Cellulite - The Basics of Cellulite and What You Can Do About It

Loose Skin. Getty Images/IAN HOOTON

What Is Cellulite?

Cellulite is just another word for fat, but this type of fat sits just under the skin and is commonly found around the hips, thighs and butt and, of course, it seems to affect women much more than men, although we aren't the only ones who have to deal with it.

Why does this fat look like cottage cheese or hail damage? 

So, why does this fat look so awful? Because fat is coming through the connective tissue, tissue that is different in men and women.

  You may notice that men who have excess fat normally don't have that dimpling effect.  That's because men don't have that special hormone that causes women to have more fat...estrogen.  I know.  Not fair. 

Women usually have more cellulite than men due to different hormones and fat distribution, but there's no difference between what we call 'cellulite' and the fat that is distributed throughout the rest of the body.

How Can I Get Rid of It?

Though many companies tout creams, rubs and other cellulite-removal apparatuses, there's no way to get rid of cellulite without either losing fat or some sort of plastic surgery. Even if you do lose weight, there's no guarantee you'll lose it from the areas you choose.  Spot reduction - Doing certain exercises to get rid of the fat there - Just doesn't work, no matter how much we wish it did.

Tips for Reducing Cellulite

In her article, What Will (And Won't!) Get Rid of Cellulite Spa Expert Anitra Brown has some suggestions for, if not getting rid of it, at least doing your best to reduce it.

  Some tips:

  • Eat lots of greens and vegetables and avoid junk food, which can cause water retention and make your cellulite look worse
  • Try to keep your weight steady and/or lose weight.  Yo-yo dieting can increase your chances of getting more cellulite
  • Start exercising - Even a simple cardio program and a basic weight training workout can help make a difference in your fat stores

The Bottom Line

It's very normal for almost every woman to have cellulite, even if you're a regular exerciser.  I've had it since I was a teenager and I workout every day, so it isn't something you're doing wrong.  As women, we need that fat in order to do that very important job that no one else can do:  Have babies.  It's a function of our hormones and gender and, of course, age plays a role as well.  We really have no control over those things.

What you can control is what you do every day.  Your best bet is to take care of your body and do all the healthy things you know you're supposed to do - Eat well, workout, drink water and try to stay away from too much junk.  If it really bothers you, check out your options for plastic surgery to see if that's something to pursue.

Otherwise, take some time to work on your body image and realize cellulite is normal and none of us are going to be perfect.  Accepting yourself, flaws and all, will go a long way towards easing your mind and letting you focus on the important things in life - Being strong and healthy for yourself and your family.

Continue Reading