleys of cellulite less extreme. A healthy diet full of vitamin C, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids can also improve skin texture.

  • Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is an easy way to improve the texture of your skin. It seems counterintuitive, but by drinking more fluid, your body actually releases excess fluid that you may have been holding onto (including in your cellulite-prone areas). Not to mention that water is just darn good for you! Continued ›
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About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomeGirls.com, FitBottomedMamas.com and FitBottomedEats.com. A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

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