How can I make sure that my cellulite doesn't get any worse?
November 22, 2010 1:03 PM   Subscribe

How can I make sure that my cellulite doesn't get any worse?

I saw a previous question about cellulite reduction, but the person asking was overweight. I am 21 years old, 5'6, and average about 125 lbs when not working out (around 130 when I have muscle). I have a medium frame. My weight gain is even everywhere, with a little more on the bottom half. I also have slight saddlebags. I've noticed a bit of cellulite cropping up on my upper thighs and I want it to go away! I eat pretty well and get lots of vegetables and fruit and good fats and good grains and good proteins and water and green tea. I do cheat sometimes with cake/chips/snacks, which is probably going to need to stop. I stopped working out for a few months, but I'm getting back into gear with lots of squats and cardio. What can I do to minimize the impact and prevent it from worsening? Losing much weight isn't an option; when I was a size smaller, people thought I was sick.
posted by 200burritos to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm 22, 5'8" and 110, and my cellulite used to make cottage cheese look like butter. What really helped me start to minimize its appearance (and prevent it from getting worse) was dropping cereal, white bread, and lots of crackers from my diet. I also try avoid any processed sugar, all sugar substitutes (as I've learned that Splenda, Sweet N Low, etc, are really, really bad for you since your body can't process them), and my doctor and I have found that intense massage of the afflicted areas seems to break down a lot of the fat cells and redistributes them. It's definitely begun to make a difference, and as I increase my squats and leg lifts, it's all starting to firm up. Chances are the prevalence of cellulite today is due to environmental things (plastics, chemicals in the water, atmosphere, etc) so we're sort of SOL in that regard, but yeah, diet and exercise really does make a difference. :) Boo cellulite. Dumbest thing ever.
posted by patronuscharms at 1:14 PM on November 22, 2010

Look, cellulite isn't the result of eating too much orange peel or whatever, it's just fat that has a dimpled texture.

So, less fat, less cellulite, because cellulite is fat. Also, if there were any substance on Earth that could improve the appearance of cellulite when applied to it - and we don't know this - a topical retinoid would be it.

There was a brief moment when I was 5lbs lighter than I am now and yay! Hardly any cellulite! Break out the shorts! I gained the weight back, because I only lost it because of meds anyway - and bam, cellulite, fold up the shorts and put them back in storage. And I'm also 5'6 and weigh about 125 lbs. That's life, I'm afraid.
posted by tel3path at 1:16 PM on November 22, 2010 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: @tel3path, do you think that tretinoin would improve cellulite because of the thickening of skin? That's a really interesting idea.
posted by 200burritos at 1:39 PM on November 22, 2010

Best answer: The exercises in the Callanetics program are designed to lift targeted muscle areas so that they raise and smooth out the sagging outer thigh area called saddlebags. I have done them, and they work.

Keeping your entire body muscular and toned while keeping your BMI in the low range is the most effective way to reduce cellulite. It really is just regular fat that squishes out between the waffle-like fascia of a woman's leg. It's just because of the way we're built.

I have also noticed that mine got worse when I was on the Pill, due to the hormones making it harder for me to gain muscle tone while working out, and harder to lose fat.
posted by xenophile at 1:43 PM on November 22, 2010 [3 favorites]

Lose weight. Eating fats will not make you fat.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:45 PM on November 22, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Don't lose weight; change your body composition to less fat/more muscle. Losing scale weight alone isn't necessarily going to change your body composition, especially since you already have a relatively low scale weight for your height (and, it sounds like, frame).
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:01 PM on November 22, 2010

Best answer: More weightlifting is going to help you with this one. Going to agree with changing the muscle/fat ratio other people have already suggested. You'll need to do more than just squats. While those do target your legs and bottom, it's going to help in the long run if you do full body workouts with weights. Don't get intimidated by all the hulking guys in the free weights area and try to do some upper body and core weight exercises too. It'll help you burn more energy/fat.

I'm around your age, 5'8 and 145. I find that when I'm at the lower end of my weight range, I have some cellulite, but then once I start working out regularly (Playing sports helps with this part. I juggle ice hockey and boxing at the moment), my weight can get to near 160, but I'll be slimmer and can kiss cellulite goodbye!
posted by astapasta24 at 8:40 PM on November 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

I figure it can't hurt to slap a little tretinoin on my thighs, so that's what I do. But I'm already using it on my face, so it's not out of my way.
posted by tel3path at 7:53 AM on November 23, 2010

Chances are the prevalence of cellulite today is due to environmental things (plastics, chemicals in the water, atmosphere, etc) so we're sort of SOL in that regard

Huh? What makes you think cellulite was less prevalent in the past, let alone that it's due to plastics and chemicals? As others have said, it's just fat.
posted by penguin pie at 2:25 PM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

The prevalence of cellulite seems to me to be exactly as it always was. Look at photos of chorus girls from the 1800s; there were no plastics and blah blah then, and the same percentage of people seemed to have cellulite as now.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:20 PM on November 23, 2010

Best answer: Follow up: I've been jumping rope and doing squats/lunges as well as watching my diet. I have seen a definite difference, and I expect it to keep on improving. I had very little to begin with and my BMI was 21, so this may not work for everyone.
posted by 200burritos at 1:53 PM on December 10, 2010

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