Is it possible to get rid of cellulite for good?

As with all things health and fitness, there is always a strong connection between what we eat and drink and how often we exercise to achieve our optimum state of well-being.

Cellulite is a damned word in many people’s lives. If they could just get rid of the horrid hail damage. But how? And is it even really possible? Like really possible?

A good starting point to try and get rid of cellulite is to understand what it is and how it ended up in your life so rudely uninvited.

First of all, to ensure some clarity, the layers of skin we’ll be referring to is the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) and the dermis (the layer of skin beneath the epidermis).

Len Kravitz, Ph.D., an exercise science researcher at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque describes cellulite as “the result of subcutaneous fat — the kind beneath the skin — protruding into the dermis. Within the dermis is a network of connective tissue that looks like a honeycomb, and as fat cells increase in size, the connective tissue within this layer become weakened and fat bulges through, giving the skin a dimpled or mattress-like appearance on the epidermis.”

According to Fitness Magazine, cellulite is “pockets of fat that have squeezed between bands of tissue, called septae, that are under your skin”.

Cellulite is influenced and advanced by various factors such as your amount of body fat, your body’s distribution of fat (which is influenced by genetics), skin thickness, and the strength of your connective fibres. And then there’s of course hormones which play a role and, as such, leaves most women with cellulite somewhere on their body.

Did you know that nearly 85% of women over the age of 20 have cellulite while, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, only about 10% of men have it? This is according to a study in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy.

If you’re a woman and harbouring some deep frustrating questions as to why mostly the fairer race struggle with this, well, it seems to be because men have thicker layers of skin, making it harder for fat to push through to the dermis. Guess there are some benefits to being “thick-skinned” after all. Okay, so now that we’ve identified the beast, how do we handle it?

We don’t mean to sound cliche, but food and movement go a long way. And with ‘movement’ we don’t mean moving your arm up and down to put more food in your mouth. Unless it’s a fruit or veggie, of course.

Try to eat heart-healthy grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, low-fat and non-fat dairy, and healthy fats like nuts and avocado.

Studies have shown that pairing a healthy diet with 40-minute exercise sessions three times a week helped women shed fat and centimetres from their hips while adding lean muscle to their bodies. Also, women self-reported some level of improvement in cellulite — noting less observed cellulite in addition to a more well-defined and improved overall physique.

Hit the weights

You’ve heard it often from us. Adding weights to your fitness routine two to three times a week is probably the best thing you haven’t been doing.

According to Dr Patricia Farris, a dermatologist in New Orleans, “Resistance exercise acts like fillers for your skin. If your muscles are more defined, your skin will look smoother.”

Dr Molly Wanner, an instructor in dermatology at Harvard Medical School is of the opinion that if you lose weight and replace it with muscle, you’re going to have a fat layer that’s not as thick, and cellulite won’t be as visible. If you just lose weight on the other hand, without building muscle, “your skin may be more lax, pulling on the septae, and cellulite may become more visible,” says Dr Wanner.

Don’t ever fall into the quick-fix traps. It’s really simple: the same things you would do to keep your body fit and healthy (i.e. exercise, healthy eating and lots of H2O) are your best weapons against cellulite.

About My Health and Fitness

Welcome to My Health and Fitness, a rich source of articles to help you become the best version of yourself. From diet to exercise and general health, our content contributors (including Biokineticists, Physiotherapists, and Fitness Professionals) will cover all your frequently asked questions and more!

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Disclaimer: Our articles are not meant to replace any medical advice as given to you by your doctor or healthcare specialist. Always consult your doctor before embarking on a new exercise routine or drastic changes in your diet, especially where pre-existing conditions are applicable.


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