The Basics of Cellulite and What You Can Do About It

Oranges and measuring tape
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We've all heard about cellulite, the cottage cheesy-looking fat that often shows up in the worst places. In women, we often find it around the hips, thighs, and glutes while men may experience it in the legs or around the middle.

One thing we do know is that women seem to have more of a problem with cellulite than men do and that's generally because we have more body fat and our connective tissue is a little different.

While you may not like it, it's a fact that most women probably have a little cellulite somewhere, so you're not alone. Here's what you need to know about cellulite.

What Is Cellulite?

Cellulite isn't that much different than normal fat. In fact, it's just another word for fat, but this type of fat sits just under the skin The reason it has a different name is because of its appearance, which is lumpy and, for many of us, unattractive.

Why Does Cellulite Look So Lumpy?

Whether you call it orange peel, cottage cheese or hail damage, you know you have cellulite when it has that lumpy quality. So, what causes that? The bumpy look is caused by the fat coming through the connective tissue and it's that tissue that's different between 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.

It's that hormone that is the real culprit although, of course, if you're overweight, that may contribute to cellulite as well.

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

You can always consider investing in one of the latest cellulite treatments like laser therapy, radiofrequency or even liposuction.

Beyond that, there are some simple things you can do at home that may help reduce the appearance of cellulite, including:

  • 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
  • Stay hydrated

The Bottom Line

It's very normal for almost every woman to have cellulite, even if you're a regular exerciser. Just because you have it doesn't mean you're doing anything 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.

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